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Artes Latinae, Level One (Book Version) Review by Diane WheelerBolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc.
Are you one of the many homeschoolers adopting the classical approach but staggered at the idea of teaching Latin? Let me recommend to you Artes Latinae, a complete, self-directed Latin curriculum that is user-friendly and very thorough.
This program comes in either textbook or CD-ROM versions. The program offers three pronunciations: American Scholastic, Continental/Ecclesiastical (CD only) and Restored Classical (CD only). If you purchase the textbook format, there are audiocassettes to provide pronunciation.
Artes Latinae was developed using the principles of programmed instruction. As Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers explain, "By this methodology, students are led in a carefully organized, step-by-step process which introduces new material in manageable portions, provides suitable examples, and then interactively questions the student on the material to determine if it has been absorbed sufficiently."
There are tests at the end of units two through 30. The Unit three test includes writing down the five vowels as the teacher pronounces them, and then reading aloud a chosen sentence. By Unit 28, the student is counting to ten, writing the principal parts of four verbs, identifying the tenses of three verbs, filling in missing letters in Latin sentences, and more.
In addition to the lessons and the testing, the graded reader, Lectiones Primae, provides fun practice in reading Latin. Starting with short mottos and sentences, it progresses to full stories and poems. What a great way for the student to see his hard work applied to the goal of reading and understanding Latin.
The lessons can easily be done with minimal teacher involvement. There is a teacher's manual, plus teacher's guides, for the tests and the reader. As with any self-directed learning program, the teacher provides the accountability and can help determine if the student's pace is allowing sufficient time for learning to take place.
In the beginning of the Teacher's Manual, there is a chapter entitled Philosophy and Approach. This gives the technical description and the unique features of the program. I would encourage you to read this chapter, but not become overwhelmed with terminology that is unfamiliar. The information simply reinforces the lengthy research that has gone into making the program so excellent. There is mention of filmstrips. Please note that these are no longer available and are not necessary for successful completion of the material.
There is no set time to complete the program; it depends on the age of your student. Recommended for students in the middle grades or higher, it is possible for a high school student to finish Level One in a year.
Bolchazy-Carducci has other great resources for Latin students. I recommend that you take a good look at their web site www.bolchazy.com to see all that they offer. There are several children's books translated into Latin, plus they offer information and support for Latin students. For the Artes Latinae program specifically, please see their website at www.arteslatinae.com.
I am thrilled to find a Latin program that is self-directed, thorough, and offers support and resources for further study. Bochazy-Carducci even offers Latin translations of the Dr. Seuss classics The Cat in the Hat and How The Grinch Stole Christmas! So, look out children, story time could take on a completely new look in the months to come.