Friday, November 4, 2011

Memoria Press: First Form Latin

As a member of the TOS Homeschool crew, this year I am reviewing many homeschooling products that I have received for free. I am not paid to say nice things about the products, but I am obligated to use the product with my boys and share my honest opinions with you. 

Memoria Press has been offering Christian schools and homeschool families classical curriculum since 1994. For years, I have been hording their catalog and magazines, The Classical Teacher. This company is so confident of the quality of their program, they offer a 60 day money back guarantee. After seeing First Form Latin, I can see why.

What is it?

First Form Latin is a one year Latin program written by Cheryl Lowe, the author of Latin Christiana. She has been developing a four year high school Latin program. The first two are available, with the third year in the wings. My complete kit included the following items:

  1. The Teacher Manual
  2. Pronunciation CD
  3. Sturdy Pre-made Flash Cards
  4. Quizzes and Tests
  5. Student Workbook
  6. Teacher Manual with Workbook and Test Key
  7. Student Text
  8. Instructional DVD

I have added my commentary in italics to it's lists of features:
  • Designed for students and teachers with no Latin background Yes! This is me. I did experience high school Latin for a short time period, but not enough to have any confidence. Paperboy had 1 year of Latin, but not so organized. He 
  • 8x8 inch Student Text, small, concise, unintimidating with 34 two-page lessons on facing uncluttered pages The simplicity and brief lessons with small bits of Roman history and culture blended well. Each lesson begins with the introduction of 7 or 8 Latin rules that will be taught.The short Latin sayings in each lesson were the ones easily recalled, Latin was not a dead language here!
  • Limited vocabulary of 185 words The vocabulary cards are included.
  • Full-size Student Workbook with 4-6 pages of exercises per lesson Thorough and challenging for Paperboy.
  • Vocabulary derivatives and detailed explanations of Latin sayings
  • Grammar catechism for daily rapid-fire review
  • Milestone markers for each grammar objective
  • Everything-you-could-possibly-need teacher manual
    • Organized for easy access
    • Student Text inset with answers in color
    • Chalk-talk scripted lessons This was invaluable to me.
    • Recitation schedule
    • Pronunciation reminders
    • Workbook with key I wish this was in larger print, but the half-sized page was manageable.
    • Unit tests and lesson quizzes booklet
    • FYI section for extra background
My thoughts:

High School Latin is ideally taught in a co-op setting. Our homeschool group offered this for years. Now that I have high schoolers, it's not an option. The instructor has since passed away and we have not found another instructor. This First Form Latin would work best in a group setting, but if that is not possible, it meets the need of a full year of Latin. The materials included, equipped me, but I still would love to hire a Latin teacher. The teacher's manual with it's scripting is exactly what I needed to overcome my phobia of Latin. This package is available without the DVD and flash cards for $55.00. Please purchase the complete kit for $115 if you are serious about teaching your students Latin, THE DVD IS INVALUABLE! Yes, I am screaming that.

As with all of my reviews, don't take my word for it, do the following things:

  1. Visit Memoria Press, drool over their products, then order a catalog.
  2. See what other crew members have to say about it here.
  3. Carpe Diem!
Thanks for stopping by,
If you don't ever want to miss a review, enter your email address: Delivered by FeedBurner

No comments: