Monday, July 4, 2011

Song School Latin

This summer, our family has been getting a gentle exposure to Latin using Song School Latin, offered by Classical Academic Press.  The program consists of a workbook, CD, and optional teacher's edition.  There are also several additional resources available for free online.

Song School Latin approaches Latin in the way of many other children's language curriculums, by starting with simple words and phrases to talk about ourselves, name items in our world, and say various polite phrases.  Although Latin isn't used as a spoken language today, this method means we have lots of words to practice in our daily lives.

Each lesson of words is introduced by a song that mixes the Latin and English words so that the meaning of the former can be implied by the latter.  The songs are memorable and have especially helped my musical daughter in remembering the vocabulary.  A "Chapter Lesson" gives a short bit of information on Latin grammar or points out a Latin phrase still used today.  "Grow Your English" points out English words that have Latin derivatives.  "Practice Your Latin" is a collection of activities where you write, circle, draw, or match Latin and/or English words.  Every fourth chapter is a review.

Online you will find additional audio files, coloring pages, and a flashcard game for each chapter's vocabulary.  The Teacher's Edition contains the answers (not needed as the exercises are simple) and an additional practice page for each chapter. 

The book is recommended for grades K-3.  I am using the program with my 8 and 10 year old so we are taking it four chapters at a time, which gives us about 16 new vocabulary words or phrases a week.  Don't expect to learn much grammar from this curriculum, it introduces very little that can be applied outside of the given words.  The connections to English words and phrases are great, though, if you want to study Latin as a way of learning English vocabulary.  I recommend Song School Latin for young children or if you want a fun introduction to Latin before using a more complex curriculum.

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