I received a complimentary level of Song School Latin in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Please read my disclaimer in the footer for more information.
Homeschoolers teach Latin.
This is one of the first things I observed about homeschooling. Before we had even begun our journey, I noticed our friends who homeschool mentioned this language over and over as a staple to a good education. It seemed to me that if I was going to homeschool, I’d better teach it.
A hunch is not the same as substantial evidence, though, so I avoided the topic altogether for years. It seemed so archaic, so unnecessary to teach Latin. Our special needs trumped any learning beyond the 3 R’s for the most part, anyway, and Latin seemed a large mountain in the distant future to me. “One day, maybe…” I told myself.
Then I found Charlotte Mason and as I acquainted myself with her teaching I came to realize she, too, had made it a priority to teach Latin beginning around 4th grade. As my boys reached that grade level I thought it was time to start re-considering the dead language.
I won’t go into a full persuasion here about why I think you should consider teaching your outside-the-box child Latin, but you may find these resources helpful:
What I will tell you is that I knew how I didn’t want to teach Latin; “rigor” is not a particularly favorite word of mine because it would never fit well in our homeschool. I’m all for working hard but I’m more for meeting my children where they are at. I had to consider why would I teach Latin to my boys?
Here’s what I came up with…
- the history and tradition behind it
- it is the root language for much of the English language
- it is the root of most other languages we will attempt to learn therefore giving us a head start
- the connection between Latin and modern science and math
- to strengthen their brains
So how could I teach Latin in an inviting way that would introduce my children to foreign languages without overwhelming them (or me)?
Enter Song School Latin.
When I found Song School Latin – a multi-sensory, open-and-go curriculum with a very small learning curve that introduces the kids to Latin in a fun and simple way – I was more than excited to review it.
Why Song School Latin?
If you’re already familiar with this particular curriculum, you might be thinking…aren’t your kids a little old for this? Jackson, the first to try Song School, is ten-years-old and this curriculum is marketed for 1st and 2nd graders, after all.
I know, I thought that, too. But here’s the thing...
Learning a new language is tough and this is the first time we’ve attempted it. I wanted the initial step into foreign language to be interesting and pleasurable. I am more concerned about whetting his appetite than making him a master of Latin in his first year.
And ya know what? It worked. Latin has quickly become the subject Jackson looks forward to most.
When our twins were diagnosed with autism and Owen was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, we knew that would become the lens we saw things through when making choices for them – especially academic choices. We knew, like with any child, we needed to play to their strengths in looking for curriculum.
Song School Latin fits the bill.
So how do we use it?
We watch the DVD lesson Monday, do work pages Tuesday, review flashcards Wednesday and if needed, do extra work pages (included in curriculum) on Thursday.
We’re still working our way through Song School Latin Book 1 and are excited to begin Book 2 when we’re finished OR if Jackson’s up for it we will switch over to Latin for Children Primer A.
The DVD lessons are about fifteen minutes long and the workbook pages have about 2-3 per lesson. You learn about five new words or phrases per chapter. There are Latin and English flashcards included for every new word or phrase with the proper translation written upside down across the bottom of the card.
Song School Latin stands out for seven main reasons:
Offers Classical or Ecclesiastical Pronunciation
Some people may be adamant about teaching one or the other. We didn’t know the difference so we went with ecclesiastical because it is closer to our English alphabet. The classical dialect is an older one that attempts to follow the way Romans actually spoke. Ecclesiastical is a newer dialect spoken within the Christian Church in the Middle Ages. The deciding factor for us was quite literally one letter – v. In the classical, it is pronounced as a “w” and in ecclesiastical it is pronounced as the English “v” which I thought lowered the learning curve even more.
This little monkey is getting his own heading. Simeon is the mascot of Song School Latin (see the image below) and for good reason. Not only is he amusing but he is the main character of a story line that goes through the whole book. You get to follow Simeon’s story and learn a little Latin along the way. At the end of every lesson, Jackson and I instinctively wave and say “Vale, Simeon!”
I don’t speak Latin…at all…so I have no business teaching it unassisted. The DVD lessons are interesting and short which makes it a perfect fit in our highly Charlotte Mason homeschool. That being said, no matter what homeschool style you follow, Song School Latin is for you. Jackson genuinely enjoys watching the lessons because of Simeon and I love the derivative river which highlights the way in Latin shows up in English, Spanish and French words.
This is where the title “Song School” comes in. Each student book comes with a CD of catchy songs for each lesson.
These have been a wonderful addition to the weekly lessons. We incorporate the cards weekly and keep adding to the stack every time we learn new words and phrases.
Review lessons are built in to the program so don’t worry about forgetting all of this new information.
Okay, so this is just a little fun thing but I had to mention it because Jackson was so excited to find that there are lessons that teach Christmas words. We are doing those now and he is loving it.
So you’re thinking…sounds great, how do I get started?
Well, I’ve got some good news and some even better news.
The good news, is you have just discovered a fun and OTB-friendly Latin curriculum for your child.
The better news, is that if you hurry over to Classical Academic Press right now, it’s on sale!
Remember to order extra student books if you are teaching multiple children. You can share the DVD lessons and flashcards to save some money ;).
Have you ever heard of Song School Latin?