I’ve always wondered how an in depth study of Latin would truly benefit a student. As a foreign language, there are many more "practical" choices for learning to speak and interact in our world (or so I thought). Since Latin is included throughout many other study topics as basic root words and such, I never considered using it as a core subject. We have used Greek and Latin root word studies as supplements to other studies, but never as an all inclusive foreign language choice.
Then I began thinking about all the people I’ve talked to who have taken a foreign language and can’t remember a thing about it. I took two years of French in high school, and one year in college, and I truly can’t see any benefit in having done so. So how would Latin have benefited me instead? I believe much of that question has been answered by Barbara Beers in the development of The Latin Road to English Grammar. Read questions and Answers here.
When this opportunity to further understand the study of Latin and it’s benefits through Schola Publications came along, I was very excited. I have always been a lover of English grammar and language arts. My girls both have a knack for this as well. Morgan has advanced quickly through any language/grammar/writing program introduced. Taylor has never really had a "hardcore" teacher -directed English program, but has picked anything Language Arts/English grammar related up well from the basic programs she’s worked through.
I mention their experiences with English grammar here because as I was looking through the Latin Road materials, I found that it is a basic language curriculum which focuses on English grammar understanding as a road to Latin. The beginning program for K-4 is "The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading". See it here. It is designed to be the very beginning steps of the Latin Road program.
The next step for 3-6 grades is the "Bridge to the Latin Road" where we started. See it here. I was afraid this might bore Morgan, but was thrilled with the opportunity to lead Taylor through a thorough learning of English grammar. When we received the package, included was a set of 6 Dvd’s which show how to teach the program, a teacher’s guide in a binder, and student guides in binders. Also included per student are 3 pencils, regular, blue and red and a scaffolding ruler.
At first I was a bit confused by the progression of the lessons, as it’s not designed just to flip from one page to the next. But after watching the Dvd introduction and beginning lessons, it’s pretty easy to figure out where things are located in the notebooks, and how things are grouped together. The other thing that was a bit confusing at first is the reference to the Phonics Road program resources that we didn’t have. But this too is easily remedied by watching the Dvd’s for understanding and just progressing on into it.
I really enjoy the ease and no-nonsense approach this program has. The girls mentioned how they love just being able to sit down and do their work without having to dig through a bunch of excess bells and whistles. We can sit down and get through the lessons in 15-30 minutes or less, and sometimes work through multiple lessons at a time depending on attention spans and other obligations.
I really love the way this program uses the theme of a builder to build the English Language in the same way a carpenter learns to build a house. They can really relate to much of it after working with Daddy to help build Grandpa Ray’s house, and also in preparation for our own house construction!
The year begins with the rough framing (various parts of speech and sentence structure), then the student learns to add the roofing support and framing design through the building of scaffolding (sentence diagramming). We will continue to progress through our Bridge to Latin until we have built our own English reference handbooks to use during the 3-year study of The Latin Road to English Grammar.
I am so excited to see what the Latin Road has in store for us. We will definitely continue with this program as it is very well written and so very easy to use and understand, and the girls just LOVE it!
You can check out free samples here!
If you are looking for an easy-to-use thorough English grammar program, look no further than the Bridge to Latin. If you are thinking of using Latin as part of your curriculum, or are looking for a Phonics program for your beginner, check out what our Crew members who tried those out have to say! TOS Crew links for Schola Publications
Now go build some sentences with your kids!