Well, I must say we’re getting pretty edumacated (*not* Latin:)) in Latin these days. (Educate is actually educo.) We’ve completed a few different intro-to Latin and elementary programs. We’ve really enjoyed learning this incredible language! While my high school student Morgan has taken off with a different Latin program this year to count for her high school credit, my 11 year old has been enjoying a revolutionary, one-of-a-kind Latin program. And for the first time since we’ve brought Latin into our home, *I* have been learning it along with my kids!
So just what is this amazing new discovery?
Well, Visual Latin is a unique series of video programs taught by Dwane Thomas with each short segment being followed up by a worksheet. Each lesson has three parts: Part A is a grammar lesson (about 7 minutes), Part B teaches the lesson using sentences (about 8 minutes), and Part C is a reading (about 5 minutes and is from a Latin Bible or Vulgate.)
Latin 1 consists of three sections: Lessons 1-10 which can be purchased on DVD for $30.00 or downloaded for $25.00. Lessons 11-20 and 21-31 each have the same options for purchase separately, or you may wish to purchase the complete set of 3 DVD’s at a discounted rate of $80.00. The pdfs worksheets are included on the dvd’s or can be found on the website as well. The dvd’s (or downloads) include everything you need to teach Latin 1. (See the website to purchase or see some other options including online classes with Dwane Thomas!) The program is targeted to ages 9 and up. I would add that I believe it would be helpful for the student to understand basic English grammar and parts of speech well before using this program.
So just why do we think this program is so “amazing”, and how is it different than other Latin program out there?
Glad you asked!! Keep reading why we love this so much!!
Gunn Ranch Academy’s Visual Latin Experience:
First of all, I knew we were in for an exciting adventure when I read that the program was taught by Dwane Thomas who was raised by a pack of wild Latin teachers near the Rubicon, and has been teaching and telling jokes in Latin for 15 years! My kinda teacher!!
Sure enough, this teacher is really the very essence of the program. My student absolutely LOVES the way he talks right to her, telling jokes, addressing the real-life mistakes he makes during the lesson, just like a real live lecture. The only thing she can’t do is raise her hand to ask a question! (But answers to most questions can be found on a great forum set up on visuallatin.com or emailed to Dwane if the answer can’t be found!) The teacher has a GREAT sense of humor as well as a pleasant way of speaking, which certainly in my years of experience as a student in a classroom can make a subject much easier to comprehend as actually learn. I have said for years that the teacher makes or breaks the whole program one is trying to learn, as I can still remember every teacher of the subjects that I truly loved and learned the best.
Along with a great teacher, the program is set up brilliantly. Each lesson has three segments, which are short and to-the-point with a PDF worksheet to followup each one. For review we received Lessons 1 to 10 on DVD which are as follows:
A. Why Study Latin?
B. Latin Then & Now
C. How To Learn a Language
D. Stuff You Should Know About Latin
1. Being Verbs Basics / To Be and Not to Be
2. Being Verbs Basics / Predicate Nominatives and Adjectives
3. Gender / Boy Words and Girl Words
4. Singular and Plural / E Pluribus Unum
5. Declensions / Meet the Cases
6. Adjectives Learn to Agree with Nouns
7. The Case Files / Nominative and Genitive
8. Counting to 10 in Latin
9. Active Verb Basics / Indicative Mood
10. The Case Files / Accusative
~You can download the 4 Introductory Lessons and the first two regular lessons here for free!!!
So we popped the dvd into the computer and sat down together to watch. I soon realized that this might be the program I was looking for to be able to keep up with my kids and learn Latin for myself! The lessons are short, easy to comprehend, and the worksheet that follows each part reinforces the lessons very well. I printed off two sets of worksheets, and Taylor and we watched each of the three parts following up each with a worksheet. So far we have done all three parts A-C in one session, but we have been through a few other programs. Having admitted this, I will go ahead and say that I’m amazed at how this program teaches the material in such short lessons. The material is arranged and explained in a way that makes it simple to grasp. We have been through the first 5 lessons at this point, and I would venture to say it has been a great summary for Taylor, as well as putting together a few scattered pieces of the puzzle that weren’t too clear from prior teaching.
My favorite part of this program is Part C where Dwane reads from the Latin Vulgate Bible. The worksheet that accompanies this has the sentences he is reading to follow along with. He reads the given passage through once, then again slower for the student to repeat after him. Reading and speaking the language are really key parts of learning it. This concept made me wonder why we never read actual books in the foreign language I studied in high school for 3 years (Actually I do recall reading a couple of short books, but nothing memorable!). I believe reading more of the language, and especially out loud, would have reinforced it to the point I might have remembered a bit more of it. After the reading, the passage is translated on the worksheet. This is really the most writing asked of the student in this program so far. The worksheets seem to be well organized and very easy to complete.
I am thoroughly enjoying watching the videos and working through my own set of worksheets with my daughter.
Upon researching how this course can be used as high school credit, I found that Latin 1 Lessons 1-30 can be counted as 1/2 credit, or used with additional resources as discussed on the website could be counted as a whole credit course. Dwane also teaches online courses using these additional resources along with Visual Latin.
The first lessons of Latin 2 are now available as well (31-40) and the rest of Latin 2 will become available soon.
I have already purchased Lessons 11-40 on three dvds to continue our study once we complete this dvd. (I guess that sums up my opinion of this program pretty well, right?) 🙂
I’m so thankful for this program, and especially thankful to Visual Latin for allowing the TOS Homeschool Crew to review it!
If you have been thinking about giving Latin a try, or if you’ve used other programs and are looking for something different, or even if you are happy with what you are using, take a peek anyway!! I’ve no doubt you’ll be just as impressed with this as we have been!!!
Check out my Crew Mates thoughts about Visual Latin over at the Crew Blog!!
*We received Lessons 1-10 on dvd in exchange for our review as Crew Mates on the TOS Homeschool Crew cruise. No other compensation was received, and opinions you read here are our very own. And Yes, we really did *purchase* the rest of the available dvd lessons!