I choose to give this product 4 out of 5 Gold Teacher’s Stars!
If you are looking for a fabulous grammar program with the bonus of learning Latin as a basis for grammar and other language programs, you will want to look no further than The Latin Road to English Grammar from Schola Publications. Author Barbara Beers has expertly laid out a fantastic foundation in the English language with this curriculum and then she helps you to build the entire house.
When I first began talking about learning Latin in our homeschool, I received many questions about why I would want to teach a language that was basically dead. I replied that although the language of Latin is not spoken, I believe it is alive as it is used as a foundation for so many languages. I also know that a sound understanding of the Latin language will help in other subjects such as science as many of the terms are founded in the Latin language. Since my son has a propensity toward foreign languages, I knew that by learning Latin, he would learn many other languages even quicker as he identified the Latin roots that so many words in many languages are derived.
When I received The Latin Road to English Grammar, I was ecstatic! I knew that this was exactly the program I had been looking for in our homeschool. The materials are of a very high quality and the course is laid out simply and effectively. In fact, I kept looking to see if I was missing something, as it just seemed too simple. The instructions for the course are laid out very well in the teacher’s manual, however, I highly recommend the Teacher Training DVD set. While the Teacher Training DVD set is an optional purchase, I can guarantee that you won’t be sorry if you buy them. They explain everything so well, that you gain the confidence you need to administer this incredible program.
One of the biggest aspects to this program that has helped us the most is the focus on Latin roots in vocabulary. One of the things that we have had trouble with in the past is an understanding of words. While my son can spell or read just about anything, he has a terrible time actually understanding what all of the words he spells or reads mean. By learning the Latin roots, he is beginning to make contextual linking in his mind and is understanding more and more words without having to look them up in the dictionary. He is literally learning to take the word apart and put it together again in his mind. This has been an incredible breakthrough for us in our schooling.
The program works by utilizing several different learning methods and while you are proficient in one area, it helps to build up the weaker areas at the same time. I know that while my son hates writing everything in his notebook, that it is helping him to learn to retain the information and to take good notes while he is learning. He is also learning some great organizational skills by building his notebook in the way that Barbara has outlined. It has been a very good and beneficial exercise for him each day.
While I have loved this program and we plan to complete all 3 years in our school, I do recognize that this program will not be a good fit for everyone. There is a lot of time required to administer the program, although it is very simple, and that might not work for a parent who does not wish to devote the time to a Latin based grammar program. I find it takes roughly an hour each day to complete the work. While I personally find that acceptable, I do understand that many homeschoolers do not want to invest that much time to one topic.
Also, if you are not strong in grammar or your student is not strong in grammar, then you will need to use a precursor to this program as it is advanced. A strong foundation should already be in place prior to starting this program. Barbara has written 2 other programs, The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading and The Bridge to the Latin Road, that are available and can help to prepare your student to learn this vigorous program. This is not a time to be prideful and declare your student to be able to handle the material if they can’t. To do so, would be detrimental to the student and be discouraging for all involved.
The curriculum can be considered expensive, but I find it well worth the price. If you buy the Big Fat Latin Special, you will receive everything you need to administer the program in your school, at a discounted price of $249. This includes the following items ( a $297 value!):
Teacher Curriculum Set
–Textbook: 142-page textbook which makes a clear presentation of the forms, syntax, and vocabulary of Latin with relationships to English. Translation exercises, word studies, and readings are included.
–Worksheets act as quizzes following each chapter.
–Tests to be completed every two chapters.
–Teacher’s Guide: your notebook all set up for you with lesson plans, all answer keys, and verb charts.
–Vocabulary Cards: keyed to the textbook and color-coded with extra large print for easy oral drills.
–Audio CD’s: Correct pronunciation of all forms, vocabulary, exercises, and readings on 2 CDs.
Teacher Training DVDs
On 3 DVDs, in over five hours of training, Barbara guides you and your student through the curriculum chapter by chapter, offering helps and hints on building the notebook, teaching through difficult grammar structures, demonstrating the detailed markings of sentences for translation, and pointing out interesting clues that build skills in Latin, English grammar, vocabulary, and spelling. She answers all the questions that have been asked over the years in order to make the teacher confident in learning and teaching Latin.
Complete Student Package
– The LATIN Road to English Grammar Text with worksheets and tests.
– White 3-ring binder with the 10 professionally printed index tabs he/she needs to begin this study.
Includes the Latin Road graphic and a place for your student to personalize it with his/her name.
– Our Latin Comprehensive Reference Guide showing at-a-glance all the Latin grammar that he/she will learn through this 3-year study, color-coordinated to the 3 Volumes; a great reference tool.
– Colored Notebook Paper – enough blue, pink, and yellow notebook paper for the student for the year to coordinate the vocabulary notebook pages with the vocabulary cards for easiest memorization.
– Colored Ink Pens – blue, black, brown, red, and green ink pens to complete the coordination of notebook pages and vocabulary cards.
Latin Reference Guide
A one-page, two-sided, laminated chart of all the Latin grammar you learn in this 3-year study. It is hole-punched to fit into your notebook and gives all the grammar, forms, and structures AT A GLANCE.
The majority of these items are non-consumable, so they can be used with more than one student, making the value even greater. We have loved using this program and will continue to be using it in our homeschool. We look forward to completing Level 1 and then working our way through Levels 2 and 3. When we have completed all of these levels, my son will have gained high school level credits: 1 grammar and 2 foreign language. When you combine those benefits along with all of the many other ones we have found thus far, The Latin Road to English Grammar is a road we want to travel well.