Review: Second Form Latin
Belle says, "I love Second Form Latin! I love Latin!" We have the Second Form Latin Complete Set.
She discovered Memoria Press and their award-winning curriculum when Rose Red had the privilege of reviewing First Form Greek. Belle spent a long time looking over the format of the lessons and all of the resources available and came to me asking, "Could I do Memoria Press Latin? If it's like the Greek lessons, it's really good."
We spent some time researching the Second Form Latin Complete Set table of contents and lesson design, and Belle fell in love. "Please, please get this for me!" she begged.
When the opportunity arose to review this curriculum, we certainly jumped at the chance.
And the experience has been just as good as we hoped.
In the beginning:
The first thing we found out when our curriculum box arrived was that the flashcards are not pre-cut. Belle and I spent a goodly amount of time tearing along the perforations and organizing the flashcards. Each flashcard has a small number in one corner indicating which chapter to which it belongs.
It wasn't hard; it was just a surprise. We actually had a good time chatting and laughing as we worked together.
The second thing we found out was that the week's lessons the teacher's manual in Second Form Latin are laid out topically. Because I need my teens to work independently on most subjects, I gave Belle all of the materials to use on her own. With the lessons laid out topically, we had to have a bit of a curriculum planning meeting to show her how to divide the topics up into daily bites. I gave her a small notebook to use for planning each week's work, modeling how to break up the topics in a manageable way.
|It's a little blurry (sorry), but here is a week's plan. Go here to see it crisp and clear at the Memoria Press website. Each red-numbered or red-titled section outlines topical material to cover during the week.|
The third thing we discovered about Second Form Latin is the emphasis on memorization! We thought, based on Belle's previous experience with Latin, that she would easily dive into Second Form Latin--even enjoying a bit of review of previously studied material.
We were wrong!
When she began lesson 1, she had to spend an extra week memorizing conjugations and declensions that she'd had experience with, but had not memorized to the point of mastery.
At first she felt really overwhelmed and voiced her concern that she wasn't going to succeed, but I encouraged her to take the time she needed to get familiar with the patterns and reminded her that she has a gift for memorizing. We spent some time together finding helpful resources in the backs of the student and teacher manuals (i.e. memorization and grammar charts).
By the end of the second week, she felt comfortable enough to take the lesson 1 weekly quiz, and she did just fine!
Seeing her good score on the quiz boosted her confidence, and she moved happily into lesson 2.
Now that she has some experience under her belt:
Belle says, "I really like Second Form Latin because the lessons only teach a little bit at a time, and I can really learn the material. I never feel overwhelmed or confused anymore, and I love Latin!"
That first lesson was a doozy because we hadn't had experience with First Form Latin, but the learning curve was manageable by taking extra time to get familiar with the Memoria Press Latin curriculum style. Since then, Belle has comfortably completed a lesson each week, studying 5 days each week, and has done quite well on the quizzes (not perfectly, but quite well).
A few times Belle has come to me for assistance with vocabulary review or grammar study. It is nice for her to have a live partner giving her feedback about her answers sometimes. Otherwise, between the flashcards, the text, the DVDs, the quizzes, the teacher guide, the pronunciation CD, and the answer keys, Belle has really been able to work on her own and learn Latin to the point of mastery.
Second Form Latin Complete Set is challenging but manageable with plenty of resources for study. It is orderly and enjoyable for my 7th (headed into 8th) grade girl.
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