So since most colleges ask for two credits in languages I thought it was important that my boys study a language in high school. My oldest chose Spanish, which I figured was pretty easy. However, my youngest wanted to do something different, and he chose Latin. I have to say, this terrified me, but I found a great program that I loved (First Form Latin) and it turned out to be great for both of us. For this review, I got to check out the next year of that program, Second Form Latin from Memoria Press.
Okay, the first thing you should know is that the Second Form Latin Complete Set comes with a lot of components. Do not let this intimidate you. They all work together really well and are very easy to use. Keep in mind, this program is meant to be used AFTER First Form Latin, so the idea is that your student will have some experience with the language prior to beginning the program. Also remember that you are still your child’s teacher, and of course, you can always choose to leave some parts out if you wish.
What does Second Form Latin come with? A student textbook and workbook, a teacher’s manual and complete answer key, tests and quizzes for each lesson, flashcards, a pronunciation CD and a set of instructional DVDs. The DVDs are taught by Glen Moore, and he does a very good job of presenting the material. However, this particular child has never done well with DVD learning (believe me, we have tried many times) so I only use these sparingly.
This program consists of 26 lessons, plus additional reviews every five lessons or so. The lessons themselves are only a couple pages in the student workbook but they are very meaty. The teacher’s guide is the best place to start as it takes you through the general format for each lesson and then breaks down each lesson with individual notes. It might take some time to get used to the lesson format, especially parts like the oral drills and games if you are only teaching one student. However, what I figured out is that this is a great chance for YOU to learn Latin as well if you want. Seriously, after working through First Form with my son I discovered I learned a ton, and I am picking up more with Second Form now.
Teaching the lessons took me about 30-40 minutes at first, but once I got used to it, we averaged around 25 minutes per lesson. Each lesson takes about five days to complete, with your child working in the workbook each day. I appreciate how the workbook is set up in five distinct sections for each lesson because it makes it really easy for me to give my son a stopping and starting point each day. He generally completes the workbook on his own now, only coming to me when he has specific questions, but in the beginning, we did the workbook pages together.
The pronunciation guide was another huge bonus for me because reading Latin does not come naturally (at least at first). We listened to this together on the first day of each lesson and then referred back to it if we needed to. My son did not enjoy doing the flash cards, but really, how many 17 year olds enjoy doing drills? The fact is, they were very helpful in getting him to really remember information, especially from earlier lessons as we moved on. Also, you can use them to play games. After you complete each lesson, there is a quiz which we found helpful because it helped us figure out if there was something we needed to go back and review.
So, how do we feel about Second Form Latin? Honestly, we love it. I am amazed at how thorough it is and how easy it is to teach! I have watched my son grow in confidence over this past year as he studies, and as I mentioned, I feel like I am learning Latin too. He thinks it’s cool to be able to read and and understand more and more, especially since many people don’t understand Latin at all. Also, he is recognizing the connection between Latin and other languages and seeing where a lot of our words come from! I would definitely recommend this if you want a rigorous but easy to teach program for your high school student.
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To see what other members of the crew thought of this program and the other projects we got to check out, click here: