We chose Visual Latin 1, which is the brainchild of Dwane Thomas - he is your teacher and guide into the living world of Latin. Dwane has a friendly, fun approach to teaching, this combined with his humour and short, easy to understand lessons makes Visual Latin 1 a joy to use. Dwane really knows his stuff and explains it so it makes sense - its funny, short, interactive and applicable.
There are 30 video lessons in Visual Latin 1(across 3 DVDs but we opted for the download version) combined with printable worksheets, tests and answers, to help students understand grammar, sentence structure and reading Latin. Each lesson is broken into 3 video sections - grammar, language and translation - each lasting approx 15 mins. Each lesson follows the same format: you watch Dwane present the new information and incorporate it into what you have studied in previous lessons. The next section shows you how to use in it sentences. In the final section he reads in Latin, you repeat the sentences and translate. There is a worksheet for each section which provides a great reinforcement of what they've just learnt.
It is recommended that you use Visual Latin three times a week. I downloaded these onto my pod so the girls could watch on the TV, but you could just as easily use it on a PC. Both Lilly and Sunflower worked through one lesson each week, watching a section a day over three days, followed by a worksheet each day with the test on day three.
Lilly and Sunflower are hooked on these lessons especially as they found words they recognised from day one - they both took great pleasure in explaining to DH that peninsular is Latin and means 'almost' an 'island'.
I loved the integration of seeing, reading, hearing, writing and speaking the language and the way he integrates Latin into everything - proving it's not just a dead language. He touches on history, poetry, philosophy, the romantic languages and more. It also doesn't require any planning on my part - just play, print and leave them to it : )
The only downside was downloading does take a while (but tuned out to be well worth it)
We were given the download version but a DVD is also available. Visual Latin 1 is currently on sale at a reduced price of $85 (normally $100). It is recommended for grade 4 and above.
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