Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Timberdoodle Review - Visual Latin

Visual Latin

DVD Lessons - Lesson 1-10, 11-20 and 21-30 - $30 each or Entire set $80

The opportunity to review Visual Latin through Timberdoodle has been a real gift for my youngest (12).  He’s really enjoying using Visual Latin each week.  You’d have to know my son, but he either really likes something or he resists it.  When he’s in resist mode, he tries to get it done fast and has trouble committing the lessons to memory. When he likes something, he seeks it out and his retention is strong.  He likes Visual Latin.
What we really love:

1.    The videos – they can be loaded on my IPAD, which my son loves.  Technology is his thing, so getting to incorporate the IPAD into his day makes him happy.  Each lesson has three video segments – an instructional segment, a practice segment, and a reading segment.  Instead of focusing on vocabulary – the lessons focus on grammar and the students learn the vocabulary while understanding the grammar.  I have been very impressed with how many words he has picked up while doing each lesson.  Additionally, he’s understanding WHY sentences are constructed the way they are in Latin giving us a chance to delve into the similarities and differences with our own language.  The second lesson on Predicate Nominative and Predicate Adjective helped him both with his Latin and his English grammar.

2.    Display during the videos -  The videos are basically the instructor in front of a blackboard; however, they have done a nice job of including screen changes and adding words or phrases at the bottom of the screen to enhance what he is saying.  They are far from boring, but the simplistic approach allows the instructor to interact with the students while using the chalkboard like one would in a classroom.

3.   The instructor – Dwayne Thomas does an excellent job of presenting the material.  He’s human.  I know, silly comment, but he is.  He does make small errors in delivery and instead of retaping, they include those and he recovers nicely.  I like this because it is more like being in a real classroom.  Additionally, Dwayne has a good sense of humor.  He has little quirky jokes throughout that make us laugh while watching the segments. Additionally, he encourages the students to interact with him during each segment.  While he can’t talk back directly, the appropriate pauses are provided to let the student answer aloud the questions he poses.

4.    The worksheets – each worksheet for each segment is simple but really enforces the lesson learned.  My son and I read through the worksheets together and really discuss the grammar principles in addition to the terms.  They aren’t overwhelming for a student.

5.  English connections – when a word is given in Latin, Dwayne always makes a point of illustrating words that we use in English that come from that original word.  For example, sylva means forest and Pennsylvania means Penn’s forest.  These are the connections I want my son to make and why we are studying Latin.
6.  Faith - the lessons incorporate faith.  The readings include scripture or biblical instruction.  We value the fact that this facet of the learning has been incorporated.  Additionally, because my children know the biblical stories, they are excited to learn the Latin phrases for these words.  Example - Deus - God, angelus - angel, caelum - sky or heaven

We were able to review the first ten lessons.  I’m already looking at getting the next set of lessons.  We have done Latin at home before.  My older son took Latin one, and my youngest, who is doing Visual Latin now, has taken a Greek/Latin vocabulary class.  These videos are a great intermediary between just vocabulary and a high school level course.

If this interests you, check out the first six lessons for free here. 
You can download all of the worksheets for free here.
You can download a vocabulary sheet for free here. 

Be sure to Like Timberdoodle on Facebook to see their great giveaways and other awesome products they offer and take a look at their catalog of homeschool products!

*** Legal Disclosure: As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free Visual Latin free in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

1 comment:

  1. new friend and follower from vB follower party!


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