Friday, April 29, 2011

Latin's Not So Tough--TOS Review

I have been trying to come up with a link between my review of Latin's Not So Tough: A Classical Latin Worktext and the royal wedding today, but I can't think of one at the moment, so I'll just make the awkward jump from last night's wedding post to this afternoon's post on Latin.

According to the Greek 'N' Stuff catalog, "The series introduces Latin to the young student before he or she decides that classical languages are too difficult to learn.  Enjoyable activity pages implant in young minds a love of learning.  Added benefits include improved thinking, reading comprehension, and writing skills.  Latin expands English vocabulary through a better understanding of roots and prepares your student to study modern foreign languages if he or she so chooses."

I received Level 2 of Latin's Not So Tough: A Classical Latin Worktext.  At first I was concerned that we were starting out on Level 2 rather than Level 1, but I soon found that skipping a level was not going to be a problem.  This program mostly focuses on words, and students learn 50 words throughout the course of Level 2's material.  There are also flashcards of each new letter, diphthong, special consonants, and words that can be cut out and used for learning and continual review.  We also received a pronunciation CD, which I highly recommend, because I do not know Latin at all, and I probably would have done my child much more harm than good with my butchered pronunciation.  An Answer Key is available as well, either without fulltext or answers only.  

I liked the simple format of this program.  As an absolute Latin novice, I was intimidated by trying to teach this language course to my daughter.  I found, however, that the program was easy to follow and easy for her to understand.  I wish there were some more teacher's hints, however, to help make the teaching of this program more creative and fun.  After awhile, Amélie got tired of the repetitiveness of each lesson, and I kind of did as well.  She is really not a worksheet kind of a gal, and the whole program is based on the worksheet principle.

I also have a rather shallow critique of this company.  I am, I will admit, a sucker for visuals (you don't need to know the times I chose the prettier bottle of cleaner that was 45 cents more than its uglier counterpart just because it was, well, prettier).  The company's logo and website truly need to be updated.  Honestly, had I not received the product in the mail to review, I would have taken a one-second cursory glance at the site and gone on to another Latin or Greek learning program, without even checking out the program.  If you take the time to open up a copy of their catalog, it is certainly more visually appealing, and the materials themselves are not an eyesore, but I would imagine that they would get considerably more business if the visitor's first glance at their product were a more attractive one. 

If you were not completely turned off by the logo and website and actually took time to look at the catalog, you would certainly be impressed with the price.  Here is a breakdown of Level 2's products:
Latin Level 2 Student Workbook - $18.95
Latin Level 2 Full Text Answer Key - $18.95
Latin Level 2 Answers Only Answer Key - $4.00
Latin Level 2 Quizzes/Exams - $5.50
Latin Level 2 Flashcards on a Ring - $8.00
Pronunciation CD for Latin Levels 1-3 - $10.00

I don't think this program is the right one for us, but I can definitely see how other families with kids who learn well with this type of teaching style would enjoy this program.

Take a peek at what my fellow crewmates are saying about Greek 'N Stuff products here.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was provided a copy of this product for my honest evaluation. I was given no other compensation for this review.

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