In the four years we have been homeschooling, we have attempted to learn Latin three times using two different curriculum. So when I pulled out a new review item and it was Latin, I was not surprised when the kids looked at me askance. However, we were all surprised by Song School Latin. It is put out by Classical Academic Press along with Latin for Children A, B, and C, and Latin Alive, both of which are for older kids, some Greek programs, and more. Song School Latin is for grades Kindergarten through 3rd, and is currently our favorite school subject.
We received a Teacher's Guide, a student book, a CD, Monkey Match Cards and a link to all sorts of extras that are free to everyone!
The Teacher's Guide is a repeat of the student book only with the answers in it. It also has some extra activity pages in the back to copy for the student's to use as review.
The student book is a consumable workbook with 31 lessons, and my kids have loved working in it. It is filled with all the sorts of things they love... crossword puzzles, matching words to pictures, coloring puppets that they can then cut out, fill-in-the-blank questions, pictures to draw, and even stories. It also has the lyrics for the songs, which is awesome for us visual learners!
The card game is basically flash cards with the vocabulary words on them, but come with instructions for three fun games as well.
The CD is my favorite part. We have always gotten a CD with the other Latin programs, but they contain chanted vocabulary words and prayers. This CD is different. It has songs... regular kid song melodies with their Latin vocabulary words mixed in with the English so they are learning and remembering them.
There are also the extras: videos, coloring pages, stories to read and games to play. You can check that out for yourself here.
Latin is now the highlight of our school day. If I don't pull the book out on my own, the kids will remind me, "What about Latin, Mom? When are we going to do Latin?" They love working their way through the lessons, and trying out their new language on unsuspecting family members. Because, while it doesn't teach grammar, it makes the Latin vocabulary easily accessible to young children who, let me tell you, will never sit still long enough to learn Latin the "traditional" way. But when they are old enough to learn the grammar and the rules, they won't be struggling with vocabulary as well, because they will already have over 100 words in their heads. If your kids are young, but you plan on teaching them Latin in the future, this curriculum is an excellent investment to give them (and you) a head start on the language.
It has been easy for us to use. I pull out the workbook, pop in the CD and we do a page a day, averaging a lesson a week. We only have one workbook, so we have to share, but no one seems to mind. I don't use the Teacher's Guide much, but the extra activity sheets in the back have all been fun. And sometimes one of the kids would put the CD in just for listening pleasure. Every so often we do a review sheet, watch a video, or play a game for a quick, fun review.
Two quick personal stories I want to share with you...
My four year old, Abbie, was not included in this review. The workbook requires reading and writing, in neither of which is she at all proficient. However, she loves to sing and when she heard the songs on the CD, she decided she was my youngest Latin student. She made it a point to hang around long enough to listen and sing with us. Now she will say, "Salve" (hello) when she enters a room and "Vale" (goodbye) when she leaves. She also likes to spring Latin words on her dad, who has no idea what she is talking about.
One evening my 19 year old niece was putting the kids to bed for me and asked Daniel (who is five, and also not included in the Latin lessons) what song he wanted to sing.
"The alphabet song," he said. "In Latin."
"But I don't know the alphabet song in Latin!"
Abbie sat up in bed and informed her, "It doesn't have a W!"
So they are learning, even though they might not be aware of it, and even though they can't do the workbook themselves.
We love, love LOVE Song School Latin.
Kaytie says: I like it because it is a lot more easier than the other ones. It teaches in songs and it helps us learn easier. My favorite part is the worksheets and the songs. My least favorite part is none of it!
Nate says: I think it is very, very good! And I would really recommend it. My favorite part is the songs.
Abbie says: I like it because I like the songs that are funny! Like the one that Luke comes and looks at the liber! (book) That's funny! and she ran away giggling to herself.
The only con to this program is that the Teacher's Guide doesn't really offer any useful purpose except for the extras in the back. I haven't ever needed to use it to correct their work, and I don't "plan" their lessons. We just open the workbook and do the next page.
You can buy it in pieces with the links I put in the beginning of the post, or you can buy it in a bundle, here.
You can see sample pages of the workbook here and listen to samples of the songs here.
You can see what other crew members had to say here. Some of them reviewed the other Latin programs, so if Song School doesn't interest you, or you have older kids, see what they have to say.
At the very least, you can check out all their fun freebies here. These aren't just for Song School, but there are some for all the other programs Classical Academic Press puts out, too... Latin for older kids, and Greek.
And as always, this product was sent to me free for the purpose of this review, and the delighted ravings are my own honest opinion. The kids' opinions are their own, as well. And this time, I just had to say, "Tell me what you think" and they just gushed their delight.