Apr 29, 2011

TOS Review: GreeknStuff

Latin is one of those subjects you either want to teach or you don't. Some homeschooling parents think, "I never learned Latin and I turned out ok." Others have long lists of reasons why children should be taught Latin. I have always wanted to learn Latin myself so you might say the "real" reason I'm teaching my kids Latin is so that I can learn right along with them.
At any rate, when we were sent Latin's Not So Tough from GreeknStuff to review for the TOS Crew, I was happy because I'd been eying Latin programs for awhile and this one looked great.

We received a student worktext, an answers only key and a CD for Level Two. There is no teacher's manual for this level, nor is one needed, in my opinion. In the back of the worktext are flashcards you can cut out and use. We were given a nice, long review period for this product, so we have been able to work with it almost all year and get a good feel for the curriculum.
So how did we feel about it? In short, I liked it. The kids didn't. 
Here is what I liked about it. Well, first, what I really liked about it: it didn't dump a whole lot of grammar on our heads. Level Two is for middle level elementary (or kids who have finished Level One) and it starts with the alphabet and then focuses on vocabulary. I love that. My kids are young, and they don't have a great grasp of English grammar yet, so asking them to comprehend the grammar of a foreign language will only bring despair to the heart of the teacher. But vocabulary? They can DO vocabulary!
Another thing I liked about Latin's Not So Tough is that it really isn't tough! It is an open-and-go kinda thing. I could just pull out the workbook, put on the CD and we were learning some Latin. It starts with the alphabet, which takes up the first four lessons and the first twenty pages. After that, each lesson is four pages long, and teaches two vocabulary words. At the end of every five lessons, there is a review lesson. There is a grand total of 36 lessons. For each lesson, all you need is a student and a pencil. Super simple and easy.
I also appreciated the variety of the lessons. The kids write the vocabulary words, write their meanings, circle the words that match the correct meanings given, fill in missing letters, draw lines from words to their meanings, unscramble words and match them to their meanings, answer true and false questions, and even draw pictures of their vocabulary words!
Now, as for why the kids didn't like it. I can sum it up in one word: writing. Neither of them enjoy the physical act of writing. Neither of them are good at it. Therefore neither of them looked forward to writing vocabulary words and their meanings over and over day after day. 
Keep in mind that this is just their experience. Just so you can get an idea of how much writing there is, here are a few pictures of the worktext. Remember there are four pages to a lesson. We only did one or two pages a day. 

If you are looking for simple and easy Latin for your middle elementary students, then this is a good program, in my opinion. There are a lot of different purchasing options (you can also buy answer keys and quizzes) here. GreeknStuff also offers a Greek program (no, really!) and a Bible study program, which you can check out on their website. Others on the crew reviewed those products, as well as the upper levels of Latin's Not So Tough, you can find those reviews here.

And as always, I was sent a free copy of this program in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

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