Jul 7, 2016

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Olim Latin

I am pretty set on my kids learning Latin. They don't seem to care much about it, so I keep trying different things to tempt their appetite for the language. My latest effort was Olim, Once upon a Time in Latin, Reader 1 and Workbook 1 from Laurelwood Books.

These two books are slim paperbacks with pretty, matching covers. They are the first in a series that currently has six levels. The workbook starts off with a pronunciation guide and pronunciation tips for the teacher and a Roman Numerals chart. Then it plunges right into the exercises. The reader has the same guide and chart.

The reader has three stories in it: The Three Little Pigs; The Tortoise and the Hare; and The Crow and the Pitcher. Each story is told first in simple English language and then in Latin. Accompanying the text are simple, but adorable line drawings that truly complement the story. The illustrations are the same in both versions of the story, which helped build continuity for us.

In the Latin version of the story, there are vocabulary words in sidebars on each page.

Olim was really simple to use. The first day, I read aloud one story in both English and Latin. Reading aloud in Latin isn't easy if you don't know the language, but the pronunciation guide helped out a lot.

The second day, I read through the story again in Latin and then re-read the first Latin page. Then we did the first page in the workbook. This consists of eight English words (that appear in the story) to translate into Latin and eight Latin words to translate into English. Then there are three fill-n-the-blank sentences in English. The instructions say to fill in the English word and then translate the sentence into Latin.

The third day we did the "Digging Deeper" section which addresses Latin grammar.

The fourth day, we read the second Latin page in the story and did the corresponding worksheets. The pages you are supposed to do are written on the bottom of each page of the Reader and whenever we came to a Digging Deeper page in the workbook, we just took a day to do that page. Some of the Digging Deeper pages are exercise pages as well.

At the end of each story, there is a "challenge" page in the workbook where you translate English phrases into Latin and a Bible verse from Latin into English.

The workbook is consumable and not reproducible so we "cheated" a bit by the kids doing the exercises out loud as a group and me doing all the writing down in the book. I expect it would be whole lot easier just to have one workbook for each student.

I really enjoyed this method of learning Latin. It seemed more purposeful, like we were learning the language for a reason instead of just memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules. I have heard several people (Latin teachers and parents in favor of teaching their kids Latin) mention something about we learn Latin in order to read it. And this method made it feel like we were actually easily and effortlessly moving toward that goal.

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}

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