Latin is dead,When I wrote that on the chalkboard in my 8th Grade Latin Class, my teacher had a little chuckle, but proceeded to emphatically explain all the reasons that Latin is not a dead language. When my brother wrote the same poem on the same board for the same teacher, he got in trouble. I wonder why they called me a teacher's pet?
As dead as it can be -
First it killed the Romans,
And now it's killing me!
Well, Dwane Thomas says Latin is not exactly dead, it's just "frozen." It is not currently in use as a spoken language, and since it has not been for quite some time, it has no direct translation for words such as "Internet," "airplane," "LOL," or "BFF." So how in the world could it be useful to kids of today? As it turns out, Latin has plenty to offer. To find out what, you should look into Dwane Thomas's Visual Latin series, available on DVDs or as online downloads.
At this point, I should probably admit that despite enjoying taunting my teacher with the above poem, I was somewhat of a Latin geek when I was a teenager. I took several years of the ancient language, bringing home a gold medal and a silver medal for the National Latin Exam, as well as several Certamen trophies with my team. If you know what Certamen is, you are probably as big of a geek as I am, so for those of you who have never heard of it, it is kind of like a Latin Bowl or game show between schools. Because I loved Latin so much, I had planned to teach it to my children, but with so many other things for me to teach and them to learn in the few short years I have to homeschool them, I had about decided I would let it go. I very happily changed my mind when I received these videos to review.
The study of Latin gives kids a firm background in word roots, grammar, and language structure that is helpful in understanding their own language as well as others. Dwane teaches the lessons on the videos in a very easy-going manner with a little humor thrown in. Kids enjoy his conversational method of teaching. I also appreciate his explanation of the history of languages in the Biblical context. I learned a thing or two myself!
The Visual Latin curriculum is available at http://www.visuallatin.com/. It is designed for ages 9 and up. For pricing, see http://store.compasscinema.com/categories.php?category=Visual-Latin. The three DVDs that make up the full Latin I course are currently on sale for $80.00. You can also purchase them separately or purchase group licenses for use with a homeschool group or co-op. The full Latin course includes Latin I and Latin II, each intended to be done over one school year (but of course you may speed that up or slow it down), and there are several companion products you may wish to use for further enrichment. Overall, this is a very effective and entertaining way to breathe life into a language that some some have considered to be beyond saving!
If you would like to try out Visual Latin for free (you can't beat that deal!), click here to download SIX FREE lessons! Also see what other TOS reviewers had to say about Visual Latin here.
Disclaimer: I received a free DVD copy of the first 10 lessons of Visual Latin for the purpose of review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.