Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Visual Latin Review


You may be asking yourself, “Why should I have my children (or myself) study Latin?”   It may seem like a daunting waste of time and resources to tackle a language that is deader than a shivved Caesar.  But while you may not be using classical Latin to find a restaurant on your next vacation, Latin is a key to a storehouse of wisdom and languages.  Latin is a foundation for learning in a wide variety of areas.  Simply put, it is an investment that yields great dividends. 
So that shifts the question from why to how.  And this is a significantly tougher question.  Selling a homeschooler on the benefits of Latin is not the most difficult of tasks, but helping them sort through all of the options and methodologies certainly is.  I am nowhere near skilled or educated enough to comment on what is the best of the best.  I am a 34-year-old, Latin novice.  The majority of my Latin experience is having debate opponents yell Latin phrases at me followed by “fallacy” and watching my teacher frown disapprovingly.  So, while I would risk an ad overestimatium of my skills if I were to speak with any authority on the wide spectrum of available products, I am confident in recommending Visual Latin with Dwane Thomas for a number of reasons.
The videos are engaging.  My three sons (7-11) laughed audibly throughout the videos.  After watching the first video, my youngest responded to the fact of future videos with a “Yippeee!”  It is a blessing when your kids are asking to do their lessons and actually look forward to them.  Dwane is silly enough to be engaging, but he is not primarily an entertainer.  These videos and supplemental materials are helping the kids (and me!) build a firm foundation of Latin.  To summarize, I would have to say these videos are entertaining, engaging, and edifying (and not just because we have been focusing on alliterations the last few weeks in our writing curriculum).
And then there is the subscription service!  If you are like me, you are not too keen on dropping significant money on anything (“significant” meaning anything where counting out nickels at the checkout line would be embarrassing…so anything north of $37).  That is why I was thrilled to see a subscription service for Visual Latin.  The trial subscription was a dollar.  Seriously, just 20 nickels.  After that it is $7 a month (I’ll let you calculate the nickels), or you can just order the DVD set.  But you have the opportunity to put them to the test -- have your kids (and yourself) try them, enjoy them, and learn from them -- for an entire month.  I think if you do, you will benefit from them as much as I have (and am) and as much as my kids are.  I would encourage you to consider blessing yourself and your kids with the study of Latin and to consider Visual Latin as a great resource in doing so.