"It helps with vocabulary!" is probably the number one reason for learning Latin. That being the case, it makes sense to use a Latin program that teaches the English derivatives along with the Latin vocabulary and grammar. Welcome to Logos Latin! Written by Julie Garfield, a Latin teacher with 20 years elementary classroom teaching experience, this program contains the chants and grammar (correlated with Shurley English) you would expect in a classical program - but there's more! English derivatives (English words based on Latin roots) are introduced right along with the Latin vocabulary and used as a connection between Latin and English as well as an aid to memorization of the Latin words and their meanings. Everything is tied together by two children - Iulius and Iulia - who find their way into most lessons in some capacity (i.e. Iulius dormit. Iulia cubat.) as well as enrichment activities particularly designed to keep a young child connected and engaged. This is a well-constructed program with strong, user-friendly teacher support (this means it's designed for teachers with no Latin background). It's also a grade-specific program (there will ultimately be six levels). This is advantageous if you are following a classical plan and want an approach that is designed specifically to appeal to a grammar stage student, yet will grow with him in terms of academic challenge as he moves into the logic stage.
The grade-appropriate and stage-specific nature of this program is what sets it apart from others. Both Logos Latin and Latin Primer originate in the same northwest city, and there is a connection between their respective publishers. But, it's important to note that they are distinct programs and their scope and sequences do not intersect. Logos Latin is designed to introduce 3rd graders to Latin and prepare them for a grade-by-grade progression through Latin grammar and vocabulary, with an eye to first grammar stage and then logic stage learning. Latin Primer has a more generalized approach. While it can be used with students as young as 3rd grade, it is not specifically targeting that audience. The three Latin Primer levels represent a sequence of vocabulary and grammar skills that can be started at any level (e.g. 3rd grade, middle school, even high school).
The Logos Latin Teacher Manual is spiral bound (lays flat, yay!) and starts with a suggested weekly schedule followed by a unit and lesson overview. Each aspect of the daily lesson is discussed and pointers are given for implementation. There are five units each with five lessons (the first unit includes an extra introductory lesson) and a review lesson (subsequent book levels may have a different number of units and lessons). The courses end with a lesson or two based on well-known stories (e.g. Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Three Little Pigs) plus extensive end of the year reviews. The bulk of the Teacher's Manual is a full-text answer key to the Student Workbook. This allows the teacher to work through the lesson with her students in a dialog fashion.
The Quizzes and Tests include reproducible masters for all quizzes and tests (unit tests plus a grammar test and a vocabulary test) as well as the answer keys for the quizzes and tests. There is a reference section for each level. In Level 1, the reference section is in the back of the Quizzes and Tests book and includes a verb tense and a noun endings chart as well as verb, noun, and pronoun chants. In Level 2, the reference section is in the back of the Teacher's Manual and includes memory work a few jingles in addition to the chants and charts. Unfortunately (and, hopefully, corrected soon in another printing,) some of the information in both reference sections is poor quality (pixilated).
The Student Text provides writing space for each aspect of the daily lesson - vocabulary, grammar, translation, and derivative practice, as well as the saying of the week. And there's plenty of white space here. Illustrations are black and white, but engaging, line art. Activity Sheets - and here is where the fun is - are packed into the back of the book (so as not to be distracting during lessons). The varied activities include drawings, word searches, crossword puzzles, macaronic stories, poetry, and maps. If you're like me and thought macaroni was a comfort food, you'll be relieved to know that macaronic stories are those a student writes in English using as many Latin words as she can. An Active Verb Tense Chart and a Noun Endings Chart are included in the back of the Student Text (color versions in the TM) along with a Latin to English and English to Latin Glossary.
The DVDs are versatile and can be used either as teacher prep (you watch and then teach your student) or as the teacher (you and student watch together). Lessons are clearly presented and solidly in the "teaching" category (as opposed to entertainment). Homeschooling moms not familiar with Latin will appreciate the security and guidance the DVDs offer, but I think the course could be done without them if your budget is really tight.
The eFlashcards provide a computer environment for the old reinforcement standby. Memorization is the key to Latin mastery, and being able to use the computer frees up mom-time and, hopefully, engages the student. The flashcards require an app that's readily available as a free download. Students can review (see words and meaning) and practice (type) from the vocabulary word list; the app keeps track of completion records.
The Complete Package includes all components of the program - Teacher, Quizzes and Tests, Student Text, DVDs, and eFlashcards.
The Elementary Latin Charts are not included in the packages. Designed for classroom use, the chart set includes four (18x24) posters corresponding to the color versions in the Teacher Manuals: one shows Latin noun endings for five cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, ablative) in five declensions (1st, 2nd, 2nd - neuter, 3rd, and 3rd - neuter); another noun endings poster shows an additional five declensions (3rd - i-stem, 3rd - i-stem neuter, 4th, 4th - neuter, 5th); the first verb chart shows "to be" conjugations in present, imperfect, and future tense; the remaining verb chart shows "to have" conjugations in the same tenses. ~ Janice