Showing posts with label Logic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Logic. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

TOS Crew Review: Classical Legacy Press: Great Latin Adventure

Well folks, it's a wrap.  This is my final review for my 2009-10 cruise and it is one that leaves me to say-I wish I had this in the beginning of the year, because I honestly do not have the where with all to absorb this monster program.  Granted, I have had a couple months to review this, but alas-these past several weeks have disappeared faster than a toddler with a handful of their sibling's candy.  For us, as anyone with a child who has taken Driver's Ed can attest-that month long course sucked our days into some weird spiral of decline, booting most of our schooling time to the curb.  So this review is one of those that I can only offer you a small ditty on what it provides the student, and a general take on what I think of it. Granted, I have taught some Latin to my two oldest children, but it was another program with a different way of this was coming across as all "Greek" to me [now don't be confused by that term-it is a Latin program I received to review, I am simply borrowing that familiar saying to describe my experience here]. I am still a bit dazed and confused.  So to be fair to the generous folks at Classical Legacy Press-I will come back [before the fall hits], to give you an update on our progress. We will be using this during our summer schooling, and since I will be taking our load down to 2 or 3 subjects-I can better focus my attention on it. By doing so, I should be able to decide if the Great Latin Adventure really is "great" or "not so great" for us.    

Before I launch into the general goal for the program is, and what the levels address-I wanted to note a few important thoughts I believe will help you better understand this material.  It is vital that you realize that the Great Latin Adventure Series does not come with fancy DVDs [as some offer] to teach the material, although it does come with a nice pronunciation CD to assist you. Meaning that this is all you baby!  You need to be right in the trenches along side the children.  So if that doesn't suit your needs, then well-this isn't for you.  Furthermore, if you are like me, and have used another program that teaches the material using the ecclesiastical pronunciation of the words, then you may feel a bit like a fish out of water.  But do not let that stop you from contemplating the G.L.A. Series, because you can "get" the material, usually without much difficulty.  I am thinking it would best suit you [the instructor] to purchase this a few months out,  to pour over the teacher notes, and to listen to the CD a few times, prior to expounding the material upon your precious students.  And that is what I need to do as well.  I need to be able to feel confident that I am teaching this material properly [meaning I need to do as I suggested above] because right now, I do not.  But first,  I need a few weeks of non-schooly brain recovery before I dive back in-hence the delay of an official opinion. 

That said, this is what you can expect from the Great Latin Adventure Series:

*easy to teach program-grades 4th and up
*no Latin background required [but it definitely helps] 
*clear, friendly and thorough-conversational in nature
*plenty of derivative worksheets
*Christian content [IE: family friendly]
*classical pronunciation [this is different than the ecclesiastic version]
*comes ready to put into a binder
*excellent teacher support

Two levels are available for you:


The Great Latin Adventure 1: starting grades 4-6 
(but you can start earlier/later if need be)
Student Workbook and Teacher's Guide with Pronunciation CD 
(you will need both)

Scope: Grammar focused-[not just a host of Latin phrases to learn]
**students will conjugate first conjugation verbs in present tense
**decline first declension nouns
**translate sentences with subjects/predicate nominatives, prepositional phrases, 
adjectives and adverbs
**translate from English to Latin and vise versa
**additional activities to further their knowledge of introductory Latin

Great Latin Adventure II: continue after completing level I
Student Workbook and Teacher's Guide with Pronunciation CD
(you will need both)

Scope:  builds on prior knowledge plus:
**student will translate complementary infinitives
**direct and indirect objects
**imperfect/future tense verbs
**prepositions that take the accusative case
**the ablative of means-advanced construction
**plus additional activities to further their knowledge of Latin

My general thoughts so far:

I liked that the teacher's notes do a good job of explaining the material and how to cover it, which is a valuable addition to the program. Once I let my brain digest it [took a while though], I was able to move on to the lessons.  I was also quite encouraged to find that the author offers up several ways to plant this material into their heads: by listening to the CD/you, doing the fill-in-the blank worksheets, studying vocab cards (you make those), etc.-instead of just focusing on one style of learning.  Keeping their interest and desire to continue with the program is vital, considering that many other languages are derived from Latin-so if your child moves on to another foreign language they will see the similarities, and hopefully-learn it more efficiently.

I found that I had to spend a lot of time pouring through the introductory unit, which explained what the program was all about in detail-but it was time consuming.  And I soon found, that my brain and the author's are not cut from the same cloth.  I don't think like she does, and so I found that I had to go back and re-read what she wrote to figure out what she was saying. That is not her problem, it is mine. I chalk it up to a difference of how I "get stuff" VS how she does.  

We worked thru this a bit and found it just wasn't meshing with the way we learn this type of material. It is a very, very good program though and should fit many folks' needs-mostly those who are more math oriented, as I believe the material is written in a logical, math-minded way. Be sure to read what my mates had to say regarding this material. Don't let our experience cloud your judgement. I know this would have been perfect for my two older kids, as they tend to be more logical and methodical in their learning processes. My artsy girl just wasn't getting it. So I guess you truly need to know your student.

I noted that this is from a Christian perspective-and have the cross up-because at this point, I am not sure if "screams" Christianity or not [the material not the author], so it may need to be changed [see the icon info for more details regarding this matter]

students should be able to work through the activities without your assistance

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Classical Legacy Press Homepage

Student worktext: $15.00 w/o binder, $22 w/binder (while supplies last-due to new laws, they can only sell their current binder inventory)
Teacher Guide:    $30.00 w/o binder, $40 w/binder (while supplies last)

Don't forget to read what my TOS mates had to say about this, and many other fine homeschool products, on our TOS Review Crew Homepage

***Classical Legacy Press provided me with a free copy each of Great Latin Adventure Student Book and the Teacher's Guide-level one and two, so that I could use, expressly test our newly learned Latin skills, and speak some good old fashioned Latin with my family. I have provided my opinion on the product, and did not receive financial compensation for this review.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

TOS Crew Review: Critical Thinking-Building Thinking Skills: Figural and Verbal

I am sure most of you are familiar with Critical Thinking Press products, as they have been available for 50 years now. Many a homeschooler have called upon these handy worktexts to help build and expound thinking skills in their children. I recommend that you spend some time going through their site to familiarize yourself with the wealth of products they offer for children of all ages, as you may be surprised with all that is available.

I received two workbooks designed for the highschooler in my home. Normally, I tend to stay on the "less is best" fence in regards to workbooks for the children. I lean more toward learning through the many other avenues out there, and well-tend to avoid them whenever possible. I recognize, that with all the busyness that goes on in my home, there are things that slip through the cracks. One of those "things" would be working on good logic building skills. These worktexts are a perfect solution for us. My daughter can work on a few pages here and there; and I can rest easier knowing that these exercises will actually help build solid, logical thinking skills with which she can extend to those lovely ACT/SAT tests, and other school subjects as well. I also realize there are occasions when my student must spend time doing seat work-whether for their benefit or mine. So with such products, these activities will give our teen's brain a good workout, which is a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Building Thinking Skills® provides highly effective verbal and nonverbal reasoning activities to improve your children's vocabulary, reading, writing, math, logic, and figural-spatial skills, as well as their visual and auditory processing. This exceptional series provides a solid foundation for academic excellence and success in any assessment.
The activities are developmentally sequenced. Each skill (for example, classifying) is presented first in the semi-concrete figural-spatial form and then in the abstract verbal form. Children learn to analyze relationships between objects, between words, and between objects and words as they:
Observe, recognize, and describe characteristics.
Distinguish similarities and differences.
Identify and complete sequences, classifications, and analogies.

These processes help children develop superior thinking and communication skills that lead to deeper content learning in all subjects

If your child leans toward workbooks and enjoys a good challenge, the Critical Thinking products would make a great addition to your homeschool curriculum.

FYI: The publisher permits you to make copies for extra students in your home or classroom, so you could always buy one book and copy enough pages for the children you need to include. Critical Thinking sells a lot of great workbooks and programs-in fact, I am sure you have heard of some of them. Does the Red Herring Mysteries series sound familiar? How about the Reading Detective or the Editor in Chief series? Well those are also available through them, so be sure to head to their site.

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Critical Thinking Home Page
Building Figural Skills Level 3: $29.99
Building Verbal Skills Level 3: $29.99
Value Pack: both for: $53.99 info here

***quote taken from Critical Thinking Website

Don't forget to see what my fellow crew mates have to say about this and other great homeschool products. Head to our TOS Crew Homepage for more info.

**Critical Thinking Press provided me with the free copy each of The Building Thinking Skills: Figural Skills, level 3 and Verbal Skills, level 3 student workbooks, in order to test and use it with my family, so I could write this review.