I've written about Classical Academic Press curriculum before, and recently they contacted me and asked if I'd like to review their Song School Latin and Latin Monkey Match Flashcard Game. I didn't hesitate because I do love their products. Smart, funny, motivating, fun!
Right off the bat, the graphics and cartooning of both products are appealing to kids, and not in a cloying attempt to appear relevant. Just fun and not intimidating. I'm not so shallow as to think that a cover always represents correctly the value of a book's content, but in the case of school books I think kids can be easily turned off by appearances alone. My kids are drawn to Classical Academic Press books. Just now as I was writing this, my 12-year-old walked past, saw the Song School Latin book on my chair, then stopped and picked it up. "Cool!", he declared. (It's a Latin text. "Cool" isn't typically the word that comes to mind.)
Written for the kindergarten through 3rd grade crowd, Song School Latin contains 31 chapters (lessons) that could easily be covered over the course of a week's Circle Time. Each lesson introduces four new Latin words, a song that teaches the words and helps the student commit them to memory in a most painless way, a short lesson aimed at the lower elementary student, writing practice, English words derived from the Latin words of the week, a great little corresponding story, and fill-in questions to answer. Each is short enough to be done one per day for young students, or all at once for a motivated child.
The teacher's guide is an essential key to the program because- and this is the best part- you won't have to plan a thing! It's a grab and go curriculum. Tracks are listed for each song so that you don't have to go fishing on the CD. Answers are filled in (don't you hate it when a teacher's manual doesn't include the answers? What's with that???)
If your desire is to give your youngest students a gentle but substantial introduction to Latin, Song School Latin is a joyful way to go about it.
Now, here's the even-more-fun part: Classical Academic Press has produced the Latin Monkey Match Flashcard Game so that any of our kiddos studying Latin can have ready-made cards useful as-is or played as a game (ideas and rules included). There are 210 cards- half of them Latin words and half their English correlation. There are four card categories, each correlating to a set of lessons from Song School Latin. Again, smart. You and I won't have to figure out which cards to use and then spend time fishing for them.
I love it when a curriculum company gets it right. Smart, creative, challenging, homeschool-friendly materials, and both Song School Latin and Latin Monkey Match are among the best!