Visual Latin is a video-driven Latin homeschool curriculum taught by veteran Latin teacher Dwane Thomas. It’s quite unique. Three short videos are paired with three sets of worksheets to guide students from grammar concepts, to practice sentences, to reading in Latin. The goal is to enjoy learning Latin and strengthen students' understanding of English grammar and vocabulary along the way.
Website: Visual Latin (may contain affiliate links)
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Visual Latin Review by DebbyApril 5, 2014Pros: DVDs, presentation, course work
Grades Used: High school
It's a real pro for us that it's visual and audible. My daughter is really an audio-learner. It's very helpful that Dwane is funny, but not comedic. The preview lessons helped my daughter decide that though sometimes it won't be easy, it'll be worthwhile. My daughter truly has asked to learn Latin with this program.
I quit learning it with her. She wanted to go much faster than I had time to devote to it and I just turned her loose. So, now, she knows much more about it than I do.
Visual Latin Review by Tamara W.March 24, 2014Pros: Enjoyable, streamlined, stress-free
Cons: Answer keys in Beta version; needs some editing for small quirks
Grades Used: middle school
This is a wonderful introduction to Latin, a kick-starter for those who have previously burned out on Latin, and a great way for the family to learn Latin together. We've used Memoria Press Latina Christiana in previous grades (with older sibling) and appreciate the discipline of Memoria Press, Wheelock's and Henle Latin programs for the serious Latin scholar. Not all students are going to go this route, however.
The "visual classroom" instruction and the predictable, do-it-yourself format is a match for the personality and needs of my student. The format is in three sections (A = "the lesson", B = "application/drill", and C = "translation" with a final test after a day of study). Dwayne gives flexibility to the student to organize his pattern of study throughout the week as is preferred by teacher, co-op teacher, or the student. In our home, the general pattern is a section a day, study on the fourth day and testing on Friday. Often, my son enjoys doing A-C in one day and then spending the other days working on the text work the other days.
Independent Learning: While we often watch the videos together and I am able to give extra information (derivatives, background, etc.) and I administer the tests and review, I am not necessary to the program to keep it on schedule. That makes both of us happy.
Personality Match: We are at the end of Visual Latin I and find it not only worked well, it has worked perfectly. My son DESIRES to move on to Latin II and does not want to change curriculum. He actually does look forward to Latin and it is one of the only courses for which he has kept up a schedule without lagging. I am grateful for Dwayne's video instruction because young male homeschooled students need more male instructors. His personal and constant, though light, witness of our Lord is inspirational. One can have fun and learn and take Latin seriously at the same time.
Dwayne is truly delightful and honest. This is not an attempt at entertainment, but is just his way of communicating that is enjoyable. The instruction does not suffer for it (and is even enhanced by it). It is no different than the delightful slight mistakes Jim Nance makes in teaching Logic (Canon Press) (he catches these mistakes himself). The student gets the idea that they are not the only ones who make mistakes and it is okay to fix it and move on with good nature. When people say Visual Latin is relaxing, it does not mean less vigorous, but only less stressful.
Cons: The answer key that we received was a Beta version that did have typo mistakes. This was understood from the beginning. It is NOT insurmountable, however, as the student books have all the instruction that is needed to correct the mistakes. Compass Classrooms is revising the keys as feedback comes in from the Beta users. Dwayne could use a paid reviewer to correct minor kinks so as to polish the sets to perfection, but I have not found any mistakes that negate the ease of instruction or provides false knowledge.
Cons: I would appreciate a more consistent pronounciation, however, Dwayne's point is well-taken, that Latin is no longer a spoken language so unless you are majoring in Latin or pronounciation is crucial to your use of it, a mixed pronounciation is not actually important. It still would help to be consistent so as to train the ear better..
Cons: I would have liked to have seen some sort of help for memorizing the tables. Compass Classrooms has provided Quizlet apps for rehearsing and testing vocabulary for each lesson. It would be nice if somehow CC could devise a like program or manipulative tool for studying the tables as well.
PROS: Visual Latin provides ongoing support via notice of Latin programs, readers, quizzes, scholarships, and further training for proficiency. Rather than erecting a competing program, Dwayne has done a good job of coordinating with the various programs out there (such as Henle and other Latin programs) and shows the equivalent pages and activities from those programs with Visual Latin.
We will definitely be using Visual Latin II. It is one of the only courses I or anyone else teaches that he is eager to do each day. It's ease of use is easier on the student and the parent, making it perfect for the busy or overwhelmed (or sick) parent, especially. The use of a multiple of sensory "gates" for knowledge makes this a great program for children with selective attention and processing order disruptions, freeing the student up for close reading in literature class.
Visual Latin Review by Semira WashingtonMarch 24, 2014Pros: Engaging, Clear, Cost effective
Cons: Referenced something I don't think he covered
Grades Used: 1st and 4th
My kids LOVE Visual Latin. I took Latin in h.s. and enjoyed it, but wasn't sure my kids would. I tried the free downloads and they were hooked. That helped me justify adding latin lessons to the budget. So we bought the first block of lessons. We'd like this to be their first of many languages. In our homeschool we have language lab on Teusday and Thursday. The kids look forward to it. They think he is hilarious. The best part is that are actually learning...they go around the house using Latin words. Needless to say, my husband and I are excited!
Visual Latin Review by SpauldorfMarch 23, 2014Pros: Easy, well organized,
Cons: He gets lost, says we've talked about it when we haven't, tries to be funny but wastes time.
Grades Used: 9-10
Visual Latin is a great idea. We are on lesson 5, so I can't say too much, but I noticed he tries to be so funny and really is at times, but sometimes he just goes down a rabbit trail and is just wasting time. We also noticed many times he says "We talked about that" and moves on and we have no idea what he is talking about and he just moves on. He also changes pronunciation which is hard to follow.
Other than that, it is fun and sometimes very silly, and well laid out.
We'll see how it ends... if you are serious about learning latin, I would recommend Memoria Press Henle guides.
Visual Latin Review by April ThompsonMarch 22, 2014Pros: Engaging, excellent value
Cons: Answer key isn't always correct
Grades Used: Lessons 1-25 (and going)
Each lesson is broken down into 2 grammar portions and a translation, with a test for each lesson. There is a short video for each lesson and a worksheet. I love that they begin translating right away. It also helps that they are translating Bible stories that the kids are already familiar with.
My girls love the the instructor, who is interesting as well as instructive. They also offer tons of additional FREE resources to augment the study.
We had tried a different DVD based curriculum that was well like by friends, but just wasn't for us. This fits us perfectly. Additionally, it is very reasonably priced and they offer sample lessons for free so you can see if it is a good fit BEFORE you buy. I wish more people did that.
I like the flexibility of the digital dowloads, too. No more wondering who last had the disk and if it made it back in the case.
Visual Latin Review by Teresa IdemaMarch 22, 2014Pros: Easy to use, Printables make it a breeze to follow
Grades Used: 10th gr Latin 1
Visual Latin is easy to use, Dwayne uses humor to keep the kids interested, engaged and paying attention. The worksheets and test are easy to print off and make teaching this subject low stress and fun! Dwayne's teaching style makes learning fun for teens and for parents. He has our whole
family talking in Latin to each other (and we are a sports type family) so that is what makes it extra
funny! I recommend Visual Latin to all of my friends!!
Visual Latin Review by Laura Lane of Harvest Lane CottageMarch 21, 2014Pros: The kids loved it. Easy to use.
Cons: I cannot think of any.
Grades Used: First level
I had to be convinced to try a Latin course. I never dreamed of teaching Latin to my children. Okay, maybe I dreamed of it; but, I always woke up...shaking. ~grin~
Day One: I sat down with my children and watched the first two sections of the video. The teacher is so interesting and straightforward. He is not hard to understand. He's even funny. They begged for more. I knew enough to stop while they were still hungry. ~smile~
Visual Latin | A Quick Explanation from Compass Cinema on Vimeo.
Day two: The kids watched alone. They were so excited. They started taking notes and making sentences. The highlight for me was when I asked my ten year old to do something and she responded, "yes mother"... in Latin!
A Week later: They love this! They want to learn Latin. Dwayne Thomas is really making this dead language alive for them. They love his humorous way of teaching. It disarms any resistance to the subject. By the way, if we don't tell them that Latin is scary, they won't know it. I find that my children can understand and learn things far above the level that one would expect. Use the big words, mother, your children will learn them just as easily as simple words.
Watch an entire lesson.
They are truly enjoying Visual Latin. They begged me to download the free vocabulary and worksheet pages. I had a little trouble; so, I contacted customer service. They were quick, helpful, and friendly. I was really pleased. This is truly a fabulous program. I highly recommend it. Do yourself a favor, watch a lesson. It might just change your mind about Latin, too.
I received this program free in exchange for an honest review. I really truly do like this product a lot.
Visual Latin Review by StacyMarch 12, 2014Pros: Ability to watch and hear the instructor;
Cons: some incorrect answers in the teacher's guide
Grades Used: 9th and 10th Grade
We have really enjoyed being able to watch an instructor and hear his pronunciation of Latin. It has also been fun to do the Latin reader too. The Visual Latin website has many free resources that we have enjoyed using. When my student was VERY sure that he was correct (not the teacher's guide), we emailed the instructor and he responded quickly to our questions.
Visual Latin Review by Kathy SladovnikMarch 12, 2014Pros: Fun, Great value
Cons: none so far
Grades Used: 4th
I bought the Visual Latin lessons for my 10 year son. He is on lesson 5 and is doing very well with it. Each lesson is divided into three videos and the instructor injects humor into the lessons. He breaks it down and makes it fun to learn. I purchased the downloadable version and have had no problems with it. It includes worksheets and tests with answers for both. So far we are really enjoying it. They also have a Facebook page with occasional discussions.
Visual Latin Review by Kristen RomanoNovember 5, 2010Pros: Fun teaching aid
Cons: newer company
I recently won a contest and won the first 10 lessons of Visual Latin. Their website offers the lessons via DVD or immediate download. The teacher is engaging and makes me as a parent want to learn Latin. He speaks in a fun way that will really appeal to younger children.
The only downside is that they are a newer company and if your child has already taken Latin you may need to wait until they finish up their subsequent lessons.
I also found their customer service exceptional. I had a couple questions that were immediately answered and they were always quick to respond.
I would love to see this company grow and can't wait to see what else they have in store.
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