Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Curricula - First Impressions

In the last two days we have received in the mail Writing With Ease 2 and Getting Started with Latin. These are for late this year or next year whenever we finish up what we are currently using. I thought I would share my first impressions.

This is a significant step up from Writing With Ease 1 which we are currently working through. The copywork selections are longer and the children are introduced to dictation. The selections are somewhat difficult. This is not a graded text so Level 2 is not necessarily designed to be used by a Year 2. I can see that an older child (Y3 or Y4) would have little difficulty with the dictation exercises but I personally feel that your average Year 2 would find it difficult, mostly because of spelling issues. I am hoping that Flossy will find it the appropriate challenge. I certainly don't think she will struggle in any way but I don't see us doubling up lessons as we have been doing with Level 1. Looking through the book I like the way SWB encourages beginning summarising skills which is one of the main reasons we are using this writing program.

From the moment I open this book to take a proper look at it, I love it. It is such a gentle, systematic approach to learning latin and it makes me wonder why we have bothered with Song School Latin and Minimus to date. They have both been fun programs, don't get me wrong, but this book is 'really' learning latin if you know what I mean. I can't see a problem moving through 1 lesson per day but should we need to slow up it will be very easy to do so. Most lessons have 10 sentences to translate from latin to english. The grammar instruction looks solid and the writing requirement is minimal. This book is excellent value for money and the audio is available free from the authors website, what more could you ask for? One thing to note is that your child really needs to be reading well, I would think a middle school level at least. Not a problem for us, but not all Year 2's would be ready. (I guess that is where Song School Latin comes to it's own, your child really doesn't need to be reading at all to get something out of that program.)

So on face value these are both winning purchases.

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