“I received a free enrollment in this class through True North Homeschool Academy in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, not was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.”
But there is one topic that left me quaking, just a bit.
I never learned Latin. I took French. Even back then, Latin was too foreign, too dead, too useless...or so I thought, compared to French, the language of my ancestors.
Thirty-some years later, I can't speak or read French, and my children are learning Latin. (If you are wondering why Latin? check out this article.) At least, they are memorizing songs that introduce them to Latin conjugations (verbs) and declensions (nouns). But with my daughter approaching middle school, I've wanted to step up the Latin instruction.
This is where True North Homeschool Academy comes in. My friend Lisa Nehring runs this online school for homeschoolers and invited me to enroll my daughter in her Beginning Latin live online interactive class. Let me tell you what we found.
Our weekly class is taught by Lisa Nehring, and it uses the Zoom online conferencing format. Students are given a Zoom link, through which they log in to the class. Once there, they can see the teacher and each other. They are also able to speak to each other via microphone (which can be muted by themselves or the teacher when necessary).
Every week, Magistra Nehring opens the class in prayer, leads them in a chant of the various grammatical forms they have learned, and then dives into the lesson. Through verbal explanations and charts or diagrams shared on her screen, she helps them understand common Latin phrases, English derivatives, how the grammar works, and how to translate from Latin into English and back again. Like an in-person class, the students get to know each other, ask and answer questions, and even get to write on the board!
As I shared last week, this was our first online class, and I did not know what to expect from it. I was delightfully surprised to find that the class was engaging for my daughter. She took to it immediately and, while I am always nearby in case she has questions, she is delighted to participate in some learning without my help. I also found Lisa's explanations and instruction to be clear and helpful, both for my daughter and for me - and I needed to understand, too, to help with her homework! I was also impressed that children as young as eight or nine years old were studying Latin and getting it. I had previously thought it to be too challenging for elementary children, but clearly that is not the case!
The class is earmarked for as young as fourth grade, if the child has already been exposed to some Latin. The fact that my fifth-grade daughter had already memorized some Latin through our classical homeschool program made it less intimidating for her, especially jumping into it mid-year, but even without that, I think she would have been find starting back in September.
Students need the student book, workbook, and flashcards to participate. We also purchased the teacher guide, answer key, tests and quizzes, CD and DVD - partly because we missed the first half of the year, and so we could compare an e-course to what the company sell. We have not yet used the tests and quizzes book, but found the answer key to be so valuable in checking her work during the week. In comparing the instructional DVD to the live class, clearly the live class is much more engaging and involved. I am glad, however, to have the DVDs so we can watch them if my daughter is stuck on a certain point, or if I am. The teacher guide is helpful, too, in case we need to miss a class, although the teacher records the classes and can send them to us via e-mail if needed.
One thing I have realized, as I shared last week, is that an e-course is good for accountability and keeping you and your child on track - but that can be an issue, too. Just as with a regular in-person class, if you miss a class or fall behind in the homework, it can be hard to catch up. However, that is also a life lesson both for me as a homeschool mom and for my daughter as she approaches middle school, and one that is important to learn.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a supportive Latin class for your children, I strongly recommend Beginning Latin with True North Homeschool Academy. It provides a solid foundation upon which to continue their future Latin studies, as well as a launching pad from which they can explore other, related, languages in the future.
You can learn more about the True North Homeschool Academy on their website, Facebook page, Pinterest account, and Instagram.