Mastery is the key to success in Latin – and this program is designed to produce mastery. First Form is the first of a projected four text series (Second, Third, Fourth Forms) from Memoria Press that will teach Latin grammar completely and thoroughly and move the student firmly into translation and reading. Each student text provides 30-35 concise, 2-page lessons with a specific format: a Latin saying, a set of grammar forms, vocabulary, a grammar lesson, and some elementary syntax. The corresponding workbook has 4-6 pages of exercises and well-designed drills per lesson that guide the student and teacher through the lesson. Other components of the program include weekly quizzes, cumulative tests, flashcards, a pronunciation CD and instructional DVDs. 4th to 6th graders can expect to spend about 3 hours per week for an academic year; grades 7th and up can cover a volume in one semester or less.
The Teacher Manual is “where the action is” so to speak. It includes a lesson overview, a wrap-around text that includes a scripted lesson and grammar “chalk-talk” (again, scripted in question and answer format utilizing a whiteboard). In addition to explaining the integration of workbook, drills, quizzes, and recitation, there are suggestions for incorporating the Lingua Angelica program. Games and Review Activities complete the offering. Teacher prep is also very well spelled out: read and reread the Teaching Guidelines for each lesson, read and reread the student text and teacher manual, do all workbook exercises (yes, the teacher will need her own workbook). While this may seem like a lot remember the assumption is that the teacher does not know Latin herself and is therefore learning along with (and in front of) the student, staying one complete lesson ahead in terms of prep. Appendices to the Teacher’s Manual include Latin conversations, prayers and sayings with translations, and a grammar reference. I must say, there is something very satisfying about a well-ordered Latin program. It just makes you want to dig in and learn it.
The First Form student text is organized into five units covering verbs, present and perfect tense, first and second conjugation and nouns; 1st – 5th declension. The Text Set includes the Student Text, Workbook, Test & Quizzes, Pronunciation CD, and Teacher Manual, Workbook & Quiz/Test Answer Key. The Complete Set includes all the items of the Text Set plus the flashcards and the instructional DVDs. These DVDs are taught by Glen Moore utilizing humor and a variety of visual techniques. Incorporating the Famous Men of Rome series is optional and will add an historical element into the study.