Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Compass Classroom: Visual Latin {Review}

(Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate links. This simply means that should you choose to purchase through my links, there is no additional cost to you, and I make a small commission. Thank you!)

I have been homeschooling my fantastic kids long enough to have seen and heard all kinds of opinions on the importance, or not, of teaching Latin. Since I took Latin in high school, I have been on the "yes" side of the fence, even though I understand that some people see it as unnecessary. I have not followed a "classical" approach in our education, taking a more eclectic approach, however, I do see great value in learning Latin. Several of my children are learning Italian, French and/or Spanish, so Latin will help with those languages, as well as help immensely with our native language, English. Last fall I decided that I needed to finally add Latin to our list of courses.

I received the downloadable version of Visual Latin 1 and 2 from Compass Classroom for the purpose of review. Each lessons pairs three videos, featuring teacher Dwane Thomas, with worksheets for different learning styles to guide students from grammar concepts, to practice sentences, to reading in Latin! There are 60 lessons in total. Visual Latin is available in three formats: DVD, download or streaming. Included in the downloads are lesson worksheets, a teacher's guide, vocabulary lists and quizzes. This course is suggested for ages 10 and older. It also provides 2 high school credits, which is one reason why I am so excited about it!

This school year we have been working our way through Visual Latin 1, which is 30 lessons. We haven't used too many video-based programs in our school, so I wasn't sure how well it would work. It has worked perfectly! It is super easy to use. Just cue up the video and print out the worksheets for whatever lesson you're on. Mr. Thomas has a quirky and fun sense of humour and is very engaging in the video lessons. Even though I primarily wanted my grade 10 student to work through these lessons for high school language credit, I decided to make it a family affair and include everyone. So, in addition to my grade 10 student, I also included my students in grade 8, grade 5 and grade 4, as well. I am amazed by all they have learned this year. We have a had a great time learning together and already look forward to continuing with Latin 2 next year.

It was rather hilarious to start this program and find Latin everywhere we turned. Books, movies, other school curricula. All the children were noticing it and having a good time doing so. We also had a few laughs over the sentence structure in Latin and how the sentences remind us a bit of Yoda. For example, "They are bright in the sky the stars are." And "At night also stars there are." Another benefit in learning Latin is all the English grammar you learn in the process. It's been a great reminder and reinforcer of what my children have already learned plus even more! This has been a wonderful fit for our family, and we are learning so much. I cannot recommend Visual Latin highly enough.

Give it a try with 2 Free Lessons.

Also, check out the Additional Resources.

And right now, Visual Latin 1 and 2 are on sale! Get $30 off!

Let me know if you have any questions.

Blessings and love. xo

Thursday, May 19, 2016

My Reading List

{Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate links. Thank you!}

Hi friends,

I have been mostly quiet around here lately, due to needing a break to focus on other things. We are getting set to move again (seriously praying and planning for this to be the last time!), plus slowly starting to work part-time, plus finishing up our home school year, etc. 

One thing I determined at the first of 2016 was that I want to take better care of myself, in all areas. One of those ways is in purposefully taking time to do some things that I enjoy, one of which is reading for pleasure (as opposed to reading for reviews). So here are some of the titles I have read recently or am currently working on . . . 

First up, Heart Made Whole: Turning Your Unhealed Pain Into Your Greatest Strength by Christa Black Gifford. Oh. My. Word. People, seriously, I think I am going to recommend this one to every person I know. If you're not familiar with Christa, she and her hubby, Lucas, have been some of my favourite people to follow on social media in the last few years. They have both been through tragedy and have come out strong and healed because of the love and power of Jesus. (Disclaimer: I am on Christa's launch team for this book and received an ebook copy for the purpose of review, but I applied to do so because I knew I would benefit, and I knew I would want to share this one with you.) Even if I had not been chosen for the launch team, I would be reading this one and sharing about it. This book is important. Every person I know has some kind of hurt, whether a skin-deep scrape or the deep, soul-crushing wounded-ness kind. We all need healing. I believe this message that Christa shares can be the catalyst for that healing. Thank you for writing this one, Christa!

Here is a photo I took of some of the others:

From this stack, the ones I have read so far are: 

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin - Have you read this one or seen the movie that came out recently? It is a charming story, and I'm looking forward to the film, which I understand is equally endearing.

The Blueberry Years: A Memoir of Farm and Family by Jim Minick - I have been going to the library, not just to drop off returns or pick up holds, but also to meander the aisles and peruse the shelves at leisure (well, mostly). I have found myself these last couple of months, sticking close to the biography shelves, which is where I found this gem of a memoir. Jim's writing is delightful, and I not only wanted a big bowl of delicious blueberries every time I picked it up, I also found myself longing to buy a farm in the mountains of Virginia!

Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill by Sonia Purnell. This was a long read and one that I wasn't sure I wanted to commit to at first, but man, I'm so glad I did. I knew absolutely nothing about Clementine, the wife of Winston Churchill before I picked this up. She was quite the character, and the author makes a strong point that Winston would not have been the man that he was nor could he have accomplished all that he did without his "Clemmie" to help guide and influence not only him, but many of the leaders of that time. I am glad to know more of her story and her tenacity.

I am currently reading (and loving) Shawn Bolz' Translating God: Hearing God's Voice For Yourself and The World Around You. If you don't know of Shawn and his ministry, I recommend looking him up ASAP! I heard him speak when I watched the recent Azusa Now live stream. He was prophesying to folks in the crowd he had never seen or met before. The words he had received from Father were incredible. Tears were streaming down my face. It's always beautiful to see how the Father loves His children and this was evidenced in the words Shawn received (in how personal they were and in how encouraging they were). This is a message that is dear to my heart, and I am looking forward to diving more into this one!

And in addition to the three or four in the above photo that are waiting in the library basket, I also just got a book in the mail (for review) that I am excited about - The Healing Breakthrough: Creating an Atmosphere of Faith For Healing by Randy Clark. I'll get back to you on this one.

What have you been reading recently? Anything to recommend?

Blessings and love. xo