Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Laurelwood Books REVIEW

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}
I truly never thought Latin would be a part of our homeschool, but here we are loving all things Latin! Combine our love for Latin with our love for fairytales, and Olim, Once Upon a Time in Latin, Reader VI and Olim, Once Upon a Time in Latin, Workbook VI by Laurelwood Books is a definite hit in our homeschool. For this review we were sent a physical set consisting of 1 level VI reader and the corresponding workbook. 

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}

What is it?
Olim, Once Upon a Time in Latin, Reader and Workbook VI are part of a series. The series starts at part I and ends at Part VI. The reading levels increase in difficulty from I to VI. The workbooks are consumable products. These come as separate purchases, so be sure to remember that. These are both paperback books with a glossy cover. They are not very thick, but they are packed with educational goodness. The reader isn't your average reader. This covers "The Prodigal Son" in both Latin and English, so your students can get a better sense of how the words directly translate. Teamed with the corresponding workbook, your student will have various activities and tools to reinforce the learning. Inside the workbook you will find matching,  fill in the blank, and cross over translating exercises along with coloring pages. I am a big fan of the additional "Digging Deeper" exercises located in the book. The answer key is located in the back of the workbook.

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}

How did we use this:
Mr. B really enjoys learning Latin. It wasn't hard at all to get him to do the lessons 3 days a week. The difficult part was getting him to do the reading. There's not a lot of words on each page, and there are photos. So the reading isn't much at all, but Mr. B thought it was more because he wouldn't stop and really look to see that it may be 1 sentence on one page and only 2 or 3 on the next. The font is also quite large, which makes it look like there's more there. I'm sure this was only an issue for us, and wouldn't be an issue for a typical student at all. Once I got him to understand there wasn't that much reading, he was good to go! He actually ended up working on this, on his own, for over an hour! I was only going to have him do it for 20 or so minutes, but when I told him he could stop he asked to keep going! He loves it! He really focused intently, and worked hard at this. I honestly thought the large font, and smaller/fewer sentences would make him feel as if this is a "baby" book, but he never mentioned that at all. The Latin side of the story has a nice margin with Latin to English words for easier translating. The illustrations match between the English and Latin parts which add a visual aid for being able to translate, also. I really liked this part. The workbook features a "how to pronunciation" guide, as well as roman numerals, which were Mr. B's favorite parts I think.  The workbook has your student referring back to the reader to translate the words needed or fill in the blanks. This is great practice for Mr. B to refer back to a text to answer comprehension questions, and I noticed an overall improvement in that area. 

Overall: 

Overall, as much as I say we aren't a Latin or Classical Education Family I'm pretty sure we are a Latin and Classical Education Family. We have really enjoyed using Olim, Once Upon a Time In Latin Reader and Workbook VI by Lauralwood Books. We will continue to use this until completed, and I plan to look into the other Latin products offered, such as Derivatives. I found the reader to be easy to navigate, and laid out in such a way that it is easy for the student to understand and navigate. The addition of illustrations that match on both the English and Latin sides is really great for a visual cue to translating. 


Does Laurelwood Books Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

These are physical products so you are not restricted by the time constraints you might have with online memberships. I do not suggest jumping ahead or skipping. There's nothing really to adapt, unless your child needs to beak up the lessons in someway, but we did not find a need to adapt or modify at all.     

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?
The level is really based on your child's reading level. While the English part is easy for him to read, the Latin part was a bit harder. Mr. B is 5th going into 6th, and this seemed to be on par for him. There are no hidden fees, but it is important to remember that the reader and workbook are separate purchases. 
 
 
3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?

The pages are black and white (actually more of a darker gray...) Mr. B did not find this boring. I think he rather enjoyed the challenge of the translations. The lessons do not have to last long, but Mr. B really enjoyed working on this so he spent a great deal of time. 

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

Latin is the root of several languages, so it is a great foundation for learning other languages and even understanding our own language of English. It is a really good foundation for grammar, etc. It is also great for classically minded homeschoolers. 




The Review Crew was blessed to review several products by Laurelwood Books. In addition to level VI featured here, The Crew also reviewed levels I-III, and non-Latin options like Patriotic Penmanship as well. Please click the banner below to see those reviews! 

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}
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