Thursday, July 11, 2013

Playing with Puppies -- Random Wanderings

I am going to attempt a post, even though my monitor is dying. To shorten a long story, I have black lines flashing horizontally across the screen. Which is making it hard to focus on individual words and check my spelling, punctuation and grammar. So please forgive any errors or typos!

Weekly Workbooks

So in a long winding rabbit trail typical of me, I started on the Well Trained Mind forums. Some moms there have been binding their workbooks by week instead of subject. So instead of a math book and a grammar book, they have the first math and grammar lesson in one book.

Hmmm, instead of big workboxes I fill daily, we could have a small portable booklet for the week, which I could make in advance. (I do well working a few hours on a project, it's the 5 minute daily tasks that I struggle on. So advance preparation is good.)

As the new owner of a wire-binding machine, I've already made books for math, Latin and handwriting. I'm able to get the bindings cheaply as well. I also  had great success the year we used the File Crate System,  I have everything I need.

So I was considering this approach for the next school year when I (again) realized how difficult it would be to separate Memoria Press' Latin by week, let alone by day. Then I remembered how much I dislike (re)buying a physical workbook at all, when I have a lovely old laser printer. So I started a thread on the WTM about Latin programs that are available as PDFs.

Visual Latin

I received several responses, including Visual Latin and I Speak Latin. Since I actually own the PDF of I Speak Latin, I've decided to actually use it. But back to Visual Latin, which:

  • Is a video and fits into my goal of more independence for the kids.
  • The worksheets are PDFs, which I can print for each child as they use the program.
  • It's a LOT less writing than First Form. My eldest is a trooper, doesn't complain, and he is mastering the grammar but ...
  • I want them to READ in Latin, not just decline it. Visual Latin's goal is reading the Vulgate, and it starts with simplified readings in lesson 1.
  • Plus it leads into Lingua Latina. My favorite program.
I think I read at least half of the entire archives of Visual Latin's blog, and most of the WTM posts about it. But I wasn't seeing enough real-world reviews to answer a few questions about implementing it. So I did a search for reviews and clicked on anything bloggy.

To my delight some of my favorite blogs topped the list: Afterthoughts and Ordo-Amoris. So I searched them for more posts on Visual Latin at Afterthoughts, and ended up on Brandy's Monday Musings. Which led me back to Ordo-Amoris (and Andrew Kern),

Play with the Puppies

Kern has a longer blog post here on the puppies, but with less gory examples. Maybe it's my mood - rather sad - my old kitty is not doing well, and I'm dreading what will come. But the word picture of the beautiful rainbow and the Christmas puppy is really sticking with me. (I'm trying to erase the lawn-mower part from my mind.)

So now I'm walking around, thinking about all the curriculum I have, and asking if it is (or can be) a puppy.

We need more puppies in our day.

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