Thursday, October 6, 2011

Visual Latin - A Timberdoodle Review - #homeschool @VisualLatin

Visual Latin

Visual Latin

  • Video based Latin Lessons
  • Ages 9 and up
  • Short lessons on DVD
  • .pdf worksheets and teacher's key are downloaded
  • Available in 10 lesson increments, or as a 30 lesson bundle
  • 10 lesson DVD $30
  • Lessons 1-30 (complete set) $80
  • Available through Timberdoodle
Most people we meet are very intrigued by our homeschooling lifestyle, and they usually have a lot of questions.  Invariably the boys will be asked "What is your favorite subject?"

This year, the answer is always, "Latin!"

The answer is usually met with surprise.  Really??  Latin?!?

Well, not just any Latin.. We've been using Visual Latin.  This is a video based program that is broken down in short, fun segments.  There are 10 lessons on a CD, and each of those lessons is broken down into 3 parts.  In less than ten minutes, instructor Dwayne Thomas gives a presentation.

First he introduces the grammatical concept.  That's part A.

Visual Latin

The students are then directed to complete the corresponding worksheet.  The worksheets are wonderful.  They include a short reinforcement of the days lesson on the page for easy reference, so there is no need to take notes during the video.  The boys just watch and absorb.

On the following day Mr. Thomas expounds on the previous lesson by using the concept in sentences just like you see in the photo below.  This is part B.

Visual Latin

Again, the students have a related worksheet to complete.

On the third day of the lesson, Dwayne Thomas reads aloud, in Latin, as the words appear on the screen.  He repeats the dictation a second time, allowing time for the children to repeat after him.

Visual Latin

When the video ends, the students have their Part C worksheet to complete.  The same words they just saw on the video are now on the page before them, along with a vocabulary key.  Their task is to translate the passages into English.

Now that I have explained how the program works, I have to share a little bit about why the program works so well for us.
  1. Short lessons.  Thank you Dwayne Thomas for understanding the attention span of my boys.
  2. Repetition, reinforcement, and building skills in increments.
  3. Practicing what they have learned while it's still fresh in their minds.
  4. Humor.  Dwayne Thomas is funny.  He makes my kids laugh.
  5. The human element.  When Dwayne Thomas makes mistakes, he doesn't make a big deal about them.
  6. Relaxed, conversational delivery from a male teacher.
While I'm afraid that doesn't really do Dwayne Thomas justice, I hope that I have conveyed that he is the key to the success my boys have found with Visual Latin.  He realizes when things might be confusing and says, "I know this might be confusing."  That one sentence kept the boys from feeling anxious when they didn't grasp the concept of declensions immediately.  He doesn't edit out his mistakes.  When he corrects himself it's in a joking, casual way.  He's not only teaching my kids Latin, he is a role model for my Aspie boys who can be so hard on themselves!!  He makes jokes with a deadpan delivery.  This is also great since they also need help with humor and detecting absurdity.  To keep lessons from getting dry, he adds in examples with ninjas, spaceships and other silly things.  He uses humorous text screens to transition during lessons.  He's a fantastic teacher for my kids.

Here they are showing some of the worksheets.

visual latin

We were given the opportunity to review the first ten lessons of Visual Latin through the Timberdoodle review program.  Timberdoodle is a great resource for homeschool families.  They have a huge selection of homeschool supplies and curriculum.  You can follow Timberdoodle on Facebook or request their free catalog to find out more.


We enjoyed the first DVD so much, we plan to complete the program.  If you are looking for a language to add to your homeschool, Latin is an excellent choice.  If you think you might want to try Visual Latin, here's a video to watch.

You can learn more about Visual Latin by visiting the website or by following with Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.


As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of Visual Latinlessons 1-10 in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.  I was not paid to write this post.