Overview: Homeschool Latin instruction moves fast during the Challenge years. Some supplemental practice can sure help! Note: This post was sponsored by Rosetta Stone. I received the product for free and was compensated for my time to write this review. All opinions are my own; I will always be honest with y'all.
“Dignity, dignity, always dignity.” So says Don Lockwood in one of my all-time faves, Singing in the Rain.
Have you ever noticed that 12- and 13-year-olds also greatly value their dignity? They're not really into making themselves look silly anymore; in fact, they may become rather offended if you laugh at them for any reason. Am I right?? LOL.
So when it comes to practicing Latin declension endings (and other necessary evils of the language), those Foundations songs aren't really cutting it anymore by the time your child is doing the “serious” Latin they are encountering in Classical Conversations Challenge A or B. They need something more exciting — and less embarrassing — with which to do their homeschool Latin practice. :-)
Well, I've got just the thing — and it's helpful for the upper Challenge levels, too.
We had the opportunity to try Rosetta Stone Language Learning for Homeschool and jumped at it. After all, this is THE Rosetta Stone we're talking about, the flagship language learning software, the one everyone is itching to get their hands on. I was anxious to find out if it would be a good supplement to the Henle texts that we were already using for CC. Something other than the usual flashcards (or even Quizlet), which were, um, can you say “BO.RING”?
Let me first address the elephant in the room, right off the bat. Y'all, the price is WAY lower than I remember from when we were looking at it back when my eldest was starting to learn a foreign language, about 8 years ago. It is downright reasonable now. I was really surprised!! So don't write off this review just because I got the product for free. Now that I've seen the current pricing (I wish I'd looked at it sooner), I would definitely consider purchasing the product if I didn't already have it. More on that below.
Homeschool Latin practice does not have to be boring
The thing is, my Challenge B daughter isn't that fond of Latin.
Yes, we are doing Classical Conversations, and yes, Latin is a vital part of that. She doesn't have a choice about it, as far as I'm concerned. Ogre mommy that I am. Muahahaha…
But that doesn't mean I don't want to make it as appealing as possible, so that maybe I can woo her into realizing it's not that bad and maybe even kinda fun.
This is where Rosetta Stone Language Learning for Homeschool comes in. It presents Latin in a much more engaging and interesting way than Henle ever tried to. It uses images and audio to create an immersion experience, where your brain makes the connections between vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar without even really trying.
There is no outright instruction in the Rosetta Stone homeschool Latin software. There are pictures and words, and relationships are shown between the two. For right-brain learners, this is extremely helpful. It's mimicking how we learn language as young children — by seeing and listening in context.
The endings get removed from the artificiality of charts and the blue Henle grammar book and placed in the larger context of actual use. Use that is not solely about Roman soldiers, lol. The learning of the language becomes more like… wait for it… A CONVERSATION. Therefore Rosetta Stone Homeschool Latin meshes with the goals of Classical Conversations as a wonderful supplement to the Henle texts.
It doesn't follow the same order as Henle, so your Challenge A or B child will not be drilling specific grammar rules at the exact time they are encountering them in CC. Rather, it will help them to see the bigger picture and make connections across the entire language (and the entire text, eventually), instead of the tunnel vision of one declension or conjugation or case at a time. To me this is a good thing.
They get the practice and familiarity with the umpteen endings and much of the vocabulary that they need, without the sing-songy silliness of the Foundations throwbacks. It helps them to develop more ownership and discipline of their homeschool Latin study, providing them with an independent way to learn and drill.
Other considerations regarding Rosetta Stone Homeschool Latin
One sorta-wish-they'd-done-it-differently: the “native” speakers sound more LATINA than Latin. Well, we all know there is no such thing as a native speaker for Latin, since it is a “dead” language, and I guess this is what they came up with. I'm not really sure which pronunciation model they are following, though, except to say it ain't what we sound like in class. But since we're not necessarily in it for the pronunciation — and in fact I turned off the microphone altogether — it's not a deal-breaker.
Of course, it is a bit of an investment — I can't deny that — especially for something you will use as a supplement. But when you think of SIX years of homeschool Latin study over the Challenge years, and the ability to add multiple students, it becomes a very reasonable purchase. I only received Level 1, and I don't know exactly how the levels correspond to the Henle
Would you like to try a free demo? You can get one here:
Free Demo of Rosetta Stone Language Learning for Homeschool
There is also a newsletter you can sign up for:
Newsletter for Rosetta Stone Language Learning for Homeschool
And of course, you can follow them on Facebook:
Rosetta Stone Homeschool on FB
So my 13yo daughter read my first paragraph and took umbrage. “That's not right!! We DO like to be goofy! We LOVE being silly! If anything, we're TOO crazy!” Well, I'm not about to deny that last one, lol. So maybe your child still enjoys the Foundations songs! But maybe, just maybe, they are ready to move on to something a little more mature, a little more challenging (pun intended, lol), a little more exciting to help them practice their homeschool Latin. I think Rosetta Stone Language Learning for Homeschool is worth using in either case. :-)
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