4/10/18

Revisiting First Form Latin from Memoria Press {Crew Review}

Way back on my 2nd year on the crew I reviewed First Form Latin from Memoria Press.  I was so impressed that I purchased two additional student work books so my three "big" girls could study Latin together.

Boobear wanted to revisit Latin.  She asked me if we could get a new student workbook so she could go through the program again.  Her timing was perfect. Memoria Press generously included a new student workbook in my Crew Leader package.   We already had the rest of the set and only needed the Student Book.



Memoria Press recommends First Form Latin for grades 4-9.  I think this age range works well if the younger students have completed Prima Latina or Latina Christiana.  I believe this to be an excellent introduction to Latin for students in 6th grade and older including adults.

The Complete Set of materials includes:

  • Student Text -- 9 x 7.5 inches.  Each of the 34 lessons are are concisely presented on a two page spread.  120 pages.  Includes 7 Appendices which cover things like Prayers, Latin Sayings, Grammar and more!
  • Student Workbook -  Full Size!  There are between 4 and 6 worksheets per lesson. It is recommended to do every workbook exercise. The Student book states "it's almost impossible to practice Latin too much."  Student Workbook includes Grammar Questions Appendix with instructions for Rapid-Fire Review
  • Teacher Manual --  Full size!   The Lesson plans have the student text inset. The TM also includes teaching guidelines. Like the Student Text the Teacher Manual includes several appendices.
  • Quizzes & Tests booklet -- Exactly what it says! Includes Quiz for every lesson and Unit Tests.  These are perforated for ease of tearing sheets out.  I love that feature!
  • Teacher Key --- This includes answers to the workbook sheets, quizzes and unit tests!
  • Pronunciation CD --  This includes all the vocabulary and grammar forms for each lesson. Very helpful when trying to do recitation!
  • Flashcards --  When I received mine originally they were in sheets.  These are very helpful for drilling!
  • DVDs -- In this 3 DVD set, instructor Glen Moore walks you through each lesson. I believe that the DVD was the only reason we were successful the first time. Boobear did re-watch lessons to refresh her memory. 

For how to use this more traditionally you can read my previous review of First Form Latin.  Be sure to also check out the other reviews currently being linked to the Homeschool Review Crew Blog.

I asked BooBear to share her experience revisiting First Form Latin.  Here is what she had to say:
When I was in high school, I did the First Form Latin program. I went through the course with my younger sisters at the same time and we would watch the lessons together and sometimes work on worksheets together or on our own. We would also drill vocabulary together. It was a wonderful bonding experience to study a foreign language together and helpful to have a study partner. When I went to college, I wanted to take more Latin as my foreign language in college, however, the way the courses were structured when I needed to take my language classes the 100 level Latin classes were not being offered. Instead I took German, but I found my Latin background extremely helpful. The way German’s conjugate verbs and their grammatical gender is similar to how Latin is. There were a lot of differences but understanding German grammar was much easier because I had studied Latin.
 Now that I have graduated from college I have wanted to get back into Latin, however, I took Latin close to 6 years ago and I need to refresh my memory. So, I am reworking through First form Latin. I have been watching the lessons which are all short and easy to get through. Because I am working full time now, I have less time than I did in highschool to study Latin. The way first form is structured that makes it easy to work through a lesson when I can. One of the things that I really appreciate that has changed since the last time I took the course is the student workbook. It is so much nicer to have it be spiral bound. The flat binding was very irritating to work with because it didn’t lay flat and it felt like you had to beat the binding into submission in order to get it to work with you. The spiral binding is great to use at my desk in my bedroom. I can move between that and checking any grammar or vocabulary in the student text without worrying about the student workbook trying to close on me. It is also convenient to take outside and work on Latin in the sun. Or in the case of my often messy desk, I have limited space and being able to have it lay flat and not be as spread out. The upgrade to spiral binding is best thing about this.
Completed Workbook Page from Lesson 3 -First Form Latin


Completed Worksheet from Lesson 4 -First Form Latin

Unlike BooBear, Turtlegirl moved on to Second Form Latin while still in high school.  She too found that studying other foreign languages were easier because of her Latin Studies.  Last summer when she got home from college, Turtlegirl began working through Third Form Latin.  I wrote about her experience using Third Form Latin.  She plans to continue on to Fourth Form Latin.

Because there are so many benefits to studying Latin, I encourage other homeschooling families to study Latin.  I recommend using the materials from Memoria Press.

In addition to offering Latin, Memoria Press also has a brand new Music Appreciation I course and brand new spelling programs:  Traditional Spelling I and Traditional Spelling II.  Watch my blog for how I am using Traditional Spelling I with Supergirl but in the meantime visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read reviews of the different Music, Latin, and Spelling programs from Memoria Press.



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4/5/18

Planning a Different Kind of Graduation Ceremony {Homeschool Diploma Review}

If you are a regular reader of my blog then you know that I have four daughters. Three of my beautiful girls have graduated from our home school.  The oldest has even graduated from a local university with her Bachelor's Degree.  My fourth daughter, who is actually my 2nd oldest is on her own path.  Medically fragile and developmentally delayed she's on the "we'll keep homeschooling as long as she keeps making progress plan" which means that she may never actually have a high school graduation.

When her third sister graduated she began to ask about her own  graduation.  We came up with a plan. When she finished Level C of her reading program or reaches the equivalent reading level she can have a graduation.

When I found out that the Homeschool Review Crew would have the option of reviewing the Cap, Gown, Tassel and Diploma package for kindergarten from Homschool Diploma I started thinking this could be the motivation we need to make this happen.



Supergirl isn't just mentally developmentally delayed.  She's physically delayed as well.  At 20 years old she is just at the beginning of puberty. She is tiny but would the K sized cap and gown work for her?  I checked out the sizing on the gowns and yes the largest size they offer, size 36, is for those who are 4'3" to 4'5".  The sizes are based on the actual height of the graduate from top of head to floor.  You will want to measure your graduate with the shoes that will wear for graduation as that will affect their height. Because of her short stature the gowns for older students graduating from high school would be far too big. I love that she gets to have a real cap and gown like her sisters did and that it fits her.

Ordering was super easy!  First pick your gown color.  There are three choices: Royal, White, and Red.  Supergirl wanted green.  She was disappointed that green, her favorite color wasn't an option.  She chose Royal because "Twinnie's graduation was blue."  For some reason Turtlegirl has become Twinnie. I mean they are twins so it makes sense but it's only been recently that Supergirl began talking about "my Twinnie."



After choosing the color, you are taken to a short order form.  For an additional cost you can choose an optional Kinder V-stole.  I choose not order one of those. I didn't order one for Turtlegirl when I ordered her cap and gown in 2016. Boo Bear didn't have one when we borrowed a cap and gown for her ceremony.

The Kindergarten Diploma is optional.  You can include it at no charge.  The design you receive may vary. It is a full 8 1/2 x 11 inches and it feels like magazine paper.  Mine arrived tucked between two stiff, thick pieces of cardstock for protection.  This is high quality and is definitely a keepsake to treasure.



Then you choose your size.  Gowns are sized by height.  Next select your tassel. They have 40 color combinations to choose from!  Guess what color she wanted.  Did you say green?  Yep. She wanted green. I talked into in a green and white one with a silver clasp. We got a 2018 charm.

Unlike the 8th Grade and High School Diplomas the Kindergarten Diplomas are not customized.  You must fill the name of the student and where it is presented and there is a line to sign and date it.  It is adorable.  I'm including an image of  the one on the website so you can see the another design as mine shown above is different.



The Kindergarten Diploma is available for purchase separately if you want the diploma but do not need a cap and gown.

I won't be giving the beautiful Kindergarten Diploma to Supergirl though because hers is not a Kindergarten graduation.  It's not a high school graduation so the Standard Diploma won't work and neither will the 8th Grade.  I am not sure what we will do but I will want it to be as beautiful and special as her sisters' diplomas are.

I do not know when we'll have her ceremony because it is a reward for reaching a goal. She's on her own timetable so it could be this summer or we could be looking at a Fall Graduation like some colleges do. I do know that Daddy will give a speech just like he did for the other three girls.  We'll get all dressed up and we'll go out to dinner.  We may even have an "open house" and invite a few close family friends to celebrate with us. She'll have her moment to celebrate her achievements of reaching an academic goal just like her sisters!

If you are looking for a High School Diploma check out my review from earlier this where where I discuss the Personalized and Standard Diplomas.  We have a few crew members who also reviewed Caps and Gowns and a few more who reviewed 8th Grade Diplomas.  Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read about the other options for your homeschool graduates!


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4/3/18

Diplomas for your Homeschool Graduate! {Review}

Yes, my three big girls have all graduated from our home school.  In 2013 when BooBear graduated, we didn't have a beautiful professional diploma to give her.  We did a small ceremony and printed out a nice piece of paper to give her.  Her dad gave a really touching speech.

In 2016, the Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review a high school  diploma from Homeschool Diploma. I received a Personalized Diploma for Turtlegirl and I purchased a Standard Diploma for Boo Bear.

In 2017 Tailorbear graduated and  I had every intention of purchasing a diploma for her. My husband and I had talked about it.  We were so impressed with the quality of the diplomas and the service provided by Homeschool Diploma but I procrastinated. I kept putting it off and putting it off.  I am pretty sure I win the loser mom of the year award for not having it for her at graduation.



We then found out that the Homeschool Review Crew would have the opportunity to review Homeschool Diploma again. Tailorbear was excited when I told her that mom now had the kick in the pants to order her a diploma.  Did she want the Standard Diploma? Did she want the Personalized One?  We actually pulled out her sisters' diplomas and looked at them.  She said she didn't have a preference but I decided I preferred the options available with the Personalized Diploma.

Homeschool Diploma offers their High School Diplomas in two sizes 8.5 x 11 and 6 x 8.  We chose the larger size for each of the girls.  Homeschool Diploma also offers a savings when buying multiple diplomas. This is available for both Standard and Personalized and for both sizes.



Both diplomas can be customized with graduate information, location, date of graduation.  Both diplomas have a center seal.  With the Standard Diploma you only have three choices of embossed foil seals. With the Personalized Diploma you have those same three seals plus an additional choice of five engraved seals. There is an additional cost for the engraved seals.

Another major difference between the standard and the personalized is wording.  With standard you do not have a choice.  You can customize the personalize one with several different wording options. There are four options each with two to three choices.



The Personalized Diploma overs an optional Verse or Motto and customized signature lines.  The Standard version has two signature lines.  One is labeled Administrator and the other Instructor.  Withe Personalized for both Turtlegirl and Tailorbear we chose to put Administrator under both lines.

Either Standard or Personalized will give you a choice between Ivory and Cream paper but only with the Personalized will you be able to choose, for additional cost, optional hand calligraphy.  We did not choose the hand calligraphy for either of the girls.

For a small additional cost you can add an honors seal to either diploma. One of the things I loved bout ordering was the link to a chart to help decide which honors seal we should choose.  I was thankful that this was available for all diplomas.  While I could have gotten an honors seal for Tailorbear she chose not to have one.

Here you can see the High Honors seal on BooBear's diploma:



Both diplomas offer 7 colors and 8 designs for the cover.  Here is Turtlgirl from her 2016 high school graduation.  Yes she is wearing a cap and gown from Homeschool Diploma but sadly that particular style is no longer available. She choose a black cover.



For each of our girls we had a simple family only ceremony.  We decorated the house.  We all got dressed up.  The graduate got to wear a cap and gown.  Honeybear as Father and Principal gave a speech.  Each year those speeches have made me cry.  He would spend some time working on them jotting down things very specific to the graduate.



We are so blessed that Honeybear's parents could fly out each time to be part of the special celebration.  After the speech and the photos we would all go out to dinner at special restaurant. Graduation is a milestone event and we wanted each girl to have a special memory of the event.




These diplomas are very professional. Having a professionally done diploma is important. It's not just a piece of paper. It represents an achievement. It's opens doors for further education and meaningful employment. Thanks to Homeschool Diploma each of my graduates have a beautiful diploma to commemorate their achievement.



Homeschool Diploma offers an 8th Grade Diploma, and a Cap, Gown, Tassel and Diploma package for kindergarten. Looking for Graduation Announcements or Thank Yous? They offer those as well.

Some crew members reviewed high school diplomas. We even have a few who reviewed caps & gowns for their graduate.  Visit the Homeschool Review Crew Blog to read more reviews!

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