Review of Laurelwood Books Olim, Once Upon a Time in Latin Reader and Workbook Set

A couple of years ago, we decided that we were going to have our kids learn Latin as their foreign language. And while I don't regret the decision, I don't know Latin, so I have had to depend on great resources to help my children learn. Olim, Once upon a Time in Latin, Reader I and Olim, Once Upon a time in Latin, Workbook I, two amazing products from Laurelwood Books, have been a tremendous help! Here's what we loved about them:

First the level 1 reader is something that kids ages 10 and up can easily consume. In the sidebar of every page, there are definitions for each new Latin word that's introduced. So, as my son is reading along, if he retains everything from the pages before, he only has to focus on new words. But if he needs a reminder, he can easily flip back to a previous page and get help.

Learning Latin with this reader is very immersive. There is no lecturing and words are learned in context (one of the best ways to learn a language, in my opinion.) Illustrations support each new idea learned in the book. Repetition of commonly-used words help solidify understanding and retention.

To check for understanding, there is the Workbook. This is a very straight-forward test for comprehension. Kids are given vocabulary words to define and explain. The order of the workbook closely matches the order of the story. I loved that my son could work independently through both the reader and the workbook, while going back to the reader when needed for extra review.

There are a lot of Latin products on the market for homeschoolers, but this might be one of my favorites. First, it requires very little from the parent or teacher, as it can be used as a self-taught solution. Second, since this is just the first of 4 books in a series, kids can keep learning more and more Latin in a conversational way. They should be speaking whole sentences and then eventually paragraphs from using these products!

I used this with my 12-year-old, who has been taking a first-year Latin course prior to using this book. Since his course was focused mainly on conjugations of a few words, however, he hadn't learned much to initiate conversations or read through texts. I love the balance that the Laurelwood Books products provides to his instruction. I wouldn't hesitate to use these books a both a supplement to an existing Latin program, or a sole first-year Latin instruction material set. Since kids learn so much more from story, it's quite effective and my son enjoys is very much!

Laurelwood Books sell a variety of products for the homeschooler in a range of subjects. They have handwriting and copywork materials, as well as a lovely state history course! Be sure to follow them on Facebook for updates and new product announcements. They have me personally wanting to try some of their other materials next fall!