Review of Memoria Press’ Classical Composition I: Fable Set and Classical Composition II: Narrative Set

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When I think of Classical Christian Education I think of Memoria Press so I choose the Classical Composition I: Fable Set  and Classical Composition II: Narrative Set to review with my daughter. For many years our family has strived for a Christian Classical Education for our children and finding the right Christian Classical Curriculum for our family has been essential to us.  That is why I was thrilled for our family to have the opportunity to review these two products.  Our 15-year-old daughter expressed excitement upon receiving these products.  These courses are recommended for grades 4-12, and I think these recommendations are perfect. Of course, the older the student, the more in-depth they will go and the higher the expectations will be.

The one thing I love about Memoria Press is the variety and quality of products they offer.  This company has been a favorite of our family since we began homeschooling.  So it seemed a natural progression to try their Classical Composition courses.  Classical Composition I: Fable Set and Classical Composition II: Narrative Set and we have enjoyed them so far.  The sets we received included both Teachers guides, both student workbooks, both sets of DVDs and a lesson plan booklet that covers both courses in a 34-week layout.

I love how the lesson plan booklet lays out everything in detail for each day, plus includes a checkbox for each day so I could mark off things as we completed them.  The lesson plan book also means if something happened and I was not around, our daughter could grab the lesson books and know exactly what to do.

We were so excited upon receiving these materials we just jumped right without utilizing the DVDs.  With the assistance of the teacher guide, we were able to figure out exactly what needed to be done, especially with the help of the Lesson Plan booklet.  We started off by reading the Teaching Guidelines at the beginning of both the Teacher’s Guide and the Student Workbook.  These clearly lay out the requirements, expectations, and layout of the assignments.  From the fables themselves to variations, outlines, narrations, paraphrases and even writing a final draft is described in detail.

The Teacher’s Guide also includes an advanced rubric for grading the student’s work.  There are even optional grammar requirements.  I found this extremely useful since we could utilize those requirements to help cover grammar instead of needing additional material.  There is also an introduction to the Fable Stage that describes imitation and suggestions for starting the writing journey.

As we began the actual lessons, our daughter expressed some distaste for reading out loud, but she is my introverted child.   So I really was not surprised by this.  As we moved through the exercises together, she really seemed to enjoy the lessons.  From writing down synonyms to writing outlines, variations, and paraphrases, she enjoyed all the activities.  She even enjoyed writing the final drafts.

The lessons on the DVDs are very well done and enjoyable to watch.  The information is presented in a way that is easy to follow along with what is being taught.  When the videos should be paused for the students to complete assignments, they are told to do so. Brent Vaden, the instructor on the DVDs, has the perfect voice for these DVDs.  He speaks clearly and is easy to understand.  Although I decided to watch the DVDs with our daughter and participate with her in the lessons, I feel she definitely could have completed the assignments on her own – especially with the help of the DVDs.

The lessons in both sets are designed to be spread out over 5 days a week for a two-week period.  This ensures there is time for doing variations (where the student changes the words from the original fable),  does an outline,  does a narration, and writes a final draft using paraphrases which genuinely fit the original story.

In Classical Composition II: Narrative, the layout of the materials reflects similarities to the Fables course.  The student watches the DVDs, does a reading, variations, paraphrases, outlines, additional variations and then writes a final draft.  Again the final draft is created on a separate sheet of paper. Brett Vaden provides the instruction for the DVDs, and he does an excellent job of teaching. the

All the work is done by the student in the consumable workbooks except for writing the final drafts, so this is a grab-and-go curriculum other than having the ability to watch the DVDs.  My daughter and I both are glad we decided to review these products.  If you would like to read additional reviews of Classical Composition I: Fable Set and Classical Composition II: Narrative Set or of other products from Memoria Press, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of Memoria Press’ Second Form Latin

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When we first began our homeschooling journey many years ago, one of my main desires was to find curriculum that provided a Classical Christian education. Memoria Press makes classical education easier with Second Form Latin.  We have used a variety of curriculum choices from Memoria Press through the years, but I specifically wanted the Second Form Latin for myself.  I have a strong desire to learn other languages and Latin is at the top of my list.  I know building a strong foundation with Latin is important.  Second Form Latin is designed for students in grades 5-10.

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With our Second Form Latin kit, we received eight components which include: the student text, the student workbook, the Quizzes and Test booklet, the Teacher manual, a Pronunciation CD,  a Teacher Key, flashcards and instructional DVDs. The course contains five units which are broken down into 26 lessons plus a review for each lesson.  There is a pre-test on day 4 of each lesson.  If the student shows mastery on this pre-test, the lesson is considered complete.  However, if the student does not show mastery, the students should review and restudy the materials and take the quiz again on day 5.

A typical week will include for day 1:  Recitation, teaching the lesson, and workbook section 1.  Day 2 includes recitation and workbook section 2.  DAy 3 includes recitation and workbook section 3.  Day 4 includes Recitation, Workbook Section 4, Orill Drill in the text, and the Pre-Test.  I found this schedule quite manageable even as a homeschooling mom with other responsibilities.

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The student textbook contains the background information for the lessons.  Each lesson is on a two-page spread with the pages facing each other, so there is no need to flip pages.  Also, the pages are free of unnecessary information or other distractions.  So it helps keep the student focuses.

Each lesson has a segment on the DVD which will last anywhere from 15-20 minutes.  These segments provide a great opportunity to listen to pronunciations and to ensure the student understands what it is being taught.  From prior experience with other products from Memoria Press, these DVDs provide wonderful instructional information.  These DVDs include 3 discs with 8.5 hours of instruction.  The explanations are provided by former Highlands Latin School Teacher Glen Moore.  According to the Memoria Press website’s description of the DVDs for Second Form Latin, “The DVDs also include helpful on-screen notes, illustrations, diagrams, a full First FormSecond Form recitation, “Latin parties” (Glen’s version of unit reviews), and more!”

Next comes the Student Workbook.  This provides opportunities for the students to practice vocabulary, translations, declensions (which in the grammar of Latin, Greek, and other languages) refers to the variation of the form of a noun, pronoun or adjective that identifies its grammatical case, number, and gender), conjugation practice, word study and grammar, and more.  I found these assignments to be very easy to complete and the directions were easy to follow.

Then there is the Quizzes and Tests booklet.  This provides a quiz for each lesson along with a review for each unit.  Here are some sample pages.  I found these quizzes to be a good review of the material being covered.  Because I was the one doing this course, I can not say how long it took me to complete these.  I tended to work on them as time allowed me to rather than focusing on completing everything in one session.

The vocabulary cards provide a great way to review words, meanings and more.  I recommend finding a way to keep the cards together and organized.  One way would be by punching holes in these cards and put a ring through the hole to keep them together.  Or another way would be to put them in some kind of box.  I started off by using rubber bands but it did not really seem to work well.

There is also a Teacher Key which contains the answers to all of the Workbook questions, Quzzes and Test questions.  This provides a quick and easy method for checking a student’s work.  When we first began studying Latin many years ago, I had not taken any formal Latin courses, so I found the Teacher Key to be a great resource.

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You can find Memoria Press on Social Media at:

I recommend you check out Second Form Latin by Memoria Press along with all of their other resources which include such courses as Traditional Spelling I, Music Appreciation, and other levels of Latin for yourself.  If you would like to read other reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of Memoria Press’ Course – The Book of Trees

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We reviewed The Book of Trees but Memoria Press also offers Latin Curriculum from Early Elementary to High School!  We have enjoyed using various products from Memoria Press through the years for Latin and my daughter was excited to have the opportunity to review The Book of Trees. The set we received to review included the Teacher Guide, the textbook, and the student workbook.  We did not receive The Tree Book and the Peterson Guide, so my daughter was able to use the Internet for research instead.  While I see the benefits of these other two books, I feel that supplementing with Internet research worked well for our daughter.

I enjoy taking a classical approach to our children’s’ education, so Memoria Press fits the bill nicely.  My daughter does not have plans to go into any science field in the future, but she loves learning about science.  However, it needs to be presented in a way that captures her interest.  As soon as I showed her the description on the website she was excited about the choices for science courses.  I enjoy seeing her engaged in her textbooks.

This set is designed for grades 6 – 8.  I was thrilled to see how captivated our daughter was with this set from the moment we received it.  I opened up the box and she immediately began reading the textbook and then started completing the pages in the workbook.  The textbook gave her interesting facts to share with our family.  The workbook provided opportunities to show what she had learned.

She easily answered the questions in the workbook.  Once she finished labeling the parts of the plant she even took the time to color the plants.  When her father arrived home, she had to share what she had learned that day with him.  I love watching her excitement when learning something new. She shared with hi what she found interesting from the lesson.

This set teaches everything from taxonomy to plant respiration to plant morphology, photosynthesis, flowers, and fruits.  Each day, my daughter typically did the reading in the textbook and then the pages in the workbook.  For most students, I think reading the textbook one day, doing the workbook another day and possibly doing extra activities or research on a third day of the week would work well.  After each lesson, she was ready and eager to share what she had learned with her family.  I never had to listen to her complain about the work or indicate that she did not want to do it.

Here are some pictures of the inside of the textbook.

I like the variety of activities in the workbook.  These activities included reading and questions, diagramming and labeling, actual hands-on activities, identifying trees, researching trees, and even opportunities for sketching.  For a child like ours that loves to draw this course is a great fit.

Here are some pictures of the inside of the workbook.

 

Finally, here is a picture of a page in the Teacher Guide.

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Memoria Press provides a wonderful glimpse into botany with this course.  Even though my daughter has not completed the course yet, I know we will finish it.  I see us possibly doing Nature’s Beautiful Order, another course by Memoria Press later in the summer.  The fact the curriculum is a company that provides classical Christian homeschool curriculum is a wonderful blessing for our family.

If you wish to read more reviews about this course or other products from Memoria Press, click here or on the graphic below.

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