Thursday, September 13, 2018

Review of a Product by Roman Roads Media

Roman Roads Media is a curriculum publishing company specializing in online classical education. As a Homeschool Review Crew member, I was given access to one of their online vocabulary building subscriptions. My teen daughter and I have both been working our way through basic Latin vocabulary words of the natural world using the subscription called Picta Dicta Natural World.

Picta Dicta Natural World

Picta Dicta teaches natural world Latin words.

Picta Dicta Natural World takes the student through a series of vocabulary lessons, first introducing the Latin word with pictures. The English terms for the objects aren't presented in the early lessons. The presentation of the Latin terms directly eliminates a student's tendency to translate from one language to the other. Instead it develops an associating of the Latin term directly with the item pictured. English terms are reviewed later in the lessons but not in the early first lessons.

Systematically presented, the lessons incorporate the use of several different learning modalities, including visual, auditory and story with information about word origin. The lessons also include the expectation that a student will pronounce and also spell the Latin terms themselves to move on to increased vocabulary. The lessons are user responsive and repetition of terms not yet memorized is presented until the student gets it. The vocabulary units described as "campaigns" are presented in related categories. Large animals, fruits, plants, anatomy and geographical land forms are all topics that are covered incrementally through the course.

Through the family account each teacher/parent has access to monitor each student's progress. The parent/teacher is also able to have a seat as a student for their own Latin vocabulary learning. With short sessions three to four times per week my daughter and I have both been able to move through the categories fairly quickly with sufficient retention of the terms. The program saves any progress even if interrupted in the middle of a lesson.

My interest in having my daughter use this subscription came from my understanding of how much even some basic understanding of Latin terms can be applied to the study of other subjects and pertinent to her current plans, in providing information and clues in test taking for completing high school requirements and SAT/ACT testing. Many years ago, my own ACT test scores, especially in science, were enhanced by a weekly Latin spelling test given in a high school physiology class. By exposure to the basics in this course, I expect her learning of  Latin vocabulary through the Picta Dicta Natural World program will do the same for her.

Classical curriculum materials beginning through advanced are available.

Malum, anyone?
Roman Roads Media has several of these Latin vocabulary courses but they are only the beginning of what Roman Roads Media has to offer. They are a publishing company that provides an extensive line of resources for classical study for use in home education. Their stated goals include making high quality classical Christian education accessible to homeschooling families to inspire students and impart wisdom. Their resources cover the humanities, logic, rhetoric and history from a classical Christian perspective. A family wanting their high school age students to have a classically based education would do well to use Roman Roads Media teaching materials. They offer many hard copy and online materials. Live lectures are also a part of the teaching curriculum available. The live classes presented by expert teachers are closed for the 2018/2019 school year but definitely worth considering in your future homeschooling curriculum. However, in the meantime, the resources offered by Roman Roads Media are extensive and could easily cover much of a high school course load.

Beginning with basic Latin vocabulary is a great place to start with younger students, any students just being introduced to Latin or like me wanting a review of previously learned terms. Delightedly, in some categories and embarrassingly so in others Picta Dicta Natural World has jogged my learning memory of Latin terms. My teen has progressed as quickly despite this being her first coordinated exposure to Latin vocabulary. I am glad we had the opportunity to use and discover more about this publishing company.

There are parent resources, too. Are you up for a challenge?

An additional  resource directed at parents that looks interesting, extensive (and challenging) to me is their Great Books challenge for parents. Still open, registration is required for the 2018/2019 school year parent's challenge. Parents, grandparents, even great-grandparents completing the challenge will earn a unit of free curriculum. The cost of these materials doesn't look prohibitive, especially given the breadth of what is offered. Clearly, they take their mission to impart wisdom seriously and produce high quality online instruction.

You can find them at:
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youtube: @romanroadsmediaYouTube
or by clicking the banner below.
Roman Roads Media
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Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta {Roman Roads Media Reviews}

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