Bridge to the Latin Road Curriculum
Sometimes a publisher has such a unique approach to a skill set that it's difficult to know where to place their programs in our catalog. Such is the case with Schola Publications. The Latin Road to English Grammar is both a strong Latin course and an equally strong English grammar course (it's in the Foreign Language section). The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading starts as phonics/reading instruction and proceeds to strong language arts (it's in the Language Arts section). Now this program - appropriately called a "bridge" is both an English grammar and an introduction to Latin (and we've placed it in English and Grammar). Author Barbara Beers says it works this way: start with the four levels of Phonics Road for K-3; then use this Bridge to the Latin Road for 3rd or 4th grade; Latin Road for 5th - 7th/8th. The whole scope and sequence can be delayed one to two years or a student could start with either the Bridge or the Latin Road. Regardless of what course is used the student will receive strong comprehensive academics and mom (the teacher) will have the benefit of user-friendly materials. In this Bridge program the student will receive a good working introduction to Latin in the form of common roots, prefixes, and suffixes as well as strengthen the ability to identify the relationships of words in a sentence both by part of speech and sentence structure that provides the student with the foundation for Latin translation work.
Those familiar with Phonics Road will recognize the building theme which continues in this Bridge program. In fact, some of the same concepts introduced in the later PR levels are reviewed and expanded - Framing Codes (parts of speech and parts of a sentence), Grammar Tunes (definitional information set to familiar tunes) and Designing Codes (Latin prefixes, roots, and suffixes). Scaffolding, a process of sentence diagramming, is introduced. Although this program requires teacher-student interaction, teacher prep is practically nonexistent other than watching the DVD instruction segment for the week's lessons. Daily lesson plans are provided (4 days per week for 36 weeks) with careful references to whatever resource (i.e. framing code, designing code, game) is being used. All material to instruct the student or to have the student complete is provided. There is a section on the DVDs which presents the Grammar Tunes - helpful since some of the words are tricky to fit to the designated tune. The DVD instructor also sings the tunes that are being reviewed each week which is a good reminder (she has a nice voice, too). During the course the student is building a notebook that will serve as an English reference handbook during the Latin Road courses. The pages for this notebook have been carefully constructed and provide the space needed for the student to complete all assignments as well as write dictation sentences and instructive material.
The Teacher's Guide is a 3-ring binder containing 6 DVDs, daily lesson plans, Grammar Tunes (words w/ suggested tunes), Framing Codes, Sentences to Analyze, Designing Codes and Cards, and the Verb Memory Game. The Complete Student Package is another 3-ring binder which contains custom pages on which to record framing code information, sentences to analyze, and designing code information. Also included are three pencils - one with regular lead and one each of blue and red - and a scaffolding ruler which are needed for specific assignment tasks. The Curriculum Set includes both the Teacher's Guide and the Complete Student Package. ~ Janice