As a classical education family, we study Latin every year. We were recently given the opportunity to review Olim, Once upon a Time in Latin, Reader III and Olim, Once Upon a time in Latin, Workbook III from Laurelwood Books to help us with our Latin studies. This is one that I had never heard of (and I thought I had really researched) so I was excited to check it out. What a fun, light way of working on our Latin.
We reviewed the third book in the 6 book series, Olim, Once upon a Time in Latin, Reader III and Olim, Once Upon a time in Latin, Workbook III, which I felt would be a good place for us since we have studied Latin in the past.
What is it?
Olim, Once upon a Time in Latin is a series of six Latin readers and workbooks. These are designed for approximately grades two through five. You do not have to have had prior Latin experience to work with this program. They also have a Latin Derivatives workbook that can be uses alongside the Olim series. The Latin grammar is taught in the workbooks with simple exercises like fill-in the blank, vocabulary and even matching in English and Latin. Every few lessons there is a Digging Deeper section in the workbooks. These sections go deeper into the grammar like derivatives, verb tense, and infinitives. The book has many parent helpers included like answers being provided in the back of the book and a pronunciation guide in the front of the book. Teacher note explains the importance of endings in the Latin language which the teacher can then explain to the student.
The Reader 3 included in the set has 2 stories:
To Give Good to the 5000 (Cibum Dare Quinque Milibus)
The Lion and the Mouse (Leo et Mus)
How it Works
The Olim program works as the student reads the story first in English and then reads the Latin version. The English version is a simple version of the story, making the Latin translation easier to work through. Each story has pictures. All pages are in black and white. Pictures are simple and complimentary to the story.
Each Latin page has a list of vocabulary with their meaning in the margins as well as a key and a note of what Workbook Exercise corresponds with that part of the story, making it very easy to use for independent study. There is even a STOP sign at the bottom of the page to draw the students attention to the workbook assignment.
The front of the Reader has a Latin pronunciation guide, a How to Use this Reader page, and a Roman Numeral guide, which is very helpful.
The workbook has several exercise for each part of the story. Basically, a student reads one page and then does a workbook exercise on what they read. An exercise is identified by roman numeral (thus the need for the Roman Numeral reference chart) and is one to two pages in length. Every few exercises there is a Digging Deeper section than goes in depth about Latin Grammar studying things like derivatives, adjective endings, verbs, implied singular and plural subjects, cases and declensions, and articles.
At the end of each story and its exercises there is a Ready to Take the Challenge? and Digging for Treasure sections. The Challenge section has the student translate English sentences into Latin. The Digging for Treasure has the student write the English translation to Latin works and then unscramble them to “make sense,” finding a Bible verse hidden once translated and unscrambled.
We liked the set up of this Latin study. We have used several Latin studies and curriculums and this is a very easy to use way of studying Latin. The lessons are short, the stories are familiar, which makes reading them in Latin a little easier, and the guides are very user friendly, making it a very good Latin independent study.
I think this makes a wonderful complement to our classical studies and would like to see us use other books in the series. My daughter, who is 5th grade, could do by herself and, don’t worry mom and dad, the answer keys are in the back of the book so you can help out even if you are not up to speed on your Latin studies.
My daughter liked that she could read a story in Latin after working through the lessons; she found this to be a satisfying accomplishment.