Friday, September 19, 2008

I Spent Money On This

So Haven and I just finished our first week of homeschool. Yes, I realize most kids have had a few weeks of school behind them by now, but neither Haven nor I were ready to give up our summers. So I waited until now to start the school year. Because I can. It's a little scary about how much power I have, isn't it? Don't worry, I'll try to use my power for good, not evil.

Haven is in 3rd grade this year and we're doing all the usual subjects, plus Latin. We did some Latin last year, and though I completed a couple of years of Latin in school myself, I must admit I had forgotten many of the pronunciations. I wasn't really excited at the thought of re-learning the pronunciations, just so I could teach them to Haven. Cause really... WHY do we need to know how to pronounce Latin? It's a dead language, people. I don't want to have to study how to speak it. So this year, I decided to switch to a new Latin curriculum, that has the option of purchasing the lessons on DVD, so I don't have to be the one to teach them. Brilliant. (I thought to myself)

I figured I'd save the Latin lessons for the second week of school, so I only now started viewing the lessons to help prepare for next week. Well, honestly, I only viewed the first lesson. I'm not sure I can bring myself to view any more than that. First off, there are the "students" (which you know are probably just the teacher's kids) standing in front of their fireplace and chanting/singing Latin words. The video and sound quality are, um, interesting. No really, I like the crackle/pop sound when I'm listening to a DVD. It makes me crave some Rice Crispies.

Then it moves on to the dad/teacher, who spends 10 minutes explaining why he's so glad we chose to learn Latin, and how Latin is one of our "Grandmother-tongues" or some boring nonsense like that. By the time it moves on to the lesson, it shows the teacher standing in front of a white board, writing out the words and conjugations. His monotone voice makes Ben Stein sound dynamic.

And, at the end of the lesson, there is a little "skit" where they apparently hot glued metal hangers to the back of their toys and act out some story, throwing in the occasional Latin words. Oh no, that's not Ariel... that's Rational Rhonda, along with her friends Innocent Iris and Ferocious Frankie. And the teacher/dad did all the voices, apparently really mastering the high falsetto, which might sound cute if he's your dad, but to me it sounds a little creepy.

The thing is... when I watched the chapter 1 lesson, I was alternating between an extreme urge to fall asleep and an urge to laugh hysterically. Neither of which are necessarily good environments for learning. And I have to admit... it's kind of scary. It's like Little House On The Prairie- scary. (sorry you LHOTP crazy people) Perhaps if I'd watched LHOTP, I'd be more accepting of these DVD lessons.

I suppose I'm gonna to have to be the one to teach Latin.

Yes I know I'm a homeschooling mom, and with that comes certain assumptions about the way I am. Admit it... homeschooling moms are supposed to sew their kids' clothes and dress like this...

But I prefer wearing my cute Hot Topic tees with some Gap jeans. And instead of sewing clothes for my kids, I'm playing Xbox 360 with them. Actually Xbox 360 is a very efficient homeschooling tool, improving hand-eye coordination, teaching race car driving and shooting/blowing up enemies. Ok, forget that last part.
But Rock Band counts as music education, doesn't it?


  1. oh my goodness, that is so funny. I cannot believe the theater portion, what a riot! And a bit creepy, you are right. It is amazing someone marketed this. Wow. Well, good luck to you, I never took Latin, just french and german...and that doesn't help me here in Hungary where I now have to learn Hungarian!

  2. Alright, my dear, that is 3 entries for you. I always wished I was Amish! They are so cool. then I grew up and changed my mind.
    I waer my pink converse to homeschool- I mean clean my kitchen while the 11 year old watches me- I mean does algebra.

  3. Wait, are you kidding about the skit with the toys? You're making that up, right? Please tell me you are. Because I can't stop laughing...

    Ariel at 7 am on the east coast...that's no Rhonda. That's Ariel. Buncha foolers!

  4. Latin? really?
    I have a hard enough time trying to learn Spanish...

  5. That DVD sounds terrifying. I am totally dropping my kids off at your house to be home schooled.

  6. Wow... just... wow...
    Latin is confusing enough without being emotionally scarred for life too :/

  7. hey that looks JUST like my new Sunday outfit!

  8. hehe. And you know what's really (no, REALLY) funny about those cds? Those are the 2nd generation, NEW, IMPROVED disks.

    I have the first version. THe really crackly (like, crackly enough that I contacted the company thinking I got a dysfunctional disk. They suggested my dvd player might not be compatible!!).

    The first version was, well, ... honestly, it did eventually become quite endearing. Yes, the crackling, the coughing offscreen, the phone ringing in the background, the sick oldest daughter picking her nose (no, I'm not kidding), the little skits the GIRLS (not the dad!) put together occasionally.

    And on the first version it was just the dad hanging out in different parts of the house with his girls and a neighbor kid. It was kind of cozy & intimate feeling. So that was nice.

    But anyway, all that just to say, your post today took me on a little trip down memory lane... :-)

  9. Too funny! Hope you didn't pay too much for it. I like that the Amish lady's dress looks purple.

  10. A homeschool mom after my own heart .. I think blowing up enemies is a great lesson. Self-defense in these crazy times ;o) And Rock Band rocks .. period, end of story.

    Being a homeschool mom may require learning/teaching things we don't want to, but the jean jumper? Totally optional ;o)

  11. Um, coming from your sister, the MUSIC TEACHER, NO!!!! ROCK BAND does NOT count as Music Education!

  12. We like the Wii over here! Hee Hee
    Well if you want my 2 cents experience...I know you didn't ask for it....but we started that same program last year and after the second week I pushed it aside. I was a Latin major in school too. This year we are going back to it but with friends. It makes it a whole lot better!

    Thanks for the picture laugh!

  13. This Latin video reminds me of my Hebrew classes in college (COLLEGE mind you). Zvi Abbo and his family pretty much doing the same thing. I think it was produced in the 60s, which made it all the more hysterical. It reminded me of a Jewish Brady Bunch. The true abomination is that I can still SING some of the skit songs. "A-ni a-ta, at who he...." (Hebrew pronouns) We had no real teacher, just a teaching assistant whose job it seemed to be was to put the VHS tape into the player and press "play". And I sat there thinking "I'm paying tuition for this?" Nice to see there are still quality learning programs out there. :-) Too bad Muzzy doesn't make a Latin version.