One skill that I wished I had learned more about when I was in school was to learn Latin so I was excited to be given the opportunity to review Picta Dicta Natural World from Roman Roads Media. It has been a great opportunity to expand my knowledge and introduce my 5 year old to Latin. It will be a benefit to my son’s education if he can learn and understand some basic Latin at a young age.
Picta Dicta has three different programs:
- Natural World teaches over 400 nouns related to the natural world, such as animals, plants, anatomy and land forms. It is suited for elementary students and was the perfect program for my son. Take a look at this great video from Roman Roads Media to give you an overview.
- Vocabulary Builder teaches general reading vocabulary for over 1,000 Latin words and is suited for junior high school, high school and college students. Some other Homeschool Review Crew members reviewed this program so be sure to check out their reviews. Here is a short video from Roman Roads Media explaining it.
- Ancient World will be released soon and teaches English and Latin for over 500 concepts in ancient history. It is geared towards elementary or junior high school students.
A Little About Picta Dicta’s Method
Picta Dicta uses the method of see it, hear it and understand it so it works well with visual and auditory learnes. The program has beautiful drawings to teach the Latin word and it says the word so you hear how it is pronounced. The student can also learn a definition to help understand the meaning of the word.
Picta Dicta is self-paced and adjusts to the learner’s level. It can be used on a variety of browsers along with tablets and iPads. We primarily used it on our iPad, which was very convenience and easy to use.
How We Used It to Learn Latin
There are 5 levels that you can choose from when you set up your child as a learner. There is also a teacher level so that you can have access to all the vocabulary, concepts and articles but not the drills. Since my son is still learning to read, he started at the Basic Level and I tried the Reader II Level.
The basic level was perfect for my son as it taught him an English word, a short definition and the Latin word. The program was able to read to him and then he was able to easily continue through the levels. By starting with animals, we had fun applying it to our daily life and my son started to use the Latin terms right away. We learned about basic animals, fruits, berries, nuts, anatomy, land forms, birds and the list goes on. He would be capable of using this program independently but since he was just starting to learn Latin, I decided to sit with him.
I really liked that the lessons were slow at introducing new words so that he could get a good understanding of a few and then slowly learn more. It starts by teaching the English word and a brief meaning and then moves onto the Latin word. It will show a picture and he must choose the appropriate work and it will also show the word so he needs to choose the correct picture. The repetition was very helpful for my son and it was easy for him to navigate through the lessons. Since the program automatically adjusts to his learning ability, it helps to solidify what he is learning. When he didn’t do as well on a lesson, (success is showed by number of stars), he easily went back to repeat it.
After the first two sets of lessons on basics animals and fruits, berries and nuts, there are some review practise for both sets and it continues like this throughout the course.
Stories Related to Latin Vocabulary
The Reader II Level that I worked on had stories that related to the Latin words. Since I don’t have a great understanding in Latin, I throughly enjoyed learning about the words and expanding my Latin vocabulary. Looking back, I wish I had this course when I was in university as it would be helped me substantially in my natural resource science degree.
Our Future Use of Picta Dicta
We look forward to contining with Picta Dicta Natural World in oir homeschool so that we can continue to expand our Latin vocabulary. We will soon be doing a study on local grasses and having a foundation of Latin will be extremely beneficial.
Learning Latin at a young age was not something that I had planned for my son. After reviewing Picta Dicta Natural World, I now see how much of a benefit it can be. All of our studies in the natural world touch on Latin so having a basic understanding of nouns is very useful. We plan to continue to use Picta Dicta Natural World from Roman Roads Media in our studies and I will be sure to introduce my other children to this program when they are in elementary school.
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