Roman Roads Media proudly presents, Picta Dicta Natural World! It has been our absolute pleasure to review this classical Latin program over the past few weeks. Who would have thought learning Latin could be so much fun? Come on, let me tell you all about this flash card based online program.
Who is Roman Roads Media?
Roman Roads Media are people of faith, publishing classical Christian curriculum. They produce high quality product that is accessible, affordable, and flexible for the Christian homeschool community. If Picta Dicta is any indication, their materials are top-notch!
What is Picta Dicta?
An online, mobile if you wish it to be, program that teaches you Latin words. Picta Dicta Natural World focuses on words that you would find in nature. Cats, dogs, various other animals, plants, fruit, veggies and down the road… Arachnids (my son is looking forward to that lesson). Natural world has 256 chapters.
How is a chapter set up?
I’ve only completed the first six chapters to be honest… the lad is I think on 11. I’ll admit we’ve repeated lessons a few times. Chapter one presented an animal with a description with it. Pay attention to the description you will be tested on it! (ask me how I know!) 🙂 You are given the Latin and American English spelling, what it is grammatically, and it’s importance in Roman society.
Subsequent chapters increase the difficulty. All words are introduced and then mild quizzing starts. Can you pick the right word from a list. Can you match English word to Latin? and so forth. Plenty of pictures are included to help. Correction (with correct answer) is just a thumbs up away. The repetition is the key part. The word is always pronounced, sometimes by pressing on the Latin, and sometimes it comes automatically.
Each new chapter clearly spelled out the expectations for that chapter. You will also note that the topic and lesson grouping is clearly delineated at the top of every page. The percent sign I THINK shows how far you are into each lesson. (near as I can figure anyways).
How did we use it?
Originally we started on the laptops. It didn’t take us long though, to move over to the tablets. In the heat, having a tablet in your lap is WAY cooler than having a laptop and WAY more transportable to the great outdoors too! 🙂 We both chose to just leave the tab open in our tablets, making it really easy to log-in and continue our studies. I have to admit, my son is WAY more diligent about doing it than I do. I keep forgetting! The lad though, has his mom to remind him though I never get argument from him about it. YAY!!! That’s a win, you know?
Anyways, each lesson takes no more than 15 minutes to do. I have been slowly working through chapter 1 which has six subsections. The lad is well into chapter two. There are, I believe, 256 chapters in all, so we’ll have a good time yet going through each of them. You could easily go through several chapters a week, but my requirement is three sessions per week, and he can repeat lessons if he wants to. Honestly… I find MYSELF repeating lessons since my old brain just doesn’t remember the Latin as easily. 🙂 But LOOK! I’ve managed to get three stars on two of my lessons!!!!
My son is doing better. I briefly saw his screen the other day and he has some five stars. Kinda goes to figure why he helps me so easily! 🙂
Please note: the technical difficulties I was having was due to not having the tablet on a secure surface, normally the button works really easily. But filming and doing a lesson at the same time didn’t work as well as I would have liked. But don’t you just love my son piping up in the background helping me along? I JUST LOVE IT (well as a teacher, as a student it was a touch bit annoying). 🙂
I tried quite a few times to get a video of my lad working on it, but that was simply an exercise in frustration. The camera had a hard time with not focusing properly, automatically focusing in and out at weird intervals. I am simply not that good of a photographer to problem solve the issue either.
One of the things I appreciate about this mobile Latin course is how much repetition there is and how they try to help you learn the material. For instance, the lesson I was doing tonight was having me spell the Latin. I made some errors, but they would then give me the option of choosing the right word from a list. Then it would repeat the word I missed later on in the review. Giving me three chances all told to get the right word and learn the proper spelling. I messed up asinus more than once! 🙂
Suggestion For Improvement:
My son mentioned that with some of the programs he uses that autocorrect is turned off, he has to spell it correctly without any help at all. He would like this program to do the same. Otherwise “it’s cheating”. 🙂
Small annoyance. There is no such thing as a male cow. Call it a bull or a male cattle beast…..NOT a male cow. PLEASE…for all the farmers out there…change the terminology! 🙂
It made me laugh. I was working on my picta dicta (I’m intentionally a couple days behind my son) and they’d say a word and from across the room he’d say “that’s a chicken”, or “that’s a goat”, and so on and so forth. It was a tad bit frustrating but he was having so much fun going faster than me and I let him do it. 🙂 His dad after a while though told him to quit it otherwise how is mom ever going to learn all these words. And then he (dad) stated “lupus” “cervus” GAH!!!!! These guys! 🙂
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