Picta Dicta Natural World ~ REVIEW

Recently we decided to try something totally out of our wheelhouse, Latin.  Actually, it is an interactive beginning Latin program from Roman Roads Media called Picta Dicta Natural World.
I wasn't really sure how Kaden was going to do with this program, given his learning abilities but I was curious to give it a try.  Roman Roads Media also has other interactive Latin programs as well,  Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder and Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric (complete program).  I have tried programs before, but nothing online like this.


Once we got all signed in and I picked the right level for him I was anxious to start.  I was impressed about the different levels of difficulty they offered.  It's also helpful that you can change it at any time to make sure your child is at the optimal level for success.  The levels available to choose from are Basic, English, Reader 1, Reader 2, Express, and Teacher...yes, even adults can take part.  Each level covers the same information, it just differs in the length of lessons and how it's presented to the student.  I have Kaden at the Reader 2 level and it's perfect.  He has access to over 400 nouns from the natural world, all kinds of things like animals, foods, anatomy, landforms, things in nature, sea life, constellations and so much more.

Picta Dicta | Learn Latin Vocab from every angle! from Roman Roads Media on Vimeo.

Quickly, I will explain how we used this program.  We worked together on this, I was hoping it would be something he could do independently, but for now I work along with him.  I do think this would work for most neurotypical children independently.  It's very user friendly and the directions are simple and consistent.  We worked on a lesson 2-3 times a week.  We would load a lesson and work through each question, in the beginning he was introduced to some animals and their Latin names.  Sometimes there was historical information, stories or little facts along with the beautifully illustrated pictures.  Next lesson, he was shown a Latin word and then needed to match it from several illustrations, almost like the game memory.  The next day he was tested on his memory of the facts learned about the words learned.  This one was truly his favorite.  He enjoys learning facts and reciting them.  The following lesson he was given the facts and picture of a Latin word that he had to type in the correct spelling of it's English name. 
Yes, that was a pretty simple lesson, but this next one made up for it. :)  Because he was asked to do the same thing in reverse where he had to type in the Latin word.  This one was hard and painful to watch.  He knew the correct answer, but spelling it is very difficult to him.  I do appreciate that there is audio, so he hears the correct pronunciation of these new words.  But, he told me that he hears, sees and thinks each word differently.  So, to him each word is honestly 4 different words.  And this was very overwhelming, to the point I wanted to just stop.  The thing is, Kaden didn't want to stop.  He actually enjoyed this program, we just need to modify it to work for us.  So, I decided to skip that last part and have him write out the Latin words from the illustrations throughout the lessons.  Then when we come to the lesson where he needs to spell the Latin word he can reference his words he has written.  It's the only way right now he can get past these kind of lessons.  Now once you are done with those lessons you get a review and then you move on to the next batch of words.

So, what did we think?  I was leery, but Kaden wants to continue with our modifications.  I think this program is an excellent beginning program for the whole family.  I have tried programs with huge stacks of flashcards that would just be way to intimidating to even try with Kaden.  But, with the wonderful mix of interactive learning it is all kinds of fun.  Kaden liked clicking on the train button to pick which chapter or group of nouns he wanted to learn about and can choose the game or lesson.  So, in a lot of ways the student has control and options, they can even retake lessons so they get a better score.  We will be continuing this program and I encourage you to Connect with Roman Roads Media and see if it's right for your family.  Latin has never been so easy to learn until now, let me know if you add it to your homeschool!
Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta {Roman Roads Media Reviews}
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