Have you heard of Compass Classroom? If you are a homeschooler (especially if you have classical leanings), this is one company you should check out.
I first heard of Compass Classroom a few years back when one of my friends was blogging about Visual Latin. The program appeals to me, because like her, I have a house full of boys. So many programs these days have female teachers, but this is a latin program taught by a young, cool dude (Bug’s words, not mine) which makes latin roots and vocabulary more interesting to my kiddo. When I started chatting with Compass Classroom about this review, I was excited to have the chance to use Word Up! with Bug, a vocabulary DVD based on Greek and Latin roots.
The video is quite simple. The instructor simply talks about the words, and breaks them down into their roots, explaining what they mean and how the roots come together to form the word.
Word Up! includes these roots, and many, many words for each root:
- Water – Aqua & Hydra
- Write – Scribo & Grapho
- Earth – Terra & Geo
- Many – Multus & Poly
- Place – Ponere & Thesis
- Time – Tempus & Chronos
- Good – Bonus & Eu
- See – Video & Skopeo
- Throw – Iacere & Ballein
- City – Urbs & Polis
Word Up! is super simple, and my kids happily watched it all the way through in one sitting, more than once, over the last month. I think in a homeschool setting, you could easily break this down and use it as a 10 week unit study, watching just a portion of the DVD at the time. For a more advanced child, I would have them make flash cards to go along with their studies, or, just use the included quizlet links for each chapter.
Overall, Bug (and the other kids) have really enjoyed watching Word Up!. They’ve learned new words, and have enjoyed telling me I need to not “circumscribe their TV time.” I feel like Compass Classroom does a wonderful job explaining each word, and delivering them in a way the kids don’t mind listening to. I do wish there were worksheets available to use along with this program, but the quizlets are a great compromise to give the kids extra practice without Word Up! needing to become a huge part of our homeschool day.
In addition to Word Up!, I also had a chance to look at Compass Classroom’s new video program for homeschooling parents, Homeschool Made Simple. This video series covers many topics- such as the philosophy of education, how kids develop, reading (and how to make kids love books), the difference between boys and girls, how to customize your curriculum, classical literature, history and books kids should be read before leaving your home…. and much much more.
I should preface this by saying when Compass Classroom approached me and asked me to review this series… I didn’t really want to. Not because it doesn’t look like a quality program, but because I allowed myself to become prideful and I thought there was no way I needed a series on how to homeschool. I wrote the book (okay, the blog) on how to homeschool. Little did I know… I needed this series.
Even as an “experienced” homeschooler, I learned a lot from this series. I felt energized to take a closer look at our home, and my goals and long term plan for the kids schooling. The video format is ideal for me personally, especially because I didn’t need to WATCH it, as much as listen to it. I tend to turn it on while doing other things, like the dishes, or while I work on printables or crafts, so I can listen and keep my hands busy.
As I listened, I realized how many little things I have let slip in my quest to get it all done. In the third video, I was reminded that “once a child knows how to work, they’ll teach themselves everything else.” … whoa. This little nugget is so true. This year I have struggled with Bug and issues of the heart. He’s fighting back against needing to work. He’s struggling with being lazy, and I have GOT to focus on teaching him to WORK, even more than I need to teach him anything else. The entire series was full of little tidbits and actionable advice just like this.
Another thing I love about this video series is that it will really appeal to frugal homeschoolers. The ideas can be implemented with nothing but a bible, a library card, and plenty of time and patience. Secular homeschoolers can also benefit from this series, so don’t rule it out because of the christian content- many of the concepts and suggestions will be easily used by all homeschoolers.
I think this series would be a fantastic edition to your homeschool co-op, or for a mothers group. Meet once a week, and watch the videos. These are the the kinds of lectures I want to get when I am at a homeschool convention, and the type of advice I want my mentors to hand down to me. I really think most of us could find something to take away from the series.
Good news- Compass Classroom will be having a sale November 27th-30th, so bookmark the page to remind you to go back and check it out this weekend! Word Up! will be discounted 30% this weekend, and Homeschool Made Simple will be discounted 40%.
Enter to Win!
I found Homeschooling Made Simple so helpful, I am sure you all will love it too! Enter to win your own copy using the widget below: