Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Roman Roads Media ( A Homeschool Crew Review)

 Over the last few weeks, Ashleigh has been supplimenting her Latin lessons and improving her Latin Vocabulary using Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder from Roman Roads Media.

About Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder

Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder is designed for junior high, high school and college students and uses pictures, auditory cues and text to teach and reinforce the learning of Latin vocabulary.  The program uses 31 lessons, plus Review exercises to teach vocabulary words based on different subjects, such as items on a map, weather, time, geography, anatomy and more.  By the end of the program, students will have learned over 1,000 Latin verbs, adjectives, prepositions and nouns.

Upon enrolling your student, you will need to select either the Easy or Normal version of the program.  The first three portions of these two versions are exactly the same, with the addition of two additional exercises in the Normal version.

Each lesson consists of different exercises that use repetition of both audio and visual cues to help students learn and retain the information.  The first exercise is the LEARN exercise and introduces the students to roughly 25-30 vocabulary words at a pace of 5 words at a time.  Each word is presented, with the pronounciation, along with a picture and the definition of the vocabulary word.

After the student has been introduced to five words, the student is then given a review of those words.  The word is given and the student must then select the word from a list of pictures, matching the picture with the word.  If the student gets it correct, the word is marked correct and they continue with the other words.  If the student gets the word incorrect, the program will show them the correct picture, along with repeating the word and it will be recycled and presented to the student again later in the exercise.

The second exercise, the CHOOSE exercise, is an expanded version of the review included in the first exercise. The word is given and students must select the proper picture for all the words for that lesson.  Again, if the word is correct, the program continues through the rest of the words.  If the student gets the answer incorrect, it against gets recycled and will be presented to the student until it is selected correctly.

The third exercise is the SPELL exercise.  The  student hears the word pronounced and then must correctly type out the spelling of the word.  If the word is spelled correctly, the program again moves on.  If the word is spelled incorrectly, the proper spelling is shown and it is again recycled into the exercise until the word is spelled correctly.

If using the Normal version of the program, there are two additional exercises to complete.  The first of these is the FORMS exercise, the student will practice writing out any extra forms for the words that had been studied in the previous exercises.

These Nouns, you may be required to give a genitive form and/or a gender. For adjectives, you may be required to give feminine and neuter forms or sometimes a genitive form. For verbs, you may be required to give the third and fourth principle parts.  All of these are given in the text when the words are originally presented.

The FORMS exercise works very simliar to the SPELL exercise in that the student is given the word and then they must type the correct information for progress in the exercise.  Like previous exercises, if the answer is wrong, the correct answer is given and the question will be recycled for the student to answer again in the exercise.

The final exercise builds upon the previous exercises, again having the student spell the various forms for the vocabulary words they have learned.

Exercises are graded on a Star sytem, an excellent score is awarded 5 stars and the more the student misses, the less stars they are awarded.  You can see the stars from the dashboard to see how you or your student are doing on the different lessons.

How We Used It

While all three of my kids were given access to the program, this focus will mainly focus on Ashleigh, who has used it more than anyone else.  However, Garrett has also used it quite a bit and has learned a few Latin words.

Garrett Using Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder
Ashleigh is in her second year of studying latin so this program has worked really well as a supplimental activity for her. She has especially enjoyed when she was given words that she had already learned previously.

While Ashleigh does have prior Latin instruction, I opted to sign Ashleigh up for the Easy version of the program, as she is only in 4th grade and this program is designed for older students.  The Easy version seems to be perfect for her and she is able to work thorugh the program pretty independently. 

The only hicup that we have had using the program is with the Spell portion, which is a bit more difficult for her.  This just means that we spend a longer amount of time on the vocabulary words. We have been working on the spelling of the words away from the program and then she returns to the program to pass that section of the lesson.  This isn't a fault of the program at all and is just a simple modification to the process that we have had to make for Ashleigh's learning ability.

I've personally been using the Normal version of the program and I have to say, I'm really impressed with it, both in using it myself and using it with Ashleigh.  Yes, the Normal version is harder but it is proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks (or in this case - an old mom a new language).   I admit I struggle with the forms but I'm indeed learning.

#hsreviews #PictaDicta #RomanRoadsMedia #FittingWords #Classical #Rhetoric

For more information about Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder, be sure to visit Roman Roads Media's website.  You can also find them on the following social media platforms:


In addition to Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder, other members of the Crew were given the opportunity to review Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta Natural World subscriptions from Roman Roads Media.  Click the banner below to find all their wonderful reviews on these products.

Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta {Roman Roads Media Reviews}

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