Minimus

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Edith

  • Reviewed on Thursday, October 27, 2011
  • Grades Used: Book 1
  • Dates used: autumn 2011
Minimus has worked really well for my 8 year old. What it is great for is giving a really good introduction and overview to the subject. Its probably best to look at is as a combined Latin/Classical Civilisations course, and one suitable probably for 7-10 year olds.

We are doing a huge amount of supplementing with Minimus. We're playing various games to reinforce words, visiting Roman British sites (we're in the UK), and using several books for extra activities. The two books I've used most have been the teacher's manual (its pricey but really worth it) and Life In Roman Britain, by Joan Alcock, also various Usborne books. I suppose in practice we're using it as the spine of a project on the Romans/Latin.

I think for British home educators, this is a really good course, because of its emphasis on British Roman history. Its not a straight Latin course, and it would certainly be possible to come away from it having learnt very little Latin. I think for a straightforward Latin course, without much history etc, I'd wait til the kids were a bit older and consider the Cambridge Latin Course, which Minimus leads on to.

RUDaft

  • Reviewed on Friday, May 2, 2008
  • Grades Used: 2nd-3rd
  • Dates used: 2006-2008
We use Latina Christiana as our "real" Latin program. It's a grammar based, deductive curriculum that teaches Latin the old fashioned way.

However, we LOVE Minimus as a supplement! It was designed to be a curriculum, and for that purpose, I think it falls short. It tries to get a student with NO Latin experience to read Latin right away. It is also an "inductive" style curriculum, meaning that it does NOT explain that Latin rules or grammar explicitly AT ALL. It wants the student to "figure them out" on their own. Inductive learning is fine for modern languages where the focus is on conversational ability, but for ancient languages where the goal is reading and writing (as well as grammar development and brain development) it is far too frustrating. So, if you are looking for a real curriculum, I would keep looking. Minimus is not a good choice for that.

But, if you are looking for a reading supplement for a young student (anywhere from K-8) who has a some Latin experience, I think this book is great! The story is cute, laid out comic book style. It's about a mouse that lives in Rome. You learn about that area of Rome, some common phrases and customs, and you get to try out your Latin orally on some pretty humorous material. It's a good back-up to a real Latin curriculum as well as a way to break Latin boredom. I have no regrets at all in buying it and fully intend to buy Minimus Secundus when we are through.

jillian

  • Reviewed on Friday, May 18, 2007
  • Grades Used: Elementary
  • Dates used: 2005-2006
We used Minimus for a Latin class in our co-op this year. It is cute, and colorful for the kids, but it is not a solid foundation for learning Latin. It is just an overview, which may not even be that helpful when they start a "real" Latin program. If you want to give your children a solid foundation in Latin, you need to use a program that teaches the Latin chants. I know they are not the most exciting thing in the world, but without them, you are wasting your time. Try Prima Latina, Latina Christiana, or the Latin Primer products.

heathercv

  • Reviewed on Monday, January 22, 2007
  • Grades Used: kindergarten & 1st grade
  • Dates used: 2006-2007
We love this introduction to Latin for young kids. I am using it for 1st grade and kindergarten students. The 1st grade remembers it all right away. The book is very attractive for the kids and makes them want to find out what it says. Great for me and my husband too! Love it for a 1st Latin course! I only got the audio and student book though. Teacher guide was too pricey for me. It seems to work fine without them though.
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