- Reviewed on Friday, April 2, 2010
- Grades Used: 3rd grade
- Dates used: 2009-2010
"Learning Latin is fun!" are words I hear multiple times a week from my 8 year old twins. This is in such marked contrast from what I heard from my peers in high school. They all hated it. I never got the chance to hate it as my father insisted that since I was offered a choice between typing and Latin that I had to do typing. He felt that typing would stand me in greater stead as an adult than Latin would. Knowing how to touch type is a huge boon to me, however, I have always felt shortchanged that I spent 2 years learning to type when I could have been learning Latin. I started teaching my children to type last August and my daughter is already typing 50 w.p.m. with 98% accuracy. If an 8 year old can do that in half a year, why was I, as a teen, subjected to typing lessons for 2 full years?
As luck would have it, I have been given a second chance because I homeschool my children. Prior to starting homeschooling I read copiously about different educational philosophies. I realized that a rigorous, hierarchical, neo-classical education fit our philosophy and needs. Learning Latin became a must.
I found that choosing a Latin program was especially tough. I looked at "Latin is not so Tough" and found it too lack lustre. In the beginning book I looked at no grammar was taught, only vocabulary.
Minimus was cute, the kids loved the story, but I struggled with the pronunciations as a neophyte. I also found that it was too lightweight.
I discovered Latin for Children at a Home Educators of Virginia conference.
I was hooked, even before starting to use it with my kids. I really like how it works from parts to whole, how it is very systematic. Learning the pronunciation is a cinch with Latin for Children. The program comes with a CD that contains chants for all the vocabulary learned. Each week my children learn 10 new vocabulary words and have them well memorized within one lesson thanks to the chants. Declinations and conjugations are all set to chants which makes it so much easier for the children to keep them in their memories.
In addition to the lessons being in the primers, you can purchase a DVD with the author teaching the lessons. We watch the DVD lesson on day one and then I teach the lesson again on day two. This works well for us.
I have lost all my fear over teaching Latin thanks to this program. A Latin neophyte, like me, can easily teach using this program. I learn alongside my children without them realizing that my Latin knowledge is on a par with theirs.
My children's vocabulary has increased dramatically despite the fact that we have only completed 25 lessons in Primer A. After we've learned each lesson's vocabulary, we work on derivatives. Whenever my children ask me for a word's meaning, I have them first think if it might be a derivative of a Latin word they know, and then I send them off to the dictionary. It's heartening to see how their faces light up when they realize they can work out an unfamiliar words' meanings on their own.
Latin practice is also fun at Headventure Land. Headventure Land is Classical Academic Press' practice website. Here the children can play games that quiz vocabulary, read short books in Latin and watch movies in Latin. The movies are my children's favorite.
We supplement our Latin studies with Latin Clash Cards and a weekly Latin Club.
The Latin Club, run by my good friend at www.littleblueschool.com, is one of the highlights of my children's week. Here they spend an hour laughing, learning and competing. It's fun to watch how a little competition inspires the children to greater diligence in memorizing their declinations and conjugations.
Latin for Children covers three years of Latin with Primers A, B and C. Once your children have completed these three primers they move into Latin Alive!. Classical Academic Press has currently only published the first in the series but I hear that the second is due out at any time. By the time my children read this level all the books in the series will have been published.
Once the children have finished Latin Alive! they will be ready for Wheelock's Latin, a college text.
An added advantage of Latin for Children is that it dovetails perfectly with Shurley English, the English program I am using in our homeschool.
- Reviewed on Wednesday, October 7, 2009
- Grades Used: 6th-8th so far
- Dates used: 2009-11
Latin for Children, levels A, B, C
LfC by Classical Academic Press is a great intro to Latin; you may begin Level A is as young as 3rd grade (although my middle schoolers are finding it challenging enough!). It's very thorough; I don't even see the need to use another (higher) Latin program, but can use this as a year and a half of high school credit. Will likely continue foreign language studies with other Romance languages for which we now have an excellent base.
Although it's not necessary for the teacher to have prior Latin her-/himself, of course it helps; but even with three years of high-school Latin myself, I'm actually learning a lot with LfC. The program is laid out in 5-day per week, 36-week lessons with plenty of review lessons built in, plus tidbits of Roman history. My kids can have been translating verses in the New Testament on their own with no prompting! They're picking up on common Latin phrases as well, and it has greatly helped their vocabulary comprehension (root-based study) and the parsing, though technical, makes the language almost mathematic in a sense.
I didn't buy the additional Activity Books or Readers, which in retrospect, probably would have helped. The DVDs are somewhat an at-home production; for example, the instructor stands at a white board for much of the instruction and talks to the camera, and homeschooled kids lead the chants. (The in-between skits are entertaining.) However, the conversational aspect is nice and direct, not like a formal lecture. The chants are incredibly helpful. The format of "see it/hear it/write it/speak it" has helped my children retain what they've learned. We've found a few inconsistencies/errors, but I'm sure the next edition will correct those; the CAP staff seems to be readily updating all the time.
We're currently in Level B and my oldest is asking to continue into Level C to complete the course. It is a very thorough intro to Latin. Overall, the program is solid and the customer service is top-notch -- I have had a few questions and have never found a better company.
PS - Don't miss the freebies on the CAP website, as well as fun practice at CAP's HeadventureLand.com.
PPS - We also tried CAP's fun intro to the Greek alphabet ("Code Cracker") and now the kids want to continue with Greek!
- Reviewed on Saturday, December 27, 2008
- Grades Used: 6th-7th
- Dates used: 2008
We have really enjoyed this program. This is an excellent elementary introduction to Latin and will help with how to study any language. I took 3 years of High School Latin and struggled with conjugation and declensions because I had no previous exposure. This program does an excellent job of introducing those concepts in a way which can be grasped by a young child. It is rated for 3-6th grades, and a 3rd grader should be able to keep up with the lessons, but my 7th grader is also enjoying this program and is probably retaining more than my younger child. In other words, I wouldn't hesitate to use with a middle schooler as a first exposure to Latin.
I understand the the DVD's have been recently updated. Each weekly DVD lesson is about 15 minutes long starting with Latin chants from kids ages 8-teens (my kids enjoy watching their peers doing the chants) and then a white board lecture from the instructor. Some lessons end with a clip of a silly skit called How the West Was Unus [One] which my kids think are fun.
The workbook includes a weekly worksheet and quiz for reinforcement. There's also an Activity workbook, chants CD and a short history book to translate. My children complete their weekly lessons independently, then I quiz them orally to check for retention and have them complete the written quiz.
Pros: well organized, allows independent study, nicely laid out materials and supplements, solid introductory instruction lays excellent foundation for on-going language study
Cons: None for us.
- Reviewed on Sunday, October 28, 2007
- Grades Used: 3rd
- Dates used: 2007-
I was a little intimidated at the idea of teaching Latin, and the more I researched it, the more confused I became. I ran across some reviews for Latin for Children and decided to give it a try. It has been WONDERFUL! It's fun, It's easy to teach, and my son likes it. Plus, I actually feel it is pretty meaty. The one thing that is a real plus for us is that it is integrated with Shurley English, which happens to be the grammar program we use. So, the terminology and method of teaching is familiar to my son, and therefore makes it that much easier. Even if you do not use Shurley English, this Latin course is great. Highly reccommend it.