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Latin Comparison Chart
More Latin Reviews

Thank you, Susan in SoCal and momof10, for gathering these posts. These comments come from visitor feedback on The Well-Trained Mind K-8 board. If you have any questions about the curricula discussed, please ask on that board since I'm not familiar with most of the titles. I can, however, recommend a very good Latin & Greek Roots curriculum (VBG).



Artes Latinae

HomeschoolChristian.Com Review
Cathy Duffy's Review
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Cambridge Latin Course

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Online Learning activities; great for try-before-you-buy.
Cambridge Latin Yahoo Group

-I learned using Cambridge in grades 10-13 (yes, 13. Ontario was weird back then!) It is similar in method to Reading Latin (for the older crowd) and Ecce Romani (which I would use with a slightly younger crowd) in that it concentrates on getting the student reading by providing extensive vocabulary and grammar notes to aid in translating the text before the vocab or grammar have been taught. After the translation, the grammar encountered is then explained, and some of the vocab is set to be memorized. The stories make the process of learning more enjoyable, and the course is well structured. — Désirée

-I use this with 10 & 12yos and I really love this program. The Independent Learning Manuals are perfect for homeschoolers. I would say this is more of a Logic Stage program. The grammar stage book, Minimus, leads onto Cambridge. The website has games, vocab drills, grammar tests etc.

Kids translate from the beginning, and it slowly introduces the grammar. The kids learn a LOT of vocab just by osmosis. They learn the grammar easily because it is so integrated — each lesson teaches at least one new grammar point. The stories are often humorous and are interesting. The kids develop confidence in translating, and the course is interesting and engaging. It does NOT teach by immersion and does not emphasize speaking. Many Classical scholars and university professors recommend it around the world. WE love it, and we are learning a LOT. Each chapter gives information on a different aspect of Ancient Roman society.

Cambridge Latin is similar to Oxford Latin, which is recommended in TWTM. I believe it works well for kids who need a more whole-to-parts understanding. It makes Latin interesting and useful from the beginning. By the end of the course, you are translating original Latin authors. It is secular. — Peela

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Ecce Romani

HomeschoolChristian.Com Review
Cathy Duffy's Review
HomeschoolReviews.Com Review
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-Reading based, gorgeous pictures, lots of cultural information, lots of Internet support. — Elizabeth B. in NC

-I have always been a fan of Ecce Romani. It, like CLC and RL is reading-based, and so it is much more interesting than a grammar-based course. The Scottish Classics Group, well known for its sound pedagogy, developed the course after years of study, and they did a fine job of creating a course which will take a student through to a good understanding of grammar, Roman culture and history, as well as the vocabulary needed to read Latin authors. I prefer it to CLC, and it is easier to use with students below grade 10 than is CLC. — Désirée

-I think I may have to revise that opinion ... I just went and had a look at some sample pages from the newest editions of CLC. It seems that they have changed all the weaknesses of the older editions (when I was using it, it was many tiny booklets — must have been the first edition because the second edition came out when I was halfway through the course). It used to be that CLC was not terribly well organized with regard to introduction of grammatical concepts, and reference vocabularies and grammars were not as easy to use as those in ER, but with the new edition there is a grammar reference book, and the running vocabularies are placed in the margins, as well as in collected in the "language information" pages. Of course, I am only judging by the sample pages, but still, it looks like they have improved it greatly over the years! — Désirée

-We use this and love it. We find the grammar explainations clear even though my children haven't had much English grammar. The exercises give plenty of practice with the grammar. The workbook adds extra practice which is very nice. I need the teacher's guide, but someone who had had Latin might not. I love the extra bits about history and how Latin relates to English. It is reading based so I don't have to memorize anything but the grammar endings. By the time I've read the story several times I seem to remember them. It would be a bit easier if I did memorize every vocab word and its principle parts, but I've been busy and have managed fine without it. The children are pretty effortlessly memorizing the vocab, even mine, who don't memorize easily AT ALL. The best part is the stories. They aren't quite as good as Salvete!'s, but they are fine. They follow a Roman family. We are enjoying them very much. It makes reading the stories seem worthwhile. It is our hardest subject, but nobody complains about it because of the stories. They are sometimes continued in the exercises. — Nan in Mass

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Elementary Latin

HomeschoolChristian.Com Review
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-Sattler's Elementary Latin is full of vocabulary words and worksheets: fill in the blank sheets, crossword puzzles, matching and coloring pages. This book can be a consumable or non-consumable, if you choose to write in it or not. There are children's songs included in the book which we really enjoy and also non-religious chants for example "Quid Facio in Ludo" a chant about what we do in school.

There are pages on derivatives, no grammar. Sattler Elementary Latin covers Roman gods, Roman numerals, counting, common phrases, months of the year, vocabulary, verb conjugation, pronunciation guide, and phonetic pronunciation guide.

It is very easy to use, but can get a bit boring, so we supplement. It also comes with a cd of the songs and pronunciations which we did not purchase and we did not seem to need. I began using this with my 5yo who is now 8 and we still use it a bit. Sattler Latin — TopIzel Classical

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Henle Latin

HomeschoolChristian.Com Reviews:
Henle Latin Series
Syllabus for Henle Latin by Laura Berquist
Henle Latin 1 Guides by Cheryl Lowe

Cathy Duffy's Review, see her 100 Top Picks
HomeschoolReviews.Com Review
Available From

-Henle is a good solid traditional-method course for students in high school or for middle schoolers who are interested. Personally I prefer courses such as Ecce Romani, Cambridge, etc. for this age group, but Henle is good for those who want the traditional method. — Désirée

-YES! This is an excellent prep course for Mom and a great Middle school/HS text. My first choice for *me* (or any parent) to learn ahead of kiddos... At the very least, Henle 1 plus the Henle grammar is a fantastic reference to have on hand for any family learning Latin.

I'll try to describe Henle... First, it's not a Memoria Press publication, though they are a distributor. It's been around since at least 1945. Some high schools cover the entire 500-page text in one year; some spread it over 2 years. It's not a workbook — you do your written work on a separate piece of paper (or in your head). Here are snippets from the first lesson:

In a high school class nine exercises would equal about a week's worth of work. But you can certainly speed up or slow down the pace. Memoria Press has a guide they wrote to provide scheduling and extra direction (for say, making flashcards, chanting paradigms, etc.).

This is a perfect text for middle school and above. It can be used with younger children, but would need plenty of guidance from you/teacher and would probably move at a slower pace. — Susan in SoCal

-My choice for middle school and up... Henle is a straightforward grammar-based approach. He keeps the vocabulary volume low so you can really concentrate on the grammar, an approach I think is very smart. Thorough explanations, inexpensive, easy enough to use. Yahoo Group is very helpful and friendly. Drawbacks: Heavy on Caesar and the Gauls, which gets old after a while. Layout is not inviting. — Laura in VT

-My daughter is using the MODG syllabus and it is really keeping her on track. She does better when she does extra reviewing. — Liza

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Latin Book One (Out of Print)

-My first choice for upper elementary Latin. There is an OOP book, Latin Book One (Language, Literature & Life) that reminds me a lot of Henle ... only a "lite" version, targeted for upper elementary- middle school students. The reason it reminds me of Henle is that it has lots of Latin reading practice, some English-Latin translation exercises, and lots of drill for new concepts. The reason it seems "Henle Lite" to me is that it spends more time teaching English grammar concepts; it spends more time "isolating" new concepts and drilling them — almost to the point that you intuitively begin to hear/see/recognize the pattern; some, perhaps most of the exercises *could* be done orally, if your son is somewhat pencil phobic like mine (who will be a young 5th grader next year :-). It also has fabulous stories and pictures of Ancient Roman life, architecture, culture, etc. See the Yahoo group for samples of content. Also at Samples. You can find it through used booksellers (Amazon, AbeBooks, etc.)

This text spends quite a bit of time on vocabulary and derivatives. Each lesson (a lesson = 1-2 days work) introduces about 8 words and includes 1-2 readings in Latin using the new (& old) vocabulary, 1-2 English-Latin translation exercises, a drill/review section for any grammar work, and a section on English derivatives.

Here's what the book's intro has to say about derivatives: "...the pupil's attention is called to the close connection between words in English and in Latin. Practically every lesson contains brief exercises in word study — each based on the vocabulary with which it appears — and occasional lessons are devoted entirely to word study. The pupil is constantly encouraged to recognize English derivatives independently..."

Here are some examples of derivative questions:

  1. What grammatical term is connected in derivation with femina?
  2. Give two nouns derived from liber.
  3. The plural form pueri sometimes means "children." What is meant by a puerile objection?

It definitely has more "pencil pushing" activity than LfC, but quite a bit less (and less rigorous) writing/teaching than Henle — a perfect text for later elementary years. And it has you READ READ READ. But it's stuff like this: "Italia non est patria mea, et Italia non est patria tua. America est patria tua. America est patria mea. America non est insula. Sed Britannia est insula, et Hibernia est insula. Hibernia est magna insula." So it keeps the vocabulary limited while you learn how the nouns and verbs work together. And then the direct objects are added in (until you effortlessly find yourself looking for those -am, -um, -as, -os endings). Then indirect objects, etc. So you find yourself (to your own surprise!!!) easily reading simple paragraphs in Latin. My only minor complaints about the book are its very old smell and the way older books "wrap text" to save paper and space (making it easy to lose your place on a page.) Hope this helps. — Susan in SoCal

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Latin for Americans

-I picked up the 1940's version of these at a garage sale for $1.00. I have 1, 2, & 3. My dad currently has books 2 & 3 and is working with my kid brother on this. These are really neat. Full of history & geography information and has you jumping right into learning to read Latin. Not a bunch of vocab in the hopes of one day reading Latin. You start in lesson 1 and it is rather easy — at least as an educated adult. It would appeal to an adult or definitely late high school rather than a young child unless that child really had a drive to learn Latin. — Closeacademy



Latin for Beginners

-Free at Textkit.com, moves at a comfortable pace, not too fast and not too slow, nice balance between translation and grammar. — Elizabeth



Latin for Children

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I like it because:

My son likes it because:

-My dd is 8, and loves, loves, loves LFC. She likes the LFC DVD, and really enjoys the Dad homeschooling his girls. She relates to them and likes the chants and little goofy segments at the end of many lessons. She also likes the activity guide with its mazes, crossword puzzles, and word puzzles. She even doesn't mind doing the workbook pages. I make flash cards for vocab words, chants, and maxims. We play "Go Fish" with these cards every day before our lesson, and the memorization has been effortless.

On Day 1 we watch the DVD of the lesson, and Mom makes flash cards. On Days 2, 3 & 4 we play "Go Fish" and she does one workbook or activity book page. On Day 5 we play a review deck of "Go Fish". My time commitment is minimal — she does most of it on her own.

For translation work: I print out worksheets from the LFC website. We also translate an Ecce Romani selection every couple of lessons. My dd loves this. — Diane in Phoenix

-Why do you supplement reading instead of using the LFC readers? Just curious as I am being lured over to LFC by you and Jenny. :) — Laurie

-I actually have the first reader, but don't really care for it. It's a series of "chapters" that are about one page each, with the sentences of the story numbered. Each chapter is about a different topic. It's okay, but Ecce Romani is much meatier, and although we take it more slowly, it's story format appeals to my dd. — Diane in Phoenix

-LfC-A version 3.0 is reportedly now "clean" and shipping.

-We have completed LfC-A, Reader A, and LfC-B thru C. 19... Here are the aspects we like and dislike:

Pros:

  1. Ds9 is learning a TON. LfC has a good pace for middle-upper elementary students.
  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that all the teaching instruction is presented directly *to* the students in their workbooks (i.e. there's not a separate teacher manual that I have to use to present material to my son). This presentation fosters independence in the student. And also it allows the student to refer back to teaching notes when he/she needs to refresh his/her memory.
  3. The "graphics" of the workbooks are fun. LfC-A is filled with drawings of Greek and Roman life. LfC-B is filled with Middle Ages images. Fun. The lay-out is pleasant and easy to use. Enough room is provided for answers.
  4. I so appreciate that LfC presents verbs with principal parts (memorizing those now, even without understanding, helps the student immensely down the road!)
  5. The dvd's are enjoyable.
  6. Not a lot of "pencil pushing" is required for this series.
  7. Very easy curriculum to implement.
  8. Support readily available at CAP's web site.

Cons:

  1. There are many, many typos and minor mistakes throughout the workbooks. The Answer Key for some lessons is completely worthless — the sentences are different, the verb tenses are wrong. You, the novice, have to pre-correct the Key, check it against the workbook (they don't always match!!!), and then correct the workbook. Honestly, it takes less time just to figure out the answers WITHOUT the Key. LfC is a relatively new publication, thus the publishers are still working to remove the errors.
  2. I dislike the Readers. More typos, more unfamiliar words than familiar words, many unknown words not provided in glossary or in back. Words/verbs from unknown declensions/conjugations used — no way for child to really decode them, except to guess (this happens often in Reader B). My biggest frustration is that more of the plethora of words you memorize in LfC are not incorporated into the Readers. I think the Readers are a fabulous Latin supplement to the Veritas Press history cards, but I'm not as sold on them as a supplement for LfC.
  3. The few translation exercises are just simply not well executed when compared to the way, say, Henle or Latin Book One teaches translation. [Note: since I first wrote this, LfC has posted additional translation exercises for Primer A on their web site. These are great exercises.] Since this series is so new, it still has kinks to work out, and I know CAP is working towards this end. All in all, a great program to start your Latin journey. — Susan in SoCal

-Lots of good points, but my main criticisms are: there is just no context for what you learn. You memorize, and they do that in a good way, but there is no translating or usage of what you are learning. So you have no 'bigger picture'. The readers have no relevance to the workbooks and drove me crazy.

Now if I was teaching younger children, knowing what I know now, I might consider using something like this to set a foundation, and I am sure that is the whole point. But I cannot expect my 10 and 12 year olds to memorize Latin paradigms without some bigger picture of what it is for, where it is heading. It quickly became hated.

I think a balance of this and a reading based program could work — which is what I did for a while — but then I dropped LfC because I find we all learn the grammar much more easily when it is in context. jmho. — Peela

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Latin Grammar I & II

HomeschoolChristian.Com Review
Cathy Duffy's Review
Available From




Latin in the Christian Trivium

Latin in the Christian Trivium
Latin in the Christian Trivium-Vol. III
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Latin Prep (So You Really Want to Know...)

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-Rigorous and fun secular program. There are two courses, both of which start from scratch. So You Really Want to Learn Latin — Prep is for late elementary; So You Really Want To Learn Latin is for middle to high school. The publisher is Galore Park in the UK. The prep course can be bought from Amazon.co.uk; the main course can be obtained from Amazon.com.

We have finished the first book of the Latin prep course. DS (9) is fluently translating simple passages from Latin to English and English to Latin. He has learned an awful lot of grammar and is enjoying the achievement.

There are lots of cartoons in the books and the writing style is definitely 'to the child'; the author spent many years teaching in private schools and he pitches the style perfectly for his audience. — Laura

-Haven't started it yet, but this is what my daughter chose to move to when she got sick of Oxford. She will be using the upper level So You Really series, not the prep books. She got excited about Latin all over again after looking at the samples online and is planning to read through book 2 over the summer "for fun" and to prep for starting book 3 in the fall.

My son really liked the look of the prep series and might very well have wanted to go with that if he weren't already happy with Latin for Children. — Jenny

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Latin Primer

HomeschoolChristian.Com Review
HomeschoolChristian.Com Review of Supplements from Logos School
HomeschoolReviews.Com Review
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-DS and I have really enjoyed the Latin Primer series... Ds (going into 5th grade) will soon be starting LP III. We use the DVD set which includes the lessons taught by the Logos School Latin teacher. I think it has given a very solid beginning to Latin study — very organized and logical. I've had no prior Latin study, so this was a bit scary for me to start. I like the fact that there is very little grammar in the first level, but by the end of the second level, it progresses quite a bit. With the DVDs, ds has actually been able to go through the second level almost completely independently. With a toddler, a baby, and another on the way, that is a big plus for me! — Susan in TN

-Yes, the gradually increasing grammar, and the way it lends itself to independent study are big pluses for me, too. Love this program. If I could name something I didn't like about LP, though, it would probably be that I didn't feel that the Teachers' Manuals are very *clear*, for someone with little grammar and/or Latin experience. Some sort of reassurance in the first level that all that memorizing was laying a foundation for something would have been comforting, lol. I *think* the DVDs alluded to this, though, and after reading KPzz's comments to the same end, I was encouraged, and glad we stuck with it. — Jill OK in VA

-I agree with you…that first year was very confusing for me. I wish I had seen a copy of Latin Grammar I and even the teacher's guide for LGI (to see the answers) while I was teaching Primer I. Things would have been far more clear to me and I would have been a more relaxed teacher of those simple concepts. I realize now that they're meant to be simple concepts that first year, just to get the student ready for the translations in Primer II. This is not communicated well in the Primer I materials and I think is the #1 reason people stop using the program without even taking a look at Primer II. — KPzz

-This is what we use. I have heard it said that it helps to have a Latin background yourself to teach it, and I do, so maybe that is why it works for us. We use the videos, and dc really like them. All I use are the videos, the CD, and the TM. Dc copy work off of the board, and I made my own flash cards in Excel. — angela in ohio

-We're happy with Latin Primer. Ds is in 4th and is on Lesson 20 of 27 in the Latin Primer 1. It's been a painless, gentle approach to learning Latin . . . except for the 15 weekly vocabulary words. We extend each week's lesson to two weeks because of this so we can keep up with the memorization. The weekly worksheets are gradually introducing grammar concepts. I already own LP II and see how the grammar will increase significantly (and nicely), while new vocabulary will decrease (also nice). We use the DVDs which are a nice touch for us. By the way, I had no Latin background, but we did use Prima Latina prior to this. — Kim in MO

-With the DVD, a very easy & solid program. Link for Online Activities — Gigi

-We've enjoyed and LEARNED from this resource — KPzz

-Didn't like this course. There was nothing but memorizing... and I felt like we were never going to get to do anything with all these chants and vocab. But, it fits perfect with the philosophy of a poll parrot, so there are those who want this type of program. I just felt like it was difficult to work 500 vocab words when never actually using them in a grammatical sentence. — Sunny

-Responses to Sunny:

-That's actually why I chose it — I felt it was the best fit for the grammar stage because of the emphasis on memorizing. — angela in ohio

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Latin Road to English Grammar

HomeschoolChristian.Com Review
Cathy Duffy's Review
HomeschoolReviews.Com Review
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-I really like this program, except I think it's way overpriced. It works best for me because it's thorough, has constant review, and comes with audio CDs and wonderful vocab. cards already made. One drawback is not much translation work in the first two books. There is more in the 3rd. Perhaps it could be combined with something like Lingua Latina. — Kathleen

-I think this is a great program for late Latin starters with parents who are also new to the subject. It is expensive, but there has been a lot of thought and work put into it. You also don't have four or five years of it to purchase, only three.

You are buying more than a textbook that you have to figure out how to implement on your own. Other programs may seem cheaper, but then you start adding things and .. DVDs, teacher and student books, CDs, making or buying flashcards, binders for the completed work. It all adds up, not as much as LRTEG maybe, but the "hand holding" in this program is really priceless. — Tiff

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Latina Christiana

HomeschoolChristian.Com Review
HomeschoolChristian.Com Review of DVDs
HomeschoolReviews.Com Review of Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
Cathy Duffy's Review, see her 100 Top Picks
Available From

-We have used LC for the Primer and 1st levels. I like it because it is very basic and direct. They present a list of vocabulary (including declensions and conjugations) that is to be reviewed daily, followed by a page of questions on grammar, vocabulary, and derivatives. It comes with a CD of the vocabulary chants. They also allow you to link your Latin lesson up to history via the Famous Men of Rome book. It's a solid program that helps to efficiently ingrain vocabulary terminology into a child's mind. — Laurie

-Simple, straightforward, easy to use, gets the job done, leads nicely into Henle — Laura in CT

-I taught this in a co-op. Here are some of the reasons I liked it: It appeals to learners through different means. Students speak, write, and hear. I think it would be easy to skip the speaking portion of the curriculum at home. I know that I'd be tempted with just my dd and I. However, hindsight tells me that would have been a huge mistake. I liked the "chants" that we did and thought that for my students, it did more than anything else in helping them with grammar retention. The students were in grades 5-10. I didn't have anyone that ever got stuck or encountered anything too hard. About the time I was feeling that we were somewhat "vocab saturated," there were review words reintroduced in the lessons. That was comforting to us all. I had no Latin background. While initially a bit concerned, I found everything I needed to understand Latin within the DVD and teacher manual. My only wish is that I could find something similar for Spanish instruction!!!!!! — Holly in N NV

-Boring. What we really disliked was learning Latin grammar with no context. It was just memorize this chart and that chart with no explanation of what they mean or the related terminology. The TM was the worst part though. It was very poorly laid out, so I was constantly flipping back and forth. That was a common complaint, and the new edition is supposed to be better.. — Elizabeth B. in NC

-We haven't found it boring at all. We've done PL-LC2 (no dvds, if that's where the "boring" comes in?) and ds has learned a lot with very little time put in. — abbeyej

-My ds didn't like this one...boring. — Pensguys

-Teach this at a co-op, ages 7-12. Love it, but I have added quite a bit to it (I don't use just the workbook). — dcd

-Using this with 4th & 2nd grades. Love it. — nutmeg

-We found it confusing - sort of like it started in the middle! — Liza Q

-I found it confusing too, at first. When I received the book I was OVERWHELMED! Then I forced myself to figure it out. After I listened to the CD alone and looked through the book several time and "figured" out how the program worked, I love it. It seems set up similarly to Rod & Staff style of teaching (which we like). Clear, concise, but not much fluff. My dd is now a fourth grader so she has a clear understanding of parts of speech like nouns, verbs, etc. I think if we had started younger it would've not worked for HER. If you like that style of teaching I encourage you to give it a second look, if not ebay it quick! :) — tink1234

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Latin's Not So Tough

HomeschoolChristian.Com Review
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-I am using Latin's Not So Tough Level 2 with my 8yo son this year. We skipped Level 1, which in my opinion provides overkill regarding pronunciation issues.

Level 2 is simply vocabulary development, and it has been perfect for us as a very gentle introduction to Latin. I have supplemented with my own discussion of derivatives and parts of speech (separating the flash cards into nouns, verbs, etc.). The program has MUCH review built in, and it may be too simple for some, but my son is not a particularly strong reader, and the reinforcement of seeing words many times and getting practice writing them has been very helpful.

We have also supplemented this year with Minimus, which has added some fun. I would essentially recommend Level 2 of Latin's Not So Tough as providing a year of "pre-Latin" for pre-3rd graders. — Kim

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Lingua Latina (Orberg)

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-Lingua Latina is an immersion course and works very well with students who are younger (but not really little ones — they should be good, fluent readers, able to read Latin with a bit of instruction on pronunciation, etc.) and who take to the immersion method. The teacher would have to have a good knowledge of Latin, I think. It would be an excellent choice for an intuitive child. — Désirée

-We wanted to like this, but my daughter just got bogged down. She occasionally reads it now and I think that it is working well as an occasional break from Henle. I think a teacher would have made a big difference with this one. — Liza

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Lively Latin

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It's a beautiful, fun, colorful, engaging, practical, varied, completely age-appropriate text for young elementary students. It is filled with the best explanations and the best progression of exercises that I have seen in any elementary Latin program. I've always recommended Mom get Henle or Wheelocks for reference. I've recommended this because kid Latin texts are not designed to teach adults; they leave out some of the "puzzle pieces" to make the material more accessible for young ones. However, Lively Latin explanations are so clear, I think Moms will not need an additional adult text.

Ok, some concrete things I love about Lively (beyond the fabulous Latin instruction): really clear English grammar instruction that seques into Latin; engagingly retold Famous Men of Rome stories complete with colorful cartoon Romans and fun, varied comprehension questions; a less overwhelming vocabulary list (seems to me to be fewer words that are used more frequently in exercises - ie. by p. 112, there have only been 4 vocabulary lists totalling not more than 50 words); creative translation work - ie. there's a lesson that includes a copy of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" with 8 short Latin sentences that follow. The student is instructed to cross off the sentences that do not describe the painting. Clever, eh? — Susan in SoCal

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Matin Latin

HomeschoolChristian.Com Review
Cathy Duffy's Review
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-I didn't really like Matin Latin, to be honest. At first it was fun. It has illustrations and kids can draw their lessons. Also, they present a grammar topic, such as direct objects, in English first, then cover it in Latin. We ran into a few problems, though. The vocabulary words are not defined in English; they simply show a drawing to indicate what the word means. Sometimes the meaning is not clear. Also, when a child draws a translation of a sentence, it is often difficult to tell the verb tense and other less concrete concepts. found several occasions where the teacher's guide did not tell the translation of something in the student book and I wasn't able to figure it out myself.

Lastly, I found that by about halfway through the book, my dd could not keep up with the pace of the new material. There was not a lot of review and practice provided in the book. On the whole, I think the idea behind the book is a good concept, but it needs a good deal of revision before it can work for us. — Laurie

-Matin Latin is a good choice for teaching early on how to truly work with the language. The first book teaches first declension nouns, first conjugation verbs, adjectives, and the use of the nominative, accusative, dative, and ablative cases. English grammar is related to Latin grammar. The value of the ML approach is that the student translates sentences a lot; Latin to English and English to Latin. By limiting vocabulary to first declension nouns and first conjugation verbs, the lessons are able to focus on how the words work in the context of sentences. Once the student understands this it is quite easy to plug in the other declensions and conjugations. think the many benefits of learning Latin are accomplished best not by learning volumes of vocabulary that is never employed in practice, but rather by learning how to decipher and manipulate the language in the context of sentence translation. Matin Latin seems to do this better than other programs I have seen at this level. I'm not sure how well it would work for a parent who is not already familiar with Latin since I haven't seen the teacher's manual. The line drawings would make the program seem geared for a young child but given the level of understanding the course expects by the last third of book one, I wouldn't really try it with a less than 5th grader. The teacher can adjust the use of the drawings according to the maturity of the student. My son the hated the first Latin program we tried that had him memorizing endless lists of vocabulary that was never put to use in the program. I thought I had lost my window of ever having him like Latin. After a month with Matin Latin he completely turned around. Latin is still not his favorite subject but at least now he likes it! — Deidre in GA

-A nice secular elementary grammar course based on Wheelock's...and was really fun because you learn only a few words, a couple of verbs and then you start translating sentences. A parent needs some foreign language skills with this curriculum though, otherwise it can be a bit difficult. Despite many saying they were not able to A nice secular elementary grammar course based on Wheelock's...and was really fun because you learn only a few words, a couple of verbs and then you start translating sentences. A parent needs some foreign language skills with this curriculum though, otherwise it can be a bit difficult. Despite many saying they were not able to "translate" some of the "picture vocabulary" words, they ARE in the back of the TM. Most just don't look there. I wrote them in my book from the back into the lesson. — Dawn (Sunny)

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Minimus

HomeschoolChristian.Com Review
HomeschoolReviews.Com Review
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-I used this very successfully in a co-op situation. Minimus Secundus, the follow-up, is a meatier text. The main complaint that one hears about Minimus is the cost of the teacher's manuals. They are not necessary, but they really do help the teacher put the material in context for the children. I particularly enjoyed the Roman Britain focus. Visiting Vindolanda in northern England (where Minimus is set) was a thrill! If you can't travel there, you can follow the archaeological digs there online. — Jane in NC

-Minimus was cute and fun, but not worth the price. Secundus got downright frustrating for both of mine because of the lack of grammar explanation. — Jenny in Florida

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Oxford Latin

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-My daughter started Oxford Book 1 in 9th grade and did fine with it. (She never did use the cassette, by the way. I kept encouraging it, but she found it both pointless and irritating.)

Because she had done well with Book 1, we never even considered changing programs for her second year. She started Book 2 at the beginning of 10th grade and did okay at first. About midway through the year, though, she got really bogged down and started saying she wanted to drop Latin entirely. She basically just got very bored with the format (picture story, translation, translation, grammar exercises, cultural stuff) and found it got very dense and just isn't "fun." There's nothing to break up the monotony of the presentation.

We slowed down to about half pace and started researching alternatives for next year. Slowing down has helped, but means she will have to continue working a few weeks into the summer in order to finish the book.

I also find the lack of meaningful support in the teacher's book kind of frustrating. I have no Latin background and would, therefore, really appreciate having more at my fingertips than 70-ish pages of little more than translations. There are some notes and explanations, but it often seems that, when my daughter gets stuck and I go to the teacher's book, there's nothing there to help us.

Positives about the program are that it's inexpensive and pretty readily available. (I usually order mine through Barnes & Noble and use my 20% educator's discount.) It was also easy to start and worked well to get my daughter's foot in the door. — Jenny

-The internet workbooks are a necessity for us! Oxford simply doesn't have enough grammatical exercises within the text. I like the storyline in the text. Students learn history and Roman culture, not grammar alone. Admittedly, it helps that I studied Latin in high school. I may not remember it all, but having had the grounding usually gives me the tools to decipher things that trouble my son. — Jane

-We use this in a Latin co-op group. This is written for the College level. I agree with Jenny that it is very straight to the point & basic in format. It moves VERY fast and they introduce one point and assume you now know it. I would never be able to use this without our co-op teacher. She taught this course at the college level and so is able to explain it much better than the book. I think I would be able to use it after we had gone through one of the other programs but personally I think a tutor would be the best addition to this program. :-)

Online aids for course — Gigi

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Prima Latina

HomeschoolChristian.Com Review
HomeschoolReviews.Com Review
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-We like this program. I chose it because of the pronunciation cd and because the program grows with the student. We will be moving on to Latina Christiana soon. It has worked well with all three of my youngest (11,8 and 6) and I have learned right along with them. Easy to use and understand. — Leslie

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Reading Latin

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-Reading Latin by Sidwell and Jones, from Cambridge UP is a very thorough course for older learners (older teens and adults).

The primary aim is, as the title would suggest, reading Latin authors. The focus is on reading from the start. Simplified Latin works are read and the vocabulary and grammar are encountered in the readings, to be translated with the aid of running vocabularies, before they are set to be learnt by means of exercises, grammar lessons and memorization. The readings gradually become closer to the originals, until pure Latin is being read. They do this in a very unusual sequence, but one which makes reading and learning much more intuitive and achieves reading skills which are far superior to those achieved using a traditional method, and in a manner far more engaging than the traditional methods.

The course is excellent for older students, and if one's aim is to read Latin authors, there is no better preparation than this course. The Independent Study Guide makes studying on one's own easier, and is recommended for anyone using the course without an experienced Latinist as a teacher. — Désirée

-"Can this be used as a first Latin course for an adult or teen doing a self study?" Yes. It is a self-contained complete course in Latin from raw beginner to reading Ovid, Caesar, etc. — Désirée

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Salvete

-We loved it. It is reading based, with the grammar taught in little bits. We found the stories very funny. I managed to teach it without having had Latin before, but I had had Greek. It is a gentle introduction to Latin. I did have the teacher's manual and I was following it. We did this for two years, then moved on to Ecce Romani. — Nan in Mass

-I used this briefly with my son as a break from Latina Christiana. It is a reading-based program, and he enjoyed the stories, but I prefer a grammar-based program and we went back to LC. I did not have the teacher's edition of Salvete, only the student book; we enjoyed it as a supplement. I have since heard that it's out of print. — Laura in CT

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Wheelock's Latin

Cathy Duffy's Review
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-My dh has a bachelor's degree in Latin & this was his favorite *college* textbook. — ereksmom

-Although it is thorough, it is deadly dull. If you want to approach Latin as if it were something to be drilled, memorized and dissected, this is the course to use. Otherwise, I would use something else — there are many other choices out there. — Désirée

-I tried this. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who wants life beyond Latin. It has so much grammar in each lesson. So many things are introduced at the same time in each lesson. I got to lesson 7 or 8 and it was plenty of Latin to teach my kiddos for a long time, but it was all I did was eat, breathe, think Latin all the time while taking this online self teaching course. — Dawn

- Wheelocks Online resource — Susan in SoCal



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