When I started my Latin studies, my son was almost thirteen and would soon be entering Challenge A. At that point, I was also aware that I would be tutoring Challenge A, and would need to learn Latin with the students from the Henle text. Eager to accelerate my classical homeschooling, I thought it would be good to add Latin studies for my then 9 and 7 year old daughters. Two additional started-and-left-unfinished Latin programs later, I realized that the best tool for teaching Latin for my own children was to learn Latin myself.
Sarah Mackenzie's book Teaching From Rest helped me understand that the curriculum I was teaching is the language itself. The materials that I chose to utilize, whether it be Henle or First Form Latin, are tools to aid me in teaching the curriculum. With this understanding, I am freed to impart the grammar of Latin that I understand to my grammar aged kids, and find great fruit in our endeavor!
While I do not currently utilize any of these materials, if you're a first time Latin student yourself, pick a tool that will help you learn, so that you can multiply the fruit of your language studies! Tomorrow, I'll continue to share tips for loving learning Latin.
There are two publishers that I think produce fantastic materials, and therefore offer two great roads to equipping you as you learn with your children. Start at a level with your oldest child and scale the material for the rest of your children.
- Song School Latin - Starting Latin in 1st Grade
Song School Latin offers a fun and light introduction to Latin. The workbook pages are simple and engaging, and there are free printable coloring sheets on their website to add to the learning fun. The basic book comes with an audio CD with all of the jingles, but you can also get the complete set which includes instructional DVDs along with a card game to practice the new vocabulary. Here are some samples of the videos that go along with the material:
- Latin For Children - Starting Latin in 3rd Grade
Classical Academic Press also has produced a wonderful upper elementary program. These materials relate very closely to what happens in Essentials, making it an easy add on for families who are familiar with parsing and diagramming sentences. The videos are short and very informative. This would be a great place to start if you have an upper elementary student. Here's a sample video from the series:
Memoria Press is another great publisher that developed the study guides for Henle that I love to use. They begin their Latin studies in 2nd grade with the Prima Latina series followed by Latina Christiana for 3rd grade and up. What I love about the Memoria Press materials is that their books were designed as preparation for studying Henle in high school. Written as a four year curriculum, the "Form" series is recommended to begin in the 5th grade, working up to the forth form utilizing the Henle text. See the sample video below for a glimpse into this material.
- First Form Latin - Starting Latin in 5th Grade
Those are my recommendations for a guided study of Latin. I believe so much in the classical model, that tomorrow I'll be sharing tips for playing with the grammar memory work from Classical Conversations, and how that can become a formal study of the language in itself.
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.