When I first attempted to use this curriculum, I had only the Primer. Boy was I lost! In fact, I was ready to simply toss the book in the trash until I realized there are other parts that go along with the Primer – like an Answer Key, an Activity Book, a Latin Reader, and most importantly (to me anyway) the DVD Lessons and Chant CD’s.
Yes, I felt like quite a dingbat once I realized how much more there was to the curriculum. Quite honestly, though, I had taken an upper level Greek and Latin roots class in college, so it didn’t even cross my mind that I couldn’t handle teaching the curriculum by simply having the Primer. But, I couldn’t handle it.
Once I received the entire package of materials, I was no longer willing to toss the curriculum in the trash – now I LOVE it!
Latin For Children, Primer A is the first of three curricula that teach your children Latin – words, pronunciation, conjugation, memorization and eventually reading. It is Biblically based with Bible verses being some points of memorization. Using the same material, you can choose whether to learn Classical Latin, Ecclesiastical Latin or both. Primer A can be started as early as 3rd grade, but I didn’t start my children until 4th and 7th. Just in case you’re interested, this program works alongside Shurley Grammar. It is NOT necessary that you use that grammar curriculum to use this Latin program.
Here’s a look at each part of the curriculum and my assessment as to whether or not it’s necessary or supplemental:
- Primer: Absolutely necessary! This is the main student book where your children will complete exercises, read explanations, see conjugation charts, read through chants, learn pronunciations and take tests. The book is very clean and easy to read. Assignments are not overwhelming and can be completed in a matter of minutes after the lesson has been taught.
- Answer Key: This is not absolutely necessary, but a definite help. You will be able to quickly check your children’s work with the Answer Key. I’m actually doing the lessons with my children, so there’s no need for the Answer Key in order to check their work. It has come in handy on several occasions when we needed to check whether or not our translation or conjugations were correct.
- DVD’s and Chant CD’s: In my opinion, these are necessary! (Again, this is coming from someone with a decent background in beginning Latin.) A Latin teacher explains and elaborates on each and every lesson. After hearing his explanations, the lessons in the book make so much more sense! Each lesson begins with a chant of new words and phrases led by a group of children. This was a HUGE help to me, along with the chant CD’s that you can listen to whenever you like for extra pronunciation practice.
- Activity Book: This is not necessary, but provides additional practice that my children have found helpful. The activities are in puzzle and fun format so the extra work doesn’t seem like overload.
- Reader: This is not necessary, but allows your children the chance to practice their Latin skills in a somewhat “real life” manner. It also happens to coincide with the Veritas Press History Cards from Ancient Greece to Rome, although it doesn’t matter whether you use these cards in your homeschool or not for the book to be useful.
To buy the entire curriculum is quite expensive at a bundle price of around $100. However, you get A LOT for this price. Essentially, you have a 32 week DVD-based program that allows you to either take the class along with your children or let your children complete it on their own. If Latin is a serious subject you want to teach, the money is well worth it.