We began studying Latin four years ago when my oldest child was in the second grade. I read everything I could find on the different Latin curricula that were available and finally decided on Latin for Children for him. He completed the 3 books in 4 school years and this year he has started Latin Alive, which is a Latin program for middle school students, also published by Classical Academic Press.
Since I was pleased with Latin for Children for my son, I had my daughter start with the program at the beginning of last school year. Later on in the year I received Latina Christiana from Memoria Press to review.
My daughter seemed the obvious choice to try out the program since she wasn’t too far along in Latin for Children. She also didn’t seem to be retaining the information very well, so I figured a little review would be beneficial. As she used Latina Christiana, I noticed that there were some things about the program that made it a better choice for her. So this year she is continuing to use Latina Christiana instead of Latin for Children.
I was reminded of a few things in this process:
- First, my children are all different and what may work best for one of them may not be the best choice for all of them.
- Second, I need to look at products with each of the children who will be using the product in mind, not just my oldest child, and not just what I like.
- Finally, I can’t spend a lot of money on a product and always justify it by saying I’ll use it with all 4 of my children. That may not work.
Latin for Children vs. Latina Christiana
I think that BOTH Latin for Children and Latina Christiana are excellent Latin programs with many similarities.
Both are designed to be used with students as young as about the third grade. They both teach from a parts-to-whole method. Both include Latin grammar and vocabulary as well as derivative studies.
Latin for Children does include more vocabulary and grammar, but that is reasonable since it has one more text than Latina Christiana. An optional video is available for either product as well as audio cd’s.
However, there are some key differences which I have outlined below:
|Latin for Children||Latina Christiana|
|# texts in series||3 (A,B,C)||2 (I, II)|
|Pronunciation||Classical (but has an Ecclesiastical option)||Ecclesiastical|
|Student Text||Instruction is in the Student text||No instruction in the Student text|
|Teacher’s Guide||Answer Key||All instruction is in Teacher’s Guide as well as teaching tips, quizzes, tests, and answers to all the exercises.|
|Video||Lessons include children and some humor. Some variety in filming locations. Lessons are fairly short.||Lessons include instructor only. They are thorough and include drill and practice within the lesson. Lessons are longer and are in front of a white board only.|
|Roman culture included?||Very little||Scheduled to use with Famous Men of Rome, however Famous Men of Rome is not included.|
|Variety||Pages are printed with Roman themed graphics. Variation in types of exercises from chapter to chapter.||Plain pages. Predictable format for exercises and quizzes.|
Why we find benefits in each Latin program
My daughter, who has always been somewhat of a no-nonsense kind of girl, really appreciates Latina Christiana. She needs more drill and practice, and the expectations are very clear. The instruction in the text in Latin for Children was confusing to her and didn’t help her to understand the material at all.
My son, on the other hand, would not have lasted a week in Latina Christiana. He needed the somewhat goofy humor in the Latin for Children videos as well as the variety in the text. He is much more able to read and understand a concept, so having the instruction in the text was great for him.
If you are looking for an elementary Latin curriculum I recommend either Latin for Children or Latina Christiana. They are both quality programs backed by companies that are continually revising and writing new curricula. Samples are available at both websites to help you compare further and decide which one is more suited to your child.
Purchase Memoria Press Latin Programs
Latina Christiana is just one level from the Memoria Press Latin Programs that span from 1st grade all the way through to 12th grade. You can purchase any of them directly from the Memoria Press Website.
Purchase Latin for Children
Latin for Children from Classical Academic Press has 3 Primer Levels of Latin for Children spanning from 4th grade through 7th grade. You can purchase any of them directly from the Classical Academic Press Website.
More Latin for Children and Latina Christiana Reviews
- Latin for Children by Heidi
- Latin for Children, Primer A by Cindy
- Lovely Latin: Learning with Memoria Press by Meredith Henning
Originally published October 2009 and written by Kristen, Classical mom of 4.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom says
This is really well done review. I think it will help a lot of families in their Latin decisions. 🙂
Barb-Harmony Art Mom
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Thank you for the excellent information.
I have just begun exploring Latin as a curriculum addition for next year and this is very helpful.
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The Cottage Comtesse says
Excellent review comparing two latin programs. We selected Latin for Children and have been very happy with it. My daughter needed the DVD that she could watch more than once, the kids that she drills with, and the humor. It is now one of her favorite subjects! I’m using Song School Latin with my second grader (also by Classical Academic Press) just to give her a fun head start. She feels so grown up and it is a joy to hear her go around the house singing songs such as “Salve”.
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Wonderful review! I’m currently reviewing Latin for Children, but only have the book. After reading your review, I’m realizing that the DVD would go a long way in helping both me and my children “get” it better.
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Thanks so much for that review. On a homeschooling forum I frequent, finding a Latin curriculum is a hot topic. I will be sure to direct them here. I have been kinda steering clear of Latin because I didn’t know where to begin…thanks!
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Lucinda Brown says
This is a great review in that you point out the different needs of individual children. As for us, we have used both curriculum choices you’ve featured and hands down prefer Latin for Children. My daughter has done exceptionally well with LFC and so we will stick with it. She started out with LC, but was getting pretty bored. Once we switched to LFC she began to soar through her lessons. I’m confident that my daughter is gaining a greater mastery of English and will find it much easier to learn Spanish and other foreign languages later on because she has had such a positive learning experience with LFC.
[email protected] says
I love this article. I am passionate about schooling my three children as individuals and I love how you incorporated your children’s seperate learning styles and modalities in choosing their Latin curriculum. We currently use Prima Latina and Latina Christiana but I have one child that would problably enjoy Latin for Children more. I need to further investigate that idea!
Thank you for your thoughtful review.
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Kay in PA says
A well written and very helpful review. Thank you!
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I’m so glad that it has been helpful!
Thanks for this great post and comparison.
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This was so helpful as my 3rd grader is going to start Latin this year. Your descriptions helped me make a clear choice for him.
Thank you so much for this review! I appreciate your insights!
Would learning Latin confuse children who are still mastering the foundations of Phonics?
I think that really depends on what you mean by mastering phonics. I still have not started formal Latin with my 3rd child (11 years old) who had tremendous difficulties in learning to read, but if you just mean that you haven’t covered all the different sounds, then I think it would be fine. I would consider an introductory program like Song School Latin from Classical Academic press or Prima Latina from Memoria Press.
Thanks for this succinct summary. I am now interested in learning more about LFC.