My children both asked repeatedly if we could learn another language. Maybe it’s because of their world-traveling uncle…or that they want to be able to exchange secret messages in public. Either way I wanted to capitalize on their desire. We chose Latin, and my research into products to help me teach a language that I myself didn’t know led me to Classical Academic Press.
Classical Academic Press sent me their Latin for Children, Primer A package in exchange for an honest review. Let me tell you about Latin for Children and how we’ve used the curriculum in our home.
What is Latin for Children?
Latin for Children is a Latin curriculum intended for grades 4-7. It is comprised of three levels: Primers A, B, and C. We started my eleven year old daughter on Primer A because she had no previous Latin instruction.
What are the components of Latin for Children?
- Latin for Children Primer A (Main Text): This book is the core of the curriculum. Each chapter contains a memory page (a reference page of the vocabulary and grammar that will be memorized for that chapter), lesson information, worksheets, a quiz and a page of word games.
- Latin for Children Answer Key: You guessed it–answers to the worksheets, quizzes and games in the main text.
- Latin for Children Activity Book: This workbook has a few pages of word games for each chapter to review the grammar and vocabulary. The games include things like crossword puzzles, word searches, mazes, and matching. Answers are at the end of the book. Note: The first page of games is the same as the page included in the main textbook.
- Latin for Children DVD & CD Set: An absolute must, in my humble opinion! The DVDs contain roughly 20 minutes of material for each chapter. There are a group of children performing the chants of vocabulary and grammar, though we found this to be more distracting and with harder to understand audio than the CDs. The real gem on the DVDs is Dr. Perrin going over the lesson material. The CDs contain memory-aiding chants. These aren’t songs like in Song School Latin, but are the vocabulary words or grammar to be memorized (like conjugations) said in a rhythmic way in both Latin and English. We preferred the chants on the CDs because the audio is clearer and more consistent and we can listen to them anytime, anywhere.
- Latin for Children History Reader: This little book gives your student the opportunity to practice translation. It’s intended to be started half way through the program, so we haven’t begun yet. Each chapter consists of history sentences to translate, a glossary of new words, and questions to be answered in Latin. The reader for Primer A explores Roman history from the progress of the Roman Empire to the rise of Christianity. We haven’t begun using it yet, but it looks like a great stepping stone to reading in Latin without being overwhelming.
My Review of Latin for Children
I shared last month how pleased we are with their early elementary Latin curriculum, Song School Latin. I’m happy to report that we’re equally pleased with their Latin for Children curriculum for middle grades! Here are my favorite things about the program:
- Variety: Much like the Song School Latin materials, there is something for every learner–video lessons, textbook reading, written work, and audio chants.
- Flexibility: I am allowing my daughter to move through the lessons at her own pace. This is an intensive program–there are a lot of vocabulary words and grammar information in each chapter! What I did was create a checklist for my daughter to use for each lesson. It lists the activities of each chapter in order (watch the DVD lesson, do the grammar worksheet, then the derivative worksheet, etc). I made a spot between each activity reminding her to listen to the chants in addition to doing the worksheets and games.
- Independence: The combination of the video instruction and the chants make it possible for her to work through this curriculum independently. Dr. Perrin’s explanations are so clear that she hasn’t needed my help understanding the lesson. (I enjoy watching the videos with her for my own education, though.) It’s our very own professional Latin instructor in our living room! I let her grade all worksheets and games independently, but we grade the quiz together. That way I’m sure she’s ready to move on to the next chapter.
- Easy Memorization: Like the songs of Song School Latin, the chants are my favorite part. The rhythmic repetition of things like vocabulary and verb endings makes learning them by memory painless. Listening to the chants every day ensures her pronunciation stays accurate. I hear little brother repeating parts of the chants, (“aqua, aquae, water, water”) and I even find they’re helping my middle-aged brain retain some of the Latin words!
- Lots of Learning: There is a lot to learn in this amazing curriculum. I love the discussion of derivatives to boost overall vocabulary. The focus on grammar reinforces concepts like tense that can help with English. These topics help build relevance. Historical information is contained in the lessons, many of the chapter maxims to be memorized are quotes from famous people in history, and then you add in the history reader and your child is learning more than just a bunch of words!
Are you interested in checking out Latin for Children? Head to the Classical Academic Press website for samples of all the books, the audio chants and the DVD lessons.
Heidi homeschools her two children in Maine using an eclectic mix including Charlotte Mason’s ideas, quality literature and hands-on learning. She strives to show her children that learning is an exciting, life long adventure. She shares their experiences on her blog, Home Schoolroom.
Are the materials easy to understand? I look at them and get a panicky feeling in my stomach. What do I teach and when? It all looks like..(haha) Greek and a big mish mash of incomprehensibleness.
I have found the materials quite easy to understand. The textbook has a section in the beginning describing the curriculum components and sample schedules. Like anything, working through the first chapter is a learning curve for what works best with your child. Thankfully with the flexibility and variety of the materials you can tweak to suit your needs. I think DVD lesson helps with panic because he explains everything so clearly and in a relaxed way. Add in listening to the chants every day and your child is picking up a lot of Latin!
Thank you. =)
Thanks for your review! Any chance you can send me the checklist you made for your child? I’m interested in the doing that and I love to see how you set yours up.