The Curriculum Choice

Latin Reviews

Latin Curriculum Review

Since starting Latin with my children 5 years ago I have come to be familiar with several programs. I have listed them with the age range that I think is appropriate:

  • Prima Latina 1-4
  • Latin’s Not So Tough K and up
  • Lively Latin 4-6th
  • Henle Latin Jr. high
  • Latin for Children 3rd and up
Why learn Latin? Please see this hefty interview with Douglas Wilson at Christianbook.com. Or, if you are more visual, watch this youtube video below from the Lively Latin web site.
The above list of curriculums is the order in which we have gone through them. They all have pros and cons and I’d like to share them with you, so that if you are, or plan on, learning Latin, this may save you time choosing the right fit for you and your child.

Prima Latina with DVD’s $$
Teacher Friendly *****
Extra Practice ****
Student Friendly ****
Ease of Use *****
Organized *****
I got this for my 2nd grader, a few years ago. It was my first introduction to Latin and I remember being very pleased with the amount of vocabulary and Latin prayers etc. We worked through several lessons, and then I decided to only work on the vocabulary portion because he didn’t have great handwriting abilities at the time so we learned orally. The next year I brought in child # 2 and we did the program again (a repeat for the 1st child, but it was totally ok). This year we used the DVD lessons and it went very smoothly. My children still recite some Latin prayers they learned from this program and the vocab. they learned helped them progress through LFC in the first 5 lessons like a breeze. I highly recommend PL with the DVD’s to ALL families starting Latin in grades 1-4th.

Latin for Children with DVD’s, and workbook $$$
Teacher Friendly ***
Extra Practice ***
Student Friendly ***
Ease of Use **
Organized ***
We started smoothly and ended rocky with this program. Let me say that we started it when the company just got off the ground and we used the first version (they have since revised the DVD lessons). The rockiness was partly due to my lack of knowledge of Latin. I couldn’t teach something that I wasn’t understanding because I knew nothing about declensions, conjugations etc..So about at the 12th lesson it got to be hard for me to understand. Now, we would be fine with this program, but then it was confusing. I sat and watched the DVD lessons with the 2 children 1 time, sometimes twice, a week. I couldn’t always answer the questions from my children. I could only say “I don’t know why, just memorize it.” And that is NOT my teaching style.
What we got out of LFC (for 2 years) is how to make Latin fun by chanting vocabulary and Latin endings. We STILL use these! So, I cant say it wasn’t worth it. It was just very uncomfortable. And because of this I don’t recommend it for beginners or moms with no Latin background. A couple more side notes: we used the workbooks for fun, but these were sometimes confusing also. I used the same level of LFC with 2 children in different grade levels, so we could do this together and that was a plus. I consider the levels to be multi-aged, if the children are at the same level in Latin.

Latin’s Not So Tough $
Teacher Friendly *****
Extra Practice ****
Student Friendly *****
Ease of Use *****
Organized *****
Easy program!! We switched to this to get a break from LFC while I figured out what to do next, and that’s exactly what we got. My oldest worked through levels 4 &5 and my second oldest through levels 3 and 4. They did this during 1 school year (and a little summer work). ALL on their own. All I had to do was correct their work and tests. This was a nice break for me, an easier pace for them- because it truly is a “not-so-tough” program. I missed learning along beside them, but it was a lot easier to pick up and explain then LFC. I recommend this to moms that don’t /or can’t be involved but they want Latin vocabulary introduced and eventually some harder declensions and conjugations starting in level 4. Another thing I want to mention is that if you want an easy introduction to Latin then begin with level 1. If a K used it, they could do this in a year. 1st grader would take less then a year. Each workbook easily can be done in a year.

Lively Latin $$
Teacher Friendly *****
Extra Practice *****
Student Friendly *****
Ease of Use *****
Organized *****

Or, The Big Book, as it is called. And, it is a big book, if you get the printed version. This is my all-time FAVE! Now, we’ve only done it this year with my 2nd son (5th grade) but it fits us perfectly this year. I love, love, love the idea of learning grammar and Latin together. Saves me time! Being the history buffs that we are, we love the snippets of Roman history. It has plenty of vocabulary, the organization of the order that you learn things makes sense. The explanations of what and why you learn certain things are excellent (what LFC is missing). The lessons are short. We often get through 2 in a day. The time we spend learning together is our favorite part of the day with each other. I do NOT use a separate grammar curriculum. A few unexpected extras that are included in the BB of LL are:
1. The history of our language (English)
2. Full color studies of paintings depicting Roman history.
3. Character studies of famous Romans.
4. Lessons on Greek and Roman gods.
5. Plenty of repetition.

Henle Latin $
I will be reviewing this later on this school year after we have used it longer. If you have a first-hand review, please feel free to leave it in the comment section and I will add it to the post. (thank-you!).
 

1 – 5 star rating. 5 ***** being the most.
1-3 dollar rating. $ is a bargain, $$ is worth every penny, $$$ is over-priced

Written by Brenda

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