Thursday, September 17, 2015

Latin Resources

Latin is our foreign language this year -- Natalie will be doing high school level vocabulary soon and I found it helpful to learn Latin in high school for SAT prep, plus I thought it would be a good fit with the Renaissance -- but we have not had a very happy time of it.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I LOVE Latin. So do the children! The problem is with the curriculum materials I chose.

I blame no one for this. I did my research and read reviews online. I found nice tables which compared the different materials and made my choice. But sometimes you just have to try it to see if it works for you. There's no replacement for hands-on-the-book and kid-in-front-of-you. That's why I have a Lending Library of Waldorf Books and I think/hope it's really helpful for people!

Latina Christiana I Set

While looking something up -- AGAIN -- on YouTube, I found latintutorial. And we have liked these videos very much.

Remember, some people show videos to their kids, or read the books like String, Straight-Edge & Shadow to their kids, and some teach themselves and then teach their kids by storytelling. The Waldorf method promotes storytelling as a way to disseminate lesson content. To be 100% honest, I make excuses about how it's too hard to memorize the stories and often read the books to my children, which I think is fine, but it's certainly true that when I know something backwards and forewords and inside and out -- like the six wives of Henry VIII -- and I can talk conversationally and passionately about it, they are much more engaged, listen more closely, and learn it more.

Back to the videos we've used to help us understand the Latin we are studying:

And all this and we are only on Lesson 4!!!!

I was looking up the sum/esse conjugation first.

How can I explain how much I don't like this curriculum without being too unkind? Content OK. Usability NOT OK.

First, the student workbook pages are NOT IN the teacher guide. You know how a teacher guide usually also has a small box in the corner of the page to show you what the student sees? This book doesn't have that. You have to keep taking your child's workbook away from them. Oh, did I forget to mention that the new vocabulary listed in each lesson isn't written IN your teacher guide? Only in your child's book. Do you know what you're learning this week? Nope. So you have to take your child's book away again to see what the new words are. And there's no notes on pronunciation written by the new words. All notes on the pronunciation are in a page in the front. Flip forward and see how to pronounce each word each time. Oh, you have to start the lesson with the table blessing. It's in the back of the book. Flip to it. And listen to the table blessing on the CD to see how to pronounce it. But there's no listing in your teacher guide of which tracks are on the CD. Write a note to yourself in the front of your plan book. Keep flipping back and forth to check it. Not every lesson is on the CD, of course. Only every few lessons like 1, 5, 10, 15, 20. So the in between lessons you are left with no idea what the new vocabulary is (take your child's book) or how to pronounce the new words (flip to the pronunciation guide or look it up online). And the next lesson? Repeat this charming process!

We like Latin. I will keep looking for Latin materials and when I have a new recommendation, I'll be sure to post it!

Back to Homeschool Comparison of Introductory Latin Programs.


Eva said...

I also do not like this curriculum. Here are some choices we like:

Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata (grade 7 and up)

Getting Started With Latin (grade 5 and up)

Henle Latin (grade 9 and up)

Little Latin Readers: (grade 3 and up)

Mater Anserina (grade 1 and 2)

Latin picture books from Marie Carducci Bolchazy, there are at least four and there is also a CD that goes with it (grade 2 and up)

Latin's Not So Tough (grade 3 and up)

We have been or are using all of these. There are some other options out there, like Wheelock Latin, but I have not tried those. I am using Mater Anserina with my first grader, Little Latin Readers for my fourth grader, Lingua Latina for my seventh grader and Henle Latin for my highschoolers right now. There is one book from Memoria Press with Latin hymns that is quite nice. It is called Lingua Angelica. For Henle Latin there are quite a few syllabi available.

Eva said...

In addition, you could try to take the different levels of the National Latin exam. That is what we did last year for the first time. It is also more fun to do Latin in high school with other homeschoolers. My highschoolers have joined a Latin class using Henle.

Renee said...

Thank you so much for the suggestions!!!

Eva said...

You are very welcome. I had seven years of Latin in school, so I am a bit picky about the resources out there.