Memoria Press Latina Christiana programMy daughter started Latina Christiana (a Memoria Press product) when she was 8 years old.  Before that we had done Prima Latina, and before that was Song School Latin 1, Minimus, and I Speak Latin.  I find Latina Christiana to be a very rigorous program and I now see why people say that English grammar study may be superfluous when Latin grammar is being studied.  However, I will add that we have only covered nouns, verbs, and adjectives thus far in Latin.

Why teach Latin:

There are several reasons.  I’ll list a few and then link to more articles if you’d like a more in-depth treatment.

  1. vocabulary: most of our “academic” vocabulary is derived from Latin
  2. a great way to learn English grammar
  3. critical thinking skills are employed during translation exercises
  4. it makes learning another language easier

Articles for further reading on Latin’s virtues:

3 Reasons to Study Latin by Martin Cothran

Why Latin Is Not an Option by Cheryl Lowe

Forget Mandarin, Latin Is the Key To Success by Toby Young

The Latin Vote

My Latin background:

None.  In school I studied French for 6 years, and later I picked up conversational Spanish whenever I visited my husband’s home country.  I thought that I would need to know more than my daughter to help guide her in learning Latin.  I tried to work ahead in her book and I tried using Visual Latin on my own, but it just didn’t get done consistently.  Now I simply learn alongside my daughter.

The parts of the Latina Christiana program:

  • Student Workbook
  • Teacher Manual
  • Pronunciation CD
  • Instructional DVDs (optional)
  • Flashcards (optional)
  • Ludere Latine (supplemental activity book)

We use the student workbook, teacher manual, pronunciation CD, and Ludere Latine.  I had read reviews that the instructor on the DVDs had a strong southern accent which made me shy away from them.  But now Memoria Press has a preview video on their website that you can watch for yourself.  Also, I passed on the flashcards since we use the Anki free flashcard program, but I would highly recommend flashcards of some sort for vocabulary study.

Lesson Layout:

Latina Christiana consists of 25 lessons, and after every 5 lessons there is an additional review lesson (for a total of 30 lessons).  Each lesson has a two page spread and begins with a Latin saying, new vocabulary, and grammar.  The second page of each lesson includes translation and grammar exercises, as well as work with English vocabulary that is derived from the lesson’s Latin vocabulary.  There are also quizzes, tests, and a supplemental Roman history section that can be incorporated.

Our Schedule:

Due to my daughter’s age I am not in a hurry to get to First Form Latin (the next step in Memoria Press’ Latin program) since it appears to be a big step up. I also didn’t want to spend more than 15-20 minutes per day (on average) on our Latin studies.  So, we spread out each lesson over roughly 2 weeks, and I do not cover the derivatives portion of the lesson plan.  The first lessons of the book only took about a week  since there was very little recitation material and translation exercises to complete while the later lessons are taking  two weeks or just a little more.

The first week:

Monday-new lesson vocabulary and grammar, word search in Latina Ludere

Tuesday-review flash cards with new ones added in, recitation material

Wednesday-Exercises from Part A and B in the student workbook

Thursday-review flash cards, recitation material

Friday-Exercises from Part C

The second week:

Monday-Exercises from Part D

Tuesday-review flash cards, recitation material

Wednesday-parse strings page in Latina Ludere and half of the grammar crossword

Thursday-review flash cards, recitation material

Friday-finish the grammar crossword in Latina Ludere

For example:

We just finished up Lesson XX (20) this week, and here is how I divided everything up.

Latina Christiana recitation work Latina Christiana Lesson 20 page 1 Latina Christiana Lesson 20 page 2









Week 1 Day 1: We went over the new vocabulary words and listened to the pronunciation CD.  Then we talked about the future tense for second conjugation verbs.  My daughter did the word search in Latina Ludere (shown below) and I added the new vocabulary into Anki.

Week 1 Day 2: My daughter reviewed her flashcards and then recited orally the conjugation of amo and voco, and then gave the first declension noun endings.

Week 1 Day 3: We orally completed exercises A and B.

Week 1 Day 4: My daughter reviewed her flashcards and then wrote down the conjugation of sum, and declined mensa and servus (shown in above photo).

Week 1 Day 5: My daughter wrote the answers to the first 5 exercises in part C and then we completed the rest orally.

Week 2 Day 1: We completed the exercises in part D orally.

Week 2 Day 2: My daughter reviewed her flashcards and then recited orally the conjugation of moneo and vocabo, and then gave the second declension noun endings.

Week 2 Day 3: My daughter completed the parse strings worksheet (shown below) and the across portion of the grammar crossword (shown below, but photo is taken before she began working on it).

Week 2 Day 4: My daughter reviewed her flashcards and then wrote down the conjugation of possum, and declined donum.

Week 2 Day 5: My daughter completed the grammar crossword in Latina Ludere.

Ludere Latine word search for lesson 20 Ludere Latine parse strings for Latina Christiana Lesson 20 Ludere Latine grammar crossword for Latina Christiana Lesson 20










I hope you enjoyed this little peak into our Latin studies!



All About Spelling (AAS) is an Orton-Gillingham style of spelling instruction.  But what the heck is an Orton-Gillingham style?  It turns out that this style of instruction hails from the 1930s and is sequential and phonics-based; it also utilizes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic methods of teaching.

My daughter has used levels 1-4 and is working through level 5 (there are 7 levels total). Now it is my son’s turn to begin spelling lessons.

But, when should you start spelling instruction:

My experience has been that it is best to wait until your child is comfortably reading short vowel words and spelling becomes even easier when they are starting to learn about long vowel sounds.  Neither of my children were super great at rhyming before beginning to read, but they both showed some interest in spelling words before I began the AAS program in earnest with them.  You can also read what the AAS blog post says about when the best time to begin spelling instruction.

I will admit that with my daughter I was super excited to begin with her and I started too early.  She did very well in the first several steps, but halfway through the program a lot of practice can be missed if the child is not comfortable with handwriting yet.  When my daughter reached this point I realized that I needed to pull back a bit and solidify her writing skills.

So, why choose AAS:

All About Spelling is unique in that it uses phonogram tiles to draw upon the kinesthetic mode of learning.  We use these tiles whenever I introduce a lesson and for the 10 word cards that accompany each lesson.  They also have cards that you can use to work on the sounds that each phonogram makes and cards that reinforce key ideas (eg. each word has at least one vowel).

Level 1 has 24 steps/lessons.  It begins with short vowel words and then introduces sh/ch/th words.  After that initial blends and final blends are introduced.  And finally compound words, plural words, and long vowel sounds are introduced.  For a more complete picture, check out the AAS Level 1 Scope and Sequence.

Where are we:

My son is currently on step 12, exactly half-way through the program.  We’ve been through all of the short vowel sounds and just talked about the sh/ch/th phonograms.  It’s at this point that simple dictation is introduced.  Each lesson

What I love about this program:

  • The tiles: both of my children enjoy using the letter tiles since it gives them a break from writing
  • Dictation: in level 1 the dictation exercises begin with short phrases and then as you move up in levels the sentences become longer and longer.

How we are curspelling dictation from All About Spelling level 1rently using the program:

  • Include the phonogram, sound, and key cards in our morning memory work
  • Day 1: Introduce the lesson
  • Day 2-3: Spell 5 words from the word cards (this is based on my son’s attention span)
  • Day 4-6: dictate 4 phrases (once again, it’s an attention span thing) that my son writes in a composition book

Currently, my son has spelling work on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while we are working through his phonics program on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  I’ve found that spelling is such a great complement to phonics instruction; it really helps to solidify those crazy rules that we have in English.  At this pace, we are moving through a lesson every 3 weeks, and we will finish level 1 by the fall.  However, once he finishes up his phonics program we will start having spelling lessons Monday through Thursday.

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on a link and buy a product from All About Learning Press you are helping me to buy the last levels, and I hope that you and your child(ren) enjoy it as much as we have.


VocabularySpellingCityVocabularySpellingCity is an online and app-based program that can be used for spelling and vocabulary work for grades K-12.  I was looking forward to reviewing this program because I have a daughter that really enjoys learning new words and (currently) proclaims that spelling is her favorite subject.  There are basic and premium memberships available and for this review I was able to try out the premium subscription.

After setting up my account I logged in and quickly realized that I didn’t know which words to use for our vocabulary study.  There are many lists out there that have been created by others that can be easily imported, but it was a bit overwhelming for me.  Did I want to focus on science or geography terminology?  Or perhaps I should use words from our spelling program that have proved to be troublesome.  In the end, I decided to use vocabulary words from our writing program and from a workbook-based vocabulary program that we had previously discarded for being too boring.  I typed in several batches of 10 word groups.  After inputting the words, you can select from available definitions and sample sentences or create your own.  For the most part I was pleased with the definitions and sentences that were already in the program, but there were a few times that I added my own.

Next up was selecting the activities that I wanted my child to complete for each word list.  There are several choices, depending upon whether you are using the lists more for spelling or vocabulary work.  There is also the option to save an activity list so that you may simply use the same sequence for each list that you create or import.  Finally, you can select if you want your child to work through the activities in order or if they can hop about as they please.

One of the best features for our family was the ability to use (almost) the whole program on the iPad (so far only available for iOS devices).  There is an app available that can access your account, provided you have an internet connection, and most of the games can be played.  When I was setting up the activities for our word lists I made sure to only include the ones that were app compatible (identified by an icon) as I knew that would be our preferred method of use.  My daughter had no problem with the app and everything was super intuitive to use.

There is also a portal in which to access your child’s progress that is available with the premium membership.  Whenever my daughter logged in and worked on the words in my lists the program tracked her progress and I could easily see how much work she had completed.

I think the only thing that I wished was different was that a definition for the word that you are playing for in Hang Mouse was provided.  With a definition it would be easier for the student to concentrate on the spelling of the word instead of randomly guessing letters.  However, my daughter has thoroughly enjoyed this program…so much so that she completed three weeks of work in just a week.

As this is a feature-rich program it is wonderful that there are loads of videos available on site describing all the different possibilities and how to perform all of the tasks so that you can tweak this program to fit your family’s needs.

Price: $29.99/ year for up to 5 students


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I am definitely a person that loves to plan, and also needs to plan.  I find that if I don’t gather the materials ahead of time that we need then things just don’t get done…even read-alouds.  We all know how important it is to read aloud to children and I have chosen 12 classic selections that I hope my son and daughter both enjoy.   **Updated with our thoughts on the books that we read/attempted to read**

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne Uncle Wiggly's Story Book by Howard GarisThe Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White Thomas the Tank Engine by Wilbert Awdry Socks by Beverly Cleary The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi Paddington by Michael Bond The Mouse and the Motorcyle by Beverly Cleary The Story of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting Charlotte's Web by E.B. White Capyboppy by Bill Peet Brer Rabbit by Joel Chandler Harris


Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne – we read it and now my dd reads it for fun…it was much better than I thought it would be

Uncle Wiggly’s Storybook by Howard Garis – I tried reading this, but I have a hard time getting past the first few stories.  I’m not quite sure why I have such problems with this book, but I’m looking to check out an audio version from our library.

Pinnochio by Carlo Collodi – enjoyed it, and the original is so very different from the Disney version

The Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit by Joel Chandler Harris – also a difficult read for us

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond – did not interest my daughter, but I think we will try it again soon

The Story of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting – we read it….dd loved it, but it wasn’t my favorite

Capyboppy by Bill Peet – enjoyed it

Thomas the Tank Engine – the treasury edition is 400 pages long, my children didn’t tire of it, but I did

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary – read and enjoyed

Socks by Beverly Cleary – we didn’t finish it as neither of us was really enjoying it

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White – read and enjoyed

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White- read and enjoyed

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

I have been using FLL2 (First Language Lessons-level 2) mixed in with KISS grammar this year.  Last year we just zipped through FLL1, but this year my daughter is finding FLL2 more difficult.  The first half of the book was fairly easy for her, but then we came to adjectives and adverbs.  When we have a lesson on just one or the other, then she doesn’t seem to struggle.  However, when there is a lesson that asks to identify both adjectives and adverbs she gets confused.

So, we are stepping back from grammar for a while.  I don’t think it is worth trying to pursue it at this stage and we will see where she is next year.   For now, I think that I might try a few lessons from PLL (primary language lessons) as it seems to be much more gentle.  We need something that will give us some narration practice, copywork and dictation ideas, as well as some grammar and usage reminders.  I think that PLL will fit the bill.