My 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.
- vocabulary: most of our “academic” vocabulary is derived from Latin
- a great way to learn English grammar
- critical thinking skills are employed during translation exercises
- it makes learning another language easier
Articles for further reading on Latin’s virtues:
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.
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.
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
We just finished up Lesson XX (20) this week, and here is how I divided everything up.
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.
I hope you enjoyed this little peak into our Latin studies!