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Latin

13 Feb

I have never struggled over a curriculum choice the way I have with Latin. There’s a lot out there, the problem is most of it is either geared for older children, Christian, too expensive, or unavaible in the UK. I was all set to go with Lively Latin, so I emailed the “Magistra” a week ago to see if the CD version could be shipped here, but she’s not replied. (I’m not keen on purchasing the online PDF version in case I have technical difficulties, as I did when I purchased the SOTW volume 2 activity guide.)

I know I want to use Lingua Latina, but it’s written entirely in Latin and isn’t for young children. That will definitely have to wait for a few years.

So, I’m thinking I should choose something else for now, and if I manage to get over to the States this summer, I can purchase Lively Latin while I’m there. I’m also thinking it would be good to hold off on Lively Latin for a year anyway; I’m not sure Esa’s ready for it.

I’ve  been checking out Latin programmes, on and off, for over a year. There’s a great site with reviews for Latin curricula that I’ve found quite useful.

I’ve managed to narrow it down to 3:

Minimus

The student text is available at our library, so I got hold of it to have a look. I can purchase the materials from Book Depository.

Pros:

  • Colourful, lively, and engaging
  • Appropriate for young children
  • A gentle introduction
  • Fun activities

Cons:

  • Skimpy on content. This book is less than 80 pages and I don’t think it’s enough to last an entire year.
  • Way too expensive, especially considering how small it is. The student text, teacher’s guide, and audio CD will cost about £70 (about $110).
  • Whole-to-parts

Latin’s Not So Tough!

This is available through Ichthus Resources. I’m basing my pros and cons from the sample pages available here.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive. The student workbook, CD, and answer key will only cost £19 (beginning with level 2).
  • A gentle introduction
  • Enough content to last a full year

Cons:

  • Not very exciting, no colour, workbook approach
  • Possibly too gentle of an approach
  • No reading of passages or stories, just word and sentence translation
  • No activities

Getting Started With Latin

This is available from Book Depository as well. Sample pages are available from the link above.

Pros:

  • Very inexpensive: £11
  • Very gentle approach
  • Easy to implement
  • Includes Latin expressions
  • Enough material for a year

Cons:

  • Possibly too slow
  • Seems geared for adults
  • Black and white, no pictures
  • No activities

None of these programmes makes me excited to add Latin to our day. I really can’t choose one, or even a combination of two; nothing fits what I’m looking for. What am I looking for? A programme that:

  • Isn’t too expensive. I’d like to keep the cost under £50.
  • Is appropriate for children aged 7.
  • Is available to buy in the UK.
  • Is colourful and engaging
  • Includes fun activities
  • Has little passages/stories to read
  • Has a (classical) pronunciation CD
  • Is secular
  • Is parts-to-whole
  • Preferably has daily lessons laid out (5 lessons a week, enough for a year)

I think Lively Latin fits all of this (apart from the purchasing criterion), but I’m not sure. I need to remind myself that 1 (or 2) of the other 3 resources will only be temporary. I want to make Latin fun and easy, so I’m thinking of going with Mimimus and Getting Started With Latin (for ease and added content; I’ll adapt it as needed). The price of Mimimus bugs me, but I’m pretty confident I can resell the materials. And if we finish with level 1 too soon, there’s a Minimus Secondus to tide us over until I can get hold of Lively Latin.

If anyone has any advise, recommendations, etc, I’d LOVE to hear it.

My copy of Latin Centered Curriculum has not arrived yet. It’s been shipped, but I’m still waiting…Grrrr… Twenty minutes after publishing this post, it arrived!!! Yippeeeeeeee! 😀

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