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What's wrong with Latin for Children?


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#1 Hill Country Kat

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 11:46 PM

I see so many people who buy LfC and only go through the first few lessons before they discard it. I get that sometimes people and material don't get along or children and material don't get along, but it seems like a LOT of people have problems with LfC.

If you've bought it and ditched it, can you share why it didn't work for you?

#2 duckens

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 01:44 AM

I do not speak Latin and I have not taught it yet.

I do not know about LFC.

I have heard your complaint/concern voiced about several Latin curriculum.

Others have said that after a few lessons, the lessons get much harder, and that is when Latin is dropped.

1) I believe that many of us have not had the opportunity to learn Latin in high school, so Latin is intimidating to us.

2) I believe it is hard to learn something and teach it at the same time. While you're struggling to read and understand what is going on in the lesson, your 4th grader is sitting patiently, or impatiently. The 5yo has a question. And the toddler is redecorating the couch with your stash of whiteboard markers (which don't come out!)

3) Teaching Latin is hard because of the added verbal/oral aspect of it. You're not just learning new vocabulary, but you are trying to pronounce it properly. This is a challenge of any language, but Latin has all the other challenges listed here, too!

4) Latin is a dead language, so, especially for those of us who did not learn prior to teaching our own kids (in public school or college), it can be hard to see how Latin will be necessary in our kids' future.

It is much easier to be motivated to teach Spanish (which is all around us in America) so the kids can play with their bilingual friends at playgroup. We know the kids will need math and reading and writing skills for college. Map skills are a good thing to know. Science and art have their place, and we are more comfortable with them, but Latin is indirect in its benefits.

Is Latin good? Yes, it is. Do we know all the research associated with kids learning Latin? Yes, we do. But there can be a gap between knowing something intellectually and powering through the tough part to make it possible.

So, as the weeks go by, and our schedules get busier, and the lessons get tougher, the Latin gets dropped.

Whatever Latin curriculum you decide to go with, be prepared to be tough with yourself.


I am hoping my daughters will have the opportunity to learn Latin. I've looked into a few different curriculum (Latina Christiana, Song School Latin), but I'm still a little intimidated.....

#3 BugsMama

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 01:47 AM

I've only had the book and videos from the library- but the reason I did not turn around and buy it-

The video and audio quality is awful. It annoyed the heck out of me. I don't understand how something can be that expensive.... and that poor quality.

Song School Latin is in the same boat for me (bought and returned that).

If you haven't checked out the samples online, I highly recommend it. Some people aren't bothered by it. It's a deal breaker for me.

#4 Penelope

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 02:01 AM

Duckens made some very good points, and I'll add to those.

Biggest reason we did not continue with the program:

Because I was learning it just a little ahead of my student, I needed a program that made sense to my adult brain. LFC does have the video teacher, but my student and I still had questions as we went along. And I couldn't really answer them. Should I have studied on my own a different, more advanced text instead that gave the big picture? Yes. :tongue_smilie: But I didn't understand that fully at the time, and I did own other texts, but felt lost when it came to beginning them myself.

LFC was a little fast for my third grader. We slowed down and only finished about half the first year, and finished the second half the next year at a fairly slow pace. But, by fourth grade, he was wanting to know how things fit together. And I couldn't give him that. He felt like it was all memorization and no application. He did like the video teacher, and I thought it was well done; the kids, the chants, and the CD made memorization painless. We will continue to use those techniques no matter what programs we use in the future.

We are now using Galore Park. It makes more sense to me, and my ds is enjoying it because he gets to translate sentences back and forth almost every day, even though it isn't always easy. He is learning new things but now he has something more interesting to do with what he learns. I know LFC A through C covers quite a bit, and if we had stuck with it we might have gotten to the same place, but it was becoming a dread.

If I use LFC with my next child, I will strongly consider doing it online with Veritas Press Scholars Academy. If I were a Latin newbie I would study on my own ahead of the child, but hopefully I will be further beyond that level by the time my next child is ready to start.

Edited by Penelope, 20 July 2012 - 02:06 AM.


#5 Mom in High Heels

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 03:12 AM

We've done up to week 22 and I'm not sure we'll continue it next year. I've ordered Galore Park (the waiting is TORTURE) and have Minimus and will likely use a combination of those.

The LfC DVD's are incredibly cheesy, but they make us laugh, so I can't fault them for that. The instructor, whose name escapes me at the moment, is deliciously geeky. I adore him for it. I think he should have rehearsed a few more times before actually filming though. Maybe he did, and was just nervous, I don't know.

There is a lot of rote memorization in LfC with little application of what they learn. There is almost no translation of sentences, and all the quizzes have the Latin words to be translated into English, but I feel there should be some done the other way (English to Latin).

When we were in the States in April, James Bond and I went to a flea market where I found two high school Latin textbooks from the 1950 that make so much more sense. They are rigorous texts, which I find really interesting. They include a lot of translations and are very detailed in explanations. I've been working through them during the summer as well as Getting Started with Latin, which seems ridiculously easy, but has actually stuck with me quite well.

#6 Another Lynn

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 02:18 PM

We've done up to week 22 and I'm not sure we'll continue it next year. I've ordered Galore Park (the waiting is TORTURE) and have Minimus and will likely use a combination of those.

The LfC DVD's are incredibly cheesy, but they make us laugh, so I can't fault them for that. The instructor, whose name escapes me at the moment, is deliciously geeky. I adore him for it. I think he should have rehearsed a few more times before actually filming though. Maybe he did, and was just nervous, I don't know.

There is a lot of rote memorization in LfC with little application of what they learn. There is almost no translation of sentences, and all the quizzes have the Latin words to be translated into English, but I feel there should be some done the other way (English to Latin).

When we were in the States in April, James Bond and I went to a flea market where I found two high school Latin textbooks from the 1950 that make so much more sense. They are rigorous texts, which I find really interesting. They include a lot of translations and are very detailed in explanations. I've been working through them during the summer as well as Getting Started with Latin, which seems ridiculously easy, but has actually stuck with me quite well.


Just curious which 1950s era texts you found. I was planning to use LFC A this year after finishing GSWL last spring to give us an "easier" subject and plenty of review. But, I have a resistance to using LFC (and this thread isn't helping me! :D) We loved GSWL, by the way.

#7 mschickie

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 02:24 PM

We really like LFC. Dd learned a ton. The only thing I was not thrilled with was the activity book (too many crosswords). Dd and I sit and watch the dvd together and then she does the worksheets herself. I know a few people who use it and love it. We will be using primer b next. Not sure how I am planning it out but I know we will stick with it.

#8 Random

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 03:19 PM

Just curious which 1950s era texts you found. I was planning to use LFC A this year after finishing GSWL last spring to give us an "easier" subject and plenty of review. But, I have a resistance to using LFC (and this thread isn't helping me! :D) We loved GSWL, by the way.


Would you mind sharing what you loved about GSWL?

The LfC DVD's are incredibly cheesy, but they make us laugh, so I can't fault them for that. The instructor, whose name escapes me at the moment, is deliciously geeky. I adore him for it. I think he should have rehearsed a few more times before actually filming though. Maybe he did, and was just nervous, I don't know.


I would agree that the video quality is poor, and the content is cheesy. It's like someone set up their old-ish camcorder in the living room and filmed the episodes on a whim. Two of my boys loved it, one rolled his eyes. ;)

#9 nestof3

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 04:30 PM

I am one of them. I just do not like throwing so much memorization and so many endings at once. My boys and I were both glazed over, and I took Latin in college. There is no way our professor introduced so much so fast!

We are using Latin's Not So Tough.

#10 dmmetler

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 05:16 PM

My DD loved LfC, but struggled to retain/apply the vocabulary. Having said that, when we started Minimus and now Cambridge Latin, I think having "Front Loaded" LfC A's vocabulary helped because she recognized many of the words. I now use CL as our primary curriculum, but I do keep some of the LFC A and B chants on our car playlist in rotation, just so she's hearing the vocabulary. The DVDs never worked for us-they bored DD silly.

#11 my2boysteacher

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 05:41 PM

I borrowed LFC A from a friend, and really disliked it. It seemed, like others have mentioned, that it threw out so much new material every week without application. We went with Lively Latin, and really enjoyed it.

#12 jenn&charles

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 06:49 PM

There is a lot of rote memorization in LfC with little application of what they learn. There is almost no translation of sentences...(English to Latin).


:iagree: I totally agree with the above.

LfC went too fast for us and I didn't really understand what we were supposed to be learning. The chants were lame and didn't help us LEARN anything. Otter thought the videos were silly.
LfC was really good for learning vocabulary but not so good for understanding Latin grammar, etc. (at least for us).

I switched to Lively Latin and for the first time actually understood what we were doing.

I've since used Visual Latin and Getting Started with Latin (and a bit of Lingua Latina).

GSWL is by far the best out of all the programs to begin with and the one my son RETAINED the most with. It's also helped me! I wish there were more levels. It's so well designed and easy to use.

Lingua Latina is my next choice. It is awesome (I am seriously in love with it), but probably better suited for an older student. We'll be using it again in the future when we finish with GSWL.

I like Visual Latin because of the humor. It was hard for my son to retain it long term though because of the long passages to translate from Latin to English. It's the only program he really liked and looked forward to though.

So...I guess I rambled on a bit more about other programs than LfC.
LfC just didn't cut it for us and I almost gave up Latin because of it. I'm glad I didn't.

#13 kye022984

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 07:14 PM

This is the program I was looking at for my kids. I don't know what all the abbreviated latin programs are that you are all talking about but, is this one of them:
http://www.memoriapr...tions/prima.htm

I was looking into Latin's Not So Tough too

#14 Another Lynn

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 08:11 PM

Would you mind sharing what you loved about GSWL?

<snip>


I loved GSWL because the focus on translation made learning the vocab. and grammar fun. It gave purpose to learning vocab. and grammar - and it was easy and fun to do without mindless memorization. Unfortunately I have yet to find another program like it. If a program focuses on vocab and grammar - there seems to be very little translation. If a program focuses too much on translation - there's not enough grammar instruction and the student is reduced to guessing. GSWL is the only thing I've seen that gets it right, and unfortunately doesn't progress beyond the beginner level. Just my very opinionated .02.

#15 Hill Country Kat

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 11:59 AM

Thank you guys for all the replies!! I was looking at getting LfC for DD to start this next year, but without actually getting to see anything other than the online samples I couldn't figure out what it was that seems to make this not a sustainable choice.

We already have GSWL and the other thing I'd been looking at was Lively Latin. I think we'll go that route instead. Thanks for saving me the headache of buying it to be disappointed and scrambling for something else.

#16 Abbeygurl4

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 05:53 PM

I've only had the book and videos from the library- but the reason I did not turn around and buy it-

The video and audio quality is awful. It annoyed the heck out of me. I don't understand how something can be that expensive.... and that poor quality.

Song School Latin is in the same boat for me (bought and returned that).

If you haven't checked out the samples online, I highly recommend it. Some people aren't bothered by it. It's a deal breaker for me.


:iagree:

#17 Random

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 12:29 AM

I loved GSWL because the focus on translation made learning the vocab. and grammar fun. It gave purpose to learning vocab. and grammar - and it was easy and fun to do without mindless memorization. Unfortunately I have yet to find another program like it. If a program focuses on vocab and grammar - there seems to be very little translation. If a program focuses too much on translation - there's not enough grammar instruction and the student is reduced to guessing. GSWL is the only thing I've seen that gets it right, and unfortunately doesn't progress beyond the beginner level. Just my very opinionated .02.



Thank you for elaborating. This was very helpful.

#18 Tarreymere

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:21 AM

For us, there was not enough practice. I KNOW about the free download stuff on the publishers website, and the cute activity book, but while interesting and attractive those resources did not provide either the amount of practice or the kind of practice with the language that my kids need to actually learn.

We switched to Latin Prep from Galore Park and have been very happy ever since. Latin Prep has exactly what we need in terms of appropriate practice (in case anyone is interested), and the teaching makes sense. .

#19 Mom in High Heels

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 04:05 PM

Just curious which 1950s era texts you found. I was planning to use LFC A this year after finishing GSWL last spring to give us an "easier" subject and plenty of review. But, I have a resistance to using LFC (and this thread isn't helping me! :D) We loved GSWL, by the way.



One book is called simply Latin Book One by Scott (and?) Horn. At the top of the book it reads Language, Literature and Life. It was published by Scott Foresman and Co, but the first few pages up to the preface on page 3 are missing, so I can't get any other info. It has the name of a student and reads "freshmen Latin, 1958."

The other book is called Lingua Latina Liber Primus by Burns, Medicus and Sherburne, published by Bruce (I think). The first few pages up to page 5 are missing in this one. What was with them tearing out the first few pages? This book cracks me up simply because whoever had it was very funny and liked to label the photos. There's a photo of the Colosseum with a lamp post in the foreground and a car (looks to be late 40's/early 50's) and some people. The student drew arrows to each and labeled them "early Roman ruin," early Roman lamp post," "early Roman car," "early Roman people." The whole book is like that and it makes me chuckle. The student was obviously obsessed with the University of Alabama because Roll Tide, Bama or Bama #1 are written all through the book. :001_huh:

I am about halfway through GSWL and I have to say I'm really enjoying it. I know a lot of stuff, but part of it is from what I learned in LfC. I still chant with the same rhythm as LfC. GSWL is very easy, but very good at explaining things for the most part and isn't overwhelming. I do know that whoever wrote the book apparently dislikes poets and thinks no one is a poet. Poeta non es. Poeta non est. Estis non poetae. Poetae non sunt. Good grief, no one is a poet! :D Oh, wait, sometimes the farmers are poets, so there's hope! Agricolae sunt poetae!

#20 crazyforlatin

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:23 PM

I loved GSWL because the focus on translation made learning the vocab. and grammar fun. It gave purpose to learning vocab. and grammar - and it was easy and fun to do without mindless memorization. Unfortunately I have yet to find another program like it. If a program focuses on vocab and grammar - there seems to be very little translation. If a program focuses too much on translation - there's not enough grammar instruction and the student is reduced to guessing. GSWL is the only thing I've seen that gets it right, and unfortunately doesn't progress beyond the beginner level. Just my very opinionated .02.


If you need something beyond GSWL, I would go with Henle. There is no guessing required because the instruction is so clear that I feel it's almost an open-and-go book, similar to GSWL, but with a separate grammar book. There's hardly any prep time for me, although text size is small and we've had to use it either orally or I've had to type out exercises on Word. With an older child or adult, I think the font size is fine.

OP, LfC doesn't fit my style of teaching, although I chose Henle before realizing that there are so many Latin programs for children, but I've looked at the sample, and just based on that, it wouldn't have worked for us, especially after using GSWL.

#21 TracyR

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:51 PM

I will say we did enjoy the Song School Latin, but when I looked into the other levels I just was not impressed. The amount of work introduced seemed like to much. The chants were to fast and to cheesy. So I chose Memoria Press's Latina Christiana series and it works well for us.

#22 Mom in High Heels

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 02:40 AM

If you need something beyond GSWL, I would go with Henle. There is no guessing required because the instruction is so clear that I feel it's almost an open-and-go book, similar to GSWL, but with a separate grammar book. There's hardly any prep time for me, although text size is small and we've had to use it either orally or I've had to type out exercises on Word. With an older child or adult, I think the font size is fine.
.


The Henle book is very similar to what my vintage books are, except that they are secular.

#23 happycc

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 10:57 AM

Latin For Children for first timers....eek! It made MY head spin!
There is way too much boring memorization and the chants all sound the same. My kids saw all that pointless and it killed the love of Latin right away.

I like I Speak Latin combined with Getting Started with Latin.

You get the verbal and visual input from the two of these. My kids love the TPR activities in I Speak Latin and it stays with them. They don;t like the flashcard stuff though. They like the games though.

Getting Started with Latin gets the kids translating.

I can see perhaps going back to Latin for Children after doing these two. The transition would be easier.

But I am looking at Minimus or even Lively Latin next.

#24 Another Lynn

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 01:08 PM

Mom in High Heels and Crazy for Latin,
Thanks for continuing the discussion. I have read in other threads that Henle ought to be the more satisfying option after GSWL, but when I look at it I'm just not feeling the love. I have a Jenney's Year One from 1957. Do you have any idea how that compares to Henle or other vintage text options?

Thanks,
Lynn

#25 crazyforlatin

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 02:16 PM

Mom in High Heels and Crazy for Latin,
Thanks for continuing the discussion. I have read in other threads that Henle ought to be the more satisfying option after GSWL, but when I look at it I'm just not feeling the love. I have a Jenney's Year One from 1957. Do you have any idea how that compares to Henle or other vintage text options?

Thanks,
Lynn


I think what I like about Henle is the order in which the lessons are presented. It's just my personal preference, but I like all the declensions to be taught first before introducing conjugations.

I haven't seen Jenney's TOC. I know that William Linney uses a vintage text that looks great but alternates between declensions and conjugations, which is why I ultimately went with Henle, even though Mr. Linney does provide a free online class.

Since you have Jenney and have viewed Henle, do both authors have similar presentations? I've seen other vintage texts that also alternate between declensions/conjugations.

#26 trishalinn

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 05:05 PM

We were going to use lfc, but I looked at my friends copy and it looked terribly intimidating. I know we would have ditched it. Instead, we used visual Latin which we both loved! I'm learning Latin at the same time. We got through the first 20 lessons last year and Lao started lingua Latina. We will start over this year and move quickly through the first lessons. Im also taking the online course with dwane Thomas and hope to get ahead of my son. We are having fun with Latin!

#27 Another Lynn

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:52 PM

I think what I like about Henle is the order in which the lessons are presented. It's just my personal preference, but I like all the declensions to be taught first before introducing conjugations.

I haven't seen Jenney's TOC. I know that William Linney uses a vintage text that looks great but alternates between declensions and conjugations, which is why I ultimately went with Henle, even though Mr. Linney does provide a free online class.

Since you have Jenney and have viewed Henle, do both authors have similar presentations? I've seen other vintage texts that also alternate between declensions/conjugations.


It's been awhile since I looked at Henle, so I looked at it again just now briefly on Googlebooks.... I can see that Henle's grammar explanations are really helpful. I'll confess part of my problem was just page layout and print-size. I think the more I don't find what I'm looking for, the more I'm likely to appreicate what Henle has to offer. My original impression was that it was more of Memoria Press's drill without enough translation, but maybe I didn't look far enough (or imagine it without their study guide). I think we're just between a rock and a hard place - we know too much (thanks to GSWL) to go backwards to typical grammar stage (memory driven) programs, yet, with a 10yo student I'm not ready to commit the time it takes to do a really "highschool" program yet.

Also, I've not really thought in terms of what order things were taught, except I assume that Henle's early focus on nouns without conjugations probably didn't jive with my thoughts about translating. Here are Jenney's first 10 lessons: 1. The First Delcension, 2. The Present Indicative, 3. The Direct Object, 4. The Conjugation of Sum, 5. Review, 6. The Second Declension, 7. Prepositions, 8. Second Declension, Neuter, 9. Adjectives, 10. Review. I'm not sure Jenney will make me any happier than Henle; I just happen to have it on hand.

Finally, I'm not a real Latin teacher, just a former Latin student who thought Latin was really fun and cool and might as well teach it to some of my own kids since I don't know any other language to teach them, LOL. In fact, I'm half curious what text we used in highschool 25 years ago, but I have no idea what it was.

#28 crazyforlatin

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 02:34 AM

It's been awhile since I looked at Henle, so I looked at it again just now briefly on Googlebooks.... I can see that Henle's grammar explanations are really helpful. I'll confess part of my problem was just page layout and print-size. I think the more I don't find what I'm looking for, the more I'm likely to appreicate what Henle has to offer. My original impression was that it was more of Memoria Press's drill without enough translation, but maybe I didn't look far enough (or imagine it without their study guide). I think we're just between a rock and a hard place - we know too much (thanks to GSWL) to go backwards to typical grammar stage (memory driven) programs, yet, with a 10yo student I'm not ready to commit the time it takes to do a really "highschool" program yet.

Also, I've not really thought in terms of what order things were taught, except I assume that Henle's early focus on nouns without conjugations probably didn't jive with my thoughts about translating. Here are Jenney's first 10 lessons: 1. The First Delcension, 2. The Present Indicative, 3. The Direct Object, 4. The Conjugation of Sum, 5. Review, 6. The Second Declension, 7. Prepositions, 8. Second Declension, Neuter, 9. Adjectives, 10. Review. I'm not sure Jenney will make me any happier than Henle; I just happen to have it on hand.

Finally, I'm not a real Latin teacher, just a former Latin student who thought Latin was really fun and cool and might as well teach it to some of my own kids since I don't know any other language to teach them, LOL. In fact, I'm half curious what text we used in highschool 25 years ago, but I have no idea what it was.


Since you have Jenney, and the order of lessons doesn't seem a huge deal for you, I would use it. Does it have a separate workbook? Henle doesn't and the font size is a reasonable concern.

I don't think Henle is a high school text, although I'm sure it's used for that stage. It feels more like a middle school book, as is the one that Mr. Linney uses, but that's just because I've seen Wheelock and Learn to Read Latin.

I found another vintage text that is geared towards elementary students but can be used more quickly by middle schoolers. There may be an answer key. I'll have to find it on google tomorrow since it's getting late here. :tongue_smilie:

#29 crazyforlatin

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 05:16 PM

Here is Nutting's Latin Primer, which seems easier to tackle than Henle for a younger child. The text size is huge. I may have used this if I had not bought Henle, but only up to a certain point. I refer to this book for additional vocabulary that is not presented in Henle.

#30 Another Lynn

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 06:22 PM

Here is Nutting's Latin Primer, which seems easier to tackle than Henle for a younger child. The text size is huge. I may have used this if I had not bought Henle, but only up to a certain point. I refer to this book for additional vocabulary that is not presented in Henle.


Thank you so much for going to the trouble of finding the link for me. I love what he writes in the preface! I do see some similarities with Jenney, but I'm going to spend some more time with it for sure.

Thanks again!

#31 krorabaugh

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 07:54 PM

I was homeschooled as a kid and we did Latin for a while - it was hard to keep up with because it wasn't really practical to use outside of school

#32 Susan in TN

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 07:59 PM

We were going to use lfc, but I looked at my friends copy and it looked terribly intimidating. I know we would have ditched it. Instead, we used visual Latin which we both loved! I'm learning Latin at the same time. We got through the first 20 lessons last year and Lao started lingua Latina. We will start over this year and move quickly through the first lessons. Im also taking the online course with dwane Thomas and hope to get ahead of my son. We are having fun with Latin!


We love Visual Latin too!

#33 suzielou

suzielou

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 05:09 PM

I know this is old, but wanted to give my review of GSWL.
So far, we are 20 lessons in and my 6yr old can read/translate:
"Sumus poētae et estis nautae." and "Nautae nōn sunt agricolae." It may not seem like much, but he actually gets it. My DS11 and DD8 are also going through GSWL and are loving it. The course adds a little as you go and doesn't assume you know the grammar. It talks about nouns and what a noun is before introducing Latin nouns. The student has to identify nouns in English sentences. When it covers plural nouns, you have to go through a series of English sentences to identify whether it is singular or plural. My 6yr old didn't hadn't gotten to direct objects in his grammar book, but he knows what they are because of GSWL. My DS11 finds it very easy right now, but with his current course load, it is perfect.

As for LFC, I thought about using it for my DD8 and DS6 after GSWL, but the more I look at it, the more leaning towards not using it. By the 3rd chapter of LFC Primer A, it covers nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and ablative cases. It may be overload for my 6yr old.


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