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About Steven

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  1. DD is eighth grade and we are on track to finish Familia Romana (Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata by Orberg) in January (currently on chapter 32 of 35 chapters). We have used it for the last 4 years. I expect us to continue with the next book by Orberg, Roma Aeterna. Prior to Familia Romana, we used I Speak Latin. We have been very happy with Lingua Latina.
  2. I second the recommendation of I Speak Latin. I have written about it in these forums in the past, so I won't repeat all that since you can search on it but just give a few short reasons: It teaches real grammar and vocabulary It is not workbook based, but focused on speaking and listening It's fun It is scripted for the parent.
  3. Just to offer a completely different viewpoint, I'll put in my 2 cents worth. We are in a fourth year of Lingua Latina/Familia Romana. We started it in 4th grade as a follow on to I Speak Latin. I think it would be hard to pair it with another text, because it presents the grammar in a completely different order than most books. We really like it, and my daughter has found the story very engaging. Do not expect to get through more than 8 or 9 chapters a year. It does not stress translation at all so if you are teaching the kids Latin as a way of learning English grammar, LL is probably not the best choice. (I would recommend KISS Grammar as an English grammar course.) LL probably presumes that most people use the restored classical pronunciation, as it includes the macrons to mark the long vowels. But we use the ecclesiastical pronunciation. There are lots of supporting materials to go along with LL, so plan on buying more that just the textbook. The books with additional practice exercises are very useful. We should have used them more. To address your problem of splitting the kids, I would suggest starting the older one with LL, and moving the younger one to I Speak Latin, which will give a great foundation for LL. But if you felt like you laid a foundation already, you could consider starting both of them in LL. To drill vocabulary, we use the Anki computerized flashcard system. I put funny pictures on the cards that I find on the Internet to help illustrate the meaning of the words.
  4. I put in my regular plug here for I Speak Latin. It teaches grammatical features of Latin without a lot of explicit grammar instruction. It presents Latin as a spoken, living language and introduces it as you would a modern foreign language. Here is the link: The lessons are scripted, which helps the parent who knows little or no Latin. No written exercises are required; indeed, there is minimal need for writing, since the flashcards the student makes has a picture on one side and Latin on the other. The lessons are fun. At the same time, by the end of the 50+ lessons, the student will have covered the first two declensions (which includes the concepts of masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns), all four cases, matching adjectives to nouns and cases, the four verb conjugations and endings for the present tense. This is a very good start on Latin, or a very good foundation for understanding the grammatical principles of most European languages.
  5. I would recommend KISS Grammar. Very little writing, mainly analyzing sentences. It's free and is available online. I used it with my daughter and she knows more grammar than I ever did in school.
  6. Well, I know that I am a minority opinion on these boards, but I found SSL a complete waste of time, and we used it at a much younger age that 3rd grade. I suggest instead I Speak Latin by Andrew Campbell ( . Its completely scripted for the parent that knows little or no Latin, is fun and engaging, and focuses on speaking Latin (so there isn't a bunch of writing and translation). Best of all by the end of the 50 some lessons, your child will have learned key features of Latin grammar: genders for nouns, different cases, endings for present tense verbs, adjective endings, etc. Even if you do not continue with Latin, these grammatical concepts will help pave the way in other European languages that you might study. The book suggests making flash cards by drawing pictures and writing the Latin word on the back. I suggest taking pictures instead. You can print hard copies cheaply at Costco, or import them into a computerized flashcard system like Anki. This book would be more fun if you have more than one student. I only have one daughter, so we dressed up her stuffed animals in old t-shirts (tunics) and gave them all Latin names. That way we had more people to interact with and give directions to. In contrast all you get with SSL is some random vocabulary.
  7. We did Singapore Math in two (approximately) 15 minute sessions a day.
  8. You might consider I Speak Latin (ISL). It does not focus on translation, but on teaching Latin as if you are learning a modern language. It is well scripted for the teacher/parent (even one who does not know Latin--I learned along with my daughter) and does not have a lot of seat work. The author suggests having the student make flash cards of the vocabulary by drawing pictures and writing the Latin word on the back side. We switched to doing photos, that I printed cheaply at Costco (later we switched to the computerized flash card system, Anki). Unlike SSL, you will cover quite a bit of real Latin grammar by the end of the book. If your purpose for learning Latin is specifically to teach English grammar, ISL should be supplemented with a good English grammar course (I recommend KISS), since ISL does not drill grammar in the traditional fashion. KISS Grammar would help them with the basics of recognizing adjectives, nouns, subjects, direct objects, etc. in English as well as Latin and give your boys names for the grammatical concepts to discuss the Latin grammar that they are learning by copying patterns in ISL.
  9. We followed the weekly schedule in the HIG, marking in both the textbook and workbook were we wanted to by the end of Friday. I tried to spread the number of pages out evenly by day, but did also pay attention to the individual lessons. I didn't care if the workbook got behind the corresponding textbook lesson by a day, since I figured it was good way to cement things in DD's memory. But in most cases, I think we did the corresponding lessons on the same day. I did split the math lessons into two sessions: morning for the TB and afternoon for the WB. That was a strategy to make math less onerous and to help cement the lesson in her memory. We usually did lessons 5 days a week, but sometimes compressed it into 4 if the number of pages to cover was not too great (especially if there was a holiday that week that we wanted to take off for).
  10. We did AoPS Prealgebra after Standards 5B. On the whole I was happy with it, but I wished that I had used direct instruction rather than discovery method when introducing each topic. That would have made it more like the math we did with Singapore. And we probably would have had fewer melt-downs. I did feel that AoPS had too many problem geared to math competitions that were too puzzle-like and didn't reflect any real world application of math. On the other hand, if one can solve those puzzles, one definitely has a very good grasp of the concepts.
  11. We followed the weekly schedule at the front of the HIG. I marked the pages we were suppose to reach by Friday in the textbook and the workbook. Then divided those pages over 5 days. Of course you have to be careful not to let the workbook get ahead of the textbook lessons. But I don't remember that be a big issue. Because of holidays, etc., sometimes I divided the pages over 4 days, so we could days off. My daughter had no problems keeping to the suggested schedule.
  12. KISS Grammar. It has short exercises and the student constantly reviews since each section just adds one more concept to the items that must be identified in the sentences being identified.
  13. OPG definitely reflects the pronunciation patterns of its author. I found a number of them differed from my own. The long-u words was a source of some amusement in our family, since my wife's English grandmother had very used the long-u sound (with the initial y-sound) for words like "tube" and "student." My wife would imitate her grandmother with an exaggerated accent, and we just explained that there are lots of different regional accents in English. Rather than say things are wrong, we talk about certain pronunciations being "standard" or "non-standard." Most people have some non-standard pronunciations or grammatical usages. I was disappointed that Susan Wise did not explicitly address where her pronunciations might differ from other common pronuciations. The funniest incident of this sort in our house was the short-e sound. I was reading the list of short-e words: pet, let, met, etc. When I came to "g-e-t," I said "git" using my regional Ohio accent. Only as I heard myself say "git" did I realize that I did not pronounce that word with a short e. We still laugh about that incident whenever we recommend OPC to other families.
  14. My daughter hates writing anything out. We did Singapore through 5B, and she tries very hard to do it all as mental math. We started AoPS Prealgebra back in September and I used the first chapter to demonstrate how teaches in "factory" school expect their students to write out the proofs--one has to show each logical step. She did not like having to do so. We are now in chapter 9 and she still tries to write the minimum possible. She likes list the problem number and then write the final answer next to it. At first she tried to get away with writing a few numbers off to the side, but it was difficult to figure out which numbers went with which problem. At least now, she draws a box around all the work that goes with the problem and circles the final answer. But it is still a struggle to get her to write the intermediate steps.
  15. Yes, I think it would be beneficial. I have had a terrible time getting my daughter to neatly write out math problems so that I can follow what she has done. At first, she wanted to list the problem numbers on the left hand side, and then just write the answers there. The associated work was scribbled off to the right in no organized way. I have emphasized to her that I need to be able to find the work that goes with each answer, and I have tried to get her to write down the problem she is working on and then write each step below that, and then the answer. But she still wants to cram all of her work in a tiny little space, and resists writing most of the steps. She gets upset if, when correcting problems, I write the problem in larger script on the blank half of the page. She complains that I am wasting paper (as if we had a shortage). We also used Singapore Workbooks for 1 through 5, so it was not really an issue before. But now we are doing Art of Problem Solving Prealgebra, which assumes one is doing the problems on a separate page.
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