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Process of learning/teaching Latin, esp. with MP products

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I started off using Prima Latina with my oldest, and we just finished Latina Christiana 2. We took 3 years from grades 3 to 5 to study with these books. I did Latin because I was convinced by the arguments put forth in WTM for learning Latin. Dd will start PL this summer for grade 3, and I plan to take her through the same progression. And ds will be starting the Henle book with the MP guides and right now I plan to take three years to get through First Year Latin, and then consider Second Year Latin.


Now that I've been through up to LC2 and have had a look at Henle and the MP guides (I have them here), I wonder if anyone thinks that the teaching instructions sometimes are a bit too much? I've followed them pretty closely, because I've never done Latin before (and I'm a Type A oldest child who wants to make sure she does things right! :lol:). But I look at all these flashcards I've made over the years, and look at the instructions in the MP Henle guides about the rigorous memorization involved in Latin, and think, "My son has done quite well with memorizing vocab, grammar forms, sayings, prayers, has done well with applying them to exercises, but he will NEVER EVER have everything perfectly memorized for life, and I don't really care anymore!!!" It's starting to make me crazy when I read those instructions!!!! And I'm starting to wonder if I overdrilled him this past year to MAKE SURE he got it all memorized by the end of LC2 like they said, only to find that a lot of the same things appear in the first long while of Henle!!! And of course I feel terrible about it.


I get that the memorizing is supposed to make the exercises easier, but how much drill is really necessary? How do you decide? Maybe I'm being forced to reconsider why I want my kids to learn Latin....so I can figure out end goals and then decide how much drill is necessary. How do you do this? I guess, before, I was thinking that it would just be good to study Latin, to get language patterns in our head, to assist with English, to assist with learning other languages. I'm happy to continue using the MP books and the Henle and I like that we are learning a language pattern with these. But how seriously do you have to take the MP books instructions on drill? And how far? (and as a side note, how do you decide how far to take your kids in Latin, esp. if you use the Henle books?)



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Having never looked at the Henle books before, I'm actually pleased to know that they include a lot of reptition of LC2. I know DS will forget a significant amount over the summer, and I was planning on having him do the Memoria Press online Henle course next year.


Not being as careful as you Type As are, (I'm a high B, I think!) I'm not supervising the memorization as much as I could. More repetition will be good for him.

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I've traveled down a similar path, but am a little farther ahead, so here's my perspective. Dd did LCI and II in grades 3 - 5, then started Henle with the MP guides halfway through 5th. Having a teacher who knew absolutely zero about Latin (me), the LC books and the MP guides to Henle were excellent "teachers" for both dd and me. I was very glad that the beginning of Henle was a review of the LC books--it made it so much less intimidating!


We went all the way through the first MP guide, and halfway through the second, but at that point I was lost. Somewhere along the line I stopped keeping up with dd, and because of that, any questions she had I couldn't answer.


So a couple of months ago I signed her up for high school Latin with our state's Virtual School. Just looking over this course, I am so thankful that we spent all of that time with LC memorizing the forms and vocab. She's cruising through the course and hasn't encountered new info yet. This course moves very quickly and throws all kinds of info at them at once--I can't imagine trying to master it at this pace with no foundation in Latin.


That's what LC (and Henle) gave her as we spent all those years studying Latin--a foundation. At this point I want her to do well with Latin I & II for her high school foreign language requirement. In addition, it will help with her vocab., and make learning a modern language a whole lot easier. She's just finishing 7th grade now, so we're getting a jump on the whole process, but I feel like the Latin we did at home gave her a real advantage in learning it now.

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I have been using Henle and the MP guides for almost two years w/my younger dd. She is 3/4 through the second MP guide. She rarely asks me for help, and I attribute that to the excellent review and drill built into the guides. It can be drudgery to memorize all of the forms and vocabulary, but it is a necessary evil, IMO, in learning any language. At some point, you simply must learn the grammar - especially for Latin. I think it is much better to build this foundation on a slow, incremental basis, as is done via the MP guides.


To break things up, and give my dd practice in reading "Latin as Latin", I use Oerberg's Lingua Latina. We read from it 3-4 days per week. In order to use it successfully, the parent needs to keep several chapters ahead of their dc. Cambridge Latin is also a good resource for Latin reading practice.

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Thanks for the replies, everyone.


I think what's nagging me is that because I followed the instructions pretty closely, all that memory work took up quite a bit of time each day, and I don't want it to. I know I could have spread LC 1 and 2 out over more than 30 weeks, and I tried this a few times, but I wanted also to keep the weekly study pattern. Guess I'll just have to choose, right? I *am* glad we have a pretty good foundation in place for Henle, but I think I'm going to spread things out for both kids so that memory drill isn't so overkill. It's another case of "I feel bad for my oldest child with whom I'm learning."

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