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Latin for Parents?


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I want to do Latin with my DD next year (when she will be in 3rd grade), but I would like to get a sense of the language before I start. I studied French in public high school and know less than I should of any foreign language, frankly. I have a good grasp of English grammar, though.


What would be a good, inexpensive guide for an adult to self-teach basic Latin? I've heard of Getting Started with Latin. Anything else?




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Guest RecumbentHeart

What's your idea of "inexpensive"? I bought Cambridge Latin 1 used at a good price (just the text) and then bought the CD to go with it to help me with pronunciation and it is proving an easy and enjoyable way to get a grasp of speaking the language. I'm going to be using Cambridge later down the road with the children though so the expense isn't just on me.

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I really like The Intelligent Person's Guide to the Latin Language - free online here. It was expanded into a book, but I've sadly never been able to find it. It gives the best big picture overview of the grammar that's I've seen, and includes lots of little details that help apparent oddities make sense. I'm not sure whether it would be enough to learn the language from by itself, although the intent is that you can. The idea is that you read through it, get an idea of the big picture, then learn how it works in practice by diving right into real Latin texts, working through them with a dictionary and a grammar reference (the Guide can function as the grammar reference). I've no doubt that it works - it's just a steeper learning curve than I'm ready for ;). But it is definitely worth reading through, whatever program you want to use.


I also really like Latin for Reading - it is a more non-threatening/user-friendly approach than Wheelock's, and it pairs explicit grammar (that is informed by modern linguistic approaches) with a focus on building an ability to read Latin as Latin. The explanations make the most sense to me of all the Latin books I have. The text is here, answer key/instructor's guide here.


I also really like Lingua Latina - it truly *teaches* the grammar and vocab through the readings, not just exposes or reviews it - it is a whole 'nother level beyond other reading method texts. But a lot of people prefer to get some Latin under their belt before they start it - you *can* learn just from LL, but not everyone prefers to do that without a teacher. Very worthwhile as a reader, whatever text one uses, though.

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I stumbled upon this method last weekend: Learning Latin by the Dowling method.

It is a 3-step method and uses Lingua Latina.

Here is an online tool for step 2 of the method: Dowling's Wheel.

Lingua Latina is available on Amazon.

Total cost: $18.50

Total time: 2 years


I have no idea if this is an effective method, but it seems to me that this will not work for a child.


Of all the beginner Latin books I glanced at, Lingua Latina appealed to me the most. A reviewer of Lingua Latina on Amazon mentioned starting their kids with GSWL and then moving on to Lingua Latina. That is the way I am leaning at present.



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I'm using Henle for myself and I really love it! It has lots of translation practice and the vocabulary is not overwhelming. In fact, after teaching LC to my dd, I've found I much prefer Henle's sensible approach. Right now I'm rushing my dd through LCII in hopes of having her begin Henle as soon as possible.

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