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When do you start Latin?


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I am starting German in K or 1st and planned to start Latin in 3rd, once they are already starting to get an understanding of grammar, spelling, vocab, etc. I read an article today in Old Schoolhouse Magazine that said that Latin shouldn't be started until 12-14. She also seemed to be touting her online program so I am taking the article with a grain of salt.

 

So, instead of listening to a self serving writer, I thought I would ask the hive. I know that a lot of you teach Latin. When do you start? How well do your DC do with the programs? How is their retention?

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We start with Prima Latina at age 8 or 9. We use the DVDs. They learn only 5 new words a week. Kids at this age love to memorize and easily learn the material. Retention has been fabulous.

 

I am wary of starting Latin (or any foreign language) so late. Reasons: 1. Younger children seem to have an easier time picking up the the particular "sound" of a language. 2. Course work by junior high really picks up and students have less time to begin rigorous study.

 

On the other hand, I can see how a clear understanding of English grammar is a great help in studying a language like Latin. And in our family, I've noticed it isn't until the end of 5th grade before our children really start to master English grammar. Perhaps that might be the reason for the suggestion of starting Latin later?

 

We start with a gentle intro to Latin using Prima Latina, LC1 and LC2 and then begin Henle First Year by age 12 or 13. So, in a way, we begin the really intense coursework starting at age 12.

 

HTH!

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I started my big boys with Prima Latina in 3rd grade. They did fine with it, but I felt like it was a little too early with them because they didn't have a strong enough understanding of grammar concepts. Dd wanted to learn Spanish this year, so I was more than happy to put Latin off until 4th grade for her (and will probably do the same for the youngest). We'll also be using Lively Latin instead of PL. I found the Memoria Press materials mind-numbing, so switched to LL and Latin Prep several years ago.

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We only started homeschooling two years ago when my second son was 8 years old and I started him with Minimus, which is very relaxed and quite good fun. He's just coming to the end of Minimus Secundus now, aged 10 and I'll be looking for something a little more rigorous for him for next year. We really have had fun with Minimus and have learned a lot. Minimus is designed for children in this age group. I had wanted to start my 7 year old on the first Minimus next year, but he is a very young 7 year old and has struggled with reading English, so I'm not sure just at the moment whether or not we will.

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New, and haven't started but the WTM mentions starting in the 2nd or 3rd grade (if you don't have the book, I would reccomend it, its one of the best books I have purchased)

 

So I am planning to start Latin using one of the WTM resources at the age it reccomends, but I was thinking of starting with Rosetta Stone Latin (no workbooks added) at the end of this year or beginning next year (which DD would then be end of K, beginning of 1), then follow Rosetta with the more workbook type resources listed in WTM as per its schedule.

 

This works well for us as we want a start in it soon, and I believe from researching Prima Latina will be the best one for them to start with, but right now my kids are more visual/interactive (as per little kids lol) then workbook-able.

 

HTH xxxx

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We're going to be starting Latin either in 6th or 7th grade. In 7th it would correlate nicely with Ancient Studies, but we'll plan on keeping it throughout 10th.

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Just another quick question...do you think starting Latin earlier is detrimental or helpful? I plan on doing German throughout so they will hopefully be fluent by the time they graduate. I was going to do Latin starting in 3rd and hopefully all the way through (the kids can decide). I was maybe going to do a little Greek. The kids can add another modern language in high school if they so desire (and get rid of any languages they no longer want to study).

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I started teaching Latin when DD was in preschool, mainly because I didn't know what else to teach. She was a fluent reader by then and did very well with Getting Started with Latin. She understands Latin grammar better than English grammar, can speak Latin correctly (most of the time) with the words she has learned, and is not intimidated by the language. We happened to speak another language, so it was fine to start an ancient language at that point, but it's more important to begin a modern language as early as possible. Looking back, I should have been teaching Spanish every day (which is what I'm doing now) and possibly teach Latin later, like in 3rd grade or even later. Our problem now is that she can speak Latin well enough for what's expected at her age, but has more trouble with Spanish.

 

ETA: Starting as late as 14 means that the child would have to be highly motivated to learn all of the grammar of Latin (if that's your goal) plus all the other difficult subjects and have free time for extracurricular activities. It's harder to squeeze in a meaningful study of Latin when other subjects would seem more important for a high school kid or parent in preparation for college. I think the study of Latin grammar should take a few years before the child starts reading original text (again, depending on your goal), so it seems easier if it's done earlier yet gently.

Edited by crazyforlatin
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We plan to start our oldest with Prima Latina next year (2012-2013) for Second Grade. She is strongly verbal, reads at a high level, and loves learning about words and vocabulary. She has an amazing memory. She enjoys French (last year and this year). I think PL will be too easy for her, but I prefer it that way with this child. I hope this is the right approach and timing for her. Here's what helped me to decide to start:

 

http://www.memoriapress.com/articles/phonics.html

 

We might take 2-3 years to work our way through LC1 & LC2 (or First Form)... or another program, if the MP stuff is too tedious. [Or we might add Song School Latin to the mix, and take two years to work our way through both SSL and PL. I have to think about SSL a little more. ;) The songs would drive me up the wall.] I would rather start early and have "wiggle room" to slow it down, overlearn it, do derivative studies, memorize prayers and songs, and really make it an "every year" subject -- like Math and Composition -- instead of a flash in the pan. HTH.

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I would rather start early and have "wiggle room" to slow it down, overlearn it, do derivative studies, memorize prayers and songs, and really make it an "every year" subject -- like Math and Composition -- instead of a flash in the pan. HTH.

 

 

This is exactly what I was thinking. I want it to just be a part of school every year.

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We started once DD was established fairly well in reading English. So, it was just before she turned 8. We use Prima Latina too and I LOVE that it has memory work built in, makes it easy to memorize prayers in Latin.

 

So, why are we starting early? DD wanted to get going! She is always egging me on to start Greek too...but I want a couple of years of Latin under her belt first, I don't want to get too many new subjects on the go at once!

 

That's one of the reasons we are starting early. I want to ease into our languages, and would love to get Latin, Koine Greek, and biblical Hebrew in, so I have to spread things out. I think if I waited until 12-14 to start all of those, my brain would explode. That Memoria Press article a previous poster linked is a good read too :). PL is actually a bit of grammar review for us too, so it makes grammar seem more useful to my daughter, like - oh hey, there is grammar over here too! She asked for grammar this year too BTW!

 

We're on lesson 6 of PL, doing 1 lesson every 1.25 weeks or so if we stay on course. When we are done, it will be on to LCI, then First Form Latin - thennnn??? Speed through Henle?

 

Greek and Hebrew - don't even ask me yet! ;)

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Oooh, oooh! Kristinannie, I know you were asking about Latin, but I've gotta ask what you are using for German? My husband is crazy about German and is trying to learn it himself, and wants to teach the kids. But, with his schedule and without a curriculum, it's been kinda hit and miss. We have Rosetta Stone, but the kids are still a little too young for it. How are you going to be teaching German?

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I am going to use KIKUS German. Everything is in German so he would have to have a basic understanding of the language or a little free time and a dictionary. :tongue_smilie: It looks like a lot of fun and it is the ONLY program I have found for younger kids that looks fun and thorough. It is also available on amazon.de. They have 14 Euro shipping. I also ordered a lot of picture books and DVDs (you will need a different DVD player and I can send you a link to the store I bought mine at if you want). If he has questions, he can contact them on the Hueber site. I got several wonderful emails in english answering my questions.

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I'll probably push Latin back until middle school or so, maybe even late middle school realistically. I'd like to start it in 3rd/4th, but that'll be a couple years before we (hopefully) go to Brazil for an extended stay, so I'll be doing Portuguese instead in preparation. That'll put us at three modern languages, so we probably won't add another until DD is fluent enough in one to drop it as a language study and just maintain through speaking/literature/etc.

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