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Latin Grammar Vs. learning latin/greek prefixes/suffixes


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We are working our way through Prima Latina this year with my 2nd and 3rd grader. Its been OK but not very interesting and it has been difficult for me to teach with enthusiasm.

I am interested in Latin and Greek mostly for the benefit of developing a broader vocabulary and the ability to decipher word meanings.

So, here is my question.

Is there a curriculum that teaches Latin with the intention of simply developing a vocabulary without going into much grammar? We have enjoyed our English grammar lessons and will continue with that so the overlap gets a little annoying for the girls. They want to skip through the grammar lesson to get to the vocabulary.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

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I don't know the answer to your question, but I decided to use Dynamic Literacy's WordBuild. This program teaches the meanings of prefixes and suffixes for the first two years, and then teaches Greek and Latin word roots for the next three years. In my mind, it is the next best thing to doing a Latin program, and hopefully it will help my kids improve vocabulary and do better on the SAT.

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I don't know the answer to your question, but I decided to use Dynamic Literacy's WordBuild. This program teaches the meanings of prefixes and suffixes for the first two years, and then teaches Greek and Latin word roots for the next three years. In my mind, it is the next best thing to doing a Latin program, and hopefully it will help my kids improve vocabulary and do better on the SAT.

 

 

I was going to say the same thing. I'm using Dynamic Literacy's Foundations with my dd8. We're going to stretch the first book over 2 years. My understanding is that the Latin roots will come later on. It's easy to use and it seems like a really good program.

Edited by taffnus
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Lisa, that's a good article, thanks for sharing.

 

OP, we're also using Prima Latina here and I've been wondering the same thing. I don't doubt that Latin provides a very helpful background... but I don't know how much *more* benefit you get from learning the whole language, grammar and all, vs. just vocabulary and roots. I have no solid answer, but I think it's a very valid question.

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I don't know the answer to your question, but I decided to use Dynamic Literacy's WordBuild. This program teaches the meanings of prefixes and suffixes for the first two years, and then teaches Greek and Latin word roots for the next three years. In my mind, it is the next best thing to doing a Latin program, and hopefully it will help my kids improve vocabulary and do better on the SAT.

 

Sorry to hijack the thread, but I'm wondering if you found the teacher's manuals necessary or if you could do WordBuild with just the student activity books. $85 is crazy for a vocabulary program!

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I wouldn't decide not to do Latin at all based on Prima Latina. It is supposed to be a gentle introduction to Latin and not everyone likes it. Latina Christiana is supposed to be great. I know that First Form Latin is great (starting in 5th grade with no Latin background and in 4th if you did LCI in 3rd).

 

If you want to know why to include Latin and Greek instead of just roots, read Climbing Parnassus. :D I am not saying that you have to do Latin and Greek, but there are a lot of benefits other than vocabulary.

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I wouldn't give it up just for not finding PL interesting either. In fact, we do find it interesting. I'm just wondering if our time would be better spent on other things, I guess. Like Spanish, additional math, vocabulary roots... you see what I mean. I can't specifically speak to whether those are OP's thoughts.

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With my oldest three children I used English From The Roots Up

 

It is Greek and Latin roots. It was something they did on their own after I taught them how to make their flashcards. We tested each Friday over the week's cards. I wouldn't buy pre-made flashcards. I think half or more of the learning occurs as they have to color code and write their own cards- with their own examples.

 

They all did it in about 5th grade.

 

With my younger kids we will be doing Latin and Greek, so it remains to be seen whether we the Roots as well.

Edited by rieshy
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Sorry to hijack the thread, but I'm wondering if you found the teacher's manuals necessary or if you could do WordBuild with just the student activity books. $85 is crazy for a vocabulary program!

 

I'd like to know more about WordBuild, too.

 

I decided to go with Spanish instead of Latin, but I'd really like them to learn roots in an organized way at some point.

 

I flip flopped for a year over the Dynamic Literacy Foundations for my dd. Finally, I decided to splurge on it at our conference last year. I paid $55 for the first level (significant discount over the online price). My dd is 8yo and I've decided to do the first book over 2 years and then, more than likely, try to do level 2 in the 5th grade. Each lesson is 10-15 minutes/4 days per week. The student is given a prefix/suffix and uses it to make all kinds of words, define them, use them in sentences, play with them.

 

I like it. We do some of it orally b/c my dd is young and doesn't need to write everything (sentences) out. I try to make it painless so it stays fun.

 

Honestly, my biggest comment to give is that, last fall I had the chance to show all my curriculum to a childhood friend who is a 6th grade school teacher. She's the type who was called to teach and is extremely gifted (we knew this even when we were kids). Her forte is English. She was so drawn to this program that she took the information and decided to request that it be purchased for her school. That meant a lot to me and solidified my choice to give it a dedicated try.

 

My experience is only with the Foundations level and not the middle school Elements level. That's where the real meat comes in, so is my understanding. Oh, yes, I do recommend the IG. There are times when I've had to refer to it for word choice, etc. I would buy it again.

 

BTW, they have a 30-day guarantee. There's also a sample of a full week of the Elements level online. It looks different than the Foundations. I'd I'd recommend that you take a look at that. I think you can even print it off and give it a try. If you do buy, I would highly recommend that you get it at a conference if that's possible. The discount has been substantial the last two years.

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I wanted to discover word origins versus learning languages. Dd has chosen to learn Spanish, a very needed language at this time. While Latin and Greek are encouraged for classical subscribers, I had to meet needs and reality. I went with Vocabulary Bridges, which is very similar to English from the Roots Up. VB will be used over two years, and we will move to the latter. I may need to consider Dynamic Literacy from what I have just read. I had looked at it in the past, and I was not happy with the cost.

 

For the answer, drop Latin. Do not drop vocabulary that is meaningful and productive - such as a one of the many that study prefixes, suffixes, and roots. Our language is a composit of so many others. :) I could not justify only learning Latin, but I did not want to neglect language study.

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Thanks everyone for your input. I am interested in doing latin lessons as it will benefit their studies in foreign language in a couple of years. I'm looking into LfC for next year and maybe Vocabulary Vine to add more root study. Has anyone used Vocabulary Vine? I liked the samples that I saw.

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I have not used Vocabulary Vine, but also liked the look of it. Another one I was contemplating is Vocabulary from Classical Roots, although that's more for middle/high school level and we'd use it a few years down the road.

 

At this point, whether we continue Latin as a language study or not, we'd definitely want to incorporate word root study.

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