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Best text for me to re-learn Latin?


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I had 5 years of Latin, but it's been a long time and I need to study in order to be able to teach my dc as they get older. 

I have a year at least, DD has done SSL and will do GSWL this year.

 

Should I just jump in with Wheelocks?  Or should I use a text my children might use? 

Anyone who has done this or is doing it, I'd love hear your experiences!

 

 

x-posted to the general board

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I had 5 years of Latin, but it's been a long time and I need to study in order to be able to teach my dc as they get older. 

I have a year at least, DD has done SSL and will do GSWL this year.

 

Should I just jump in with Wheelocks?  Or should I use a text my children might use? 

Anyone who has done this or is doing it, I'd love hear your experiences!

 

 

x-posted to the general board

 

I would recommend not using GSWL yourself, if your kids are using it.  It is very basic, and there is a lot of grammar that it skips over, which is fine, but kids often ask good questions which require more insight than such elementary texts have, and you might be led into giving a wrong answer.  e.g, someone here recently posted something to the effect that "Latin grammar is very easy and logical, for example, all nouns ending in -us are masculine".  Which is true for the grammar you cover when you are just starting out, but after a while you'll learn that it just isn't true in all cases.  If you are just at the same level as your students, it is easy to make this kind of mistake.

 

So, I would recommend at least a high-school level text for self study.  Wheelock is ubiquitous, incredibly cheap if you get it used, and with a bit of google'ing, you can find an online answer set which has a lot of good stuff in it as well.  It covers most of Latin grammar, so it is nice to have a grammar guide in one book.  Latin for the New Millennium is a newer text which has some nice features, but it much more expensive, as what Wheelock covers in one book, it takes two or three books to cover.

 

The College-level texts, I think, are a bit harder for self-studiers. They are a bit more complete when it comes to grammar, but really assume you have an expert to help you along.

 

If you've taken Latin before, you probably know this, but the first steps I recommend for an adult are

 

1) Memorize all the paradigms.  This is tedious, but will pay great dividends later.  Quickly (within a week), get all the noun declensions in your head, and then over the course of several months, write them all out 100 times in a blank notebook.  It should take about 5 minutes to write them all out, so if you can find five minutes while the kids are at karate or where ever, writing them out will help to reinforce them in your head.  Then do the same thing for verb conjugations, which takes a lot longer.

 

2)  Memorize a basic set of vocab, in both directions.  Wheelock has a basic set of about 1,000 words you should learn.  I like the smartphone or table flashcard apps for this.  Again, this is often something you can do a few minutes at a time in between other activities.

 

3) Work through every chapter of Wheelock, and do all the exercises.  Note that the whole book usually covers about 2 years of high school Latin, so you can take your time with it.

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I was in a similar spot 5 years ago... I had studied Latin in high school and wanted a refresher before starting it with my children. I thought I'd just go through Latin for Children the summer before my oldest started it, but, after looking at it, realized I would go  bonkers with the slow pace and level of the subject matter/translations. 

 

So, I took a Latin-in-a-Week crash course using Wheelock's.  It forced me to get focused and just do it. I started working through Wheelock's on my own a couple of months before the crash course, but you don't have to.  I got through about 18 chapters, memorizing the paradigms and vocab., and then cranked through the crash course. Finished another 6 chapters after the course. My oldest are finishing up Wheelock's this year (online), but I've been able to help them with Latin for the past 5 years. So, the crash course was a good investment of time and money for us. (And I was happy to have the chance to re-study Latin!)

 

I think one advantage of doing something like Wheelock's rather than using a beginner text to review or rather than re-learning along with the child is that you get a clearer, long term road map. When you know where you're going long term, you can teach ahead.  Also, if you know where you're going, you know why they're learning what they're learning and why you shouldn't take shortcuts with some things. It's much easier to teach and to rally the troops behind you when you know why what you're doing (memorizing all those paradigms!) matters and you can explain that to the troops.

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I had Latin in Catholic school quite a. Bit ago, but I found that an enormous amount came back quite quickly with my son. I have needed to work a good three chapters ahead even after a refresher for myself ust to be sure I was. Adequately practicing the translation work. It is vocabulary that is the major kicker for me. Most all my work way back when was Biblical, not all the war/fighting/classics stuff. I was kicking butt with Visual Latin, but not so much with the Aeneid.

 

It is one thing to keep in mind. The vocabulary will not matter massively when they first start, but it can creep up on you fast. Make sure the program you are using has the same general translation subjects.

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