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sticking with Latin?


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Here's what we have done so far. In 3rd grade we did Prima Latina. In 4th we started Latina Christiana but we just weren't loving it. It moved too fast so we started Getting Started with Latin. Now we are in 5th grade and finishing GSWL. We're taking it slowly and loving it. I wish we would have just started with it!

 

We will finish it this year and we could maybe go back to Latina Christiana. Or I'm wondering if we should even stick with it. I'd like to start Spanish and I don't know about doing two languages.

 

What I have loved about Latin is that it's helped solidify grammar quite a bit. I love seeing my kids realize what some bigger words mean because they know the Latin vocab. I also like seeing them figure out the translations - it's almost like a logic puzzle sometimes.

 

I don't know that I'm concerned with them really knowing every bit of Latin. Every declension and conjugation. But I would really like them to keep learning vocab. I feel like if we just stopped it now, then by the time they're ready to take the SATs, their vocab will have been forgotten.

 

So I guess my questions are, should we stick with it? Even if we start Spanish? And is there something else or just something "light" that we could do to keep up with vocab? 

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I think if your’e loving it, it’s worth continuing. 

 

If you want to do just vocabulary there are lots of programs out there. We don’t use them so I don’t have specific recommendations. We have used Lively Latin and really loved it. My oldest has continued with Latin as a high schooler with Lukeion and LL prepared him well. At the same time, I felt like it was easy to take slowly. 

 

FWIW, he is now doing Spanish I in addition to Latin II. He’s doing the Spanish really because he has an opportunity to go to Chile this spring and we thought it would be good to do a little Spanish before. Then a native speaker offered to teach it at our co-op so that was just a good opportunity. Spanish is his 7th credit this year so I told him going in that if it was too much we could just not count it as a credit but instead just do it for the trip prep and exposure. But he’s finding it fairly easy after having the Latin background. The grammar is really easy for him so far and the vocab is fairly familiar.  I’m not saying that will be true as he continues with higher levels of Spanish but right now it’s not equivalent to doing two languages. For my son, Latin is his main language as he really enjoys it. He may end up dropping Spanish, especially if we don’t have the nice situation of having a convenient teacher. But I could see a situation where a similar student might do Latin through Latin II and then continue with the Spanish only. 

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We have done Spanish informally for years and it was great for teaching the concepts of noun gender and conjugation. Then in 4th we started GSWL and moved into the BBoLL. Latin has been great for introducing the concept of cases. Then in 6th we started German at a slow pace and it has really helped that we already had that background of grammar and vocabulary and language learning.

 

Next week we will finish BBoLL 2 and let Latin recede. We have been using the Anki flashcard program to study vocabulary, and after putting in all this effort, everyone is interested in continuing the Latin vocabulary study regularly, at least to the end of the school year. Another thing we will do is continue reading through the Caesar's English vocabulary books. Those books include nods to related Spanish words and some Latin writers and quotations, which have matched our language choices, and so add some interest.

 

Maybe for a couple of years you could have a primary language and a secondary one. So perhaps continue to work through a Latin program you like and spend 10-20 minutes a day learning/discussing/practicing Spanish vocabulary with supplements. Then down the road you can decide what to use for high school focus and either drop the other or just dial it back.

Edited by SusanC
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It gets quite challenging to continue with two languages as your kids get older, so unless they just love studying languages, I would switch to Spanish if that's what you plan to do in high school. There are plenty of other more efficient ways to build vocab than learning Latin. Just reading lots of good books can accomplish that, but you could also throw in a word roots study. That can be pretty short and sweet and doesn't need to be continued for years.

 

My dd has continued with both Latin and Spanish because she really enjoys them. Translating Latin is her favorite thing to do each day. Languages are not my son's area of interest, so he dropped Latin and switched to Spanish for high school. He did three years of Spanish and then stopped. His areas of interest are history and finance, so that's where he likes to invest his time.

 

ETA: Spanish can help solidify grammar as well.

Edited by OnMyOwn
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My oldest is in 5th, and we'll be finishing up GSWL this year. I also want to introduce a foreign language at some point.

 

I've decided to do Lively Latin next instead of Spanish because I think continuing with Latin will benefit my kids in both developing vocabulary and learning Spanish. My plan is to start Spanish in 9th, so we'll keep slowly going through Latin until then. These are just my plans now, though. Things can always change!

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FYI, Getting Started with Latin will soon has a sequel.  Keep Going with Latin.  We love the program and have been using it with both our 6th grader.  There is an in between the older and the sequel that is called "Linney's Latin Class" and is a free online Latin class.  Both my kids have loved it.  You can find it here:  http://www.linneyslatinclass.com/

 

Hope this helps

 
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