Curriculum Review: Latina Christiana

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Salvete, amici Latinae.

Greetings, friends of Latin.

Thus began our first Latin lesson yesterday (well, Josh and Megan’s first — Brianna and I studied it for a few months several years ago).

We’re using Latina Christiana and I really like it. I’ve never used anything else with which to compare, but I was pleased, overall, with Latina Christiana when we used it before. The thing I love best about it is that every lesson is on the accompanying CD, so it’s not up to me to figure out how to pronounce everything.

The only thing I remember not liking about Latina Christiana when we used it before is that it seems to start getting a bit complicated, even for the instructor, around Lesson 10 or so, which is probably part of the reason that Lesson 10 or so is about as far as we got last time. 😉 However, that could very well be that I really like to just be able to pick up a book and use it without reading a lot of instructions for the instructor and this isn’t quite like that.

We’re planning to study Latin just for fun this year since this particular program is recommended for 3rd grade and up. Josh is in third grade this year, but he’s not a strong reader yet, and Megan is just 2nd-ish grade, so we’ll be doing a lot of the study orally, which is fine. I just thought it’d make a fun addition to our study of Ancient Rome. There is a Latin program for younger kids, called Prima Latina, by the same publisher, but I decided that we’d just plug along with this one and take things slowly since I already had it on my bookshelf.

I like the way each lesson is laid out in a predictable fashion, with the same sections appearing in each lesson — a Latin saying, new vocabulary, declension practice, application practice and modern vocabulary based on Latin root words. I also like that Latina Christiana has you studying the history of Rome, via the book Famous Men of Rome, as you go along. We’re not following the schedule for this with the Latin text, however, since I hope to finish Famous Men by the time we wrap up our study of Ancient Rome, but do not plan to finish the entire Latin text by then…or even necessarily this school year.

My goals for studying Latin at this time are more just to give the kids a feel for the language of the Ancient Romans, to gain an understanding of how Latin (and thus the ancient Roman people) has affected our modern language and for the kids to learn the table blessing, the Pater Noster and Adeste Fideles, which impresses the socks off of homeschool-doubting grandparents. 😉

Hopefully, as we get further along in the text and I am able to refresh my memory, I’ll be able to give Latina Christiana a more thorough review. I personally think that any Latin program is going to be a bit challenging, so I don’t think that the problems I had understanding it before were a problem with the text, but more a problem of me not thoroughly reading and understanding the instructor portion. I have recommended this program and would do so again. If you’re teaching your children from a classical perspective, I think you will love this program, as it is heavy on grammar stage repetition and memorization.

Who knows? Before we finish I may be able to answer Megan’s questions. She keeps asking me: Mom, how do you say, [fill in the blank] in Latin?

Ah, to be the fount of knowledge that our kids think we are. 😉

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