- Age Range: 11 - 14 years
- Grade Level: 6 - 9
- Series: The North American Fourth Edition Cambridge Latin Course Unit 1 (Book 4)
- Paperback: 264 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 4 edition (February 5, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521004349
- ISBN-13: 978-0521004343
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 57 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cambridge Latin Course: Unit 1, North American 4th Edition 4th Edition
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THE CAMBRIDGE LATIN COURSE is the book I've chosen for my young teens. It's by far the best book I've found for non-self-motivated students. It takes a Whole Language approach that has kids and adults translating Latin right away.
Caecilius est pater.
(Caecilius is the/a father)
**There you are. If you can pronounce Caecilius you have probably done your first translation.
Cerberus est canis.
**Waa-hoo, you are doing it. Using the drawing and your knowledge of Roman mythology you've probably figured out that the dog in the picture is named after the mythical monster from Hell.
I sat with my kids individually and went over the first chapter. I did so because they'd be putting it off into the next decade if I didn't, and because I wanted to go over the pronunciation. THIS is something not everyone is going to be able to do. I had Latin eons ago and while I don't remember all that much, I have found that I can pronounce most of the words without having to look at the guide.
We had so much fun that we've always sit together to cover the material. Sometimes there is a lot of content and the sun demands that we be outside. In those cases we've divided the chapters into halves. I think that's a wise approach as I never want to cover more material that is easily absorbed.
The important thing is that we persist.
***Where your experience might vary is if you haven't studied Latin, or studied a language. Since I've muddled through German in high school and Latin in college, I at least understand the principles of conjugation, even if I don't remember the particulars. And what I'm trying to say here is that I can't provide you with any really guidance when it comes to beginning absolutely 'cold'. Other reviews might talk about this.
OTHER CONTENT NOTES
--there are drawings to keep it interesting
--there are sections on Roman life where there are photographs
--there are sections on grammar and vocabulary. The grammar sections outline the structure, but this is a book that takes more of a 'whole language' approach. If you want and need more structure there are plenty of books out there to use as a supplement.
--the book points out common words in English that are derived from Latin
--**there are stories. I LOVE that the stories are frequently funny. Maybe not adult funny, but kid funny. There's a story in the first chapter, for example, where the coquus (cook) falls asleep in the kitchen and the canis jumps up on the table. (Like that could never happen.) Not Cicero, but easy to read. Something kids don't mind reading.
++ Available online! There are sample chapters online that you can look at. In fact, the entire course can be had online. There is a price though, charge yearly. I haven't decided whether to sign us up but I highly recommend you sit down and take a look at the sample chapters to decide if this series is for you.
I looked at a variety of Latin texts to use with my kids. I learned from Wheelock and still hold the book in my affections, however the new Wheelock is even less friendly and it's approach is best used by students with a strong academic bent.
Other Latin texts and Latin books derived from newspaper 'learn it yourself' series also have uses, but by far this Cambridge System seems the most friendly introduction for those who want to ease into Latin.
You start off from the beginning learning about a real guy and his wife, Metella, who lived with their son in Pompeii. The history sections are based on what we know about his profession and his home. With a sort of Whole Language approach you'll start translating right away. An encouraging approach.