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Latin for Children, Primer A (Latin Edition) Paperback – January 1, 2003
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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
People have been studying Latin for a long time...
Did you know that for nearly 2,000 years most boys and girls going to school in Europe studied Latin (and usually Greek too!)when they were young students? Children learned Latin because Latin was spoken by so many people, and because many good books were written in Latin.
The Latin language has been so popular for the last 2,000 years that many other languages have borrowed words from Latin! Did you know that about 5 out of every 10 English words come from a Latin word? When you learn Latin, you are also learning a good bit of English. Here is an example: If I said, "Let ME DEMONSTRATE how the AQUARIUM IS a HABITAT for this TURTLE," we would discover that 6 out of the 12 words (capitalized) in this sentence are from Latin words.
I hope you can see that learning Latin words will be very interesting and enjoyable. It will take some hard work, however, like anything that is really worth learning. We will do all that we can to make learning Latin enjoyable, and help you to clearly understand everything we teach you, step by step.
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The Primer is very well laid out. Vocabulary and grammar is repeated in each chapter, and really solidifies the learning of the content.
I like having the ability to quiz them, and having that capability at the end of each chapter is great.
The recommended pace is suggested, which we follow. In a week, days 1-4, the lesson is introduced, vocabulary and grammar chants are memorized and reviewed. Day 5, students take the quiz.
There are 7 units, and 32 chapters. One could complete this book in a school year, if that is desired. Some fellow teachers have completed it over 2 years. We may very well take this pace instead, since it is not our sole 'foreign language'.
As with any language (even one that is not spoken anymore), repetition is key, and doing the daily review is really good. There is also a section which deals with the English vocabulary from the Latin roots. This is really essential in building a strong vocabulary.
I am happy with the book, and would recommend this course.
Production is first-rate, and the book is easy to read. The support at the website ([...]) is terrific as well, especially for flashcards. Whatever typos that were in the first edition were corrected in the books that I got. The authors have clearly been teaching kids for a long time, and it shows. The text is very, very accessible.
Now, the minus -
I took my daughters through chapter 10, before we moved on to another book. Why?
It is just too vocabulary-intensive, without providing a context for the vocabulary. Yes, my daughters learned the vocabulary, but they couldn't do anything with it, because there are no reading assignments to correspond to what they memorized. In addition, there were no translation exercises. I did not use the separate reader, also published by this author, but they don't recommend it until the first half of the book is completed, anyway.
This means that kids have to go almost 12 weeks before they actually start doing simple Latin sentences, and that's too long. More time is spent every chapter doing English derivatives from Latin, than is spent on Latin, itself. And that's o.k. - learning Latin as an aid to learning English vocabulary is a worthy goal - it just isn't the goal that I had.
Now, the good news - I really, really, really like the publisher, so I bought the Latin book that they did for older kids ("Latin Alive!). As soon as it came, I put "Latin for Children" on the shelf. The "Latin Alive" book strikes a much better balance. There is actually LESS vocabulary per week than the book designed for younger kids. Simplified grammar is presented up front, at an appropriate pace. And, most importantly, they are reading Latin right off the bat. "Latin Alive" also has flashcard support from "[...]".
So I reluctantly would NOT recommend "Latin for Children", but am very pleased with the same publisher's book, "Latin Alive".
First of all, if you are teaching Latin using this book, I highly recommend that you invest in Karen Moore's training program, found through the Classical Academic Press website.
Most text books are not meant to provide all the activities a teacher will need to fully engage the children, and this is no exception. But the CAP website has loads of free material, and Moore's training provides guidance on creating more of your own. Which, of course, is better, because you can tailor it to where your particular students are.
I teach in a 2-day-a-week school/3-day-a-week homeschool hybrid, and my own child is in her second year of LFC, and she and her classmates are all doing great, and will take the National Latin Exam this March.
I have friends who are using it in a five day school, and in a five day homeschool, and it is working well in both of those settings as well.
The program does not contain a lot of fluff. It is good, hard work, which is what most classical approaches to schooling are aiming at these days.
In the words of our favorite nun-turned-governess, start at the very beginning; it's a very good place to start. Latin for Children is teaching the ABCs, Do Re Mis, 1 2 3s of the Latin language. It is a parts-to-whole approach to Latin grammar.
One note - Classical Academic Press recommends starting this program in 3rd or 4th grade. It has been my experience that to be cheerful and successful, a child needs to be quite language-gifted to begin it in third grade. Most fourth graders can do it with great success. I've also used it successfully with students as old as eighth grade.
Five stars all around!
The family is having a " exceptional " learning experience with the rook. I will be purchasing the other " Latin " books in the
near future. Many thanks to the authors for a awesome job.