I have tried (and mostly failed!) to include Latin in our homeschool in the past. We have tried both Lively Latin and Latin for Children, neither of which “stuck”. This year three of my kiddos are using Latin programs from Memoria Press in our homeschool…. and I am happy to report that Latin is going very well so far! Today I’m going to share some thoughts on Prima Latina, which I am using with my fourth grader. In a future post I will share about First Form Latin, which I am using with my boys.
For Prima Latina, I purchased the whole kit and caboodle: the complete set as sold by Memoria Press. I also purchased the lesson plans from Memoria Press for a few extra dollars. You don’t necessarily need the complete set, but I appreciate and use each one of these items. Having them all makes teaching Latin much easier for me, which is key.
Here’s what I purchased for Prima Latina:
1. A schedule – I purchased the Prima Latina schedule, which lays out a day-by-day plan for completing the program in 32 weeks. This is not strictly necessary, but I love checking boxes and it helps me stay on track. The schedule prompts me to do things like review previous lessons and tells me which exercises to have Rose complete each day.
|Prima Latina complete set|
2. The Prima Latina DVD – I love our Prima Latina DVD day! We start each new lesson with “our” Latin teacher, right in our living room. It has been so nice to have someone else introduce the lesson and go over the vocab, while I just sit and listen with my cup of tea!
|Watching our Latin DVD|
|Working in the student workbook|
Here’s how we do Prima Latina in a typical week:
Monday (or Day 1) – We watch the DVD lesson. We also very briefly review previous lessons (although often Leigh Lowe includes a review in her DVD lesson). Rose does her vocabulary drill sheet – this is a reproducible part of the workbook designed to be done three times a week. She simply writes out each vocabulary word and it’s meaning.
Tuesday (or Day 2) – We review the lesson material (less than five minutes) and focus on the derivatives included in our vocab list – what they mean, and what Latin word they come from. Then, Rose does the next section of vocabulary drill on her sheet.
Wednesday (or Day 3) – We review the lesson by listening to the CD and Rose does the first page of exercises in her workbook.
Thursday (or Day 4) – We review the lesson and Rose does the second page of exercises in her workbook.
Friday (or Day 5) – We go over all of the vocabulary we have learned so far using the flashcards and Rose does the final section on her vocabulary drill sheet.
Now, we hardly ever follow this exact schedule to the day, because much as I’d like to hit Latin every day, it just doesn’t always happen. So, for example, tomorrow is Monday but we are actually going to be doing “Wednesday” work. I would estimate that we spend about 15-20 minutes a day on Prima Latina.
Prima Latina is a Christian curriculum and we are a secular homeschool family, but I still greatly prefer this program to others we have tried because it is so user-friendly. It is not “preachy” at all, it just includes some religious words in the vocab from time to time. We are also asked to learn a Latin prayer each week, and I do this with Rose because I think the language is beautiful and it’s an easy way for us to practice speaking in Latin. You could skip the prayers and still have a full program, but we find it fun and challenging to learn them.
So those are just a few of my thoughts on Prima Latina ~ I think it makes a very doable introduction to Latin and my only regret is that I didn’t try it with my older kids!