Several years ago I did Latin for Children A from Classical Academic Press with Ani and Cameron. We got about 2/3 of the way through it and hit a wall. There were quite a few errors as well (it was newly released at the time; these errors have been corrected in the current version) and that made it a bit frustrating. So we quit.
This year I’m doing it again with Cameron and Fritz (and Adrian listens along). We’re taking it very slowly in the hopes we will not hit a wall and give up this time. In fact, we’re taking it so slowly that we’re only up to the beginning of chapter 4 after almost 3/4 of the school year, but that means we have taken enough time that the boys have totally committed the vocabulary words to memory.
Latin for Children gives the choice of classical or ecclesiastical pronunciation. We choose to use classical. There is a punctuation guide for both ways in the front of the workbook.
The DVD/CD set is extremely useful. The biggest help is every word is pronounced so you don’t have to use the guides to sound things out every time. The entire thing is done once with classical and once with ecclesiastical pronunciations.
When we start a new chapter, the first day we watch the DVD. It goes over the chapter maxim and the vocabulary words, and then gives other things like derivatives or just silly videoed bits.
Then we spend as long as it takes going over and over the vocabulary words until they are completely committed to memory and the boys can translate from English to Latin and Latin to English. We spend about 15-20 minutes a day doing this. Once or twice a week we go back and review the vocabulary and other information we learned in previous chapters to be sure nothing has been forgotten.
Once they’ve learned the chapter’s vocabulary they move on to the worksheets in the main book. The couple pages of assignments include translating words from Latin to English, fillings in charts of chants they’ve learned, fill-in-the-blank activities about grammar concepts, and working with derivatives.
In the back of the workbook, there is an end of book review, a unit by unit Latin journey checklist, reference charts, and a glossary both by chapter and by alphabet.
I got the whole set so we also have the activity book.
This gives us a few extra pages per chapter to work with the vocabulary words. The activities are fun and include things like crossword puzzles, matching pictures, and fill-in-the-blanks (a few of the activity book pages are also in the regular workbook).
We also got the Libellus de Historia (Latin History Reader). This is a small book that introduces students to Latin translation. Each story gives the unfamiliar vocabulary and any other information needed to successfully translate the story’s sentences. Since they recommend beginning it about halfway through LfC A, we have not yet used it, but it definitely looks like it will be fun and interesting once we get to that point.
The other book in the complete Latin for Children A set is the Answer Key. So far, I have not needed to use it since I go over and over the vocabulary with the boys so I know if their answers are correct or not. I like having it available, though, just in case it is needed at some point.
I’ve been very happy with Latin for Children A this time around. We haven’t noticed any errors, the video is way better, and, most importantly, the boys have actually learned and retained quite a bit of Latin over the last few months. We will definitely continue on with it next year and I am 99% sure once we finish level A (whenever that might be) we will carry on with level B.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
(Note: I was not compensated in any way for this review. I bought everything required to use this curriculum myself.)