One of the most curious parts of the Foundations curriculum for Classical Conversations, in my opinion, is Latin. Not because I think it is frivolous or unnecessary, but because it is the one most obscured by the bridge from Foundations and Essentials to the Challenge years. It is as though we parents of littles can see across a wide river the benefits of Latin, but we can’t see the passage across.
It is hard to see the connections between what we learn in Latin in the Foundations years and what our students will be dealing with in the Challenge years – especially cycles 1 and 2. Noun endings and verb conjugations are just so abstract at this point.
So what do we do for our students who show interest in Latin, but who are just now repeating a cycle in Foundations?
Honestly, I don’t know!
I feel my attempts to navigate the waters between Foundations and Essentials and Challenge are feeble at best. Sure, I can help your young one learn the conjugations; but I am at a loss for the future.
So, I asked some Classical Conversations parents what they would recommend for repeat cycle students interested in Latin. Hey, when you don’t know, ask. Right?
The options boiled down to a few that were repeated a number of times. A noticeable commonality is present in most of them: videos! I wish I could help out the parent who is looking for Latin help without turning on a screen, but it seems Latin is best taught in “person.” So, if your student is obsessed with screen time, like mine, this is will be a bonus for him!
I decided to give a list of options (remember, completionist parents: pick one!) that would be at the top of my list should my student decide her One Thing More is Latin. They are listed in order of difficulty, easy to more difficult. Sadly, few of these programs are what I would call cheap. They are definitely investments for your repeat cycle student and future students.
One Thing More – Cycle 2 Latin
So, without further ado, here is the list:
- Super young repeat cycle students will definitely enjoy Song School Latin. This is something we have used a bit in the past year. I am going to bring it in our car to play it on the way to our community days – the kids think they are getting a major treat. But it will only be if we are on time for community day. By the way, on time is defined around here as having enough time to grab a coffee on the way. For more information about what we are actually doing for Cycle 2, check this out.
- Getting Started with Latin by William E. Linney – one of the only book-only resources, and one of the cheapest (BONUS!!). Looking through the sample available online, it seems to be a perfect introduction to Latin for the student who has all three cycles of Latin memory work already under their belt. Simple, short lessons are a bonus!
- Latina Christiana from Memoria Press – If we were adding Latin as our One Thing More this year (Cycle 2), I would add this! The very first lesson uses the Latin conjugations we start learning in Week 1. Latina Christiana is recommended for 3rd through 6th grades. It came with the highest recommendations. Memoria Press also does more advanced Latin courses to prepare students for later, more challenging coursework.
- Minimus Pupil’s Book: Starting Out in Latin by Barbara Bell (and the companion Teacher’s Resource Book – a pretty penny!!) This is a story-based approach to teaching Latin. Kids who are interested in cartoons may enjoy this gentle introduction. I have seen this recommended in more Charlotte Mason settings than Classical settings.
- Latin for Children from Classical Academic Press – an approachable introduction to Latin for children. They recommend students start using this program in 4th-7th grade. It has DVD instruction and audio files to help students hear the language. The activity book was mentioned as a favorite of the parents who recommended Latin for Children.
- Visual Latin 1 from Compass Classroom is close to the bottom of this list because it is the last stop before hitting the CC Challenge years. This is a mostly video presentation of Latin, but the worksheets are FREE (in PDF format)!
- Henle Prep is another of the last stops on the way to Challenge. This program, created by a Classical Conversations family, is definitely advanced. Thus, it is last and I see it as most helpful for the student just about to enter Challenge A.
One Last Thing
If you have seen our Gathering placemats for this past year, you might not know the 2020-2021 school year ones are so much better! One of the improvements I am most excited about is the inclusion of “Vocabulary with Roots.” This section is included in almost every month and includes two Latin roots and two-three English vocabulary words featuring those roots. It is not much, but it is a tiny bit of Latin to give your kids during your morning time practice. You can check out the placemats in my Shop.
OR, you can get a free set of Gathering placemats (season-less) – without the “Vocabulary with Roots” section when you subscribe to Simple.Home.Blessings. Read more about our Gathering here. And scroll down to sign up!