Ah, Latin! The most intimidating aspect of a Classical education. Right? Most of us parents feel inadequate to teach Latin because most of us ever took an actual Latin course.
Interestingly enough, I had a class in 7th grade which was an exposure to various languages. It started with Latin. We moved 3 times that year, so I only got the first part of the Latin unit. I am proud to say I can perfectly remember one Latin phrase: “Quid agis?” “How are you?”
Somehow I don’t feel this is adequate preparation to teach Latin. But here we are.
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Last year I shared One Thing More for Classical Conversations Cycle 2 Latin. In it I mentioned some programs I had “heard” were good. I had very little to no experience with the programs and was going off of recommendations from fellow CC families who are further down the road. They were marked by their increasing difficulty, so readers could gauge where their repeat-cycle-student would be able to do “easy plus 1.”
We chose to “do” Song School Latin last year. By “do” I mean we watched it in the car on the way to community day and we sang some of the songs. Minimum effort on my part, I know. (High fives!)
And yet, despite my lackadaisical approach to sharing the minimum of Latin with my kids, some of it stuck! We extended some aspects of our family culture to include Latin. It was the shallow end of the pool, for sure, but it was Latin!
A Big Goal and How I am Using my Kids to Meet it
This year I turned 40 and read some books during quarantine about Classical schooling. And the biggest takeaway for me was the study of Latin. I decided to think big on this front. Considering how long I will be engaged in teaching my kids Latin, and my distance from the CC benchmark for formal Latin studies – Challenge, I set a big goal.
I decided to become “fluent” in Latin in my 40s.
It may sound a bit crazy, but I figure I am at a unique place where I can study Latin as a lead-learner with my oldest kid. And then with the next kid, and the next, and the next. I mean, I should be fluent after all those kids and all those years, right?
One Thing More for CC Cycle 3 Latin
Cycle 3 is the most Latin heavy of the cycles for Classical Conversations. It requires the most in regards to memorization and understanding of translations. And it gives the student the most opportunity for putting translation into practice with the memorization of John 1:1-7 in both Latin and English.
Let me say this at the outset: this IS enough. It is enough even if you have a repeat-cycle student. The richness of the Latin program for Cycle 3 is manifestly apparent.
But, as I have written before in this One Thing More series of articles, there comes a time when a student is ready for a little more. I believe that student should be able to choose one subject she wants to study a little deeper. These One Thing More Lists are created for that student.
With all that said, let’s get to the details.
We are taking a little bit of a unique approach to adding a bit to the Latin this cycle. I have one repeat cycle student who is READY for more Latin. She has expressed a desire to learn Spanish and comes to me with new words and identifies Latin derivatives on her own. And I have another repeat-cycle student who is, let’s see – less inclined toward diligent Latin studies. Oh, and we have a first time Foundations student and a toddler running around shouting out “Vale!” when someone leaves our home.
We are a mixed bag!
I decided to take a One-Room Schoolhouse approach to teaching Latin. The Gathering we do in our home – our favorite daily tradition and the best thing we do in school – is so helpful in bringing us together, that I decided to make a Latin-focused version.
It is a simple, once-a-week Gathering for Latin. Conlatio in Latin means, “a bringing together, gathering.” As I do with our usual Gathering, I curated some resources and brought together some super simple elements for our Conlatio.
The Conlatio includes a prayer, a Bible verse, a song, a phrase, and a conjugation – all in Latin.
We have done it for two weeks now and I am over the moon about it’s success. The kids absolutely love it. We keep it short and sweet. And we have some reminders about it throughout the week. But I am simply ecstatic about how it is going.
We don’t know everything. Goodness, we barely know anything. And yet…we are thinking about these things, incorporating these thoughts into our hearts and minds.
It is a sort of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants thing, but I invite you to follow along with us as we build our Conlatio. I wrote an extensive article about our new tradtion with resources to help you get started. Also, I made the first Conlatio available in the Subscriber-Exclusive Library. You can subscribe at the bottom of this post to get access to it.
One Thing More: CC Cycle 3 Latin Resources
Alright, time for what you are scrolling for: our list of resources to give us One Thing More for CC Latin Cycle 3.
Alongside our Conlatio, one-room-schoolhouse approach to Latin, we are doing a more formal Latin instruction this year for our 4th grader. She is the one who is ready for more in regards to Latin (and Spanish).
- Latina Christiana from Memoria Press – including audio
- Artes Latinae Level 1 by Waldo E. Sweet – including audio
- a Latin notebook
More Information about the Resources I Chose
We are using Latina Christiana very loosely as a resource primarily for our Conlatio. I am not having my student do her work the student workbook. However, I would not be able to put together the Conlatio (as a non-fluent lead-learner) without this resource. That said, I believe it to be a worthy program for teaching Latin. It came highly recommended and my experience with it has proven the accolades true.
However, Artes Latinae is something special in the Latin curricula world. It provides the incremental development I have grown to love in our homeschool. (We are Saxon Math loving, All About Spelling rocking homeschoolers.) The slow, steady, review heavy procedure of incremental development programs sings to my teacher/mama heart.
Artes Latinae is unique in the way it teaches. When you thumb through the student book, you might wonder what in the world is going on there. The text is printed in two columns – one right side-up and the other upside down. The idea of this odd printing idea is for anyone to be able to “teach himself” Latin. It is a self-correcting, review-intensive, incremental curricula. Yet, it is simple enough for a 4th grader to walk through it!
A Latin Notebook
Almost all the Latin programs I have researched recommend a Latin notebook for the student to create herself. The Latin notebook is similar to a commonplace book for general learning in that it will be used as long as the student is studying Latin. I prefer these notebooks from this vendor. Students will record notes on new instruction, translations of passages, Latin phrases, maps, etc. This is sure to become a treasure for the Latin student.
One Last Word on One Thing More – Latin
I know I already said this, but I feel it needs to be reiterated:
The Classical Conversations Foundations Latin work is ENOUGH. There is absolutely no reason to stress yourself about adding to it in order to attain to some standard. The standard is high already and it is sufficient to the task.
I only create these One Thing More lists for repeat-cycle students who are looking for or are ready for something a bit more expansive. I keep things as simple as possible around my home. And I encourage you to do the same.
If you are reading this as a first year CC parent, may I direct you to the best resource I have for Cycle 3 Latin:
Our Latin-English Primer for John 1:1-7 is updated to reflect 5th edition changes and is simple enough to be enjoyed by early readers. You can get your copy of it in the Subscriber-Exclusive Library.