September 22, 2009
We switched our Latin program from Latin for Children to Lively Latin.
I've been wanting to do Latin for YEARS now and it's never worked out. First I started out with a vocabulary program English From the Roots Up. That was great for vocabulary, but it wasn't really a Latin program. Then Bear and Emily tried The Latin Road to English Grammar. No one liked it or learned (I should say retained) much from it. I personally thought it was incredibly boring and a chore to get through, although I've read a lot of other families really love it. It just didn't click for us.
After a bit, I was able to borrow Ecci Romani, but then Emily and Bear decided to study German instead.
Otter did a little bit of Prima Latina when he was in 1st or 2nd grade and Bear tagged along for a little while. We only had part of the program though since a friend gave it to us. After doing a bit of it, we put it aside so he could focus more on reading and writing good-old-regular english. Otter has some dyslexic tendencies and so Prima Latina had to sit on the shelf for awhile. I have no idea where it is now....lol...I think our 70+ linear feet of bookshelves ate it up and we'll probably stumble across it 15 years from now stuffed behind the encyclopedias or something.
When I started thinking about resuming our Latin studies I was able to get Latin for Children Level A. This is what Otter and I were doing up until recently. It was working GREAT for vocabulary. However, when we started translating things, I started to feel we were lacking a lot of understanding and things just weren't totally obvious from our lessons. I needed/wanted more explanations and exercises. I also was reading some posts about Latin programs online. Someone was posting about macrons (the little lines over some vowels in Latin) and some other things that I realized I had NO idea about. Google came to the rescue and I started exploring quite a few Latin related things.
While doing some research, I took a look at Lively Latin. This month we took the plunge and....we LOVE it. THIS is the Latin program I've been looking for. It has clear explanations, audio recordings in both ecclesiastical and classical pronunciations, activities, great word derivative studies, links to games and websites, activity ideas, history, mapping assignments, an art study, printable flashcards, and more. There is also a "Your History of Rome" project where you create your own illustrated version of Roman history as you move along through the course. It fits our learning style perfectly (yes, I'm learning right along with Otter).
I also corresponded briefly with the author and she was very accessible and helpful - a real plus.
If you are looking into trying Latin or if your current program isn't working out, you may want to pop over and check out some of the free samples of Lively Latin. I'm really glad I made the switch.
*Note: The above comments reflect our personal opinion(s) of materials. We aren't experts! We're just a homeschooling family with 3 kids and ideas of our own about what works and what doesn't for US.
June 9, 2010 - Lively Latin Book 1 Help Sheet
We are getting ready to wrap up our year with Lively Latin Big Book 1. This is the first program where we've actually experienced Latin success that goes beyond vocabulary! I LOVE it. This is one of my favorite finds in years. Seriously. I'm not a Latin failure anymore!
One of the things I did to make our year easier was create a Latin help sheet that covers all of the main lesson concepts and then lists vocabulary. Neither one of us likes to flip through Otter's huge notebook of printed papers to hunt down a lesson, so we just pull out this sheet instead and have the answer in seconds. "Magistra" Catherine Drown generously granted me permission to share it (as it contains some items from her much more detailed lessons), so here it is:
Lively Latin Help Sheet Doc (You can change/tweak it to suit what you need to focus on)
Each file is 8 pages long with the first 3 pages containing "lesson" helps and the last 5 list the vocabulary from the entire program broken into categories (adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, nouns, verbs, etc.).