Since we decided to homeschool the study of Latin was always been an idea in the back of our heads that we wanted to pursue. One reason for that is that even though most people think that Latin is a "dead language" you can see its footprints everywhere. Latin (and Greek) is the root of about 60% of the English language and if you go into a science or technology field that percentage raises to about 90%. So for a dead language it seems to be quite prevalent in our culture.
When you purchase the Prima Latina Complete Set you will get a teacher manual, a student workbook, a 3 disk DVD set with 9 hours of video instruction, an audio CD that goes over all the vocabulary pronunciation from all the lessons, and a flashcard set of the vocabulary. The DVD lessons are taught by Leigh Lowe herself and are visually interesting by both showing her teaching and interacting with the student and then also showing the pieces of the lessons as smaller snapshots of the lesson in the workbook.
The lessons are very similar to each other which allows the child to get into a groove of watching the DVD instruction and then working through the lesson at whatever pace you the teacher breaks it up. There are 25 lessons so you can definitely finish the course in one year and even take breaks to do cumulative review of the vocabulary and to also review over the holiday weeks or vacations. ;)
Each lesson is broken down into several parts. First you have the Practical Latin saying or phrase. These will be repeated and added to in the oral speech section in the DVD. Then there is a small grammar lesson dealing with nouns, verbs, and the like. On the 2nd page of the lesson you'll have the 5 vocabulary words that are for the week followed by one of the 4 Latin prayers (which are broken down into sections to learn each week). Both the vocabulary and Latin prayers are done orally in the DVD and the child is encouraged to say them along with Ms. Lowe and then repeat after she says them. The prayers are also written in English so they will eventually memorize all 4. They also are derivatives that are explained that are words that come from the Latin vocabulary words for the week.
Then each lesson has a series of exercises which include review questions, questions from the current lesson, translation exercises, oral speaking of the Latin, a section of writing and learning both the vocabulary and prayers, and ends with some fun practice which range from making up a poem or song, to circling English verbs, to looking in a science book to see pictures of the constellations (that they learn are all Latin).
By the end of the course they will have learned 125 vocabulary words, 4 prayers, 25 practical Latin expressions, constellations, numbers 1 - 10, know what is a derivative, and grammar including the 1st declension for noun endings and the 1st conjugation of verb endings. This might sound like a lot ... and it is, but it's broken over the whole year so it's totally doable.
We took a little while to do the 1st 2 lessons because Seanan was a little hesitant once he got the box that he'd be able to do it. The books can be quite overwhelming for young elementary students who still write so large and the spaces they give are both small in height as well as in small in length. I reassured him that we can add lines or write on a separate sheet of paper if we needed to, but he's been able to manage. This is one of my biggest complaints about the program. The spaces given to the student to write in are sometimes not as large as they should be for those who are just learning to write as well as for students who just have BIG handwriting. I know in some of our other books from Memoria Press that we've had this same issue.
But once we got into the lesson and he realized he could watch his lesson and do it along with Miss Leigh, he was hooked. The video portion of the lesson is about 15 minutes and as I mentioned before it is engaging and upbeat so it captivates my son. He is showing grave improvement on his memorization of the first Latin Prayer - The Sanctus (The Holy) as well as being able to remember the vocabulary from prior weeks. He's also learning regular grammar skills - like verbs show action and what a diphthong is. Oh, and every 5 lessons there is a cumulative review lesson that covers all of the previous 5 lessons.
Memoria Press has several other offerings for learning Latin including their Latina Christiana and then they also have First Form Latin, Second Form Latin, Third Form Latin and Fourth Form Latin. This means you can keep learning Latin all the way through your school years. We have a great experience with many offerings from Memoria Press and the Prima Latina Complete Set did not dissapoint. My son and I have decided we will continue with this program and hopefully he'll get to the point where he can work with his sisters even though he's a few years behind them.
I hope you take a few moments and check out what others on the Crew thought about Prima Latina as well as the other Latin programs and there were even two science books that were being reviewed. Click the link below to see all the reviews! And you can find Memoria Press on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and You Tube!
I'd love to hear from you whether you are learning Latin or are you learning another language. Another language I'm on the hunt for is Hindi, but a certain dialect - we have friends from Visakhapatnam, India, and my son wants to be able to talk with them in their language (even though they are fluent in English.)