I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are my own.
If you've thought about studying Latin with your kids but were overwhelmed at the thought of trying to choose a program, let me tell you about the series from Memoria Press. The Latin sequence that Memoria Press has created is the perfect tool for parents with no Latin experience. It's a solid program that provides plenty of review and practice. (Mom can learn right along with the kids.)
We are in our third year of using their Latin series and each year reaffirms my decision to stick with their Latin sequence.
A Look at First Form Latin
First Form Latin is the first in a series that focuses on the grammar of Latin. Instead of jumping in with translation work, Memoria Press has taken a mastery approach - focusing on the foundational areas of vocabulary and grammar. When those skills are mastered, students will be well-prepared to move on to deeper levels.
We've been using First Form Latin this year (here's a look at the books and resources for the first level) and I couldn't be more pleased with what we are learning.
A Look at a Lesson
For each lesson you will need the teacher's manual and your students will need a textbook and a workbook. There are more pieces that you can add - DVDs, quizzes & tests, flashcards - I suggest you just purchase the complete kit! And, if you are learning Latin with your children, go ahead and purchase yourself a workbook as well. Believe me, you will be using it!
The main focus of each lesson is on a specific grammar component and some vocabulary. Teaching the lesson doesn't actually take that long. The real work is in the day-to-day application and practice that the student will do with their workbook and daily recitation.
The teacher's manual does include a very nice section in the front that will help you arrange your own daily lessons. Keep reading to look at two ways that we've used the program.
A Week with First Form Latin
We started our journey with First Form Latin working through one lesson a week, much like we did with Prima Latina and Latina Christiana I. But, around lessons 8 and 9 I realized that we needed to slow down. Mostly for me... honestly. I needed to slow down and really focus on learning Latin myself so I could be better prepared to teach (that's also when I ordered myself a workbook - something that Memoria Press suggests).
Slowing down also gives us more time to practice grammar forms and review, review, review. I can't stress enough how important it is to make sure you and your kids understand each lesson before moving on. If you don't spend the time reviewing then later lessons will just get more and more difficult. Take the time to slow down and do a little bit every day and you will see fabulous progress.
This is what our week looked like doing one lesson a week:
- Day 1 - Watch the DVD, drill vocabulary, and complete workbook pages 1 & 5
- Day 2 - Teach the lesson using the teacher's manual and complete workbook page 2
- Day 3 - Review Grammar Questions, review vocabulary flashcards, complete workbook page 3
- Day 4 - Review grammar flashcards, drill vocabulary, complete workbooks pages 4 & 6
- Day 5 - Review Latin sayings, Oral Drill, and complete the quiz
This is what a lesson looks like now:
- Day 1 - Watch the DVD, Oral Recitation (from teacher's manual)
- Day 2 - Teach the lesson using the teacher's manual
- Day 3 - Oral Recitation and complete worksheet 1
- Day 4 - Review flashcards and complete worksheet 2
- Day 5 - Review Grammar Questions, practice conjugations and declensions
- Day 6 - Vocabulary Drill and complete worksheet 3
- Day 7 - Review Grammar Questions and complete worksheet 4
- Day 8 - Review flashcards and complete worksheet 5 or practice conjugations and declensions
- Day 9 - Oral Drill and complete worksheet 6 or practice conjugations and declensions
- Day 10 - Quiz
Don't feel like you have to slow down to one lesson every two weeks. If your children are understanding (and you don't feel like you're getting bogged down) then continue doing one lesson a week. I think my daughter could probably handle that schedule but my older brain needs more time to absorb all this information!
Just remember that 15 minutes of Latin every day will produce better results than one-hour long lesson twice a week. Learning Latin is a marathon, not a sprint. So prepare yourself for the journey.
First Form Latin is a fabulous, solid Latin program that will provide your children (and you!) with a great foundational understanding of Latin grammar.