It has been over 7 years since my family opened our first Latin for Children curriculum kit. The books have been used over & over again as different children were ready for the next level of their Latin journey. I came back to this curriculum for every child and now I am using the newest edition of the program with my youngest 3 kids.
I don’t stick with curriculum over multiple kids unless it is great. I leave curriculum behind for many reasons, sometimes it’s just plain boring, sometimes it is poorly organized, and frankly, sometimes it’s just too basic.
Latin for Children has none of those flaws, and has all the ingredients that make learning come alive.
(I asked Classical Academic Press to provide me a free copy of the new edition of Latin for Children in exchange for writing this review. There are no affiliate links in this post.)
The Learning Ingredients
Every curriculum needs several key ingredients to make it shine. A shiny curriculum will help motivate your child to learn, even when it’s hard. All of my kids that have used Latin for Children have asked to study more Latin when in high school. To me, a child asking for more is as good as it gets. Let’s dive into the components that make Latin for Children a go to choice for so many parents. These ar the things that kept me going back to the same program for every kid.
Organization of Material
Students learn easier and faster when material is well orgained. The structure of how the material is organized should be based on the material itself. Starting with conctrete examples and working towards the more complex and abstract principles of the subject. Subject experts are good at seeing the best way to present information to begininers. They know the things that are the basic building blocks for learning the subject.
Latin for Children has a great organizational structure making it easy to learn Latin. Latin for Children is written by experts in Latin that understand how kids learn.
Ease of Use (aka - Organization for Mom)
You may be hesitant to add Latin to your homeschool because you don’t know any Latin yourself. If this is the case then Latin for Children is a great curriculum choice. The teaching is presented on video by an Latin expert.
Your students will watch one teaching video each week. Then they will work through the workbook, reviewing and practicing the concepts taught in the video.
The teacher’s guide has all the answers you need to help your kids through the workbook.
Theses are things our brain loves. When presented with beauty, fun, or laughter, our brain chooses to pay attention. Latin for Children has beautiful four color illustrations in the workbook to accompy the well-written, engaging story. There are also pictures of artwork and Roman architecture throughout the workbook.
Of course, not every moment of learning can be saturated with these things, because learning is hard work. But any program that has just a bit of this sprinkled in will grant the advantage of re-enging your child’s attention.
In addition to the workbook pages, your students will practice Latin chants every day. This helps them memorize the vocabulary and grammar charts. Chanting and singing are some of the most effective ways to memorize information quickly.
Your students can either put in the audio CD and open up their book to chant along, or they can put in the DVD lesson, which starts with the chant, has words on the screen, and children who need to wiggle can join the kids on the screen who add motions to the vocab words when it makes sense.
Uses Power of Story
The first workbook page of every chapter is a story, the story is continuing throughout the book. Stories are a great way to learn information, and our brains find it easier to learn information when it is presented in the format of a story.
Using multiple senses when learning adds novelty to the material while children are getting the needed repetition for long-term retention.
You can see that Latin for Children is a great multi-sensory option for learning a language.
- video (visual)
- audio (chant and verbal instruction from video)
- kinesthetic (motions that go with chants and writing the words in the workbook)
There are also printable lapbooks, simple video games, and some fun video stories available to compliment Latin for Children on the Classical Academic Press Website. (You will need to create an account to access these materials.)
There is also a Latin card game available to purchase. We use this to review when kids are on a break but still need to reinforce their Latin Vocabulary, or on Fridays after the quiz.
Leads the Child Into Thinking
No matter the content of the subject, you want your child learning how to think. Thinking helps kids remember the material and learn it faster. This is because our brains don’t like the effort required to think. If we keep thinking about the same things, our brain decides the information must be important, and puts it in long-term memory for easy retrieval.
As your child works through the program, they will slowly start to label and translate sentences from Latin to English. There are plenty of examples and instructions to help the child understand what they need to do, but then they have to complete translations with their own brain power! This is critical thinking at work.