Never in my wildest dream did I imagine I would have the privilege to teach my girls Latin and never did I imagine how easy it would be if I did. We have been using the First Form Latin Complete Set from Memoria Press and found this to be a wonderful curriculum.
What Is Included
First Form Latin is a complete curriculum, containing everything that is needed to lay a firm foundation in Latin. The complete set includes:
- Student Text
- Teacher Manual
- Student Workbook (one workbook per student is needed)
- Quizzes and Tests
- Answer Key (for workbook, quizzes and tests)
- Pronunciation CD
- 3 DVD set of instruction
When we were trying to decide if this would be a good fit for Miss E (13/8th grade), we watched the first lesson video, available on the Memoria Press First Form Latin page. From that moment, I began to hear recitations of Latin vocabulary and verb conjugations. She really grabbed a hold of the language and wanted to know more. That, to me, is a sign of both a good curriculum and a good presentation of it.
That – a good curriculum with a good presentation – is First Form Latin in a nutshell. It is a well-designed curriculum by Cheryl Lowe. It focuses on grammar forms and vocabulary. This beginning stage was simple enough for Miss E to grab hold of and understand. The presentation of the curriculum on the DVD is well done, also. Latin teacher Glen Moore walks through each of the portions of the lesson with the student, speaking clearly and explaining new information.
How We Have Been Using First Form Latin
First Form Latin Complete Set has been easy to implement. We start by watching a lesson on the DVD. These lessons are easy to follow for me, though Miss E struggled with it. While watching, Miss E would have her student text out so she could follow along and see the words, endings, or other things Mr. Moore was stating. Miss E said about the DVD that so much was tied to English grammar and formal names for parts of grammar that it was difficult for her to follow along. I did need to stop the DVD and explain things to her as we went along. Miss E also said that in the first lesson, she felt as though it started part way into the lesson, as though maybe she had missed something that came before. I wonder if this is due to there being previous Latin courses that this is a natural follow-up to, though this is a starting course on its own for students in 5th grade or above.
After the DVD lesson, we would pull out the flashcards and Miss E would review the new material presented in the lesson. Then she would add those cards to the flashcards from previous lessons and review all of the material she had covered.
The next day, she would begin with the flashcards, speaking out loud. These cover vocabulary, endings, reciting phrases, and probably more that I am forgetting. After going over the flashcards, we would put on the pronunciations for that lesson. Then she would do the workbook page for that lesson. We would do this for the next five lesson days, as there were generally five workbook pages for each lesson. I would check her work as she went along on the workbook page using the key provided in the Answer Key book. (I loved that it is spiral bound, making it easy to have sitting open while she worked through her pages.)
After completing the workbook pages, we would then go back to the DVDs and move on with the next lesson. In general, this is the pattern we are following. However, there have been a couple of days where Miss E did not feel completely comfortable with the verb endings or the vocabulary. So, instead of pushing forward without the comfort of knowing the material well, we spent a day or two just on flashcards and/or the pronunciation CD. This really built necessary confidence, since each lesson builds on those before it.
Miss E’s Thoughts (paraphrased by me) –
It has been fun learning Latin. I wish I understood more of the [DVD] lesson. I like learning the words but it moves so fast. I don’t always understand and remember all the words before we are supposed to move on to the next lesson. I do like the program and am enjoying getting to learn Latin.
My Thoughts –
The First Form Latin program has been easy to implement, easy to add to our day. While there are quite a few components to the program, I cannot imagine trying to teach this Latin program without everything that is included in the First Form Latin complete set. Each of the components adds to the ease of implementation. It would be nice for there to be a bit more information about how and where to include the pronunciation CD and the pronunciation practices, as well as the most effective way to implement the use of the flashcards. I do, however, feel like we have found an effective flow to the program for our family.
First Form Latin is a pleasant program and I have really enjoyed being able to add a language that I enjoyed learning for a year way back when. I am thrilled that Miss E is enjoying it. If you would like to take a closer look at this program, visit Memoria Press. On their First Form Latin page, they have a sample lesson video. There are also samples of the Student Text, Student Workbook, Teacher Manual, and Answer Key.
In addition to the reviews of First Form Latin Complete Set , other Homeschool Review Crew members have been reviewing other Latin programs. These include:
- Second Form Latin Complete Set
- Third Form Latin Complete Set
- Fourth Form Latin Complete Set
- Prima Latina Complete Set, and
- Latina Christiana Complete Set.
In the past, we have reviewed the following from Memoria Press.
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