I’ve wanted a gentle and simple way to introduce latin in our homeschool, but it wasn’t until having a chance to review Prima Latina Complete Set by Memoria Press that I really became excited about it!
We have been using Prima Latina a few times a week for several weeks now, and we have loved it. Memoria Press offers classical Christian education and homeschooling programs at every level, and they *never* disappoint! Prima Latina has been no exception.
What it is
Memoria Press’s Prima Latina is a gentle approach to learning latin for early elementary/beginner students. We have learned latin words and their definitions, derivatives in the english language, and are learning a prayer (but there is even more great lessons to be learned).
The Prima Latina Complete Set includes:
- The Basic Set
- 25 lessons, each including grammar lessons appropriate for primary grades
- 5 vocabulary words with corresponding English derivatives per lesson
- A practical Latin phrase per lesson
- One line of a prayer per lesson that is learned in totality over 5 lessons
- Easy-to-read, 2-color format
- Vocabulary with derivatives
- Latin sayings
- Conjugations & Declensions
- 3 discs, 9 hours (15-20 min./lesson)
- Comprehensive teaching by Leigh Lowe (<–she is SO great, fun, and easy to listen to!)
- Recitation & review, vocabulary practice, and explanation of derivatives
- On-screen notes, diagrams, & examples
- Self-instructive format
Because my oldest student is so young, we have been moving very slowly, and repeat lessons at least once before moving on. My daughter doesn’t mind this and I think it helps us both with retention, because of our learning styles.
We have enjoyed the student text, flashcards, and smooth, gentle lessons immensely, but …
The video lessons are the icing on the cake! The lessons are so gentle and move at a perfect pace; we do re-watch lessons a few times because it just helps us learn. But because my daughter is an independent reader, she is able to read the student book (to be used with one student) on her own, and complete the pages independently after doing the DVD lesson. I don’t have to teach anything! I can just relax and listen along.
The pages in the student text aren’t workbook style, at least not the way I think of workbooks. It is more like a note booking style, in my opinion. There are lesson “notes” on one page, and then simple questions like writing definitions and answering questions from the video lesson. Lexie enjoys reading the lesson in her book, and looking back at her work, reading the prayer, etc. so we think of it more as her latin journal.
We are currently learning the first prayer together; she really enjoys saying oremus before each prayer at meals and bedtime. My 4 year old also enjoys learning the vocabulary, which he has picked up on from his big sister using it in our home. When I ask my daughter some review questions, Mister can almost always answer them on his own. haha.
I made a simple chart with the words that we keep up on the dry erase board with magnets; this way we can review throughout the week when we aren’t “doing” school, since we school at the table & put everything away when we are done in the mornings. We review words and prayers at the dinner table with Daddy many nights of the week.
Summary of What We Think About Prima Latina
We have really enjoyed this program! I like that we can go at our own pace (which is pretty slow! haha), can review lessons as many times as we need to, and I don’t have to teach anything! I can put the DVD in my computer, and play it for my daughter to watch, while I listen and work right there in the kitchen. My son picks up on what he hears in the lessons, and that is always a bonus.
If you don’t know the benefits of learning latin, I will let you do the research there. =) I took latin in my homeschool during high school; I do remember the derivatives and that latin helped me greatly when writing papers, while taking my ACT, and when I was taking college courses. Because so many languages derive from latin, it is an easy way to transition into learning other foreign languages! (which we also want to do!)
There are other program by Memoria Press, for other grade levels:
You can see reviews on these program by clicking on the banner at the bottom of this post.
This is a great latin program for anyone wanting to introduce latin at a young age while learning the basics of english grammar, or families wanting to lay a strong foundation in latin for an extremely thorough language arts program later.
For us, this is definitely a great fit! We will continue our slow progression through the program, so we can enjoy it and apply what we are learning (and YES- I am learning with my kids).
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