Because we LOVE studying foreign languages, we were so excited to embark on Latin study in our newest TOS review! We received the Latina Christiana I Complete Set from Memoria Press. And as you’d expect from the “Complete Set” part of the product name, it really does have everything you need to successfully teach and learn Latin…even if you’ve never done it before!
Memoria Press‘ Latina Christiana I is a full school year’s worth of Latin. It’s subtitled “An Introduction to Christian Latin.” This means that Latina Christiana teaches ecclesiastical, or church Latin, rather than classical Latin. (So, your student will encounter Latin prayers, songs and hymns, as well as regular Latin vocabulary and grammar.) However, that particular difference aside, this course will teach students in grades 3 and up all that you’d expect from any excellent Latin curriculum: grammar; vocabulary; pronunciation; declensions; word order; and verb conjugations. In addition, because it’s Latin, students will learn multitudes of English words which come from a Latin root.
The Latina Christiana I Complete Set contains the following:
- Latina Christiana I Teacher Manual
- Latina Christiana I Student Book
- Latina Christiana I Instructional DVDs
- Latina Christiana I Pronunciation CD
- Latina Christiana I Flashcards
Let me tell you a little about each of these!
Latina Christiana I Teacher Manual
The Latina Christiana I Teacher Manual has everything the novice OR experienced Latin teacher requires. Author Cheryl Lowe explains teaching guidelines, Latin grammar rules, pronunciation keys and other tips in the Teacher Guide and Key at the manual’s beginning. Lowe includes an outline and overview of the history of Rome, maps, and history questions so that teachers can naturally integrate Roman history into Latin lessons. The remainder of the manual includes a complete teaching plan for each lesson. An appendix contains student tests, quizzes and keys plus songs, prayers and Latin sayings. There is a full glossary of course verb and noun/pronoun forms, a vocabulary index, and a list of English/Latin derivatives.
I particularly liked the way Ms. Lowe organizes the lesson plans. Each lesson in the Teacher’s Manual has a printout of the lesson from the Student Book with the answers filled in; a lesson format; and extra helps for teaching the Latin saying, grammar, and derivatives for the chapter. Each week, I needed to plan what I’d be teaching on a given day (workbook, flash cards, DVD lesson, CD pronunciation practice, etc.); but the Teacher’s Manual effectively equipped me to know what we needed to do in each lesson and how to do it.
Latina Christiana I Student Book
The Student Book, also by Cheryl Lowe, is a fantastic and easy-to-use workbook for students. Each lesson contains 5 days’ worth of work. Every week, students learn a Latin saying. (Whether initially familiar to the student or not, they’re phrases recognizable in literature or history.) Then, they learn vocabulary (nouns and verbs). The Student Book is consumable and is organized so that the new information is on the left page, and the writing work is done on the adjacent page.
Following every 5th lesson, there is a review lesson on everything that the student has learned plus exercises to complete. The Student Book also contains the same appendices as the Teacher Manual.
Latina Christiana I Instructional DVDs
The Latina Christiana I Instructional DVDs are one of my favorite things about this course. This 5-DVD set contains an instructional video for each of the 25 lessons of Latina Christiana I. Leigh Lowe clearly and effectively teaches every lesson.
She allows the student time to answer questions in Latin, repeat each new vocabulary word or verb form, and presents new information in an enjoyable yet useful manner. In addition, she leads the students through review of past lessons in each new one, which is integral to language acquisition.
Latina Christiana I Pronunciation CD
The Pronunciation CD contains 35 tracks which accompany the Latina Christiana I curriculum. It includes Latin prayers, Latin songs and hymns; a pronunciation guide, and auditory lessons for the course. It’s both beautiful and useful.
Latina Christiana I Flashcards
And last but not least, the Latina Christiana I Flashcards. Anyone who has studied a foreign language knows how vital flashcards are to learning. They’re integral to memorizing vocabulary words and their declensions/forms. These flashcards are printed on white card stock. Each lesson has a set of flashcards, and you’ll need to separate them before you use them. (This is easy as the flashcard sheets are perforated.)
Each card has the Latin word and derivatives on one side:
And, on the other side, you’ll find the English translation plus the Latin word’s part of speech.
In addition, the flashcards include the Latin phrases for each chapter plus verb conjugations. Everything you need for study and review of Latina Christiana I‘s vocabulary!
How we used it:
We basically followed Cheryl Lowe’s instructions for each lesson. In the Teacher Manual, she provides 5 days of work for each chapter. We spent time each day watching the lesson on the DVD; listening to prayers, songs, pronunciation on the CD; doing the workbook pages; writing; and reviewing our vocabulary words and Latin phrases on the flashcards. My son (who just finished the 7th grade) and I did everything together except write in his Student Book (clearly, he needed to do that on his own!). By doing the work and review each day (and our lessons took anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour), we were able to learn and remember each week’s lesson, and be prepared to move ahead to the next lesson.
I LOVE Latina Christiana I, and I know that my son enjoyed it as well! I find Cheryl Lowe’s teaching style impeccable. She presents just enough in each lesson to learn and build on. The exercises are designed to help students truly master Latin. Leigh Lowe, the DVD instructor, is delightful and likeable, and she clearly teaches the lessons. I am really happy with not only the way the Latin is taught, but the English derivatives from Latin. Since so much of the English (or really, any Romance language as well) comes from Latin, I’ve always felt that it was a huge bonus for students to know and understand Latin.
I especially loved how excited my son would get when he’d connect a Latin word with the English words that were derived from it. This happened more and more as we studied Latina Christiana, and our entire family noticed it. My husband even said he wished that he’d had a course like this that made the connections between the Latin meanings of words that carried over into the English language. The cool thing about learning Latin is that if you know the the Latin root in an English word, you can figure out the meaning of the word. Exciting!
Best of all–it’s fun! Students learn so much at a good speed; but the work is a pleasure to do. It is perfect for one-on-one teaching—even if the teacher hasn’t taught Latin before, she’ll easily be able to do so with Latina Christiana!
And here’s what my son, Jackson, had to say about it!
“The video course is easy to understand, and a good course for likely all ages. It is easy to use and learn as well as to have fun with it. You can recognize English words very, very easily in the Latin, which is very fun.”