Monday, March 04, 2013

Getting Started with Latin by William E. Linney

A few weeks ago I wanted to see how the boys (ages 6 and 9) would react to learning Latin...were they too young? Would they even be interested? We're not quite a quarter of the way through William E. Linney's Getting Started with Latin: Beginning Latin for Homeschoolers and Self-Taught Students of Any Age but it has been a hit. Each lesson is an easily digestible length, covering a new word or reviewing a concept. Using an online generator to make flashcards has helped. There are plenty of additional resources at the book's website that help reinforce the lessons. It may not be the most rigorous approach but it has been perfect for their age.

I'm curious to hear of any other books / courses / programs that you may have used, either as teacher or student!

Footnote: the other night an insurance commercial came on TV and out of the blue the boys began singing "sumus da ba ba bum bum bum" ("we are farmers"). Yeah, I was proud.


Jonathan Chant said...

Excellent work. I wish they still taught it in schools. I'm currently reading Romans In Britain, and get frustrated because I never learned Latin.

Dwight said...

I never formally learned Latin but did pick up quite a bit here and there. I was going to self-educate with Wheelock or something similar but saw this at the last second. I figured I would go this route and include them, too. A glance at the vocabulary list at the end shows around 100 words, so that's a good start for them.

I've got to figure out a follow-up after this, but fortunately we still have a long way to go before worrying about that.

Alex in Leeds said...

I did Latin at school, it wasn't a fancy school but somehow it had managed to survive on the syllabus for 100 years and we all enjoyed it so no one wanted to be the head teacher who stopped it being taught!

We used a set of books called Ecce Romani books (Here Come The Romans or Look, Romans!) that were very useful. There's six in the set I think, they focus on a Roman family that you're introduced to and then via them you learn lots about the Roman world - buildings, clothes etc. The lessons build and gradually you're reading passages in Latin and then answering questions about what's going on and testing your comprehension, there's also info about tenses and the language's structure in between the stories and vocab lists to help too. I definitely recommend them as they should be available via Amazon or Book Depository.

Dwight said...

Thanks Alex! Sounds like a great way to follow up on this intro...I'll have to check it out.

Jean said...

There is a pretty classic series for all ages called Lingua Latina that is neat. It teaches you Latin without using any English, and it's based around a Roman family. My kids got a kick out of it--the stories are funny.

We have also used Latina Christiana from Memoria Press, which is (obviously) medieval/church Latin. It has the advantage of having songs to learn. Exciting it is not. Also don't use the DVDs. But it is a good program too and has a supplemental book of practice games.

Do you homeschool? :)

Dwight said...

Thanks Jean.

Yes, we started homeschooling this school year. We kept it simple this year since it was a transition. This was just on a whim and turned out well.

Jean said...

Spiffy! I hope you have a great time. I'm a WTM/classical addict myself, this is our 8th year.

Ian Wolcott said...

I know this is an old post but I wanted to thank you for the suggestion. We homeschool our two kids (ages 11 and 9) and I've been wanting to get them started on Latin. In college I used the three-volume Oxford Latin Course (each chapter includes cartoons of the Roman poet Horace as a boy, plus his family). But I've lost a lot of my Latin and I'm afraid the pace of the Oxford course may be a little fast for them. Maybe 'Getting Started with Latin' will make a better introduction. I'll look into it.

Dwight said...

Thanks Ian. Good luck with the homeschool…sounds like you're a year ahead of us (10 and 8).

I only went so far with this book with the boys since we weren't as far along on parts of speech as I would have liked to have been. I think this is probably appropriate for 10 and above, now that I've had a few years to think about it, although they still retain and use what we went over.

To get around that difficulty and give them the satisfaction of learning Latin I'm going to try "Caesar's English" by Michael Clay Thompson later this school year—it will provide a basis for expanding their English vocabulary based on Latin roots. And I'm hoping it will help when we formally take on Latin in a few years. I'll post on that when we get to it, probably in the early part of 2015.