Being consistent with Latin over the years has been a struggle – one I have not always won. My oldest began Latin for Children Primer A when he was 8 – four years ago – and he’s now 3/4 of the way through Latin for Children Primer B.
I’m sure glad Dr. Perrin’s favorite motto is festina lente.
My second son is 10 and in his third year of Latin and just wrapping up Latin for Children Primer A. Next week he’ll start Latin for Children Primer B. My third child is 7 and eating up Song School Latin with a spoon – with her I will use Song School II for third grade rather than move right into the full program.
In my years of Latin inconsistency, we’ve had to continue to go backward before moving forward, reviewing vocab again, reviewing grammar again, because you can’t build on a foundation that isn’t there. In the end, I think this will actually help their forward progress in Latin, because we ended up not moving forward until concepts clicked rather than getting into a groove and simply moving on when they could give the right answer without understanding. Just as students should be drilled in their math facts until they are second nature – and this might take the entirety of their elementary education – so we keep revisiting what case means, what conjugating means, what declining means, not to mention how to do so.
This year consistency is possible for us, and I spent the first two terms of school focusing on getting our Latin consistent and solid and prioritized. I went through many iterations of weekly Latin assignments before I found one that flowed and worked for us.
I’m not sure this will work for you, but I offer it as a starting place. It’s much more feasible and realistic for a homeschool setting than the schedule offered in the book, I believe. It makes about half the Latin work independent work, which frees me up. This is the routine I use for both my boys, so it works with Latin for Children Primer A and Primer B.
Our Weekly Latin Assignments
- Daily: We listen to one Latin chant track from both Primer A & B most Morning Times for chant & vocab review
- Monday: Watch a Latin lesson from the DVD, complete the Latin worksheet for that lesson
- Tuesday: Practice reading & oral translation with mom, complete the lesson’s derivatives worksheet in the workbook
- Wednesday: Fill out a conjugation practice worksheet (homemade), copy the lesson’s vocab into a Latin copywork spiral notebook.
- Thursday: Complete the lesson’s quiz in the workbook, write 2 original Latin sentences that contain at least one word from this lesson’s vocab (Mom has to conjugate & translate them)
- Friday: Latin translation page (homemade, with sentences from the chapter)
This is how it looks on my son’s checklist:
After printing out the sheet, I simply write in the next lesson and the page numbers he should do that week. With two Latin students, I swap the Monday/Tuesday assignment so I only read with one child per day. Turns out if I plan to do Latin reading with both on the same day, it doesn’t happen!
The translation worksheet and conjugation page are ones I have created myself and populate with sentences or vocab from LFC at the beginning of the week because the workbooks don’t offer very much room for handwritten answers. You can download the sheets for free by entering your email here. They’ll work with any Latin program.
When we read Latin together once a week, the child can choose a selection from our collection:
He only reads and orally translates (and we use an online Latin dictionary to help) about 3 sentences at a time and we stick with one story until we’ve read it all. It’s hard, but we do it together, and I’ve found this addition has actually helped both my boys enjoy learning Latin more. Perhaps it makes it seem worthwhile instead of merely an exercise in abstraction. It’s decoding, and what boy doesn’t like a code that tells a message when you work it out?
I have been surprised how much just finding the right weekly rhythm has helped make Latin happen consistently and with less resistance. I am always afraid I’m over-tweaking and making changes just out of discontent and for fun, but then I stumble upon a logistics tweak like this that makes it easier to be consistent and I find it all worth it!
Now I just need to leave the Latin routine alone and adjust something else, like the logistics of mopping the floor.