Posted by: Brian Glass | March 25, 2010

Teaching is Psychology

My curriculum was chosen for me by Shari, being the principal of our little school here. We are using Latina Christiana I from Memoria Press. This is actually a very good curriculum for homeschoolers because it is approachable by parents who have absolutely no Latin background.  The complete program comes with teaching videos for each class and excellent workbooks, flashcards, audio CDs, etc. This curriculum uses the traditional and very systematic grammar/translation approach. There are a lot of rote memorization and simple translation exercises.

That said, I’m almost never satisfied with whatever I’m given and so I ended up looking around at a number of other materials for teaching Latin. Both Micah and I seemed a bit bored with Latina Christiana I (Micah may have been better off with a slightly more advanced program). I discovered what I thought to be a most excellent program called Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata by Hans H. Ørberg. This program has a completely different approach called the immersion method. One learns Latin by reading nothing but Latin. I picked the book up myself and easily read the first chapter. Micah did the same.

I tried to blend the two programs, using Lingua Latina as a supplement to Latina Christiana, but as we advanced through Lingua Latina, we found that it accelerated at a much faster pace than what we expected. I continue to read it myself and still love the approach, but over time Micah learned to hate the book. He actually was quite capable of following along and reading at a much more advanced level, but it seemed a daunting task to him.

I just received last week the first two of a collection of small Latin readers for beginning Latin students from Guadalupe Press entitled Little Latin Readers. Quite honestly I think they are overpriced for what you get, but they are exactly what we needed. They are small and the information comes in bite sized pieces instead of chapters that seem vast and daunting. Micah whizzed through the first book in a week and he now seems to look forward to our reading time. For Micah, it was all psychological.

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