Monday, February 21, 2011

7th Grade Latin

I'm not sure why picking Latin for Jessie has been so hard this year, but I finally reached a conclusion.

Option 1:  Oxford Latin Reader
This was the recommended follow up for LfC before the creation of the new Latin Alive series.  Honestly, I thought we needed some more work on grammar because we're both struggling with remembering all of the different chants, so it may be a great book but I marked it off the list without even looking at it.

Option 2:  Henle Year 1
This is the recommendation of current edition of TWTM.  For awhile I considered it, but then I looked at an online sample.  It looks simple and straight forward with no frills, and I was almost sold.  Then I looked at the table of contents.  I really don't want to begin the all five noun declensions.  That means no sentence translation until at least the 6th unit.  I don't really understand how the different cases can make sense if you're not putting them in sentences.

Option 3:  First Form
I briefly looked at First Form by Memoria Press.  Jessie thought it looked like too much work.  I thought it was OK, but it takes 4 sets of books to cover the same material in Henle Year 1.  When I had been looking at Henle, I had been thinking two years in books 1 and 2 would leave one year each for books 3 and 4.  Memoria Press also uses ecclesiastical Latin and I prefer to stick with classical Latin since that is the pronunciation that we have been using.

Option 4:  Wheelock's
I'll grant you that I still don't know a lot about Wheelock's except that it was recommended in an older edition of TWTM, is used as a college text by some, and is said to be not as teacher friendly.  I've also heard there are online helps available, but I didn't really feel confident enough in my Latin ability to tackle it even if I had the time to work through it and figure it out.

Option 5:  Latin Alive!
When I had originally looked at Latin Alive, I had dismissed it because I didn't want all of the fluff of the Latin culture portions that were included.  But, when I decided Henle was a no, I went back for a second look.  The series is based on Wheelock's Latin and takes 3 years to cover the same material as Wheelock's according to the website.  The website also claims it will prepare students for both the National Latin Exam and the AP Latin test.  It starts with verbs, which is a plus.  The lessons are well laid out with what looks to be a sufficient amount of practice.  It turns out Jessie finds those cultural blurbs like looking at the different Latin phrases on the different state seals fascinating.  I have the option of getting the DVDs if I want, and that will leave us with 3 years of high school to work on real Latin texts, do years 2-4 of Henle, take an online AP class, or well whatever else we may be inspired to do when we get to that point of time.

So in the end, I ended up right back where we started.  We're just moving on to the next Latin text by Classical Academic Press.  Hopefully, we'll both enjoy Latin Alive 1 next year.

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