We like learning together.
Normally, one would begin Latin studies around Ambleside Online's Year 4. However, we didn't officially begin until AOy6 (for several reasons which I explain in another post). Up until recently, we've gone weekly through 1-3 lessons (per 20min sitting) in Getting Started with Latin (GSWL). After lesson 20 or so, we watched Visual Latin's (VL) Intro videos (free online). Honestly, VL's Dwane really brought life and meaning to our studies; the boys suddenly really WANTED to learn Latin. They like this guy who knows more than just one language and obviously finds Latin fun. I was seriously tempted to switch right away, but in the end, I think I'm glad to carry on through the end of GSWL and use the VL as an encouraging boost throughout. Once we're finished with GSWL, I'll probably use VL in conjunction with Lingua Latina (the teaching guide for using these together is free online here).
Here's what our weekly Latin lessons looked like:
1) I show the kids the new vocabulary word at the top of the page and they try to guess at its meaning. Having a good knowledge of Spanish already, this is usually a no-brainer for them. Other times, the word is new, we make a mental note of it and then get right to work using it in context of other ideas (the practice sentences).
2) I read the lesson aloud and then we alternate reading and translating with the given practice sentences like this:
3) I read the sentence aloud, Cullen reads the sentence aloud, Javen translates the sentence.
Spectat lunam. He looks at the stars.
4) Then we switch. I read aloud, Javen reads aloud, and Cullen translates.
Nauta stellas spectat.
Currently, we're doing Latin almost daily. I was noticing that we were having to spend too much time reviewing each week. Converting to shorter daily lessons should help to keep it fresh (and finish with this book sooner). This is recommended for all language study! Frequent short lessons are better than less frequent long lessons... this might just hold true for many areas of study!! :)
So for us, Latin's been relatively painless! It took some getting used to in the beginning, referring back often to the pronunciation guide in the back of the book (or one could listen to the free audio commentary provided by the author online here - my boys said this is BORING to listen to. I agree, but I think for some, teachers especially, it is probably really helpful).
Javen has started keeping his own notes of words he especially wants to remember. I like that initiative, even if I feel that it's not really necessary as paying careful attention does a good job of making an impression on the memory and then using the words often helps too. Eventually, if we continue deeper, a Latin notebook may become REALLY helpful, to keep exercises and favorite passages in.
After lesson 60 or so, we watched Visual Latin's Lesson 1: Being Verbs (available for free online). This was awesome fun for the kids because they already were very familiar with many of the words Dwane uses, and yet they learned several words that they'd been really wanting to know (Getting Started with Latin introduces new words VERY slowly). I'll have them do the free worksheet on the day following that of watching the video.
So that 'bout sums it up. Both kids say they like Latin; personally I think they're rather proud of the fact that they are learning it. I certainly am proud of them for both learning and liking it!
My kids tolerate this book:
Getting Started with Latin w/ free Audio files
An Extension of the above book:
Linney's Latin Class w/ free Lectures online based on the following classic book (available for free online): Latin for the first year
My kids ENJOY this:
Visual Latin. Try it here: 6 FREE Visual Latin Lessons!
The author recommends: Latin audio found here.
When/if I buy Visual Latin, I'm considering this Latin 1 & 2 package deal on DVD
*One of the MAIN advantages of this company is that almost all the materials are also available as downloads... perfect for oversea dwellers (like us!) and no shipping costs. :) But, I still think the DVD idea is kind of nice to keep info all in one place for back up.
More Helpful links:
Parents' Review article: Why Learn Greek and Latin?
Ambleside Online's page on Foreign Language.
English as She is Taught (through Latin).