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Latin for Children vs. Latina Christiana

ancient rome

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We began studying Latin four years ago when my oldest child was in the second grade. I read everything I could find on the different Latin curricula that were available and finally decided on Latin for Children for him. He completed the 3 books in 4 school years and this year he has started
Latin Alive
, which is a Latin program for middle school students, also published by Classical Academic Press.

Since I was pleased with Latin for Children for my son, I had my daughter start with the program at the beginning of last school year. Later on in the year I received Latina Christiana I from Memoria Press to review. My daughter seemed the obvious choice to try out the program since she wasn’t too far along in Latin for Children. She also didn’t seem to be retaining the information very well, so I figured a little review would be beneficial. As she used Latina Christiana, I noticed that there were some things about the program that made it a better choice for her. So this year she is continuing to use Latina Christiana instead of Latin for Children.

I was reminded of a few things in this process. First, my children are all different and what may work best for one of them may not be the best choice for all of them. Second, I need to look at products with each of the children who will be using the product in mind, not just my oldest child, and not just what I like. Finally, I can’t spend a lot of money on a product and always justify it by saying I’ll use it with all 4 of my children. That may not work.

I think that BOTH Latin for Children and Latina Christiana are excellent Latin programs with many similarities. Both are designed to be used with students as young as about the third grade. They both teach Latin from a parts-to-whole method. Both include Latin grammar and vocabulary as well as derivative studies. Latin for Children does include more vocabulary and grammar, but that is reasonable since it has one more text than Latina Christiana. An optional video is available for either product as well as audio cd’s.  However, there are some key differences which I have outlined below.

Latin for Children Latina Christiana
# texts in series 3 (A,B,C) 2 (I, II)
Pronunciation Classical (but has an Ecclesiastical option) Ecclesiastical
Student Text Instruction is in the Student text No instruction in the Student text
Teacher’s Guide Answer Key All Latin instruction is in Teacher’s Guide as well as teaching tips, quizzes, tests, and answers to all the exercises.
Video Lessons include children and some humor. Some variety in filming locations. Lessons are fairly short. Lessons include instructor only. They are thorough and include drill and practice within the lesson. Lessons are longer and are in front of a white board only.
Roman culture included? Very little Scheduled to use with Famous Men of Rome, however Famous Men of Rome is not included.
Variety Pages are printed with Roman themed graphics. Variation in types of exercises from chapter to chapter. Plain pages. Predictable format for exercises and quizzes.
Prayers included? No Yes

My daughter, who has always been somewhat of a no-nonsense kind of girl, really appreciates Latina Christiana. She needs more drill and practice, and the expectations are very clear. The instruction in the text in Latin for Children was confusing to her and didn’t help her to understand the material at all.

My son, on the other hand, would not have lasted a week in Latina Christiana. He needed the somewhat goofy humor in the Latin for Children videos as well as the variety in the text. He is much more able to read and understand a concept, so having the instruction in the text was great for him. And memorizing Latin prayers? There is no way that he would enjoy that.

If you are looking for an elementary Latin curriculum I recommend either Latin for Children or Latina Christiana I. They are both quality programs backed by companies that are continually revising and writing new curricula. Samples are available at both websites to help you compare further and decide which one is more suited to your child.

Written by Kristen, Classical mom of 4. Kristen’s homeschool blog is A Day in the Life.

Kristen (21 Posts)

Kristen Hamilton and her husband, Kevin, have been home-educating their five children since their eldest’s birth in 1998. Kristen is Executive Assistant Manager of The Old Schoolhouse SchoolhouseTeachers.com and loves helping homeschoolers find educational resources. An admitted curriculum junkie, Kristen blogs about her homeschool experiences at Sunrise to Sunset (sunrisetosunsethomeschool.com). She also enjoys reading, crochet, and hiking with her family in her limited free time.

{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Barb-Harmony Art Mom October 8, 2009, 9:17 am

    This is really well done review. I think it will help a lot of families in their Latin decisions. :)

    Barb-Harmony Art Mom
    .-= Barb-Harmony Art Mom´s last blog ..Creativity and My Men =-.

  • Carol October 8, 2009, 10:12 am

    Thank you for the excellent information.
    I have just begun exploring Latin as a curriculum addition for next year and this is very helpful.
    .-= Carol´s last blog ..The Artist =-.

  • The Cottage Comtesse October 8, 2009, 3:58 pm

    Excellent review comparing two latin programs. We selected Latin for Children and have been very happy with it. My daughter needed the DVD that she could watch more than once, the kids that she drills with, and the humor. It is now one of her favorite subjects! I’m using Song School Latin with my second grader (also by Classical Academic Press) just to give her a fun head start. She feels so grown up and it is a joy to hear her go around the house singing songs such as “Salve”.
    .-= The Cottage Comtesse´s last blog ..Apple Cinnamon Scones =-.

  • Cindy October 9, 2009, 11:39 am

    Wonderful review! I’m currently reviewing Latin for Children, but only have the book. After reading your review, I’m realizing that the DVD would go a long way in helping both me and my children “get” it better.
    .-= Cindy´s last blog ..Energy =-.

  • Richele October 10, 2009, 3:39 pm

    Thanks so much for that review. On a homeschooling forum I frequent, finding a Latin curriculum is a hot topic. I will be sure to direct them here. I have been kinda steering clear of Latin because I didn’t know where to begin…thanks!
    .-= Richele´s last blog ..Blind Blogger Tutorial: Attaching a link to an image. =-.

  • Lucinda Brown October 22, 2009, 5:18 pm

    This is a great review in that you point out the different needs of individual children. As for us, we have used both curriculum choices you’ve featured and hands down prefer Latin for Children. My daughter has done exceptionally well with LFC and so we will stick with it. She started out with LC, but was getting pretty bored. Once we switched to LFC she began to soar through her lessons. I’m confident that my daughter is gaining a greater mastery of English and will find it much easier to learn Spanish and other foreign languages later on because she has had such a positive learning experience with LFC.

  • Rhonda@LivingWater October 30, 2009, 8:19 am

    I love this article. I am passionate about schooling my three children as individuals and I love how you incorporated your children’s seperate learning styles and modalities in choosing their Latin curriculum. We currently use Prima Latina and Latina Christiana but I have one child that would problably enjoy Latin for Children more. I need to further investigate that idea!
    Thank you for your thoughtful review.
    .-= Rhonda@LivingWater´s last blog ..Classical Homeschooling Carnival =-.

  • Kay in PA November 5, 2009, 12:29 pm

    A well written and very helpful review. Thank you!
    .-= Kay in PA´s last blog ..Simplified Economics =-.

  • Kristen November 5, 2009, 2:27 pm

    I’m so glad that it has been helpful!

  • Catherine January 22, 2011, 4:29 pm

    Thanks for this great post and comparison.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Happy Friday! =-.

  • Rachelle August 15, 2012, 10:14 am

    This was so helpful as my 3rd grader is going to start Latin this year. Your descriptions helped me make a clear choice for him.

  • Mellissa February 7, 2013, 3:50 pm

    Thank you so much for this review! I appreciate your insights!
    Mellissa´s last blog post ..31

  • Cammy July 16, 2013, 10:05 pm

    Would learning Latin confuse children who are still mastering the foundations of Phonics?

    • Kristen July 17, 2013, 9:36 am

      I think that really depends on what you mean by mastering phonics. I still have not started formal Latin with my 3rd child (11 years old) who had tremendous difficulties in learning to read, but if you just mean that you haven’t covered all the different sounds, then I think it would be fine. I would consider an introductory program like Song School Latin from Classical Academic press or Prima Latina from Memoria Press.
      Kristen´s last blog post ..What’s for Dinner?

  • RJ September 17, 2013, 7:04 pm

    Thanks for this succinct summary. I am now interested in learning more about LFC.

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