Our oldest son is in his 6th year of Latin this year. He began with Prima Latina in 3rd grade, followed by Latina Christiana 1 and 2. These programs were great for a young Latin student, but it was hard to find a good option that would take him to the next level.
Enter Latin in the Christian Trivium. I can’t remember how we found this program, but I am so thankful that we did. It is systematic and thorough, rigorous but not overwhelming.
Strengths of this course:
- The first three volumes are accredited by the University of California as three years’ High School Latin credit.
Volume IV is currently under review by the University of California.
- Beginning in Volume 2, the student reads Bible passages in Latin. By Volume 3, the student is translating Bible passages. Volume IV contains a significant amount of Bible, including the entire book of James and the Ten Commandments. Most upper level Latin curriculum focuses on secular texts and vocabulary. It has been wonderful for our son to learn Christian vocabulary and he really enjoys the Bible translations in this course.
- This series incorporates an interesting story line based on the centurion in the Bible who met Jesus. This story line continues throughout all 4 books.
- Students are required to answer questions using Latin, generating grammatically correct answers using previously learned vocabulary. This is no mere fill-in-the-blank course. As the child progresses through the course he is required to think more and more in the language.
- Over 1,000 vocabulary words are taught in the first three volumes, which is the standard for three years of high school Latin. The student will also learn a good deal of Latin grammar.
- Latin history, culture and Italian geography are included in the course.
- Latin 1 incorporates the use of a grammar notebook and index cards. Students are asked to classify vocabulary according to part of speech on color-coded notebook pages or index cards.
- The third course, in particular, will help prepare students for the National Latin Exam. Our son did well on the exam even after completing just one year of the course.
To learn more about the distinctives of this course, go to the Latin in the Christian Trivium website and click the top link in the left sidebar, Our Latin Books. A list of all concepts taught in each book will appear. It is too extensive to list here!
I have read on the course website that a parent who does not know Latin could teach this course. They even provide a free 7 week preparatory class for teachers, which you can sign up for at any time during the year. I did not feel comfortable teaching my son at this level, however. So I was thrilled to find out that LITCT offers online courses for each volume! I have found the fee to be very reasonable for what you get:
- Students in the online course only need to purchase a student manual. The teacher manual and test booklet are not necessary, so that is a savings on the curriculum.
- Students receive weekly “classroom” instruction online (from 1 to 1 1/2 hours per week, depending on the level). Classes meet in a chat room such as Windows Live Messenger, and students and teacher communicate using text chat and microphones.
- The teacher assigns and corrects all homework, quizzes and tests. Our son is getting an excellent, accredited, college preparatory course, taught by a skilled Latin teacher, from the comfort of our own home.
Although this course is for middle and high school students, some parents might find the course to be very challenging for their younger students. This is particularly true if you are doing the online classes and the child cannot work at his own pace. It is important to keep in mind that this course is accredited for high school language credit, and the workload is commensurate with that. We budget an hour per day for Latin homework, and some weeks even more.
My son was in 6th grade when he did Volume 1. He was able to handle this workload, but it was much more time consuming than his other classes. We had to plan his schedule to accommodate the time this course required. Now that he is in 8th grade, several of his other classes are almost as rigorous and we feel this course helped to prepare him for that.
Parents will need to consider whether their child is academically ready to handle the pace and rigor of a high school course. We have found over the past 3 years that a wide age range exists among the students, with some being the same age as our son and others are already in high school.
There is more information about the online classes on the LITCT website. This course has been a wonderful fit for our son. He is thriving in the online classroom environment, and I am thrilled with his progress over the past three years.