My Favorite Latin Program

favorite latin program

(Please note: while there are some Amazon affiliated links in this post, this is NOT a sponsored post. I was not sent this book for review. I am only offering this review of a book I purchased with my own funds in order to share curriculum that I believe will be helpful to other homeschooling families.)

Why do we study Latin? Why is a dead language still very much part of our world? Is it worth taking time out of our day to learn something that we will not be using to communicate with another person?

Quite simply: yes.

Susan Wise Bauer shares wisely in The Well-Trained Mind, 4th Ed. that

“Latin trains the mind to think in an orderly fashion. Latin (being dead) is the most systematic language around. The discipline of assembling endings and arranging syntax (grammar patterns) according to sets of rules is the mental equivalent of a daily two-mile jog. And because Latin demands precision, the Latin-trained mind becomes accustomed to paying attention to detail, a habit that will pay off – especially when studying math and science.

Latin improves English skills. The grammatical structure of English is based on Latin, as is about 50 percent of English vocabulary. The student who understands how Latin works is rarely tripped up by complicated English syntax or obscure English words. And for decades, critical studies have confirmed that children who are taught Latin consistently score higher than their peers in reading comprehension, vocabulary, and even critical thinking and problem solving.”

These are all necessary and good things to learn and develop. Mental strength, focus on details, reading comprehension, critical thinking are all virtues incumbent upon me to teach my children. The problem is that many Latin programs are very teacher and student intensive.  At this busy time of life I just cannot spend more time than is needed to get the job done. Searching Latin curricula became problematic for me because what is offered on the market is much too teacher- and student-intensive than I am willing to give. Simple and straight to the point, the Ernest Hemingway of Latin programs, is what I looked for. It also needed to be easy enough for my definitely Latin-unknowledgable brain. And please, no cutesy singing because it ends up annoying rather than driving memory.

Through my research, Getting Started with Latin by William E. Linney was mentioned often. I admittedly looked it over so many times because it was too inexpensive, not bulky enough, too easy looking, too whatever. I needed simple but also something concrete and beneficial. The cost and simplicity drove me to it and I figured if it didn’t work out, I would not have invested much money in it.

It was worth it.


Getting Started with Latin is inexpensive whether you choose the Kindle version or the printed book. If you look at some of the other popular Latin options you will find their cost is significantly higher. GSWL is financially feasible for most homeschooling families. Alongside that benefit, the lessons are simple. The format is straightforward: learn a new Roman verb and then translate about 10 latin sentences. Free .mp3 files at the Getting Started with Latin site give pronunciation help in either classical form or ecclesiastical form along with files in which the author, William E. Linney, has recorded short lectures for each lesson. I was delighted to learn that Mr. Linney offers a free, online Latin class to follow completion of Getting Started with Latin.

A couple of things to keep in mind are that sometimes I would like a bit more explanation on a few things. What is that flat bar symbol above some of the letters called and why/when is it used? Also, depending on your student, you will find that you may have to make up your own review or quizzes as these are not provided in this book.

Mr. Linney also offers a similar French and Spanish curriculum. My daughter and I were going through a French program this past year and she remarked to me “Mom, I wish that there was a French curriculum in the same format as my Getting Started with Latin book.” Fortunately for her, there is.


Which Latin curriculum have you used? What do you like about it? What do you dislike about it? Have you used Getting Started with Latin? If so, what did you think about it?


This post is NOT sponsored. I am only offering this review in order to share curriculum that I believe will be helpful to other homeschooling families. That being said, some of the links are affiliate links.

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2017 Book List

2017 Book List

photo credit: James Barker Photography

This is the year in which I will read more books. At least that is what I tell myself. My Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2017 is 52 books, one for each week. (By the way, if you are not on Goodreads, you should check it out. It is very helpful in keeping track of books you read, own, want to read, etc. You can also make friends on there with similar reading interests. Many books that end up on my night table are because someone on my friends list was reading it. You can create your own yearly challenge or look me up. This is not a sponsored post, I promise; I just really love Goodreads!)

My mind and soul do better when I read. My tastes are such that you won’t find much fluff on my nightstand. My mind must be challenged, to learn something new or to strengthen the underpinnings of a framework already adhered to. Words are inherently powerful because the meaning to them is more broad and full of impact than just ink on paper or electronic words on a reading device. Our family is going through a rather trying time and books have kept us afloat, young and old alike.

To this end, to encourage others to realize the significance of reading, here is my tentative list of 2017 Books to Be Read. It is a fluid list, destined to be changed. I’ll put an asterisk next to them when I’ve finished them, a plus sign if I am currently reading them, and use strikethrough if I’ve taken it off my TBR shelf. Perhaps I will review some of them. Each of these links and pictures will be affiliate links. Enjoy!


2017 Book List


*The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

*The Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague, Geraldine Brooks

Ordinary Grace: A Novel, William Kent Krueger


The Eve Tree: A Novel, Rachel Devenish Ford

A Man Called Ove: A Novel, Fredrik Backman

Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift

The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan

Watership Down: A Novel, Richard Adams

Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy

Burial Rites, Hannah Kent

Jacob’s Oath: A Novel, Martin Fletcher

*Don Quixote, Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra

Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

*At the Water’s Edge: A Novel, Sara Gruen

*Me Before You: A Novel, Jojo Moyes


The Illiad/The Odyssey, Homer

The Epic of Gilgamesh, Anonymous

Dramas and Plays

Aeschylus: Agamemnon

Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare

Biographies and Memoirs

The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila by Herself

The Book of Margery Kempe, Margery Kempe

All is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir, Brennan Manning with John Blase


Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More – Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist; Karen Swallow Prior

St. Augustine’s Confessions

Memorize the Faith! (and Most Anything Else): Using the Methods of the Great Catholic Medieval Memory Masters, Kevin Vost

The Mind of the Maker, Dorothy L. Sayers

Holiness for Housewives: And Other Working Women, Hubert van Zeller

I Believe in Love: A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Thérèse of Lisiuex, Jean C. J. d’elbée

+Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis

Politics and Social Sciences

In Cold Blood, Truman Capote


History of the Peloponnesian War, Thycydides

The Histories, Herodotus

Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, Catherine Clinton

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman, Robert K. Massie


How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, Ken Ludwig

The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education, Ravi Jain and Kevin Clark

+A Philosophy of Education, Charlotte M. Mason

Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakeable Peace, Sarah Mackenzie

Beauty in the Word: Rethinking the Foundations of Education, Stratford Caldecott

For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

*A Twaddle-Free Education: An Introduction to Charlotte Mason’s Timeless Educational Ideas,  Deborah Taylor-Hough


Michel de Montaigne – The Complete Essays

Read-Alouds with my Children

*The Time Machine, retold, H.G. Wells

Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers, Ralph Moody

All-of-a-Kind Family, Sydney Taylor

+The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling

Health and Fitness

The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can, Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer, Gretchen Reynolds


*Different: The Story of an Outside-the-Box Kid and the Mom Who Loved Him, Sally Clarkson, Nathan Clarkson


The Abundant Mama’s Guide to Savoring Slow, Shawn L. Fink

Caught Up in a Story: Fostering a Storyformed Life of Great Books & Imagination with Your Children, Sarah Clarkson

*Habits: The Mother’s Secret to Success, Charlotte M. Mason

+The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, Daniel. J Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

 Science and Math

On Airs, Waters, and Places, Hippocrates

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