(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.