Cathy Duffy Reviews home > Foreign Language > Latina Christiana and Prima Latina

Latina Christiana, Prima Latina, & Form Latin series

Publisher: Memoria Press
Author: Cheryl Lowe and Leigh Lowe
Review last updated: July 2012

This is one of my 101 Top Picks!

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Latina Christiana and Prima Latina
Latina Christiana and Prima Latina

See the complete review in 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.

Latina Christiana was among my Top Picks in 2005. Prima Latina for younger students was also mentioned in my earlier review. Memoria Press has since introduced First Form Latin and the follow-up books, Second Form and Third Form Latin. Fourth Form is still being written.
Cheryl Lowe of Memoria Press believes that Latin is the ideal foundation for a classical education for children in the elementary grades. Ideally, Latin study replaces some English language study (particularly grammar and vocabulary) through these years. All of these courses teach grammar—both Latin and English. While conversational language is sometimes taught, these are not conversational programs that leave the grammar for high school. Memoria Press’s Latin programs should appeal most to classical educators who want to capitalize on the younger child’s ability to memorize and drill to build a strong grammar-level foundation.
Parents with no Latin background should find the Memoria Press courses very easy to use. Lesson preparation is minimal for the first two programs. These are not independent study workbooks. You really need to use the teacher manuals for lesson presentations.
Prima Latina offers a slower, gentler pace for learning Latin that might suit children in grades 2 through 4. Latina Christiana I might be the starting point for students in grades 3 to 5 while First Form Latin could be the first course for students in grades 5 and up. Parents unfamiliar with Latin themselves should probably choose the lower-level option when faced with two possibilities. Whichever courses you choose, by the end of eighth grade, students should be prepared for advanced Latin in high school, including reading Latin literature. They should also find the study of English and any of the Romance languages much easier.
All of these Memoria Press courses teach medieval or “church” Latin pronunciation rather than “classical.”....Words and phrases relating to Christianity are included; content should be appropriate for both Protestants and Catholics.
Memoria Press Latin courses were developed with small classes of homeschoolers, and that is the ideal setting for them. However, the courses also work fine with a single student and parent.
Optional DVDs with lesson presentations are available....Parents worried about their ability to teach Latin as well as those short on time should really appreciate this option. While not a critical factor, it is important to note that instructors on most DVD presentations speak with a southern accent. Hearing Latin spoken with a southern accent might be disconcerting to some listeners.

Prima Latina

by Leigh Lowe

Unlike most resources for Latin for the early elementary grades, Prima Latina is a strong, grammatically-based program. It teaches both English grammar and beginning Latin. Students are introduced to the seven parts of speech and three verb tenses of English grammar. For Latin, students are introduced to the first two declensions of nouns and the first two verb conjugations while learning some basic vocabulary. While Memoria Press says it can be used by children in grades one through four, they qualify this by saying that it is “for students who are still becoming familiar with English grammar but are competent readers.” I would add that students need to be fairly competent writers since there is quite a bit of writing in the course.
Children work directly in their worktext, but lessons need to be taught. Young children will need a great deal of teacher assistance.
....Students respond both orally and in writing through the lessons. Review questions are built into the lessons, and there are five review lessons spaced throughout the course, each followed by a test....“Fun Practice” activities each week offer variety with something different just about every week....
The teacher manual for Prima Latina has general teaching guidelines and reproducible vocabulary drill forms and tests. Other than that it has only overprinted answers on pages identical to those in the student text rather than expanded lesson plans.... Prima Latina can be used prior to Latina Christiana....

Latina Christiana

by Cheryl Lowe

Latina Christiana I might be used prior to First Form Latin, although it is not required. (Note: Latina Christiana II is being replaced by First Form Latin.)
Lessons need to be taught following instructions in the teacher manual. The teacher manual is very nicely designed both in appearance and functionality. Reduced student pages with overprinted answers are surrounded by lesson information.
Lessons are learned through repetition, memorization, and drill, but the teacher manual presents a number of ideas for making this interesting: vocabulary flash cards, games (e.g. Latin Pictionary), songs, and an audio CD.
Latina Christiana also serves as the focus for study of history and geography to a minor extent, correlating history questions based on Famous Men of Rome (another Memoria Press publication) with Latin lessons.
The student books are less intimidating than most other foreign language workbooks since they were written for young students. Students do oral work with new vocabulary, study words and phrases, learn a well-known Latin proverb or phrase, and complete exercises in their books....
Latina Christiana I covers first and second declension noun and adjective forms, first and second conjugations and three verb tenses, subject/verb agreement, personal pronouns, gender, and use of the nominative case....

First, Second, and Third Form Latin

by Cheryl Lowe
First Form Latin, Second Form Latin, and Third Form Latin are the first three of four levels in this projected series. The series may be used with students beginning in fifth grade and up. However, even if started at a younger level, completing First Form Latin is equivalent to a one-year high school Latin course by adding a little supplementation. Students who have completed Latina Christiana should be able to move into First Form Latin with ease in fifth grade. Sixth graders should probably skip Latina Christiana and begin with First Form. First Form Latin and the other three books in this series will comprise a gentler introduction to Latin than some of the more challenging programs such as Henle Latin.
First Form teaches students as if they are in the grammar stage of learning, which is actually true for beginning (or close to beginning) students in Latin no matter their actual grade level. That means students concentrate on learning vocabulary and grammatical forms through study, memorization, and drill. The translation work students complete is less than in some other programs....
First Form Latin teaches the first two verb conjugations (six indicative active tenses), five noun declensions, and first and second declension adjectives while introducing 185 vocabulary words. Second Form Latin reviews everything covered in First Form Latin. By the end of Second Form Latin students will have added the indicative active of the third and fourth conjugations and the present system passive voice of all four conjugations, five noun declensions (including er-ir nouns of the second declension and i-stem nouns of the third declension), third declension adjectives of one termination, personal pronouns, and prepositions, while adding another 180 vocabulary words. Third Form Latin reviews the content taught in the First and Second Forms then continues work with all four verb conjugations, including active and passive subjunctive. It moves on to fourth declension neuter nouns and more advanced work with adjectives. Irregular adjective and adverbs as well as advanced work with syntax are taught.
Fourth Form Latin will move a different direction. It will be keyed to the First Year of the Henle Latin series, using many of its readings. Students completing Fourth Form should be ready to advance into the Second Year of the Henle series.
There are a number of components for each course. You will need both the teacher manual and Teacher Manual Workbook & Test Key, two separate books sold as a set. Other core components are the student text, student workbook, and the Quizzes and Test book. Optional items are the pronunciation CD, DVDs, and flashcards.
.... Lessons begin with oral recitation and review. The recitation aspect of this course is vital, so even if you use DVDs, someone needs to be present to supervise recitation and other activities. This is not an independent study course....Student workbook pages are reproduced with answers in the Teacher Manual Workbook & Test Key....Separating course content into the two separate books for students makes it easier for students to review from the text while also making the content seem very manageable....
The comprehensive lessons with detailed plans enable parents or teachers without a Latin background to easily teach the courses. Nevertheless, teachers must prepare each lesson in advance....
These are teacher-intensive courses, so if you are short on time, consider using the DVDs to help lighten the teaching load. Courses might be used with a single student but would work better with two or more students working together, especially for recitation and participation in the optional games.
There is some Christian content, but it is fairly minimal. One Latin sentence translates to “Christ gives faith.” This was one of the rare examples I could find. Pages in the appendices have some prayers in Latin (e.g., “Pater Noster,” “Sanctus and Benedictus,” “Agnus Dei,” “Ave Maria”) and their translations which are optional.
While students as young as fifth grade might begin the Form Latin series, it might be best for junior high students who need a slower pace than most high school level programs yet are ready for more substantial content than is offered by most programs for the elementary grades. While it works as a high school program as well, you need to supplement with additional work or consider moving at a faster pace if students can handle it.

Supplements

To make the study of Latin a bit more fun or to add reinforcement, you might use Memoria Press’s books of crossword, word search, and hangman puzzles, Ludere Latine I and II ($19.95 each), both written by Paul O’Brien. Ludere Latine I correlates with Latina Christiana I, and Ludere Latine II correlates fairly well with First Form Latin. The puzzles provide valuable practice on vocabulary, declensions, and conjugations. Answer keys for all the puzzles are at the back of each book.
Lingua Angelica is a supplemental study of Latin hymns. It consists of a single CD with 24 hymns, two levels of student workbooks with teacher manuals, and a songbook ($39.95 for first level, CD and song book). The same songbook and CD are used with both levels. While you can purchase the CD alone just for the beautiful music by a six-voice Gregorian chant choir, the workbooks do not function as a stand-alone course but must be used alongside a beginning Latin course.

Pricing


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  • Latina Christiana I, Teacher Manual (Classical Trivium Core)

    Latina Christiana I, Teacher Manual (Classical Trivium Core)

    Cheryl Lowe

    Second Form Latin Complete Set

    Second Form Latin Complete Set

    Third Form Latin Complete Set

    Third Form Latin Complete Set

    Third Form Latin Text Set

    Third Form Latin Text Set

    First Form Latin Complete Set

    First Form Latin Complete Set

    First Form Latin Text

    First Form Latin Text

    Cheryl Lowe

    First Form Latin Student Workbook

    First Form Latin Student Workbook

    Cheryl Lowe

    Second Form Latin, Student Text

    Second Form Latin, Student Text

    Cheryl Lowe

    Second Form Latin, Student Workbook

    Second Form Latin, Student Workbook

    Cheryl Lowe

    Latina Christiana I, Student Book (Latin Edition)

    Latina Christiana I, Student Book (Latin Edition)

    Cheryl Lowe

    Latina Christiana I Flashcards (Latin Edition)

    Latina Christiana I Flashcards (Latin Edition)

    Memoria Press

    Latina Christiana I, Instructional DVDs (Classical Trivium Core) (Latin Edition)

    Latina Christiana I, Instructional DVDs (Classical Trivium Core) (Latin Edition)

    Cheryl Lowe

    Ludere Latine I

    Ludere Latine I

    Paul O'Brien

    Latina Christiana II, Student Book (Classical Trivium Core Series)

    Latina Christiana II, Student Book (Classical Trivium Core Series)

    Cheryl Lowe

    Latina Christiana: Introduction to Christian Latin, Book II, Teacher Manual

    Latina Christiana: Introduction to Christian Latin, Book II, Teacher Manual

    Cheryl Lowe

    Prima Latina, Teacher Guide (Classical Trivium Core Series)

    Prima Latina, Teacher Guide (Classical Trivium Core Series)

    Leigh Lowe

    Prima Latina, Student Book

    Prima Latina, Student Book

    Leigh Lowe

    Prima Latina, Pronunciation CD

    Prima Latina, Pronunciation CD

    Leigh Lowe

    Prima Latina, Instructional DVDs (Classical Trivium Core) (English and Latin Edition)

    Prima Latina, Instructional DVDs (Classical Trivium Core) (English and Latin Edition)

    Leigh Lowe

    Latina Christiana I: Introduction to Christian Latin (Classical Trivium Core) (Latin Edition)

    Latina Christiana I: Introduction to Christian Latin (Classical Trivium Core) (Latin Edition)

    Leigh Lowe

    Instant Key

    • Learning Styles: appeals most to Perfect Paula but should work for others
      Suitable for:
      one on one or group work plus independent work in student books
      Audience: grades 1-12
      Need for parent/teacher instruction: moderate to high
      Prep time needed: none to minimal
      Teacher's manual: essential
      Educational philosophy: classical
      Religious perspective: Christian (Catholic or Protestant)

    Publisher's Info

    Memoria Press

    4603 Poplar Level Road
    Louisville, KY 40213
    877-862-1097 OR
    502-966-9115 [international or local calls]
    email: magister@memoriapress.com
    www.MemoriaPress.com