Monthly Archives: April 2014

Latin textbooks for younger students

This page is a collection of thumbnail reviews of several Latin texts, good, bad and ugly for younger students—perhaps middle-school aged and younger. I’ve linked titles to either the publisher’s website or, depending on which I felt was better.

Latin for Children
3 volume set with ancillary reader and instructional DVDs

Strengths: Simple progression of the language allows parents to teach their children as they go. Skips many difficult concepts that younger students don’t need. Grammar intense and tied into Shurley grammar.
Weaknesses: Older students may feel the book is too simple for them. Lack of reading at first and some infelicities in the Latin that is written. Make sure you get newer editions if you buy used.

Minimus and Minimus Secundus
2 volume set with teachers manuals and audio CDs

Strengths: Feeds into Cambridge Latin. Reading intense. Lots of cartoons and kid-friendly graphics. Plenty of information on Roman Britain, so it can be tied in with history too.
Weakness: Less emphasis on grammar. Books are very short (about 80 pages)

Prima Latina
Latina Christiana
Latin’s Not so Tough
I know less about these, but I understand they’re more to the grammar side—as most curricula for younger students are. Students of mine have made fun of the video portions of Latina Christiana. I’ll flesh these out as I have time and exposure.

Latin is Fun
The author of this curriculum is a well-regarded Latinist. It is a little more to the reading side, though grammar is not neglected. It’s not strictly for younger students but could be a little more difficult to get.


De la Terre à la Lune

front_cover_smallSometimes a story so fantastic comes along that someone comes along to try to make it reality. De la Terre à la Lune is one of those. When Jules Verne published it in 1865, he had no idea that just over 100 years later man would walk on the moon.

No really, we did. And that fact alone gives this book an unusual feel. You can read it as an adventure story or as a comparison to the actual events. (Hint: NASA didn’t use a cannon, but they did launch from Florida.)

As always, a public domain English translation is matched up against the French original, because who wants just the translation? I’ve not yet prepared it, but the ebook will be at Scribd when I do. Just remember to buy a copy of a super fun story for yourself.