Prima Latina: An Introduction to Christian Latin {Review}

I have been familiar with Memoria Press for awhile now because when I was on the TOS Review Crew, I reviewed their phonics program. It was at that time that I started getting Memoria Press' free catalog that comes out twice a year. I always enjoy reading it because there are helpful articles that pertain to the benefits of learning Latin. Because of that, having our family learn Latin is something that has been in the back of my mind for about two years now.

We finally decided that now would be a good time for our family to start using the Prima Latina which is an introduction to Christian Latin designed for grades 2-4. My husband and I both want to learn Latin as well so when we are able to, the whole family sits down to watch the lesson on our DVD player. But for the most part I have incorporated the Latin lessons into our homeschool routine during the day. I'm sure my husband will still be able to pick it up along the way as the kids teach him what they have learned. They are SO much better at retaining the information than I am!

It is not necessary for you to know any Latin in order for your children to be able to use this course. I am a perfect example. I have never formally taken a language course and that being said, I am pleasantly surprised to see that the words and meanings really do stick with me. I have reviewed a few other languages and programs in the past and this one seems to work the best for us.  

Leigh Lowe is the creator and teacher of this program and I like the format that she uses.

We are using the Prima Latina Complete Set which retails for $90.90 and includes the following:

  • Student Book
  • Teacher Manual
  • Pronunciation CD
  • Instructional DVDs
  • Flashcards

I would strongly recommend getting the complete set versus simply the text set because the instructional DVDs are critical in helping learn correct pronunciation. I feel that they are the backbone to this program. Not to mention, they are able to engage our children's attention in a very helpful way.

We take this program at our own pace since I am using it with a 1st and 3rd grader and a preschooler that I want to have listen in on as well. (It
is pretty cute to hear our 4 year old exclaim "Salvate everyone!" which means "hello") The older two use the accompanying workbook to help reinforce what they are learning on the DVDs. A good goal would be to complete one lesson per week, however, I am more concerned about mastery than I am about completing it in one year.
In case you're wondering why my husband and I chose to have our family learn Latin versus another language, here are some of our reasons that we gleaned over a period of time from reading the articles in Memoria Press' Catalog:

  • "Latin teaches English better than English teaches English." That means I know our children will get a solid grammar study in English by learning Latin. It's a win-win!
  • Latin (or any other language) isn't going to be a walk in the park for most of us so the mental discipline it will instill in our children is foundational for so many other studies in life.  
  • "Latin is, in fact, the mother tongue of Western civilization..." Many of our English words are derived from Latin so having a Latin background will aid in understanding new words.
  • Having a Latin foundation will aid our children in learning another language down the road should they choose to.

In Prima Latina your children will learn the importance of English and Latin grammar concepts, as well as vocabulary, sayings, prayers, hymns, and constellations.

It will cover the following:
  • 25 lessons, each including grammar lessons appropriate for primary grades
  • 5 vocabulary words with corresponding English derivatives per lesson
  • A practical Latin phrase per lesson
  • One line of a prayer per lesson that is learned in totality over 5 lessons
  • Easy-to-read, 2-color format
Are you wondering if Prima Latina is a good fit for you? We choose it because it is ideal for young children who are still becoming familiar with English grammar and it is a course that we can take at a slower pace. I believe it is the perfect introduction to learning Latin. It is also good for those who want to start Latin with younger children in order to lay a foundation for a strong language arts program later on.

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