Third Grade: Week Nineteen Wrap-Up

This was a kind of screwy week, with a doctor’s appointment for me one morning, and a dentist visit for the children another. We still managed to get our work done, however–we just had to be a little creative in when we did things. For example, one morning, we started a good hour, if not hour and a half, earlier than usual, to get things done before one appointment. We’ve also been saving a lot of our reading for the evenings, which isn’t even weird, just different for us. But we’re flexible, and as long as we get our work done, I’m not too particular as to when.

The one subject that I really had to tweak this week was Latin. We’re at a review lesson in Latin Christiana I, and I wanted to make sure we didn’t gloss over it too much, so I decided we’d just take two weeks for this lesson, and make sure we, (and I mean we, because my Latin is coming along more slowly than Turkey and Bunny’s!), really know it. I think this is a good thing, regardless of doctor’s appointments, and feeling crunched for time, because extra review, particularly of vocabulary, is never a bad thing. I think we also need to work a bit more on our noun declensions and verb conjugations, before we add any new words and/or concepts. Fortunately, there are more weeks in our school year than there are lessons in the Latin book, so we’ll still be done with the full curriculum before the end of the school year!

Another thing that messed with our schedule a bit this week was Valentine’s Day, but that was a welcome distraction. We needed extra time for crafts on Tuesday, so that was another day when we didn’t stick to our regular schedule. We had a great time making woven hearts and sparkle critters, and handing out Valentines, though–I like anything that breaks up the monotony of winter. Even though February is the shortest month of the year, it’s also the month where it’s the hardest to really buckle down and work, (for us, anyway), so we really welcome a holiday, and an excuse to make fun crafts and read extra stories, of any kind!

Third Grade: Week Three Wrap-Up

This week, I’d like to share a little bit about our experiences with Latin.

Last year, we started with Memoria Press’s Prima Latina. It’s meant to be a gentle introduction to Latin, (both for students and teacher), geared toward about second grade, although it can be used with younger children if you’re really ambitious. I really liked the layout of the weekly lessons, and I especially liked that it was written with the assumption that the teacher doesn’t know the language, (which I don’t!). The main focus of Prima Latina was building vocabulary and some longer pieces in Latin, including the Sanctus and the Lord’s Prayer, and strengthening the student’s foundation in grammar.

So, our first year of Latin was successful, (even Moose and Ladybug learned the Sanctus, just from listening to us practice), but I was a little concerned going into the next level of Memoria Press Latin–Latina Christiana I. You see, the last few lessons of Prima Latina started to go into declensions and conjugations, obviously as a preparation for what we’d be learning this year, and that scared me a little. OK, a lot.

I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that Latin this year is going just as well as it did last year. There are now approximately ten vocabulary words to memorize each week, but so far, only two have been new–the rest have been review from last year, (which would also be helpful if we hadn’t done Prima Latina at all, and had just jumped right in with this program, which is totally doable). There is also a new Latin phrase to learn each week, just as there was last year.

We have been working on conjugations since week one, but the first two weeks focused primarily on making sure the verb endings were properly memorized, and then using them to conjugate amo, the Latin verb for love. This week, we delved deeper, working with other verbs we already knew, and conjugating them, as well as translating the already conjugated verbs back to English with the correct pronouns. Turkey and Bunny have really taken to it–in fact, they memorized the conjugations before I did! (I do think I’ve got it down now, too…finally!)

There is more history tied into this year’s lessons, which I like. The teacher’s guide has a full section dedicated to Roman history. This would be even more beneficial if we were currently studying world history, but even though we’re not, it’s good to refresh some things we learned about last year, and that we’ll be studying again in the future.

Now, I haven’t ever used anything other than Memoria Press, so I can’t compare it to other programs. I do know, however, that I have been so pleased with Memoria Press that I have no intention of switching to a different Latin curriculum. I’m looking forward to starting First Form Latin in fourth grade, (which, if we complete it successfully, will be the equivalent of a full year of high school foreign language), and after completing that series, eventually moving on to Henle Latin. There are many other resources from Memoria Press that are tempting to use in the future, including a study of Greek Myths, which we will be using in fifth grade. I also recently discovered that Memoria Press is beta testing a Greek curriculum, which is also exciting, as Turkey wants to learn Greek eventually–that may have to be added to the homeschool to-do list!