Learning Latin with First Form Latin by Memoria Press {Review}

Latin is a universal language.  It is the foundation for English and many other languages around the world.  All branches of science and technology as well as law, government, and theology still use Latin terminology today.  Studying Latin has been shown to improve SAT verbal scores and it makes learning the other Romantic languages easier.

The Homeschool Review Crew was given the opportunity to review some curricula from Memoria Press.  Nicholas completed their Prima Latina program when he was much younger so I decided to move him directly into First Form Latin program for this review.  This program is intended for grades 4-9 but it would probably work well as a first time Latin program for most students in grade 6 and above.  If Nicholas had struggled with Prima Latina or needed a slower pace going forward then I would have chosen the Latina Christiana program but First Form has been a good fit for him.

First Form Latin Complete Set

The compete First Form Latin set includes:

  • Student textThe student text contains 34 short lessons which are intended to be completed at a pace of one lesson per week.  Each lesson has a two page spread and introduces Latin sayings to recite, grammar, vocabulary, and elementary syntax
  • Student workbookThe student workbook contains about 4-6 pages per lesson and includes drills and exercises to reinforce the material learned in the lesson.
  • Teacher manual - The teacher manual includes an inset of the student text along with "Chalk Talk" and teacher scripts as well as additional teacher notes and background information.
  • Quizzes and Tests book - There are quizzes to be used at the end of each weekly lesson and tests for the end of each unit.
  • Teacher answer key - This book provides all of the answers for the workbook, quizzes, and tests.
  • Pronunciation audio CD -  This is a must for learning how to properly pronounce new words for recitation.
  • Instructional DVD - The presenter on the DVD does a good job of explaining each lesson.  He even makes occasional jokes to make it fun. 
  • Flashcards - The flashcards are great for review and practice
First Form Latin is an excellent program for developing mastery learning regardless of your learning style.  Some students need to read the material to learn it.  Some students are auditory learners so they need to hear it to learn it.  I love that the information in First Form Latin is provided in a variety of different formats - text, audio, visual (DVD and flashcards).  This allows the program to reach students of all different learning styles.  

Nicholas can complete one lesson per week.  Before he begins a new lesson, he does a recitation and review with me on what he has previously learned.  When it is time to start the new lesson, he begins by reading the student text and watching the DVD instructional video.  There is a menu on the DVD to make it easy to go directly to the lesson you need to watch or you can re-watch the last lesson if you need a refresher.

There are 4-6 worksheet pages per lesson which seems like a lot.  However, we divide those pages up between the remaining days of the week so it works out to about 30 minutes of day that he spends on Latin.

He uses the audio CD to help with pronunciation for his recitation and we use the flashcards for review.  I thought that this program might be hard for Nicholas since it has been a few years since he completed the Prima Latina program.  However, he is breezing through it and he actually practices his verb conjugations aloud at the dinner table, just for fun!

I appreciate that the materials provided with this curriculum are so comprehensive.  It is designed in such a way that teachers with no Latin background can be successful using it.  I have studied Latin a little but this program has helped build my confidence in teaching Latin to my children.  With the text, DVD, and audio CD, I feel confident that my middle school student could work through this program on his own, if needed. However, I like doing the recitation and review with him to be sure he is understanding all that has been presented to him.  I include Latin in my weekly teacher prep time so that I can go through the lesson and listen to the audio CD on my own before going through it with him.  However, a teacher with Latin background would likely be able to move through the lessons with little to no prep time.

Memoria Press

I always enjoy using Memoria Press in our homeschool because their materials provide a wonderful Classical model education with a Christian worldview.  Below are some posts about some other Memoria Press products that we have used in the past:
If you would like to learn more about Memoria Press, you can connect with them on these social media platforms:

If you would like to read reviews from other Homeschool Review Crew members about First Form Latin or a selection of other Memoria Press curricula, please click on the banner below:

Spelling, Music Appreciation & Latin {Memoria Press Reviews}

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