Henle Latin, or Lingua Latina?

I received this question:

My son has been making it through Henle Latin 1 this year in Classical Conversations. They are on lesson 27 and he has hit a wall. It is moving so quickly and he is at a loss. Could we join in this late in the year and just glean what we can from your teaching?

He will be a sophomore next year and I do not think Henle II is going to work for him. Would you suggest starting fresh in Lingua Latina 1 for him? Thank you for your feedback!

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Here is my reply:

Good morning!

I have set my site up in such a way that students can join at any time.  

The Henle class I teach is currently in chapter 32, and we move at the pace of one chapter per week.  However, every class is recorded so students who fall behind are welcome to proceed at a pace more comfortable for them.  

I would actually recommend finishing Henle l if possible.  You could use the recordings to do so.  By, the way, it is very common to hit a wall at this point in the book.  Henle Latin is tough.  

You could switch to Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg if you wanted to.  But, it is a tough book as well.  Since your son is so deep into Henle 1, I would suggest you just read Lingua Latina for fun during the summer.  It actually is a pretty fun book.   It’s a novel about a Roman family.  Tough, but fun.  

The biggest hurdle will be vocabulary.  Henle Latin teaches about 500 words.  Lingua Latina teaches about 2,000 words.  Incidentally, this is one of the reasons Lingua Latina is far superior.  And, tougher… in some ways.  

I don’t want to frustrate your son by asking him to start over.  But, I have had so many students jump from Henle Latin, which they hated, to Lingua Latina.  Initially, they thought they hated Latin.  After Lingua Latina, they realize that they do not hate Latin.  They hate Henle Latin.  I know that is strong language, but I have seen it enough.  I know it is true.

I hope I have answered your question.  Feel free to email me again if I haven’t.

Have a happy Tuesday!