I received this question:

I have read the FAQ’s below and they have been very helpful.  I have some specific questions that I hope you can give me some direction with.  

My sons have studied Henle Latin in Classical Conversations.  Neither of them have found joy in it.  My oldest son will be a junior this fall. He just finished Henle 2 but struggled with it.  He has had 3 years if Henle and wants to quit Latin but I would like to see him finish and be successful. What course do you recommend for him?

My other son will be a freshman this fall and has had 2 years of Henle Latin and just finished the Henle 1 book. He finds it difficult as well.  What would you recommend for him?  My plan is for him to have 3 high school Latin credits upon graduation.

I apologize for this lengthy question.  I would love to find a latin program that though challenging, my boys would look forward to your reply.

Thank you for your time!


Here is my reply:

Honestly, you have two pretty simple options.   

#1.  Abandon Latin completely and learn Spanish.  It’s useful, and ubiquitous.  With their background in Henle Latin, your sons should be able to learn Spanish in a year, or so.   

#2. Abandon Henle Latin and go with Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg.  Your sons are discouraged with Henle Latin, not necessarily Latin.  I would be willing to bet money on it.  I have read hundreds and hundreds of emails like yours.  Henle Latin can be slow, boring, tedious, strangely depressing, and as far as I can tell, not that effective.    

Switch to Lingua Latina.  It’s actually interesting.  It’s a novel, written completely in Latin.  Students start off with easy chapters and work their way toward more difficult Latin. By chapter 27, they are reading straight from the New Testament.   

Given your sons’ background in Latin, here is what I would recommend.  Just order the book: Lingua Latina and start reading.  Simple as that.  I am guessing they could get through most of it this summer.  The book alone counts as two years of high school Latin.  It is even used by some colleges as a Latin text.   

I have been teaching this book online for 10 years.  All of those classes are up on my site.  Students can use them 24/7.  You can find out more here: https://dwanethomas.com/join/. 

However, I don’t think your boys are going to need the classes.  They really should be able to just read Lingua Latina.  If they do get stuck, you guys could sign up then.  But, I wouldn’t spend the money until the time comes.  

Let me know if you need more help!

Dwane Thomas