I received this question:
Hi Dwayne. I’ve tried to read thoroughly through the FAQ below, but still have a couple of specific questions for you. (Also, we are currently members of your website and have used it as my son works through Henle 1 via CC this year.)
1. I have a daughter in CC who will have moved through Henle 1, lessons 1-15, by the end of this school year. I’d like to make the switch to Visual Latin to make the rest of her Latin career less painful. How do you recommend making that transition? Start VL from the beginning? Or start somewhere in the middle?
2. Also, my high school son will finish up Henle 1 this year with CC. He’s done ok, but I feel like we’ve been flying to keep up with the CC Latin schedule and are barely getting by. I’d like to move away from Henle for the next school year (where he would have started Henle 2 if we stayed with CC’s recommendation). Where do you suggest we go from here?
Here is my reply:
I pretty much always have the same answer to this common question.
If you guys are going through Henle Latin, and need to stay with the other kids (CC) while doing so, why not do both?
You could just follow along at the normal CC pace with Henle Latin, and just start reading Lingua Latina as a novel (Which it is).
As for where to start, my answer is always the same. Start in chapter one. It’s a novel. It will not make sense if you don’t start at the beginning. Just start in chapter one and read as much as you like. When you get bogged down, start using the classes on my site.
Unfortunately, I no longer teach the main book live. I did for years, and those classes are available on my site 24/7.
Right now I am taking students through the Exercitia Latina book (extra exercises). We are currently in chapter 16. Anyone is welcome to join. But, this class is not required. It’s really just for fun.
Back to your question. If you are just ready to be done with Henle Latin, then Lingua Latina is the way to go. I would not recommend Visual Latin for your son, simply because he has already been through so much of Henle Latin. Visual Latin would likely only be review.
Lingua Latina will give you much to work with. For example, First Year Latin by Robert Henle teaches kids 497 words, mostly combat words and verbs (to get kids ready for Second Year Latin). Lingua Latina, on the other hand, teaches kids almost 2,000 words. If it were a fight, Lingua Latina would win simply because it shows up with more ammo.
Same grammar in both books, by the way. The difference is, Hans Ørberg (Lingua Latina) teaches the grammar clearly and through repetition, not through long-winded jargon-filled English explanations.
If you do want to add Visual Latin (for your daughter) it could be a bit frustrating. Here’s why. I modeled Visual Latin after the grammar in Lingua Latina. This means that I pushed verbs off until students mastered the more concrete, easier to understand aspects of Latin. Because of this, it doesn’t match up smoothly with First Year Latin by Robert Henle. Mr. Henle (and almost all other Latin books) tackle the verbs and their crazy tenses first. This is just what academia does. It’s almost as if they trying to discourage students from learning another language.
Lingua Latina flipped the order, and put the verbs off until later in the book. In a book of 35 chapters, the verb tenses don’t even start showing up until chapter 19, or so. I modeled Visual Latin after Lingua Latina. For this reason, students of both Lingua Latina and Visual Latin will feel they are a bit behind for a while. And, then, all of a sudden, they will actually be ahead.
So, if you decide to add Visual Latin for your daughter, I’d still start at the beginning. Just race ahead. When things start getting tough, slow down and take it more slowly until the course is done. If Visual Latin doesn’t feel like enough, simply add Lingua Latina. Just treat it like a novel, and start reading. If she gets stuck, the classes on my site will help.
Let me know if you need more help.
Hope you are having a great day!