Henle Latin or Visual Latin?

I received this question:

We are trying to decide between Visual Latin and Henle.  Can you tell me how they are alike/different?  Are they comparable in difficulty?  Does Visual 1 and Henle 1 cover the same ground?  Any comparisons you can give me that would be helpful in making our decision.

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Here is my reply:

Visual Latin teaches students around 1,200 words.  Henle Latin teaches students around 450 words.   Visual Latin prepares students to read the New Testament.  Henle Latin prepares students to read Caesar’s Gallic wars.

Both courses cover the same material.   Both courses cover the basics of Latin grammar.

Both are difficult courses.   Students begin to struggle with Henle Latin about 10 chapters in. Students begin to struggle with Visual Latin about 15 lessons in.

Henle Latin is a book course. Visual Latin is a video course.

Every week I received praise for Visual Latin. People love it. Every week I receive appeals for help with Henle Latin. People hate it.  

Henle Latin requires students to translate sentences like, “There are dead bodies floating in the river.” I wish I were kidding. I am not.

I recommend Henle Latin only if you are in Classical Conversations and are required to read the book.   If you are, by the way, and you get stuck, I teach the course every year online on my site.   If you are not in Classical Conversations I recommend Visual Latin.   Then I recommend that you read the amazing Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg.   The book is actually tougher than Henle Latin and tougher than Visual Latin but is so worth it.   After completing Visual Latin,  you will have the grammatical knowledge that you need to read Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg.

Let me know if you need more help!

Have a happy Thursday!

Dwane Thomas