Picking Latin up again?

I received this email:

I was one of your Lingua Latina 1 Students last year.  I did not complete the course (I got about 1/3 of the way through) then, (life got in the way) but I would like to, and I was wondering what you think would be the best action for me to take.

Should I try to finish the course using the book, and watching the videos and material you provided for last year, or should I register for this year’s class?  (I’m not even sure if I can register for this year’s class since it has already started.)

What would you recommend I do?

Here is my reply:

Good morning!

I am currently writing a Greek course.  I will, hopefully, look like Visual Latin someday.  Why am I telling you this? 

Simple.  I started learning Greek years ago.  It has been the slowest, longest, uphilliest (I don’t think that is a word) mental battle of my life.  It has been a trail of mostly failure, sporadically interrupted by small victories.

I have only one trick.  I keep starting over.  

I read the same Latin books dozens of times as I tried to acquire the skill.  I believe the best action you can take is the same.  Pick up Lingua Latina and start reading once again.  

You are, of course, welcome to join any of my classes.  As I record all of my classes, you are more than welcome to jump in any time.  

But, you may not need me, or my classes.  Here, specifically, is what I recommend.

1.  Start reading Lingua Latina every day.  Use the calendar to guide you.  On the first of the month, read chapter 1.  On the second of the month, read chapter 2.  On the third, read chapter 3, and so on.   When you begin to struggle, camp out on that chapter for the rest of the month.  Chapter 8 is notoriously difficult.  If you trip up there, read chapter 8 every day until you understand it perfectly.  

2. Review vocabulary every day using Quizlet: https://quizlet.com/subject/Lingua%20Latina/

3.  Use any old grammar to teach yourself the basics of the language.  If you are older, go with Wheelock’s Latin.  If you are younger, I strongly recommend Visual Latin.

4.  If you want detailed, specific instructions, my online classes may be best.  As I said above, you are more than welcome to join my live, or recorded classes anytime.

There is actually one more option…

You could put Latin on a shelf for a while, and study instead a modern language.  You could always come back to Latin later.

If you study something like Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian, or Portuguese, you will find that these languages will help you when you someday return to Latin.  And, if you never return to Latin, you will at least have a modern language that you can actually use if you travel.

Let me know if you need more help!

Dwane Thomas