I am going to get right to the point. Because some of you need it.
In his Letters to Children, C. S. Lewis says the following:
“To be able to read Latin easily (i.e. without having to translate it mentally as you go along) is an enormous advantage later on. Practice on the Latin New Testament where you know the story already and the style is very simple. Acts goes especially well in St. Jerome’s Latin” (Letters to Children, pages 73-74).
So… instead of going right to Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars (Booooring), read the book of Acts. I’m looking at you, Second Year Latin by Robert Henle.
And, before you tackle Third Year Latin by Robert Henle, read the following quote by C.S. Lewis:
[On Cicero:] “Congratulations… on escaping Cicero, who, to my mind, is the greatest bore (except possibly Ben Jonson, Laucelet Andrewes, and Mrs. Humphrey Ward) of all authors whether ancient of modern” (83, ibid).
So, we hand two of the most boring authors to children right after they have learned their Latin ABC’s, and then we wonder why Latin has a bad reputation.
Want to enjoy Latin?
Follow this pattern instead.
Watch Visual Latin. When you get to lesson 15, or so, start reading Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg. When you finish that, read the New Testament in Latin. At least read one of the Gospels, and read the book of Acts.
All in all, should take about two years. Maybe three. Max.
We need to stop dragging Latin on for six years and we need to stop handing kids the most boring Latin books we can find. It’s no wonder kids hate Latin.