I received this question:
I have worked through Memoria Press’s Prima Latina, First Form Latin, and Second Form Latin with my high school age students, and we are a few lessons into Third Form. Honestly, it’s become a bit of a slog and I don’t think we are doing a very good job of learning Latin! I feel that I need to consider either dropping Latin completely or making a change. Do you think having them take Lingua Latina could work for them? Will they be lost?
Here is my reply:
The book is a novel. It follows a Roman family throughout their day. Unlike 95% of the other Latin programs out there… it’s actually interesting. Fights in school, spankings, runaway slaves, pirates, soldiers, romance, and even kids falling out of trees. Hans Ørberg taught Latin the way Christ taught theology. With stories.
On the other hand… I am a big proponent of other languages. Especially while kids are younger. Here are the reasons:
#1. If you study Spanish while you are younger, you will likely learn to speak Spanish. That isn’t going to happen with Latin. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
#2. If you learn Spanish, you will have people to talk to. Entire countries of people to talk to. That isn’t going to happen with Latin.
#3. If you learn Spanish, and decide to pick Latin up again later, you will find that Latin is much easier. Going from Spanish to Latin is like going from the shallow end of the pool to the deep end of the pool.
#4. Opportunity cost. Most programs spend 3 or 4 years on Latin. I have seen some that stretch Latin out over 10 years! While you were spending all of that time learning a language you cannot speak, you could have been learning Spanish. Spend 3 years in Spanish and you will be close to fluent. Spend 10 years in Spanish and you could be a professional translator.
This also applies to French, Italian, Portuguese, or Romanian. Learn any of those, and then come back to Latin, and you will find Latin to be much easier.
I wish I had done this with my own kids. If I could do it all again, I would have them learn Spanish, or French. In fact, one of my daughters grew tired of Latin and taught herself French. It took her about a year to become proficient.
If you do decide to tackle Lingua Latina, and you get stuck… my site can help you. Actually, I can also help with Spanish, French and Italian. You can find out more here: https://dwanethomas.com/join/
I hope this answers your questions.
Let me know if you need more help!