Thursday, March 28, 2019

Latina Christiana (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Ashleigh loves Latin.  After trying our hand with Chinese, Spanish and French, we struck gold when two years ago we were given the opportunity to review Prima Latina from Memoria Press.  Ashleigh absolutely loved it and her choice in foreign language was cemented for her.  This time around, we are reviewing Latina Christiana which is the next level Latin curriculum also from Memoria Press.

About Latina Christiana

Latina Christiana is considered an Introduction to First Form Latin, written by Cheryl Lowe.  As like most of Memoria Press's Latin courses written by Ms Lowe, it follows a Trivium learning path - grammar, logic and rhetoric learning.  In the first stage of learning (Prima Latina thru Fourth Form Latin),  students memorize Latin grammar and vocabulary words to create the foundation needed to progress to the Logic and Rhetoric stages of learning.   The Logic stage brings mastery of syntax and translation skills and the final stage, rhetoric has students reading Latin literature such as Ovid, Caesar, and Vergil.

Designed for grades third and fourth, the course is designed so that younger students will be prepared to move on to First Form Latin with success. Lessons are structured in such a way that even a parent who has had no previous education with teaching Latin can easily pick up the teachers guide and successfully teach the material. 

Latina Christiana picks up where Prima Latina leaves off.  The course is taught by Jessica Watson, Latina Christiana goes beyond simply memorizing vocabulary words and begins to introduce conjugations and declensions.  Designed to be taught as a beginning Latin course for students, the course is broken down into 25 weekly lessons.

For this course, students learn two of the five declensions and three of the six conjugations found in Latin.   By the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • pronounce, spell, and translate approximately 200 Latin words, 25 Latin sayings, 2 prayers and 3 songs
  • understand concepts of tense, number, gender, and 1st, 2nd, 3rd person
  • conjugate first and second conjugation verbs in the present, imperfect, and future tenses
  • decline first and second declension nouns and adjectives
  • give the singular and plural forms of first and second declension nouns

What We Received

For this review, we were given the following items:

  • 3 disc DVD Set:  Contains all video lessons for the curriculum.  Roughly 5.5 hours of lessons taught by Jessica Watson. 
Screen Capture from DVD of Ms Watson
  • Pronunciation CD: Audio CD containing complete pronunciation for each lesson as well as prayers and songs covered in the lessons. 
  • Student Book (Fourth Edition):  105 page softcover book that serves as both the student text as well as workbook.  Contains 25 weekly lessons as well as 5 review lessons. Exercises reinforce memory work and teach grammar in incremental steps through simple translation. Grammar coverage includes 1st-2nd declension nouns, 1st-2nd conjugation verbs, 1st-2nd declension adjectives, the irregular verb to be, and 1st-2nd person pronouns.
  • Teacher Manual (Fourth Edition): 187 page, soft cover, spiral bound teacher's guide that is designed for teachers who have no prior background in Latin.  Contains the complete copy of the student book with overlaid answers, comprehensive teaching instructions, grammar overview, as well as tests and quizzes. 

  • Latina Christiana Flashcards:  pre-cut 3.5 x 2.5 inch heavy cardstock cards that contain all vocabulary, Latin sayings, and grammar forms taught in each lesson.  Latin is printed on one side while the English translation is printed on the opposite side.  Cards are numbered in the top corner to indicate what lesson the material was presented.
Flashcards for practice

How We Used It

Memoria Press uses a Classical Education approach to their learning materials, something my kids do not typically do well with, especially with their literature studies.  However, their approach to Latin education has always been well received in our home - Ashleigh does VERY well with their format.  Unfortunately, we hit a stand still last year when we tried to skip right to First Form Latin, which she wasn't ready for so we took a bit of a break.  I was pretty happy to be offered the opportunity to review Latina Christiana, the step below First Form, to allow Ashleigh to jump back into her Latin lessons without being overwhelmed.

Latina Christiana has been perfect for her needs.  While it wasn't part of the review items, we did purchase the lesson plans for the program from Memoria Press, which helped to break down what we should work on each day.  From there, it was really easy to add Latin back into our homeschool routine and only add roughly 20 minutes extra to our day.

Optional Lesson Plans for Latina Christiana

Our schedule worked as followed :

On Monday, Ashleigh watched the video lesson located on the DVDs.  These lessons are roughly 15 minutes in length and we found Ms Watson to be very easy to understand, although there were times we had to pause the video to allow Ashleigh to complete tasks in her book.   Each weekly video does a great job of breaking down the lesson so that Ashleigh can understand it.  Graphic slides, when presented,  are clear and easy for Ashleigh to read and follow along with in her book.

Capture from Latina Christiana Lesson 

After watching the lesson, Ash would work on her vocabulary drill sheet, simply writing each of her ten vocabulary words both in Latin and English as well as the weeks Latin saying.   Monday is also the day we would add her flash cards to her growing pile to work on all vocabulary during the week.

Ashleigh working on her Day 1 Vocabulary Drills

Tuesdays we listen to the included audio cd which helps to solidify proper pronunciation of her vocabulary words.  This audio lesson is also taught by Ms Watson and is perfect for uploading onto her tablet.  We also converted the CD to MP3 and put it on a thumb drive so that we can listen to the lessons when riding in the car.  After listening to the audio cd,  Ashleigh then works through the exercises located in her student workbook.  We also drill through her flash cards at least once and then she works on filling out another copy of her vocabulary drill sheet.  Tuesdays also have her working on her Grammar drill sheets where she can work through the conjugations and declensions of her words.

Day 2 Bookwork

Wednesdays and Thursdays are review days.  We spend a good bit of time working though flashcards, listening to the audio CD, and working on our vocabulary and grammar drills.  Ashleigh's goal over the course of these two days is to be able to write her Latin vocabulary words properly from memory to prepare for her weekly quiz. To help accomplish this, I will dictate the word to her and she fills out her grammar sheet, writing first the word followed by the English translation.

Finally, on Friday, Ashleigh has a quiz.  These quizzes are located in the back of the Teacher's Manual and can be printed out for the student to use.  These tests are pretty short and to the point - simply translating the English translations into her Latin vocabulary words as well as to show knowledge of her grammar portion of the weekly lesson.
One of Ashleigh's end of the week quizzes

Final Thoughts

Latina Chrstiana has been the perfect bridge between Prima Latina and First Form Latin and I really wish we had not tried to skip this step previously.  Ashleigh was completely over her head with trying to figure out the declension of nouns and the conjugations of verbs that it really shook her confidence in learning Latin.  Latina Christiana eases the student into this material, allowing them to get comfortable with it slowly so that they fully understand the process.    This has been a game changer for Ashleigh and I have no doubt that once she finishes this particular curriculum, she will be more than ready to move on to First Form Latin - the next step offered by Memoria Press in their Latin language curriculum.

#hsreviews #memoriapress #latin #readingisfun #classicaleducation #classicalchristianeducation #homeschool #classicallyhomeschooling #poetry #teachclassical

For more information about the many different products Memoria Press offers, including their huge selection of Latin curriculum, be sure to visit their website.  You can also find them on the following social media platforms:

Twitter:    Tag: @MemoriaPress     


Instagram:    Tag: @memoriapress     

In addition to Latina Christiana, members of the Crew were offered the opportunity to review curriculum for Phonics, Latin, and also Prose and Poetry.  Be sure to click the banner below to read their reviews today. 

Phonics, Poetry & Latin {Memoria Press Reviews}


  1. Looks like another wonderful program from Memoria Press. We have used First Form Latin and really like it. This looks just as good.

    1. We have First Form but Ashleigh wasn't ready for it yet..It will be waiting for her to finish with this one and then we will jump into it :)


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