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    Third Form Latin Woes

    My seventh grader finished the third lesson of Third Form Latin today. We took two weeks for the first lesson after he scored an 81% on the quiz. After the second week, he retook the quiz and scored a 90%. Then, we took two weeks for lesson two after he scored an 82% on the quiz. After the second week, he retook the quiz and scored a 91%. This seemed acceptable to me because the teacher's manual stated that taking two weeks for each of these lessons would be okay.

    He took the lesson three quiz today and scored...wait for it...80%. So I'm once again looking at spending a second week on this lesson.

    He is a very young seventh grader (just turned 12 at the end of July). Is this a maturity issue? He does his work diligently all week. He watches the lesson videos and we do daily recitation, vocabulary drills, and go over the workbook. I figured out just this week that the streaming videos also offer a second video for each lesson that goes through some of the work, so we watched that together. We also made sure to listen to the audio CD this week, which we had not been doing. I really expected him to do better today.

    He was a low A/high B student last year in Second Form. I'm not sure if I just need to push harder (expect studying in the evenings, for example) or if we should go at his pace, which at this point seems to mean that it will take two years to complete TFL.

    The frustrating thing for me is that he is perfectly satisfied with these scores. He is willing to spend a second week and retake the quiz, but would be just fine with moving on with a B- score. Would you agree that scores in the low 80s are not mastery? I don't expect perfection, but if he isn't getting As, should he be moving on? What is acceptable?

    Thoughts?
    DS, 11 (MP 7M)
    DD, 8 (MP 3M)
    DD, 5 (MP K)
    DS, almost 1! (chewing on books and knocking stuff over)

    #2
    I think Third Form is pretty hard for a 7th grader who is not taking Latin class daily 4 or 5 days a week, especially if they are young for their grade! If you are able to spend 2 weeks per lesson, then I would definitely recommend that. There is absolutely no reason to rush! Third Form branches into some analytical concepts. This is similar to the way pre-algebra is different from arithmetic. Some kids just need a little more time to let those concepts soak in. It sounds like you and he are being diligent with your studies. I would definitely not recommend doing work in the evening! Other than it stretching out a study longer than one year, is there any reason that planning on two weeks per lesson is not a good fit? He could have an introductory week and then a review week. Some of these concepts take a little bit of time to stick.

    It might also be helpful to think about the fact that the first two lessons of Third Form are just intensive review of things learned in First and Second Form. Those two weeks are for getting the rust out of your pipes. He's now seen all of the new verbs that he will learn for the year. He's going to learn to do a lot of different things with the verbs he knows.

    What about a pattern of planning for one week per lesson, but always with the option to bump to a second week to rework some of the homework and retake the quiz? You could also plan for him to only do three or four units this year and then review (retake quizzes and tests) and continue on in the fall. This year my Third Form class at Cottage School is only doing Units I through IV and we will pick up Unit V next year. There's just not enough weeks in the regular school year and I don't want to combine lessons because that exacerbates difficulty for those who are having trouble keeping up.

    Hopefully some of this is helpful to you. What do you think?
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
    12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN
    10th • HLN, Latin online
    7th • HLN & Home
    4th • HLN & Home
    Me • Third Form for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

    Comment


      #3
      pickandgrin Thanks, Jessica, for your thoughts. I struggle with the reality that I’m NOT a Latin teacher, and as much as I want to replicate the kind of education my kids would receive at a Highlands Latin school/cottage school, we are homeschoolers and that does limit us in some ways. But I suppose it also frees us in some ways! We do have the freedom to slow down as needed in order to gain mastery. I agree with you that there’s no real reason to rush. (My love/hate relationship with the CM and those mocking check boxes is not a real reason, right? 😉)

      I think a good plan going forward is that we will spend a second week on a lesson for any lesson that he doesn’t earn an A on the quiz. Since we mainly have odds assigned in the CM, it is easy to add enough work for a second week.
      DS, 11 (MP 7M)
      DD, 8 (MP 3M)
      DD, 5 (MP K)
      DS, almost 1! (chewing on books and knocking stuff over)

      Comment


        #4
        My experience: my oldest son took slowly to Latin. We spent 2 years each on Latina Christiana AND First Form. Last year he showed quicker mastery and did all but the last lesson of Second Form in one year. This year, when planning, I told my husband, "So I'm going to keep the pressure on, and he's DEFINITELY going to do all of Third Form in one year." And my husband replied, "Okay, maybe, if it works. Better take your time and make sure he truly learns what you're teaching, even if he doesn't finish the book. He might not end up being a Latin scholar, and that's okay."

        All that to say, I agree with Jessica that it's worth taking the time needed to master the material. I too love checking boxes and finishing a book in a year (and a certain amount of good pressure to do so keeps us from being lazy in teaching OR learning), but spending two years in Third Form is still progress in the learning of Latin, which is the true goal. And not every kid is going to learn at the same pace.
        Amy

        DS 13 MP8
        DD 11 MP6
        DS 9 MP4
        DD 6 MP1
        DS 4 R&S Pre-k books
        DS 1

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
          I think Third Form is pretty hard for a 7th grader who is not taking Latin class daily 4 or 5 days a week, especially if they are young for their grade! If you are able to spend 2 weeks per lesson, then I would definitely recommend that. There is absolutely no reason to rush! Third Form branches into some analytical concepts. This is similar to the way pre-algebra is different from arithmetic. Some kids just need a little more time to let those concepts soak in. It sounds like you and he are being diligent with your studies. I would definitely not recommend doing work in the evening! Other than it stretching out a study longer than one year, is there any reason that planning on two weeks per lesson is not a good fit? He could have an introductory week and then a review week. Some of these concepts take a little bit of time to stick.

          It might also be helpful to think about the fact that the first two lessons of Third Form are just intensive review of things learned in First and Second Form. Those two weeks are for getting the rust out of your pipes. He's now seen all of the new verbs that he will learn for the year. He's going to learn to do a lot of different things with the verbs he knows.

          What about a pattern of planning for one week per lesson, but always with the option to bump to a second week to rework some of the homework and retake the quiz? You could also plan for him to only do three or four units this year and then review (retake quizzes and tests) and continue on in the fall. This year my Third Form class at Cottage School is only doing Units I through IV and we will pick up Unit V next year. There's just not enough weeks in the regular school year and I don't want to combine lessons because that exacerbates difficulty for those who are having trouble keeping up.

          Hopefully some of this is helpful to you. What do you think?
          I have nothing to add as we are very new to Latin and are only doing Prima and FFL. But this is interesting! When weighing whether or not to have my 4th grader do FFL or LC...or even switch as of last week...I know it has been mentioned that Third Form is the point in time when perhaps you should allow for longer if homeschooling. Maybe the pressure would be off if you knew you were saving the last unit as the school does? Another sad thing for me is how I read here that it is very hard for homeschoolers to add in Greek. I know I don't have enough hours in the day with the way things are now, so it makes sense. But we are not a school.

          Comment


            #6
            I love what I am seeing here--making a distinction between what MP can look like in a home versus a school. Both settings have their own pros and cons. And kids and their learning situations are going to vary widely as well. Some are early at analytical thinking; others need more time to mature for that to start clicking.
            Shauna, could you simply do all the problems and take two weeks per lesson (Unit Reviews/Tests can be one week)? Third Form has far more lessons than SF, so it's just a longer class. Fitting a much longer class into a year isn't really something to strive for unless the kiddo is gung-ho about it and doing really well. Better to go slower and get it. As an aside, this is why there is Algebra I and II; they are not distinct content subjects.
            KrisTom--I hope I was not discouraging about Greek. I was just trying to share what is realistic for many and hopefully create a little freedom. At HLS they trim other things in middle school in order to require Greek of their students. It is a hefty addition and you can do it if you reduce other things. Science in 7th in one of the places they do (or they used to) lighten the load to make room. You are right though--1) we are not a school and 2) school isn't the only thing we need to pour ourselves into for the lives of our families. Learning to cast a loving glance at things and realize they are wonderful, but not for us, or not for us for now, is a way we can grow. C.S. Lewis is brilliant on this in his essay, "Learning in Wartime." I highly recommend this to anyone who's not already read it. As for Latin, I'm a huge fan of LC in 4th for homeschoolers. I'm also a fan of just taking what time you need (within reason and with forward motion) for Latin levels. Most have outside help by late middle/high school, so this changes over time for each family. If you are going to spend money on outside help, Latin and Math are my top choices.

            I really admire that Mrs. Lowe was committed to creating a curriculum that would have a range of applications all the way from full time school to full time homeschool. I love that we can put heads together here and encourage one another and provide suggestions, but also to help keep our own eyes on the whole picture of which education is only one part. It's a huge part, but it's not the only part.
            Festina lentē,
            Jessica P

            2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
            12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN
            10th • HLN, Latin online
            7th • HLN & Home
            4th • HLN & Home
            Me • Third Form for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

            Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

            Comment


              #7
              I think there are a couple of questions in the original post
              1. Is an 80 enough to move on?
              2. Is it OK to take longer than a year on third form

              There have been several great answers to the second question, but not as much on the first. The first question seems straightforward, but really isn’t. We generally are Latin teachers with lots of experience leading many students through the levels and knowing exactly what they need to know to be successful later on. My oldest two took third form with the online academy. I am currently taking the third form adult class with a teacher my children had at MPOA. My third child started third form with me a bit before Labor Day and is on lesson 3. The thing I have found with the MPOA testing vs the test book MP sells is the test book is much harder. I think MPOA is rewriting their tests, but there are a lot of weeks that there were drop down menus for vocabulary on MPOA and the paper tests were requiring written out answers with all four principal parts. That is huge! Every week the paper tests have a full drill sheet included. How are you going to decide to grade those? You can get going and drop a letter out of the stem or miss the irregular third principal part and miss 18 spots all at once. That same mistake on a MPOA quiz would not have happened because there is a check after each tense, it allows you to fix it for a small deduction, and you could do the next tense correctly. Plus, you get two tries at each quiz with the grade averaged. I know that I am guilty of being much harder on grading my own kids than that.

              Just like we have to decide whether we want to get through TFL in a year we also have to decide what mastery looks like for our student each year. Is it a year you are focusing on translation or is knowing the grammar and vocabulary enough? Younger kids might be ready for as much translation. There are lots of workbook pages in third form and I don’t know that every single translation needs to be completed - my MPOA kids certainly didn’t do every translation, did well, and are still taking Latin and Greek. I decided that my son currently in TF didn’t need the rushed pace of MPOA and I wanted to work through more translation with him than was possible for my older kids. I don’t know what your 80% looks like when you graded the first couple of quizzes and what types of mistakes your son was making, but you should be able to gage how well he is understanding the material. I am targeting about a week and a half for a third form lesson for now and trying to get my son out of the page a day mentality he has become accustomed to in first and second form. I am making his drill form on the quiz a synopsis (say 2nd person plural) instead of every single box and am trying to be generous on grading on translations for now. I let him make some corrections as well. I am actually liking third form despite the intimidating size of the book.
              Dorinda

              Plans for 2021-2022
              15th year homeschooling, 12th year with Memoria Press
              DD College Freshman
              DS 10th grade - Lukeion Latin and Greek, Vita Beata Greek Dramas
              DS 8th grade - Vita Beata Literature
              DS 3rd grade - Vita Beata Literature, Right Start F, First Form Latin

              Comment


                #8
                Since I can’t edit after posting without getting in trouble I meant to say we are generally NOT Latin teachers with lots of experience
                Dorinda

                Plans for 2021-2022
                15th year homeschooling, 12th year with Memoria Press
                DD College Freshman
                DS 10th grade - Lukeion Latin and Greek, Vita Beata Greek Dramas
                DS 8th grade - Vita Beata Literature
                DS 3rd grade - Vita Beata Literature, Right Start F, First Form Latin

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Mom2mthj View Post
                  I am actually liking third form despite the intimidating size of the book.
                  I totally agree!
                  That's a great catch/explanation on grade versus how we are grading question.
                  Festina lentē,
                  Jessica P

                  2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
                  12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN
                  10th • HLN, Latin online
                  7th • HLN & Home
                  4th • HLN & Home
                  Me • Third Form for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

                  Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I have taught Third Form in the past (not to my own kids), and I loved it! In Third Form, it felt like all the hard work was beginning to pay off, as students became able to translate more "real" sentences and eventually paragraphs. So I don't mean to make Third Form sound like nothing but a slog. It's a very enjoyable next step which I am looking forward to taking with my own kid this year. The question of "what mastery looks like" is a good one to ask, and I appreciate the clarification offered by Mom2mthj. Personally, I usually require a 90+ grade on a quiz/test before moving ahead, with an eye to the future, knowing that the more solid the student is on forms and vocab, the easier it is to add more complex grammar and syntax. However, I do want to keep moving forward, so I have allowed my kid to skip here and there in the workbook and do some exercises orally. On a few quizzes and test I have made some of the translations optional for extra credit, and sometimes I do the translations with him on the board right before the quiz so that all the parsing is fresh in his mind.
                    Amy

                    DS 13 MP8
                    DD 11 MP6
                    DS 9 MP4
                    DD 6 MP1
                    DS 4 R&S Pre-k books
                    DS 1

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I really admire that Mrs. Lowe was committed to creating a curriculum that would have a range of applications all the way from full time school to full time homeschool. I love that we can put heads together here and encourage one another and provide suggestions, but also to help keep our own eyes on the whole picture of which education is only one part. It's a huge part, but it's not the only part.
                      [/QUOTE]

                      Jessica,

                      I just wanted to add that we could not do what we do without your feedback and the feedback of all you users out there. Our brick and mortar curriculum works in the homeschool world because you have told us what doesn't work for you and partnered with us to fix it. And that affects the education of all the children using MP, so look at the difference you are making! Bravo!

                      Tanya

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Mom2mthj That's a very helpful explanation of how the class is handled with MPOA. Perhaps I am grading too strictly. I’m planning to work through one translation each day on the board with him to hopefully help with his struggles there. He does great with the drill sheets! It's the thinking through the translations that trips him up.

                        smithamykat I think 90%+ is a good gauge as well, and that's what I'm using going forward. Less than that, we will take a second week to solidify the lesson.

                        KrisTom I'm totally planning to pass Greek off to my husband who is fairly well-trained in that language
                        ​​​​​​​
                        DS, 11 (MP 7M)
                        DD, 8 (MP 3M)
                        DD, 5 (MP K)
                        DS, almost 1! (chewing on books and knocking stuff over)

                        Comment

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