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2nd Form or Henle 1 for 8th grader?

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    2nd Form or Henle 1 for 8th grader?

    My 7th grader is finishing up First Form Latin now. I had planned to start him with Henle 1 in 8th. The other option would be to continue with the Forms. Any input on which way to go?


    I am the first, but hopefully not the last to weigh in on this, so I will share my thoughts for you.

    Personally, I don't think you will go wrong either way, as both are excellent choices. But they are very different choices, and therefore the best decision for you depends on some factors. Age, is one, but given we are talking about an eighth grader, your child is in the window of doing either. Other things to consider are how well your child has done with First Form, whether Latin is a favorite subject or a dreaded subject, and your level of being able to help.

    Here is why I think these are important to consider. Second Form continues at a reasonable pace, providing all the materials you need for a student of that age to be successful with Latin. Continuing through the Forms at this pace will still give your child two years in high school of Forms for credit, plus a year or two of translation. That is excellent! So on the one hand, continuing on with a known format, with many learning materials to teach it for you, is a great way to go.

    Henle is a different ball of wax. Where the Forms series seeks to cover all the grammar before hitting the translation button very hard, Henle has you working on translating sentences and paragraphs almost immediately. This is not bad, (especially for older children who are ready to analyze) it is just different from the Forms. The place where it gets tricky is that it builds up really fast. If you try to cover the whole book in a year, it is overwhelming. If you take it slowly, taking two, or even three years (as MP suggests) then it can be a rewarding way to go.

    So here is where those factors to consider come into play. Henle will take more self-discipline and more drill because it has a much larger vocabulary to allow for the translation work. It is rewarding in that the material the children are translating is very edifying and ennobling, but it cannot be done well if it is rushed, unless led by an experienced teacher.

    Personally, we did opt to go into Henle, as an experiment before trying the Forms. I am not an experienced teacher, but I did make sure they knew they had to move slowly, master the vocab as they went, and expect to take two to three years to finish book one. With these expectations in place, and reinforced pretty much every other week, my oldest two have both done very very well with it (as far as I can tell!). We have used the guides for Henle I from MP and they have been very helpful.

    Again, I do not think you can go wrong either way, but I would just make sure not to expect to somehow gain ground by doing Henle. Slow and steady is still the best, so you would be moving into Henle II at pretty much the same time frame either way.

    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
    DD, 11
    DD, 9
    DD, 7
    DS, 2


      Do also know that the Forms pick up pace at each level. The leisurely pace of First Form gives way to a faster paced Second Form, to a breakneck pace in Third form, etc...

      Also, the scope and sequence of Henle I would is about 250% of First Form . Only a small portion of Henle I grammar would feel like review (and only some of the vocabulary, vocabulary being such a beast in a foreign language study). So, Sarah is correct: the approaches are different and you must decide if your child would do better to continue the Forms (with a pace that gets faster and deeper each year) or to go over to Henle I and "drink from the fire hose".

      Quite the beauty of home schooling, right? Getting to decide what is the right for each child?!

      DS, 28 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

      DS, 26 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

      DD, 23 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

      DS, 13 yrs, 9th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

      All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

      Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling, now a high school chemistry teacher at a large Catholic high school


        Thanks ladies! I think I will move over to Henle 1. I have the MODG syllabus and the MP lesson plans. MODG has Henle 1 planned over 2 years rather than 3. I am leaning more towards over 3 years but I'll just have to see how he does. I hadn't thought to continue the forms after the first one until a friend spoke with Andrew Pudewa who highly recommended the forms. Then I became indecisive