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Memorizing grammar endings without context?

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    Memorizing grammar endings without context?

    Does Latina Christiana have lessons that require the pupil to memorize grammar endings without application? We had a few of these in Prima and they were frustrating for my third grader. I understand that the point is to build a scaffold, but none of us do well without context and application. The plan is to continue with Latina Christiana for fourth grade. However, I'm wondering if First Form would be a better fit. I'm just very hesitant to skip to that level of challenge.
    Last edited by BedeFamily; 05-08-2015, 08:34 PM.

    #2
    A few thoughts.

    LC I does have application, but only on the facing workbook page of the lesson. It's rather limited. Nothing would stop you from applying the ending on any of the vocab words. Do know that LC I isn't a "translation" course... in fact, research shows how little students actually learn in Latin translation curricula. The time-honored method for learning Latin is to memorize, memorize, memorize endings so that when the vocab comes their way, students can apply the endings as necessary.

    Another point of doing all the memorizing is that, in a perfect world, the student is also studying grammar so that at the point the student is ready to apply endings, he knows the grammar in which to do so. Latin has some tenses that don't have an equivalent in English (and vice versa). In Prima, how many 2nd or 3rd graders understand the Person of the verb? Most can grasp the Number, but the younger the student, the less likely they are to grasp Person. I taught Prima in a mixed age class and I will tell you: only the older 3rd/4th graders even began to grasp my explanation of WHY the endings changed according to the "person". The same with the pronoun endings. HOWEVER, every student in my class mastered the grammar "chants". In fact, they loved that part and became proficient at the endings, even if they didn't grasp my explanation of Person.

    A final though... I've posted this quite a bit lately and worry that I am going to get banned around here... LC I was Cheryl Lowe's very first Latin product. It was good for the time, but now there are *great* Latin products on the market (the Forms being one of them). I personally would love to see LC I pulled and massively revised to fit it sequentially between Prima and First Form. That said, there are some awkward sections of LC I for the student to cover so early in a Latin study. Nothing wrong with them, just "odd", in my opinion. So, I do understand if you might be feeling frustrated with LC I.

    I agree with you that you can simply move to First Form. All the above is the theory behind why "application" isn't the most effective way to learn Latin for young students, but why high school Latin course contain both elements.


    Jen
    DS, 26 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace), recently completed the design and execution of unhackable military software... in his spare time.

    DS, 24 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

    DD, 21 yrs, Senior in Education at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC

    DS, 12 yrs, currently attending a classical school which would give HLS a run for its money.

    All homeschooled.

    Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling. Ahhh....

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      #3
      I think LC has a lot more application of the grammar endings than PL. Prima is just a first glance at Latin, but LC includes simple translation exercises and you are actually making/ reading very basic sentences. I would definitely recommend using the Review Worksheets, as they include a ton of extra practice and help flesh out the material learned each week.

      But for what its worth, I also think a 4th grader could do FFL after just completing PL. It starts over at the beginning and lots of the initial vocabulary will be review. It depends on whether your student is up to a pretty significant increase in workload in Latin, since FFL requires much more time a day than PL does.
      2018/2019
      Dd 12: MP 7A and First Form Greek
      Ds 10: MP 5M
      Ds 5: MP K

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        #4
        My vote would be for LC1 with the Review Worksheets as well as Ludere Latine I. I think that makes for a very robust "second-step" in learning Latin onto your path of getting to the Forms. As Jen has mentioned, it's hard to do application is the application itself isn't already understood. If your student is very good at recognizing parts of speech within a sentence it might be easier to let him know what each of the cases are used for in the function of the sentence. Verbs can be gently explained as well, and there's going to be gentle translation in LC1 to facilitate that understanding going deeper.
        The huge payoff is that once you are doing work in LC1 and later in the Forms, those endings are cemented in your memory. I'm in First Form this year and we've just completed the 5 declensions of noun endings. I can tell a huge different in the instant recall I have of the first two declensions which I've been working on for three years versus the third through fifth declensions that I've only known for a month and a half. This mama has been up late writing off those new endings and dictionary form of nouns again and again to make them stick!

        Oh, my son did PL in third, LC1 in fourth, and FF in 5th. It's been a very appropriate amount of work for him. I'm sure he could have handled FF in fourth but it would have had a much more difficult and less pleasant feel than it does this year. I like him to be challenged, but I don't want me to be maxed out and thus become discouraged.

        One last thing, another option would be to start FF but to plan to do it over two years and take two weeks per lesson to really master the material. I know Katie B. is doing that with her daughter this coming year.
        Festina lentē,
        Jessica P

        10th year HSing · 8th year MP
        @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
        10th, 8th, 5th, 2nd

        Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

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          #5
          Thank you all for the responses! I've not seen LC in person, so this is helpful. My third grader recognizes that Latin says more in fewer words, and that endings stand for pronouns and tense (at least the tenses we've learned in Prima). When we'd chant the endings, he didn't get the point of the exercise, but once we conjugated, it made instant sense. We're both big picture learners, so it's hard for *me* to explain sometimes.

          I'm having trouble deciding whether to use LC 1 (and all the extras) or to go straight to First Form at half pace, so I'm glad that was mentioned. I'm in no hurry, but I wondered if the *approach* would be better in FF, especially for explaining declensions. We've not encountered these in Prima. We completed Rod & Staff English 3, so he has a grasp of a noun being used as a subject vs. a direct object, for example.
          Last edited by BedeFamily; 05-08-2015, 08:38 PM.

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            #6
            If you want to drop me a private message, I'll be happy to send you some photos of LC 1 from my daughter's workbook. Simply go to the "Forum Actions" tab, then to "General Settings." From there, scroll down and under "Private Messaging" select On and whatever other details you want and "Save Changes" at the bottom.
            Once you've enabled that, then click on my username Pickandgrin and you'll see a Private Message option.
            Only if you want to though!
            Festina lentē,
            Jessica P

            10th year HSing · 8th year MP
            @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
            10th, 8th, 5th, 2nd

            Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

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              #7
              You are so kind to offer! I think I'm just going to do LC anyway, since I have the 3rd grade core plans. Thank you though!

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