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Prima Latina

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    Prima Latina


    I am considering Prima Latina for my autistic child. Let me give some background.

    I am a veteran homeschooler with adult children two of whom are also on the autism spectrum as well as a minor autistic child. I homeschooled all my older kids through high school so I am not so concerned about that although my youngest is the most impaired of all my ASD kids. (One of my older ASD kids is currently working on a master's degree.)

    My youngest child can read (mostly -- he still needs to learn a few phonograms such as "ti" that sounds like "sh") at about the 2nd to beginning 3rd grade level, but it is not easy or pleasant for him. (Right now he is working on Viking Adventure by Bulla.) Is he ready for Prima Latina? The website says"You should not start Latin until your student can read well (usually around second grade)." How well is well? Should I wait? Technically he will be starting 8th grade so I can't wait too many years! His verbal intelligence is at the .3 percentile so words are a challenge for him although he has done much better than expected -- he was never expected to achieve this level of verbal skills. Should we try Prima Latina or not?

    What is your opinion?

    In Christ,

    Welcome, Deborah! I see that this is your first post. Please tell us how you found our forum.

    First, congratulations on all that has been accomplished already for your children.

    As for Prima Latina, you sound eager to try and reluctant to wait. If you plan to teach Prima Latina at some point anyway, and he is 8th-grade age, why not begin? After all, your son has a remarkably solid grasp of reading for his tested abilities, and you have a wealth of experience of your own. This sounds like a good combination for a several-month trial, at the very least.

    Tips ahead of time: plan to take 1-5 lessons and then use available MP resources for review of those lessons (e.g., through flash cards, DVD, posters). Take 1-2 weeks for the review. Then continue.

    We used this 5-at-a-time approach for Latina Christiana I, and it worked well for both of my children on the autism spectrum. The supplementary resources provided good multi-sensory input, review, and practice, so we could teach for mastery before moving on.

    Also, I noticed your signature. Enjoy the ecclesiastical elements in Prima Latina! Consider teaching some of the prayers, such as the Table Blessing, ahead of the lessons in which they are featured, because they may take your son extra time to learn. We taught these a line at a time, over much time, and both of my children still appreciate the prayerful aspects of their Latin lessons.


    Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
    Cheryl Swope, M.Ed., with Foreword by Dr. Gene Edward Veith



      Dear Deborah,
      I was just sitting here trying to decide whether or not to finally bite the bullet and try Prima Latina with my mid-functioning autistic 13 year old, when I read your post. Language has been such an immense barrier for him, that I have not been able to bring myself to really attempt it. (He understands nouns and verbs, but pretty much all other words are hit or miss. For example, when I told him to "Take the car book away from baby Katherine," he went and brought another car book to her.") And getting him to read aloud is like pulling impacted wisdom teeth.
      But after reading Cheryl's reply, I am going to give it a whirl. All of my other children study Latin, and we learn prayers and hymns in Latin.
      I think I can, I think I can,......

      dd 16, ds 13, ds 10, ds 8, dd 6, ds 3, dd 14 mos.
      DD 23 College grad, married, employed.
      DS 20 Autistic, beautiful, unemployable.
      DS 17 HS grad. Twelve years of MP. Hopes to be a chess-playing priest.
      DS 15 Teaching me to give up the reins. Does MP work when not in ballet classes, at rehearsals, stretching or playing chess.
      DD 13 Nine years of MP. Chess player, marksman, WSJ fan.
      DS 11 Six years of MP. Chess player, ballet dancer, archer.
      DD 8 Four years of MP. Chess player, occasional dancer. Actually gets to write in the Student Guides.