Complete Homeschool Latin Curriculum Round-Up

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It’s decision-making season in the homeschool world—and if you’re looking for a Latin curriculum to use with your kids next year, today’s round-up will help you understand all of the options in front of you. If you’re studying more than one language at home, you might like to know that I’ve already published my Spanish curriculum round-up, and my French curriculum round-up will go live next week, so definitely check those out!

Before I jump into the Latin learning resources that are available to you, here are a few quick notes to orient your use of this guide: 

  • In my previous post on approaches to teaching foreign languages, I outlined five different methodologies that are currently used in language education. Because Latin is a “dead” language, however, only two of those methodologies are really relevant: the Audio-Lingual method, which relies on the memorization of audio exercises (like chants), and the Grammar-Translation Method, which teaches Latin by comparing it to English. Because of this, there is less variation between these curricula than, say, Spanish curricula. Instead, the points of difference between them rest mainly on the following: price, level of parental involvement, and level of explicitly Christian content. 
  • The curriculums highlighted here are those that have been specifically designed or adapted for homeschool use—“mainstream market” products are not included. If you’d like to read about those, I have reviews of Duolingo for homeschool language learning and Mango Languages for homeschool language learning that can help you evaluate those tools (though I think it’s really important to say upfront that I don’t consider either of those to be an actual curriculum—and my reviews explain why).
  • If a curriculum offers a free trial to parents (and advertises it), I’ve noted that in the round-up. However, if you are interested in a program that doesn’t advertise a free trial, you can always contact their company to request one (doesn’t hurt!). 
  • These curricula are compatible with pretty much any homeschool philosophy. In case you'd like to know, however, the Grammar-Translation Method is probably the most “Classical” of all language teaching methodologies—both because it is the most historical and because it is the method that is generally used to teach Biblical languages. 
  • With regards to parental involvement, I’ve used the basic scale of Low-Medium-High to indicate how much direct instruction or participation in activities a parent is required to provide with the curriculum. These have been determined according to the descriptions provided by each of these companies. Your level of oversight (i.e. setting up lessons, checking homework, etc.) will depend on your family norms and the age of your student.
  • Finally, keep in mind that the prices listed here can only reflect current pricing as of the writing of this post, and are therefore subject to change. If there are discounts available for LLAH readers, I’ve included them as well to help you make the most of your homeschool budget!

Latin Homeschool Curricula for Elementary School

Minimus Latin and Minimus Secundus
Target Ages: Grades 2-6
Cost: $150
Materials Included: Student book, instructor’s guide, audio CD
Parental Involvement: Medium to High
Description: Minimus Latin and its companion course, Minimus Secundus, seek to teach children Latin in a unique fashion—through narrative. They use short, graphic stories—think comic strips—to expose children to the history of Ancient Rome and its language simultaneously. The teaching text is presented in Latin only, but is carefully scaffolded to ensure student comprehension. Each story is introduced in English and students are expected to use the illustrations to aid in their understanding of the stories, which are written only in Latin. Audio CDs that narrate the stories help students develop an ear for Latin pronunciation. Grammar is not the organizing principle of this curriculum (as it is for many others), but it is not overlooked. Activities are included that highlight the grammar concepts (and vocabulary) that are key to each short story. Note: this series is published in the UK and appears to be difficult to acquire as a set in the US—hence the link to Rainbow Resources that I’ve included above. 

Prima Latina
Target Ages: Grades 1-3
Cost: $90.90
Materials Included: Student textbook, instructor’s guide, Pronunciation CD, Flashcards, and instructional DVDs
Parental Involvement: High  
Description: Prima Latina was designed for families who want to introduce their young children to Latin in preparation for future study. It teaches Latin grammar and vocabulary through short (15-20) minute video lessons, the content of which is reinforced through the other tools in the curriculum—the pronunciation CD, the flashcards, and the optional cursive copybook (for students in grades 2-4). It is an explicitly Christian curriculum, and includes prayers in its memory work. 

Song School Latin I and II 
Target Ages: Grade K—Grade 3
Cost: $82-87/yearlong course (two total)
Materials Included: Student workbook and audio CD, instructor’s guide, instructional DVD (or streaming video), vocabulary flashcards
Parental Involvement: High
Description: Song School Latin is a two-year program that introduces young children to Latin through songs and chants, as well as age-appropriate practice activities that reinforce the child’s new skills. Developing vocabulary is the main focus of the curriculum, not explicit grammar instruction—and that's suitable for this age group. Song School Latin uses elements of both the Grammar-Translation approach to language teaching (especially in its instruction on Latin derivatives) and the Audio-Lingual approach (with its songs and chants). 

Latina Christiana 
Target Ages: Grades 3-5
Cost: $98.90
Materials Included: Student textbook, instructor’s guide, pronunciation CD, flashcards, instructional DVDs
Parental Involvement: Medium to High
Description: Latina Christiana, published by Memoria Press (MP), can be used as a continuation of MP’s Prima Latina program, or it may be used to introduce Latin to elementary students who have no prior exposure to the language. The instructional DVDs are the primary method of teaching grammar and vocabulary, but there is also an optional history component to help acquaint students with the culture and history of Ancient Rome. An optional cursive copywork book and grammar worksheets may be purchased to help students get additional Latin (and handwriting) practice. Two more things to note: one) MP indicates that this program was designed for teachers with no prior experience in Latin and two) it is an explicitly Christian program that includes prayers and hymns in its memory work. 

Latin Homeschool Curricula for Middle and High School

First, Second, Third, and Fourth Form Latin 
Target Ages: Grades 4-9  
Cost: $125/form
Materials Included: Student textbook, instructor’s guide, student workbook, quizzes and tests, teacher key, pronunciation CD, flashcards, instructional DVDs
Parental Involvement: Medium
Description: This four-year Latin curriculum is intended to provide older elementary students with the foundation that they need for serious Latin study. It focuses on teaching Latin grammar in easily-digestible chunks, so that the student can quickly master the rules of the language without being overwhelmed. In this way, First Form Latin (and its sister products) reflects a trivium methodology of teaching Latin as it moves from teaching the building blocks of language (grammar) to its rhetorical use (practiced with translation). Lessons are delivered primarily through the curriculum's instructional DVDs, but additional notes and scripted lessons are provided in the instructional manual. After being introduced to new concepts, students are expected to master them through extensive workbook practice and flashcard practice. 

Henle Latin I-IV
Target Ages: Grades 8-12
Cost: Approximately $65/course (four in total)  
Materials Included: Student textbook, answer key, grammar workbook, instructor’s guide, quizzes
Parental Involvement: High
Description: With this four-year curriculum, Henle teaches Latin from an explicitly Catholic worldview (though you should know up front that many Protestant families use it happily). It teaches Latin incrementally, introducing students to the basics of Latin grammar and vocabulary in the first year in order to prepare them for reading and translating authentic texts by their second year. After completing the first year of the curriculum (which may, in fact, take two years for students with no prior Latin study), students are expected to be able to translate Latin texts to English, and the curriculum focuses largely on practicing that skill. Of note: Henle is the preferred curriculum of the Classical Conversations program. 

Latin Alive! Books 1,2,3
Target Ages: Grades 7+
Cost: $139-149/yearlong course (three total)
Materials Included: Student textbook, instructor’s guide, instructional DVD (or streaming video)
Parental Involvement: Low to Medium
Description: This three-year program for older students is suitable for those who have previously studied Latin as well as those for whom Latin is a completely new subject. The aim of the curriculum is to give students mastery of Latin grammar (enough to prepare them to sit for the AP Latin exam) while also showing them the important linkages between ancient and modern society. To that latter end, the curriculum provides a foundation in Roman history and culture and also provides students with examples of the relevance of Latin to our own times. 30-minute video lessons are the core teaching tool for grammar, and extensive explanations are available in the instructor’s guide so that homeschooling moms can support their Latin learners. 

Latin for Children Primers A, B, C
Target Ages: Grade 4—Grade 7
Cost: $99-109/yearlong course (three total)
Materials Included: Student textbook, answer key, student workbook, instructional DVDs and audio CD (or streaming video), and Latin reader
Parental Involvement: Medium
Description: This three-year program expands children’s Latin vocabulary while also introducing them to Latin grammar in a systematic and developmentally appropriate way. Short video lessons of 20-25 minutes—perfect for learners at this age—are used to introduce new grammar concepts incrementally, and each concept is reinforced by the curriculum’s trademark chants (similar to their program for younger students, Song School Latin). Written activities are also included, as one would expect for this age. In addition, students practice their reading knowledge of Latin with the programs Latin readers, which have been developed to include the vocabulary and grammar reflected in the curriculum. 

The Latin Road to English Grammar (Vol. 1-3) 
Target Ages: Grades 5-12
Cost: $399-407/volume (three in total)
Materials Included: Student textbook, flashcards, pronunciation CD, Instructor’s guide, Teacher training videos, quizzes, and answer keys
Parental Involvement: Low to Medium
Description: This curriculum takes a significantly different approach than most other Latin curricula intended for older students. Instead of teaching Latin grammar via the Grammar-Translation Method (which assumes prior knowledge of English grammar), it teaches Latin and English grammar simultaneously. For families who value efficiency in their curricula, this may be a very appealing method! Highly structured notebooking is the core teaching method of the curriculum, which covers three years of material (if all three volumes are used) and is the equivalent of two years of high school Latin study. Parents are expected to take an active teaching role in this curriculum, and teacher training videos are provided for them as a support. This is notably different from many other Latin teaching programs, which largely intend their instructional videos to be used by students. However, it is not necessary for parents to have studied Latin previously to use this curriculum effectively—it was specifically written to be accessible to parents with no prior Latin experience. 

Visual Latin (1 and 2)* 
Target Ages: Grades 5-12
Cost: $85/course
Materials Included: Instructional DVDs (or streaming video), instructor’s guide, worksheets, quizzes, and vocabulary lists
Parental Involvement: Low
Description: Visual Latin engages students with a tool that other curricula tend to go light on—humor! The language is presented to students through short, entertaining video lessons taught by the program’s creator, who uses the Grammar-Translation Method. The grammar concepts taught are also reinforced with worksheet activities. While the two volumes of this curriculum cover the same amount of material as two years of high school Latin, the creators of the curriculum note that parents will need to supplement their program in order to reach the equivalent of 150 hours of instruction (i.e. enough to count this as an official high school course). 

*A free trial is available to interested parents. 

Have you come across another Latin curriculum that’s not listed here? Let me know in the comments!