An Update on Latin
We’ve been using Anthony Gibbins’ (TuTubusLatinus) ‘Learning Latin with Virgil‘ series on YouTube as our main curriculum (of sorts) as an introduction to Latin. I love the videos, because they’re interesting (he uses South Park people to illustrate conversations – you can’t help but love that) and they’re flash-card-like, which makes it easy to actually make flash cards for them (which I have done – see here under ‘Latin’), which is a learning tool that is extremely effective for my kids. In short, I think the series is fantastic.
LLV is based on The Aeneid, Virgil’s is a classic epic poem about Aeneas. We found an ‘English for kids’ version of The Aeneid at the library yesterday and will be reading for ourselves this week so we’ll be more familiar with the story. The videos are quite simple and short, they’re easily followed and make a really nice introduction to Latin. We’re currently still working on lessons 1-3 and I imagine we’ll be there for a while still, reviewing and strengthening our foundation. I say ‘our’ because I am learning, too. We tried learning Spanish but the lessons, though perhaps more useful as we live so near Mexico, were boring. Latin is ever so much more interesting.
In browsing TuTubusLatinus’ YouTube channel, I came across another series that he did called Latin Lessons using Cambridge Latin I, which you can find online here, along with a host of other resources and activities to supplement the main video entry. This series is a little more complete as a curriculum in that it follows an actual text-book rather than literature, but it does still use stories to teach vocabulary and grammar. There are also several additional videos that go along with this set of lessons, like the Canis picture book, the Familia picture book (which uses the Griffin family of Family Guy fame), the Labor picture book, the Cibus picture book and the Gilbo series, which uses different characters (helpful for kids who memorize visual word patterns and then cheat), but mirrors the Cambridge lessons pretty closely (at least through the third video!).
I like both approaches, and we’ll continue using both, along with our flash cards and the picture book videos. Even early on in the lessons, the boys have picked up quite a bit of vocabulary, so the grammar is coming in handy. Another thing I like about learning this way is that I am not relying on my own pronunciation. There have been several words that I would have said incorrectly, so short of a formal ‘Latin class’, this is as good as having a tutor come into our home.
At some point, we’ll start the Ecce Romani series of books, but I imagine that is some time off yet. The LLV series has 20 or so videos, and the Cambridge lessons have quite a few as well. I don’t know how much the series covers that the ER books, so we may not need ER by the time we get done with the video series but we’ll probably go over it anyway just to reinforce what we’ve already learned.
If you’re interested, here’s some other fun stuff I’ve found:
Latin Alive – a short film that illustrates many of the words we use in English with Latin roots
Latin Monkey Match flashcard game
And just because I find this extremely interesting and can foresee a time when it graces my personal library shelves, Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis, aka, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone in American English).
If you’ve ever thought about starting a Latin course in your homeschool, then I can definitely recommend Mr. Gibbins’ videos. They’ve been fun and engaging, and offer plenty of ‘pause and review’ opportunities that make it an interactive lesson.
Disclosure: I have not been paid or otherwise compensated to review these videos. This is my own personal opinion based on my experiences with them. I’ve found them to be educational and my kids LOVE them, so I wanted to let others know about them as a possible resource or supplemental resource for their own Latin curriculum.