Latin’s Not So Tough is a series of books published by Greek N Stuff, the same people who created the series Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek. I received the Level 3 workbook and answer key to use with my 4th grade son. My son has NOT had a lot of experience with Latin, but it is recommended that upper elementary students begin in Level 3, and in using it, I would say this was a good starting point for him.
Latin’s Not So Tough takes a gentle, gradual approach to teaching the language, and this book started with a review of the Latin alphabet and basic vocabulary, so even if your student hasn’t seen Latin before, if they are older, they should be able to pick up the basics pretty quickly. I love the fact that the set came with a pronunciation CD (with all the tracks labled by lesson i.e. “Lesson 2, track 58”) because I have no working knowledge of Latin either, and I needed the support!
After the review, the workbook moves into declensions and conjugations, and also new vocabulary. This pattern continues with different cases (i.e. nominative case, dative case etc.) and the student moves into sentence practice before the final review at the end of the book. The workbook also has flashcards you can cut out so you can continue quick practice with vocabulary throughout the year.
There are two answer keys available for this series. The first is strictly an answer key, and costs about $4.00. I received the full text answer key (which costs $21.95) and it contains the full pages from the student workbook with answers, as well as teaching tips and a “schedule” you can use if you want. I would say the extra money is definitely worth it, unless you are very experienced in Latin yourself.
As far as using this with my son, we usually did about 1-2 pages per day, with some vocabulary practice using the flashcards. At first he was like, “Why do I have to learn Latin, I’ve never even heard of it!” However, after we got started, he found it pretty easy and thought it was fun. I was impressed with how much vocabulary he actually learned just from practicing about 20 minutes a day. We’ve used this program almost a full year now, and are close to the part where we will be writing sentences, and I think he’ll do pretty well!
A bonus I’ve seen with this program is how he has made connections (all by himself no less 🙂 ) between Latin and English! When he learned “agricola” means farmer, he made the connection to “agriculture”. Likewise with “femina” (woman) and “feminine”, “navigo” (I sail) and “navigate” etc. etc. That in itself has made this program worthwhile.
I have to admit, I have read many books on classical style homeschooling, and I know that learning Latin is emphasized in that approach, but I was always skeptical about teaching it (and about my kids ability to learn it!) However, having done it this year, I can truly see the benefits go beyond simply learning this language. It is true that knowledge of Latin can improve vocabulary in all areas!
The cost of Latin’s Not So Tough varies by what parts of it you want to buy. If you are experienced with Latin, you may just want to buy the workbook ($21.95). If not, you may want to purchase the supportive materials (the pronunciation CD costs $10.00). They also have a “full set” of materials available for $58.40, which includes the student workbook, full text answer key, quizzes/exams, and flashcards on a ring. Other packages, and sample pages, are available on the Greek N Stuff website here:
Check it out!
** Note: I received this program for free for the purpose of writing this review. All opinions expressed are my own.