Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. Affiliate links are also in this post. Read my full disclosure policy here.
I read somewhere recently that the best foreign language to begin learning is Latin because of how closely it relates to the English language. With Prima Latina Complete Set by Memoria Press, I found this to be true. We’ve been using this Latin curriculum for a few weeks now and just wow! We’ve been making big progress in strides. And because Memoria Press provides all the tools needed for success with this beginner’s Latin course, we flowed through the lessons seamlessly and with great fun.
Memoria Press offers a different array of curriculum courses for the homeschooling community. You can narrow down the choices by grade level, subject, and by needs. Offering many different packages, Memoria Press has obviously thought through the needs of homeschoolers because their curriculum bundles look like “achievement” is written all over them! I’ll prove it: take a look-see here.
They’ve equipped the packages with all kinds of learning tools, from read-aloud packages to foreign languages, as well as English grammar studies and American history bundles. Looking through their shop, my eyes twinkled with excitement just seeing all the books and curricula offered for grades Preschool through Grade 12. Even individual lesson plans are available!
About Memoria Press: Prima Latina Complete Set
Prima Latina is a very beginner’s Latin program that’s set up as basic as you can get. If students have zero experience with Latin or any foreign language for that matter, then this is the perfect program for them. The levels are not based on grade level but rather based upon skill level.
So if children have already been exposed to Latin or another language, and they’ve experienced the basics of a beginner course, then this is not the program for them. Unless you need an overall “redo” or to readdress the basics again, which is very much okay!
However, there is another level up that is still considered the basics, but it doesn’t include the very, very basic skillset that Prima Latina includes. It’s called Latina Christiana Complete Set and you’re more than welcome to check out the other reviews of the Homeschool Review Crew. Many reviewers actually selected the Latina Christiana Complete Set to use in exchange for an honest review, so you will be able to locate it and check out their reviews on courses there. Or, go straight to the Memoria Press website that features the next-level course.
Additionally, if parents don’t know a thing about Latin either, then this is the perfect option for parents to not only learn beside their children but to also teach their children successfully. With general teaching guidelines displayed for parents laid out in an easy to understand way, you’ll find these guidelines extremely valuable as well as many of the additional helpful nuggets of information that’s included, such as the Sample Lesson Plan.
Truth be told, my kids were so excited to get this Latin kit! They’ve been eager to study a foreign language since last year and, although I wasn’t quite sure which way to go for a foreign language, the Homeschool Review Crew happened to be able to offer a curriculum review for Latin from Memoria Press in exchange for an honest review. I guess it was meant to be.
The Prima Latina Complete Set comes with all the Latin assets you’ll need to learn the basic foundations of the Latin language:
- Teacher Guide
- Student Workbook
- DVD – instructional video lessons
- CD – audio lessons with pronunciation
- Latin flashcards
- Memoria Press magazine
The teacher guide helps direct you how to teach Latin by first going through the alphabet. Did you know that there is only 25 letters in the Latin alphabet? I wonder what the “w” did wrong to get booted out.
Table of Contents
The following is the table of contents organized by lessons included in Prima Latina. I like to refer to this often to see what’s coming up, so I can prepare for the next lesson(s). As you can see, there are 25 lessons in total:
- GRAMMAR GOAOVERVIEW
- STUDENT GOALS FOR PRIMA LATINA
- PRONUNCIATION RULES
- THE ALPHABET
- CONSONANTS AND VOWEL TEAMS
- INVISIBLE VERBS
- LATIN VERBS
- REVIEW 1 (LESSON 1-5)
- LATIN NOUNS
- NUMBERS 1-5
- NUMBERS 6-10
- REVIEW LESSON 2 (LESSONS 6-10)
- PROPER NOUNS
- REVIEW 3 (LESSONS 11-15)
- MORE CONSTELLATIONS
- TO BE VERB
- TO BE ABLE TO / I CAN
- FUTURE TENSE
- REVIEW LESSON 4 (LESSONS 16-20)
- OTHER WORDS
- QUESTION WORDS
- THE FIRST DECLENSION
- FIRST CONJUGATION
- REVIEW 5 (LESSONS 21-25)
- VOCABULARY APPENDIX – ALPHABETICAL
- VOCABULARY APPENDIX – PART OF SPEECH
- VOCABULARY APPENDIX – PRACTICAL LATIN SAYINGS
- VOCABULARY & PRACTICAL LATIN SAYINGS BY LESSON
- GENERAL TEACHING GUIDELINES
- VOCABULARY & GRAMMAR DRILL FORMS
- TESTS & KEYS
One of the helpful worksheets included and accessible via the physical book (or even downloadable from your online Memoria Press account) is the Vocabulary & Grammar Drill Form. This reproducible form, which you can copy from within the book or print from your laptop, can be used in conjunction with the vocabulary lessons.
You can hammer in the most recent vocabulary learned, even on different non-Latin days, or on the same day after a lesson. However you wish to use the vocabulary drill form, this is a valuable tool to use while learning the Latin vocabulary.
How To Teach Latin For Beginners
Fortunately, Memoria Press includes many tools to enable you to teach this Latin course for beginners successfully!
Pronunciation plays a big part in Latin and it was the very first lesson we did before jumping in. We learned about the vowels, vowel teams, and consonants. So, for instance, A E I O U is pronounced like:
- A = pronounced “ah” as in father
- E = pronounced “ay” as in baby
- I – pronounced “ee” as in sweet
- O = pronounced “o” as in no
- U = pronounced “oo” as in move
And then there are a few rules to remember when a consonant comes before a vowel, or before two different letters, and so on. We struggled to remember these rules at first, and my kids didn’t like learning the basics. They wanted to jump right into the vocabulary and verb tenses! I think they expected to be walking out of that first lesson fluent in Latin!
But I explained to them that just like they learned the English alphabet and phonemes, they also need to know how the Latin letters are pronounced in order to speak Latin correctly from here on out. I continued to explain that they had to establish the basics and foundations first before anything else.
The CD worked extremely well with the pronunciation lessons. It reinforced how to properly say the words with the different rules and vowel sounds. I especially liked how this Latin curriculum teaches you Latin prayers! By the end of this study, you and your children should be able to say 10 prayers in Latin!
Student Goals for Learning Latin
I liked how the Prima Latina book also includes student goals. You will know what your child will be expected to learn and know by the end of this beginner program, such as learning the Latin alphabet and pronunciation sounds.
The Student Goals page helps give an overall understanding of the program so that you also have a better understanding of how to teach it. You can also prepare for future lessons by using both this sheet and the table of contents, and know how to organize your Latin days and weeks that will include the Prima Latina program.
Since I have two children learning Latin, and only one student workbook comes in the complete Latin set, I went ahead and ordered an additional Prima Latina student workbook. The workbooks are consumables, which means they will be written in. I could have very well copied each page, but really and truly, I wanted my sweetheart to feel proud learning Latin with his own workbook.
Plus, it’s not really fair for sister to have the cool student workbook and brother gets her copies! But some kids won’t care about this aspect of it. In fact, sometimes my kids don’t care either…but that’s only sometimes. They’re awfully needy at times! ha! But I really wanted them to feel well-equipped to learn Latin so I made sure they each had their own workbook.
Which made the hunch I had about taking it more seriously true! Plus, their interests were kept and enthusiasm maintained through our studies.
More Great Benefits About Prima Latina Complete Set
I would hear them practice their pronunciations from the other room, and I loved it! But it wasn’t every lesson that I did this. In high school, I do 4 years of Spanish, so I love learning foreign languages. I thought it would be so great to also learn Latin and be able to converse with the kids as they’re learning Latin. I didn’t want them to learn Latin and not be able to use the language or practice it.
The Teacher’s Guide is also kind of consumable. Kind of in a sense that you can write in it if you want to! However, the guide is there to help you go through the course and know which lessons to do next. It helps you teach the Latin language with each steps so that you aren’t lost! I found the guide super helpful! It also includes the answer keys.
Additionally, the DVD was extraordinary. Similar to the CD, the DVD also covers the lessons. You as the parent don’t even need to “teach” the children the Latin curriculum – the DVD includes instructional video lessons to do this for you. In this sense, it was really nice to be able to pop the DVD in the player and let the kids go to town with their Latin study for the day.
Alternately, instead of purchasing the DVD you do have the capability to download their online instructional videos and stream them on the go! Memoria Press made it especially easy for families to gain knowledge of Latin in their many considerate tools!
Learning Latin Prayers
Perhaps the most exciting part of learning Latin is speaking Latin saying prayers! Your children will be able to say four complete prayers, all in Latin! Can you imagine how beautiful it will sound when your babies are saying their prayers in Latin? Amazing!
We are still in the midst of learning our prayers for Latin, but I sure can’t wait until we can say them! Yes, we…I’m learning Latin right alongside the. I’m not going to miss my opportunity to learn Latin in depth! Besides, how else would I be able to “grade” or help them practice their Latin in the future if I can’t even speak nor understand what they’re saying?
I really cannot wait to speak Latin to the kids, speak real, deep conversations in Latin, and saying prayers with them in Latin!
How We Use Prima Latina by Memoria Press
Watch our unboxing video to see all the items that come in the Prima Latina Complete Set:
We decided to do Latin 2 to 3 times a week. Usually it landed on a Monday and on a Friday. Sometimes we would also do it on Wednesday, or if we weren’t able to get to it on Wednesday, we would pick it up again on a Saturday.
The Memoria Press website also has a few free downloads for you to grab. I grabbed the free Vocabulary Drills sheets to help reinforce some of the vocabularies they were learning. The drills sheet is not mandatory nor is it indicated in the lesson book to do the drill sheet. However, I took the part of the second day or the third day of the week to go over what we’ve been learning for the week.
I found myself using the DVD instructional videos every other lesson or so. Mostly, I enjoyed teaching the kids myself, using the teacher’s guide as my teaching book. When I did teach the kids myself, I made sure to pop in the CD so it can go over the parts of it that I’m unfamiliar with, or weak at, such as the pronunciations. However, the more we studied the pronunciations, the more natural it became to speak it.
One of the blend rules is “ts”. We had a good time taking turns on how to pronounce this particular sound. It’s a bit backward from our English language. All of us had to try several times before we really got it down. Then we would find things in our everyday lives that would remind us of the “ts” sound! When this happened, we’d pronounce the “ts” sound and giggle about it. Fun times!
With every lesson comes an activity page and vocabulary page to learn, as well as part of the new prayer to memorize. The activity pages are a great way to reinforce and discuss the new Latin terms and information.
Since this is a beginner course, only the numbers 1 through 10 will be taught, which I think is definitely sufficient enough, especially for very basic beginners, such as us!
Learning Latin For Beginners
Overall, we definitely enjoyed Prima Latina by Memoria Press. I believe it is the best choice for (1) learning your very first foreign language, and (2) learning the very basics of your first foreign language course.
Many other families of the Homeschool Review Crew also reviewed Memoria Press Latin courses, but their reviews include different levels of Latin. So if you are thinking about going with Latin for your new foreign language course, but you know you don’t need the absolute basics, then I encourage you to go to the Homeschool Review Crew blog and check out their other Memoria Press reviews. You’re sure to find one that fits the needs and levels of your family!