Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How We Use Latin Road to English Grammar

I chose Latin Road to English Grammar for our Latin studies. Liking the reputation it had for being clear and through for the teacher, I was sold! Also it had exactly what I wanted my children to do without a lot of extra map work and history readings on ancient Rome. It is a multisensory program for the older child. My children do not like lots of fingerplays, ditties or color sheets. They want the real thing. So this was perfect! LRTEG is so thourough in comparing Latin to English grammar, that no other English grammar study is required. It sounded to me as though this program would effectively and clearly teach Latin while relating it to English grammar. We are now almost done with Book II and we have found all of the above to be exactly what we expected.

For books I and II, I have purchased the Big Fat Latin Special!  It comes with the teacher set (notebook with lesson plans, answer keys and charts, tests, worksheets, textbook, vocabulary cards and audio CD), student set (notebook, colored paper, colored pens, textbook, comprehensive reference guide), DVDs (for the teacher) and Latin dictionary.  This reference guide is full of everything we learn from the three volumes. Yes, there is more information on the back.


My friend, Pam, was asking me how I use LRTEG. I try to begin my preparations for each chapter by first reading through the chapter in the textbook. Then I read the lesson plans. Then I watch the DVD. The DVDs are only for the teacher. Here the author further explains the lessons to be taught. Then she translates several sentences. This has been the most beneficial to me. I get to see how she analyzes a sentence and makes choices. If there is more than one correct answer, she discusses that and explains why both work. If one is better than the other, she explains why. Wow, this has been the most phenomenal part of the teaching package!

Then I cut out the vocabulary cards for the chapter and start studying them. Ideally, I would have cut all of them out at the beginning of the year, then had them laminated. I store the cards in a pretty box I purchased for half off at Hobby Lobby.  Looks like I'll need a bigger box to add next year's cards from Book III.

These vocabulary cards are wonderful! They are color coded for part of speech, stimulating the brain’s visual areas. The nouns come in three different colors, depending on whether they are masculine, feminine or neutral. The color coding definitely helps cue the memory in the brain. On the front is the Latin. On the back is the English, a derivative (to expand vocabulary), and the chapter number when the word is introduced.

I try to review all vocabulary daily. When I can’t do that, I do the new vocabulary daily and the rest at least weekly. Memorization is essential to quickly completing the translations. I also make use of the charts and vocabulary cards when doing the translations.   All of the charts are stored in the teacher's notebook in page protectors.

I paste the verb charts onto foam board. These portable bulletin boards are easily pulled out when needed, then easily slipped between the wall and cabinet when we’re done! It is so cool to look at these charts and see the patterns and relationships of each of the verb forms.  Seeing the charts in this arrangement helps us to see the patterns and that helps our memory.

My dd uses the audio CD daily to drill new vocabulary and information, which targets the audio portion of the brain. Then she starts her lesson. Usually on day 2 of the chapter she learns her new vocabulary. She copies these on color coded paper with color coded pens for her Latin notebook. There is also a way to fold the paper after copying, to allow for ease of studying derivative forms and from Latin to English or English to Latin.

When learning new Latin syntax, LRTEG compares it to the English first. This makes a terrific review of English, and forms a bridge to learning the Latin. In the end we realize we understand the English grammar better than before!

There is copy work for the first few days of each chapter, which targets the kinesthetic portion of the brain. Each day dd is building her Latin notebook more and more. This will be a wonderful reference tool while studying more Latin, digging into English, or learning other foreign languages.

Translations start in the second half of the chapter in small bites. Instead of translating a complex sentence, we usually start with phrases, or decline nouns or conjugate verbs. We eventually work towards translating Latin sentences to English which is pretty easy. The most challenging is translating English sentences to Latin, yet doable!

In Book I the student follows a reading on the CD. This might be "Adeste Fideles" at Christmas, the Pledge of Allegiance, Scripture, or something from ancient Roman writings. In Book II we start actually translating these. We are always surprised at how much easier these are than we first feared!  DD did one of the readings, The Lord's Prayer in Latin, at our TOG Year 1 Unit 4 celebration of Ancient Rome. 

Then we do a worksheet for each chapter. This does a terrific job of reviewing every concept taught in the chapter. Every other chapter has a test.

I have my own copies of the textbook, notebook, worksheets and tests. I do my own work and I follow along with dd.

LRTEG is so well laid out, that if we ever forget how to use a part of speech in the Latin, we can easily look it up in the table of contents from our textbooks.  

Here is my Latin, all spread out.  DD has everything memorized so she doesn't need to spread out! I have the answer key to my left, the textbook in front of me and the vocabulary cards to my right.  I do this a couple of times a week, while I am popping up and down doing other things like cleaning house, helping the dc, answering e-mails, etc. 


  1. Thanks for such a thorough review. I have been considering Latin in the next few years, but I had no idea where to even begin.

  2. MayTheyBeMightyMenMay 7, 2008 at 1:00 PM

    What a fantastic way to share what you're doing with Latin! I've been contemplating things down the road from where we are because I'm sure it will come up much faster than I think.

    Can you share when you see this particular program being started? Is this typically a high school age range? Is this ninth grade or older then? I'd love to have something to keep in mind for when we get there.

  3. Jenn, my dd started this when she was in 7th grade. My son will start this next year, when he is in 7th grade. I think that is an ideal time to start. Others start earlier, some later. Those who start in high school can usually get all 3 books done in 2 years. Those younger usually take 3 years. Bottom line, I think it is best to have a solid background of English grammar before starting Latin. It is important to have an excellent understanding of the parts of speech in English and their usage first.



  4. and the previous post is a wonderful explanation of the benefits of learning Latin. We have been using Prima Latina and have learned so much. It, too, has helped the kids have a better understanding of grammar. Though Prima Latina is mostly for younger students, we decided we wanted to start little to see if we could understand the basics. I think we will continue with Christina Latina next year though after reading your review I may look into the Latin Road. Thanks for your insight.

    Thank-you also for your prayers. We really appreciate it because we are sort of in limbo right now. His will be done.



  5. Laurie, thank you SO MUCH for this fantastic description, and all the great pictures!! I am such a visual learner, having the pics helps me understand your written description so much better. I truly appreciate your wonderful explanation, and I'm so looking forward to using this in the fall!!!



  6. Thanks for being so thorough with this. I bough LRTEG a year ago and plan on using it this year with my dd. I'm intimidated, but your plan helps.


    Grateful for Grace

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