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Latin's Not So Tough Review by Kendra Fletcher

Greek 'n' Stuff
PO Box 882
Moline, IL 61266-0882

Have you considered having your children study Latin during their course of home education? If so, you are not alone. Many are choosing to give their children a solid foundation in Latin and for good reason. Dorothy Sayers once said, "I will say at once, quite firmly, that the best grounding for education is the Latin grammar. I say this not because Latin is traditional and medieval, but simply because even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least 50 percent."

Our family has been through several popular Latin courses with varying degrees of success. I had always been curious about Latin's Not So Tough and was happy to implement it in our home with our 11-year-old, who has been a reluctant student of Latin.

Immediately he felt unintimidated by the program's slow and easy start. Level One is intended for very young students, and although our son could have started with Level Two or Three, we allowed him to breeze through the first level just to give him some much-needed confidence. Unless your older student needs a boost as ours did, you will want to start with a higher level, especially if your student already knows the Latin alphabet, diphthongs, and special pronunciations.

Whatever level you choose to begin with (and you can test your student for placement on the site), you will want to know that Latin's Not So Tough provides help for the student beyond a simple workbook format. There are quizzes and exams, flashcards on rings, and CDs that help the student learn the correct pronunciation of classical Latin. If you as the parent have no background in Latin, you will find these extra resources extremely helpful.

And what about Latin grammar? From the site: "Latin grammar is introduced in Level Three of Latin's Not So Tough! This third level uses an inductive ('parts to whole') approach, which provides an easy introduction to Latin grammar for the young learner. Paradigms in the appendix of the third level are available for those who want to see the 'whole' picture for the endings taught in the workbook. In addition, the teacher resource section at the beginning of the 'Full Text' answer key provides 'The Big Picture' charts with further explanation. Level Four then transitions to a deductive ('whole to parts') approach."

Currently, there are five levels of Latin's Not So Tough. By the time the student works his way through all five levels, he will be able to translate and write classical Latin sentences.

What does the student do once all five levels are completed? Because of the program's popularity, further levels of Latin's Not So Tough are being planned. Level 6 will covers infinitives, personal pronouns, cardinal and ordinal numerals, additional uses of the ablative and genitive cases, present passive indicative voice, and much more.

It's not tough to understand why students, particularly the reluctant kind, are successful using Latin's Not So Tough. The pace is doable, and the student soon learns, "Hey, Latin's not so tough!"

Product review by Kendra Fletcher, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2006