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Ludere Latine I Review by Kathy Gelzer

Paul O'Brien
Memoria Press
4105 Bishop Lane
Louisville, KY 40218

Many homeschoolers are incorporating the study of Latin into their curriculum, especially with the popularity of the classical methodology of teaching. Ludere Latine I is a puzzle book that corresponds lesson-by-lesson to Memoria Press's popular Latina Christiana I Latin program. The book contains four different puzzles for each lesson: a word search, two kinds of crosswords, and hangman. An answer key is included in the back as well as a vocabulary list. Five group games are described at the end of the book with somewhat sketchy directions. These games require a bit of preparation in the way of questions to ask, words to describe, or props to make. The book is consumable, but the publisher will sell discounted additional copies.

After completing each Latina Christiana I lesson, one would have the student complete the related puzzles in Ludere Latine I. Since Latina Christiana I is designed for grades 1 through 4, I assume the same for the puzzles, but some of these may be a little difficult for a first grader to do independently. We had the most success doing the crossword puzzles in this book together.

This book is a fun addition to Latina Christiana I, especially for "casual Fridays" or as a means of fitting in some Latin review on a busy day. Ludere Latine I provides extra review of Latin vocabulary and grammar as the student reads and writes the words and phrases. The "grammatical forms" crossword is my favorite. It is a rigorous mental workout and thoroughly tests the child's understanding of the grammar segment of each lesson. The "derivatives" crossword puzzle contains words not given in the text--good because it's challenging, but bad because it could be frustrating. I do wish this book had a greater variety of puzzles, and I would've liked to see more color or graphics. How about a Latin comic or joke every few pages?

If you are using Latina Christiana I and you have a motivated, "workbooky" child, this would be a super accessory to add to your Lain curriculum armory.

Product review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2006