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Paideia Latina, Level A (Recommended for 4th-6th grades) Review by Jennifer Harrison

Student and Teacher books
Rose Spears
Paideia Classical Christian School



The word is out: learning Latin is good for you. This “dead” language is now fashionable, and for good reason. Do a quick search for “Why learn Latin” and you’ll soon see the many benefits of this rich language. It is incredible what learning Latin does for the brain.

Paideia Latina is a new Latin program that provides easy access to all of these brain-boosting benefits. It consists of a consumable workbook that includes all of the instructions needed. Lessons are written directly to the child, with virtually zero parent involvement required. The Teacher’s Edition is basically an answer key and looks identical to the student book with answers included. It also includes a quiz for each week of lessons, plus a final exam at the end of the book.

There are thirty-three lessons in the book, which is nice for scheduling out a 36-week school year, with time for a final and for a couple weeks for flexibility. Week One is more of an introduction and focuses more on pronunciation than anything else. We combined it with the next week’s lessons, so it gave us another week for review later in the year.

Each lesson includes new vocabulary words plus a chant chart to study endings. This is followed by a page of grammar instruction. Each lesson’s grammar instruction ends with a ‘Grammar Sound Off’ that teaches the grammar concepts cleanly and clearly. There is plenty of review throughout the book so that students can truly grasp these concepts.

The rest of each lesson includes around four pages of worksheets for practicing the vocabulary, endings, and Latin grammar. The Teacher’s Guide then provides a quiz for each lesson. Altogether, these work out comfortably for short and easy lessons for the week. Every fifth week is a review and does not introduce new material, which is nice for keeping things fresh.

This first level Latin book introduces

  • first and second declension nouns and adjectives
  • present, imperfect, and future tense verbs
  • first and second conjugation of these verbs
  • subject nouns, predicate nominatives, direct objects, and prepositional phrases
  • just under two hundred fifty Latin vocabulary words

The book is recommended for students in grades fourth through sixth. While this would be completely appropriate, I think older students would appreciate it just as much as elementary students. I was able to introduce the material to students aged between twelve and sixteen quite successfully. The design and layout is elegantly simple, so it was not remotely childish for them. Given their more mature ages, they were able to easily complete the lessons within ten minutes each day and still learn and retain the information.

Nearly every chapter includes a story for translation, which is very nice. It includes many English words to cover the gaps in their Latin vocabulary, which allows them to stretch their muscles while building confidence in their new skills. Most chapters also include a brief introduction to characters from mythology. These include sketches and a few sentences about the character, including their Roman and Greek names. All of the sketches in the book are attractive. The pages aren’t cluttered at all. Instead, the illustrations add just the right touch.

Each vocabulary word that is introduced includes a pronunciation guide. This is a very nice feature to have, so that students and parents don’t have to work to memorize the rules at the beginning of the class and remember them throughout. Instead, they are able to work through the pronunciation of each word as they learn them. The author prefers an Ecclesiastic pronunciation, which is used throughout the book. My family prefers a classical pronunciation, but this was not a problem for us at all. Once familiar with the few differences between the two methods (such as /w/ for “v” instead of a hard /v/) it was easy for my students to keep up with the change.

I have taught Latin to my homeschool students for nearly ten years and I have tried several different programs. Paideia Latina is my favorite for Introductory Latin. I am impressed with its direct and painless approach. I am impressed with its simplicity. Nothing complicated here! I am especially impressed with its price. The Student Book is only $14.95 and the Teacher’s Edition is $16.95. This is an amazing price for such a solid program. I look forward to seeing future levels!

-Product review by Jennifer Harrison, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August, 2018