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Thread: Blue Backed users using Latin?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Hi, I have been using the Webster's Blue-Backed Speller for 3 yr now, so far for three of my children and am going to start with my 4th this year for learning to read. I really like that it uses the syllabary and I like teaching them to spell as they are learning to read. I didn't start out using this with my first two, however have seen a huge change of success when I did switch over 2 years ago.

    Anyhow, all that to say, my oldest is going into 3rd grade and I am getting scared, having no real "scope and sequence" to say she is on track and doing great, if that makes sense, so I am nervous, although I see her doing excellent at the same time.

    Because this involves Latin also, I am posting this in the Latin category as well as here.

    My questions are:
    - How do you evaluate them with the Blue-Backed as to where they should be each year? Especially if you can use it through highschool as it claims?

    - Last year, her 2nd grade, I did Writing Aids and the Blue-Backed and that was it, for L.A. I felt it was enough, but I do have 5 other kids coming up, so a critique on that would be appreciated.

    - I want to do Latin with the kids, but am thinking of starting that next year...maybe this year is too soon? I do like Latin Road and am considering starting the Bridge either this year or next...just not sure. She seems very ready to start the Bridge this year from what it looks like just looking on the website. We do want our kids to have learned Latin before highschool, yet do not want to stress them too young either. Would their training with the BB be sufficient for entering into the Bridge?

    - I was also looking at Latin in the Christian Trivium, however it's geared for dialectic and rhetoric kids. I was wondering if I could start LCTrivium and move very slowly. It's cheaper and other the other threads on here talk about it as ending up in the same place as LREG.

    - Then if I go that route, either curr., is there enough grammar? I know LREG says no other grammar study is necessary. What about LCTrivium? My girls, will be 3rd and 2nd grade this coming year, both understand their parts of speech well.

    - If I'm doing a Latin curr., should I just not do Writing Aids? I also don't want additional reading excersizes that is intended with LREG as they do enough for TOG and I like them to enjoy reading and do reading for fun as well, so I dont' want to burn any of them out over the years.

    - Has anyones used any of the primers and free Latin books online that lists, also used in the 1800's that could give me some info on using that?

    I should note I have NO Latin experience whatsoever. In fact, I seem to the be the crazy classical education trailblazer of both families.

    I am sorry this is so much. I just really love TOG, but since it has so much in it, I want to keep a minimum on things so our family is more available for ministry and just enjoying each other. I don't want unnecessary extras and want them to enjoy schooling, which so far they do. They also do lots of music which takes lots of time wit 6 kids ages 7 mo. to 8 yr. I need help sorting priorities and what's best here.

    Thank you for getting through this long read!

    Child of God, Wife to a wonderful supportive Husband, Mom to six fantastic children, 8yr, 7 yr, 5 yr, 4 yr, 2 yr, 7 mo.

  2. #2
    Dear Courtney,

    I'll explain what we did for Latin, grammar, and writing.


    I stopped and started a number of Latin curricula in the Lower/Upper Grammar years. For us, the Dialectic years turned out to be the best time to study Latin. We discontinued spelling studies, lightened grammar studies, and relaxed vocabulary studies to make time for Latin.

    I used LRTEG with my two <STRIKE>guinea pigs </STRIKE> sons. I liked it, and I taught myself Latin using it. My dss struggled through and earned their 2 foreign language credits. One ds is now studying Spanish. The other is just relieved to be done with foreign languagues.

    When my daughters were ready to begin studying Latin, I decided to use LCTrivium. We are really enjoying it. My dds love the sacred/secular phrases at the beginning of each chapter, the Bible passages to translate, the ongoing story. LCTrivium is not as tedious as LREG. Concepts are presented in more manageable chunks and there is more practice on the concepts. My dds took the Intro to Latin Exam this year and scored very well.

    To sum up - I would not use either of these programs until 6th/7th grade. If you have the time and energy to learn/teach Latin, there are a number of programs out there that are geared toward younger children.

    English grammar:

    I would not consider either Latin program we used as an English grammar course. We used Easy Grammar until we finished the Plus level. Now we complete an activity a day using Daily Grammar Practice by Dawn Burnette. My sons tell me this is the most effective grammar program we've done - they are actually learning, remembering, and applying the grammar. Daily Grammar Practice


    I would continue Writing Aids or another writing program even while studying Latin because writing programs address completely different skills than Latin programs do.

    Blessings to you as you prepare for your next school year!
    Susan in La
    Mom to 18yods (ToG graduate), 17yods (R), 15yodd (R), 13yodd (D)
    Redesigned 2

  3. #3
    Susan gave you a wonderful answer to the Latin question and I just wanted to add my agreement. I plan on waiting until 7th grade (roughly) to start Latin.

    I read a lot of materials that advocated starting Latin in 2nd or 3rd grade. As I read deeper into the books I realized that all kids, whether they started in 2nd or 7th grade, were set to end at the same place. They just used different programs at different levels.

    After realizing that, I decided my time was too precious to spend on Latin at a young age. I have planned (and Susan just helped solidify) to use LCT starting at about 12 years old.

    Mom to 5 kiddos age 2-9

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Thank you very much for your replies, Susan and Tracy!

    Susan, thank you so much for the information! I have been thinking of Grammar and Latin as intertwined. This was very helpful and answered a little more that I was just assuming about. Thanks for recommending DGP as well. I looked at it some and am excited to really consider it and look at it further. I am feeling less stressed and more excited about next school year now!

    Tracy, very good insight, I hadn't stopped worrying about curr. choices for Latin to consider that point. Hence, "do not be anxious... "

    Thank you both so very much for your time, info, and encouragement! It really was very helpful!


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