Archive for January 5th, 2007

Answering Some Reader Questions: Latin and Record-Keeping

January 5, 2007 @ 1:58 pm | Filed under: , ,

Ana Betty wrote:

Some questions! Why did you choose the particular Latin programs
that you did? What about grammar/copywork? I find that this slips
through the cracks for me. If I rely totally on their narrations which
are not written (my 8 yr old twin sons), I never get around to typing
them out or recording them. We’ve used a couple of different things for
grammar/copywork and have yet to find a real good fit.

I’d love to see how you record your school plans and reading
schedules. I’m a little organizationally challenged but feel it would
really help the kids and I to have it all laid out.

(I’ll get back to the grammar/copywork questions in another post.)


I talked a bit about the Latin program we’re using in this post:

Rose is using Prima Latina
because I like its simple format with manageable lesson size, and I
love that it includes Latin prayers. We are using the book and CD only,
not the DVD.

Jane completed Prima Latina a couple of years ago, and has resumed her studies with the highly engaging Latin for Children
(ecclesiatical pronunciation—although the DVD seems to use only
classical pronunciation—V is pronounced like W, for example—and when we
watch the DVD we have to remind ourselves to adjust the pronunciation.
The chant CD, which we use more than the DVD, offers both forms). All
of us are enjoying the chant CD and I’ve written before about how
delightful it is to hear five-year-old Beanie running around chanting

Jane especially likes the LfC activity book, which is heavy on
puzzles, crosswords, and such. Puzzle = perfect, in Jane’s opinion. We
also scored an ancient, battered copy of Latin Book One for a few
bucks, and Jane is really enjoying it as a supplement to Latin for
Children. It has you diving right in to real paragraphs in translation, and for both of us beginners, that has been a thrill.

Midyear update: Jane continues to love Latin for Children. Rose, returning to Prima Latina after several months off during our move, is less enthusiastic. She enjoys learning the Latin prayers, but the rest of it (so very workbooky) leaves her cold. Latin for Children is really a step beyond her right now, so I’m pondering. I’ll keep you posted.


What I like to do is jot down a few notes at the end of each day, recording what we did. Even during our most unschooly periods, I have made a habit of this—usually dashing down book titles and activities in a daily planner of some kind. Despite my planner fetish, I don’t use a planner as much for planning as I do for recording.

This past year, I have (on and off) experimented with the blog format for record-keeping. I have a no-frills spinoff blog over at Bonny Glen, and that’s where I jot down our daily reading and such. It’s sloppy and informal, but I left the public settings in place because I get so much mail from readers who want to know "how do you fit it all in???" and I wanted to reassure these nice folks that we are by no means fitting it ALL in EVERY day. My hope is that in sharing our daily learning notes, I can help ease the worries of moms who read all the great ideas out there in the blog world and feel overwhelmed at the thought of making it all happen in their own homes. It doesn’t ALL happen in anyone’s home, and certainly not in this Lilting House.

One recommendation for others who decide to make their learning journals public: if you have regular out-of-the-house activities, I wouldn’t include them in your notes! YOU’LL know, looking back, that you had ballet on such-and-such an afternoon. No need to announce to the world at large that your house is empty at a certain time every week.

Another point about record-keeping: the notes I described above are separate from (and far more detailed than) the kind of records I am required to maintain according to the laws of our state. And of course I only give the state what I am legally obligated to, not a syllable more. Here in California, under the private-school provision I opted for (registering as a private school), I must have up-to-date attendance records to present if asked. I keep those separately, on a simple form, in a folder beside my front door. (Which reminds me, I haven’t checked off the "here" boxes all week. Oh, that cracks me up. Hey, kids, are you here?)