Today's Wisdom

Friday, November 4, 2011

TOS Review: Memoria Press - First Form Latin


I have been a fan of Memoria Press for a while now.  We have used several of their products and couldn't wait to try out First Form Latin.  I think we've just about tried them all now.  :)
First Form Latin did not disappoint!  We reviewed First Form Latin Plus which includes....

  • Teacher Manual
  • Student Text
  • Student Workbook
  • Quizzes and Tests Pronunciation CD
  • Flashcards 
  • Instructional DVDs

You can also purchase the set minus the flashcards and DVDs for $55 or each product individually. This plus set can be purchased for $115.   It includes absolutely everything you need to successfully learn Latin.  It is a very easy program to use and I used it with all my children who are in 3rd, 5th, and 8th.  With the 3rd grader I had her sit in on the lessons and study the flashcards daily.  With the older boys, I had them complete the workbook sheets and tests/quizzes.

Based on twenty years of teaching experience, this revolutionary "grammar-first" series was written by Cheryl Lowe.  

The uniqueness of the First Form Series lies in two features:
  1. It is committed to the trivium model of teaching grammar systematically in order to facilitate retention and understanding, rather than topically, to facilitate translation.
  2. Extensive workbook exercises ensure skills mastery and rapid recognition of inflected forms.

Features include:

  • Designed for students and teachers with no Latin background
  • 8x8 inch Student Text, small, concise, unintimidating with 34 two-page lessons on facing uncluttered pages
  • Limited vocabulary of 185 words
  • Full-size Student Workbook with 4-6 pages of exercises per lesson
  • Vocabulary derivatives and detailed explanations of Latin sayings
  • Grammar catechism for daily rapid-fire review
  • Milestone markers for each grammar objective
  • Everything-you-could-possibly-need teacher manual
    • Organized for easy access
    • Student Text inset with answers in color
    • Chalk-talk scripted lessons
    • Recitation schedule
    • Pronunciation reminders
    • Workbook with key
    • Unit tests and lesson quizzes booklet
    • FYI section for extra background

First Form’s grammar-first approach focuses on grammar forms and vocabulary because those are the grammar stage skills suitable for the grammar stage student. However, the First Form Series is for students of all ages because all beginners, regardless of age, are in the grammar stage of learning.  And our whole family, including me, is still in the grammar stage of Latin. 

This is very thorough program.  Actually completing 1 year of this curriculum is equivalent to one year of high school foreign language!  My boys found the DVDs a little boring but they really enjoyed the workbook sheets.  Go figure!  I enjoyed having the DVDs to back up the teaching portion but the teacher manual is very good and you could easily teach with no Latin background just using that.  I just would not want to!  There are 34 lessons included in First Form so we broke up the lessons to 1 lesson per week - 4 days per week and that schedule worked out great for us. 

You can see a sample of the DVD teaching from Lesson 8 below.

Don't forget to check out what my fellow crewmates thought of First Form Latin and how they incorporated it into their homeschool.

**Disclaimer: I received a free copy of First Form Latin Plus in exchange for my review. The opinions here are my honest and true evaluation!


  1. Yes, we should definitely plan to meet up at Charlotte's WoF next year if we both attend again! It's always fun to meet online friends IRL.

    As a side note, we used First Form Latin a few years ago (minus the DVDs) and enjoyed it. It was thorough and easy to follow.

  2. Great review. The grammar-first concept is interesting to consider.


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