Latin's Not So Tough!

These are great books we have been proud to offer for many years. However, due to lack of interest we've decided to discontinue them as of April 2017. And though the publisher has a no-discount policy, they are allowing us to offer our remaining stock at reduced prices. Get them while they last!

If the academic benefits of learning Latin are as great as many educators claim, then it follows children should be taught it from an early age to reap the most benefits. This is the premise of Latin’s Not So Tough! author Karen Mohs, whose series is designed to be implemented as soon as kids can read and write. While this isn’t a flashy course, it is effective, and provides a good starting place for more in-depth study.

How Do These Work?

There are six levels, none of which correspond directly with a specific grade. The books get progressively longer and the later ones could take a year to get through, but most of them can be finished easily in less than a year. Student work is provided largely on a page-by-page basis, with no lesson structure or supplementary teacher materials (other than an answer key for each workbook).

Levels 1-3 include a consumable student workbook, answer key, quiz/exam book, and flashcard set; there is also a single pronunciation CD covering all three levels. Levels 4-6 are the same, except there is a separate CD for 4-5, and no CD for level 6. Student workbooks are consumable and spiral bound with black and white text.

There is nothing too exciting here—the information needed to complete the exercises and the exercises themselves. While we only sell the “full text” answer key at Exodus (the student text replicated in its entirety with answers included), the publisher also offers an “answers only” answer key.

There are four quizzes, a midterm and a final exam for each level, with answers in the back of the test book. Flashcards include corresponding page numbers on the back and focus on vocabulary. The pronunciation CDs include brief introductions for the word or sound pronounced, the pronunciation itself, and a cross-reference to the applicable workbook page.

Level 1 focuses exclusively on the Latin alphabet, level 2 introduces basic vocabulary, level 3 begins declension instruction, and so on. Each one begins with review, though this decreases with each level. Older students should be able to start with level 3. This is an elementary grade course, so if you have a middle school student you should find a different program altogether. The author’s website includes very brief placement tests (three questions each) to determine which level to start your student on.

The emphasis of this course is on translation, not reading. There are no reading assignments, in fact, only enough information to teach vocabulary and case/tense, etc., followed by exercises. Pronunciation is classical (as opposed to ecclesiastical). There is no real teacher support in the course material itself or on the author’s website, and while it isn’t necessary for completion of any of the texts, for the later levels it would help if the instructor has some personal prior experience with Latin.

OurHonest Opinion:

This is a decentintroduction to Latin study for younger students—especially if you want to start them from a very young age—but it's not our favorite.The pace is slow and thorough, though probably too slow for older students. If you want your kids to have a complete Latin education, you’ll need to move to another program after this one; we recommend either Latina Christiana from Memoria Press (for a more thoroughly Classical approach), or Wheelock’s Latin for those wanting a college-level course.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.

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