The Great Latin Adventure
The Great Latin Adventure is for Latin beginners in grades
4, 5 or 6. It's easy to teach, exceptionally complete, and absolutely no Latin background is required!
The program features in-depth grammar coverage, lively translation, and an extensive derivative component which is very popular with users.
For a close look at the curriculum, read on. For further details on a specific volume, visit our product details pages. (That's where you'll order, too.) We've also added a frequently asked questions page with information on planning, pacing, successor programs and more. You can also read about why to study Latin.
Users love The Great Latin Adventure. Here are just a few of their comments.
“The best Latin grammar curriculum I have seen for elementary students. Never have I seen a Latin course so well thought out, so logical, and so accessible to the growing mind.” —Amy Hastings Olsen
“I wish I had found this first! Many aspects of this program are unparalleled.”
“Fabulous curriculum . . . very user-friendly for both the instructor and the student. You've done a great job in making Latin not only very easy to learn, but also interesting and fun.” —Magali Aguilar
“Every sentence the student encounters is God-honoring and family-friendly. Many of the sentences encourage strong Christian values such as obedience, respect, and honesty.” —Karen Carlson
“The best curriculum I know of for the beginning student. Its thoroughness also makes it an excellent choice for the teacher with little or no prior knowledge of Latin.”
The teachers I've quoted have taught The Great Latin Adventure in homeschool, homeschool co-op, and Christian school settings. It will work for you, too!
Extended reviews feature in-depth user testimonials with comments on many aspects of the program.
No prior knowledge of Latin is required in order to successfully teach The Great Latin Adventure. I've given special attention to the needs of new teachers throughout the curriculum, and the program is extremely easy to teach.
Experienced teachers enjoy The Great Latin Adventure as well, appreciating its
effective topic sequence and streamlined lesson preparation.
Whatever your level of Latin experience, you'll enjoy the
- detailed, step-by-step grammar lessons
- abundant exercises and translation sentences
- complete vocabulary and chapter quizzes
After all, programs with sketchy grammar lessons, inadequate exercises or skimpy quizzes just make more work for you, forcing you to supplement the lean materials. The Great Latin Adventure saves you that trouble. And if you don't have a Latin background yourself, this makes all the difference in the world!
You'll also appreciate the
- Master Chapter Plan which describes the structure
of the chapters and units, and gives lesson planning help
- Teaching Notes for each chapter with helpful tips, hints,
comments and extras
- pronunciation CD with vocabulary, paradigms and songs
- complete answer keys for all worksheets and quizzes
(each one a mirror of the student page—not just a list of answers)
To call attention to one feature in particular:
"The Teaching Notes . . . are like having your own private Latin tutor alongside you as you teach." "I feel as if you have been alongside of me mentoring me throughout my study time." (Amy Hastings Olsen, Magali Aguilar)
As a Christian, you'll also value the
- God-honoring, family-friendly content
which ensures a safe and wholesome atmosphere for the children you teach. Pagan mythology and deities are not featured. This allows you to decide for yourself when and how to raise these topics—rather than have your Latin program decide for you. A high view of family, church, work, and our great salvation permeates the program. Popular fads are not glorified. The program's mix of fun and serious topics reflects a biblical perspective throughout.
Teach with confidence and ease
The Great Latin Adventure supplies everything you need to teach your students with confidence and ease. You won't have to reach for another grammar text because something isn't clear, scramble to make up extra exercises or quizzes, or worry about dodging inappropriate content.
"As complete a program for the beginning Latin student as can be found. No teachers need to create extra worksheets here!" (Karen Koehler-Cesa)
No extra components to buy
Shopping is simple with The Great Latin Adventure. You buy a teacher's manual for yourself and a student book for each child you teach—and that's all! Quizzes are included; a DVD just isn't needed for this program; and students benefit from making their own flash cards following instructions given in the program. You get a proven program at an excellent price, and shopping is easy.
For more details, see Options, below.
Parents and teachers have found The Great Latin Adventure not only very easy to use, but also highly effective for the children they teach.
Highly effective in what ways? First, children enjoy the program! And that’s wonderful to see.
At the same time, though, children learn a great deal of Latin—and not just vocabulary or verb and noun forms, either. The Great Latin Adventure is especially rich in grammar and translation, and offers an unusual level of support for the special challenges of English-to-Latin translation.
I’ve also provided extensive practice with English derivatives through unique worksheets which are a favorite feature of many users.
Highly effective: Children enjoy The Great Latin Adventure!
Why? Well, they love to do the translation sentences. Unlocking the meaning of a sentence is an engrossing puzzle for them, and the more so when the vocabulary and the grammar topics have been specially chosen with lively sentences in view. Which would your child rather translate: “the sailor is on the road to Rome” or “fierce wild animals are howling in the dark forest”? "We will depart in the morning" or "the king will bind the pirate with many chains"? I think I can guess!
"Some of the translation exercises tell a simple story. This helps hold the interest of the student."
Karen Carlson, homeschooling mother
Making this kind of translation possible for children is what motivated me to write the kind of program I have, and it’s a delight to see how children enjoy it.
The derivatives are fun for children too, with a Word Detective feature to awaken their curiosity; I’ll say more about the derivative worksheets a bit later.
Highly effective: Success in translation
What makes it possible for children—at a younger age than many think possible—to do significant Latin translation?
The Great Latin Adventure has been carefully structured to ensure maximum student success:
- detailed grammar lessons
- friendly, understandable style
- careful, consistent idea pacing
- fill-in-the-blank study sheets
- ample exercises and review
- strategically timed quizzes
- unique topic sequence
All these elements work together to ensure students learn material thoroughly and retain what they've learned—and this lays the foundation for success with translation. You'll be amazed at what your child can learn to do! For a detailed description of the document types that make up The Great Latin Adventure, please visit the sample pages.
"All components combine to make sure the student has a thorough mastery of the subject matter in each chapter before continuing on."
Amy Hastings Olsen, co-op teacher
For a different perspective on how GLA students are equipped for success in translation, read on.
To go into a bit of grammatical detail for just a moment, and taking just nouns
as an example, in The Great Latin Adventure students explore the first declension—or the first Latin noun family—thoroughly and extensively, rather than rush prematurely to later declensions.
This approach has a number of benefits for students.
Let me mention the translation advantages first. Programs that cover Latin's five declensions too sketchily, in too rapid succession, or even all at once, can provide only limited translation. That’s a pity, because translation is motivating to students! Because I focus on the first declension in depth, at a measured, beginner-friendly pace, translation sentences become complex and interesting rapidly, yet without overwhelming young beginners.
"By staying with primarily first declension nouns and first conjugation verbs throughout the course . . . students can enjoy the thrill of translating complicated sentences back and forth into another language."
Amy Hastings Olsen, co-op teacher
This thorough grounding in the first declension has further advantages for students, too. In the context of the first declension students learn vital, foundational grammatical concepts that apply equally to other declensions. This
lets them navigate later declensions easily, and approach more advanced Latin programs without fear. GLA graduates are also well-positioned for the study of other languages with similar noun systems, such as Greek, Russian and others.
There’s a benefit for you, too. If you haven’t studied Latin yourself, you’ll find that The Great Latin Adventure’s in-depth approach equips you to conduct your child’s future Latin studies with confidence.
Of course, The Great Latin Adventure covers much more than just nouns, and in fact even includes some nouns from later declensions, but the first declension focus embodies the ethos of the whole program: laying foundations well to ensure your child's long-term success with Latin study.
In fact, it's my aim to have your child fall in love with languages in general—English, Latin and beyond.
Any translation-focused program will provide translation from Latin, but The Great Latin Adventure is unusual in also providing targeted support for translation into Latin.
Some argue that English-to-Latin translation can safely be neglected in Latin study, as Latin is no longer a spoken language. That's a mistake! English-to-Latin translation is vital! Translating into Latin makes students far better at translating from Latin, for one, and translating in both directions is a much better preparation for the study of spoken foreign languages than translating from Latin alone.
"The chapters that focused on translating from English into Latin ... really solidified their skills and understanding of the grammar concepts."
Karen Carlson, homeschooling mother
Translating into Latin is more challenging than translating from Latin, though, so in The Great Latin Adventure I’ve provided special support for the added challenges students face when translating into Latin. To read about how I accomplish this through a unique unit structure, tailored grammar lessons, and special word order helps, visit the Latin sample pages.
Of course, The Great Latin Adventure fully supports Latin-to-English translation as well.
Highly effective: English derivatives
Since much of our English vocabulary has Latin origins, the study of Latin can be a powerful aid to the mastery of our own language.
This is often cited as one of the top reasons to study Latin—and it’s probably on your short list as well—yet many Latin programs cover derivatives sketchily, if at all.
I wanted to provide children with a more extensive derivative focus, and have done so through special derivative worksheets which have proven very popular with users.
"The Derivative Worksheets are absolutely unique to Katharine’s program—they are simply unparalleled among all the Latin programs I’ve encountered."
Karen Koehler-Cesa, co-op teacher
Naturally, these worksheets are wonderful vehicles for building student vocabulary, but I’ve also designed them to awaken students’ curiosity about the connections between our own language and Latin, to enhance their appreciation for good writing, and to expose them to a world of ideas beyond the reach of their present Latin abilities.
It’s a thrill when a child comes across an unfamiliar word in a book and realizes he can figure out the meaning—because he has studied Latin vocabulary and English derivatives! And new words represent new ideas, so a child's mind and world are expanding with every new derivative.
Classical pronunciation has a number of advantages over ecclesiastical pronunciation. I teach the classical system in The Great Latin Adventure, using special rhyming exercises and “Latin code” to make it fun.
Classical pronunciation is ideal for student-teacher communication, it simplifies spelling, and it's featured in many upper-level Latin courses.
In addition, macrons, or long signs, are used consistently throughout the program as an aid to pronunciation.
For more information, visit the classical pronunciation page.
If you haven't already done so, please visit the sample pages for a closer look at how all the parts of The Great Latin Adventure work together to help your child learn and succeed. I've provided notes on each document type.
For user comments on the various document types, you might also like to visit the extended reviews page.
The Great Latin Adventure is for Latin beginners in grades 4, 5, and 6. Some even begin GLA in grade 3, and some in grade 7. When should your child start?
Most children do well with a grade 4 or 5 start. Starting in these grades takes full advantage of a young child's natural wonder at learning a new language, while also ensuring that children are ready for English derivative study, which often presents them with "big words." But I know of fully engaged and stimulated grade 6 beginners, and happy, non-overwhelmed grade 3 beginners. A grade 3 start does require extra teacher commitment and some modification to derivative expectations, at least for the early part of the school year. Children in grades 7 and up can do the program at an accelerated pace.
"Birkett carefully progresses the exercises, and by the end of the worksheets, students are accomplishing some very impressive translations!"
Karen Koehler-Cesa, co-op teacher
To make the best decision for your child, you'll want to consider your child's English grammar readiness. For details, please visit When to start. I've also included information on that page about how long your child will need to complete The Great Latin Adventure, and a few thoughts on Latin in grades K-2. (One option is to do vocabulary from GLA while an older sibling begins GLA in earnest, but this is not required for later success with GLA.)
Other relevant information is found at the GLA FAQ page.
What comes after GLA?
Please see the GLA FAQ page for information. You'll have lots of choices.
Shopping is simple with The Great Latin Adventure: quizzes are included, binders are optional, flash cards are made by the student, and no DVD is needed.
Quizzes included at no extra charge!
Some programs charge you separately for test packets, many of which don't include vocabulary quizzes, but you'll receive complete vocabulary and chapter quizzes as part of The Great Latin Adventure teacher's manual, to photocopy in any quantity. (The chapter quizzes are actually full-featured chapter tests; I've just given them a friendlier name.)
We like the Staples "Better Binders," and you'll need the 1 inch binder for a student book, or the 1 1/2 inch binder for a teacher's manual.
Better flash cards—made at home
As for flash cards, I recommend that students make their own, following a simple method you'll read about in your teacher's manual. The process of writing out vocabulary words fastens them on the mind much better than just seeing and saying them, and it doesn't take much time per chapter to make these cards. Pre-printed cards don't confer this added benefit. And you save money.
Where's the DVD?
There's no DVD for The Great Latin Adventure because no DVD is needed! The written materials are self-explanatory. You will know what to do! We are happy
to offer a proven program, tested over many years by users in many settings, very easy to teach, at an excellent price—without any need for a DVD.
"Those brand-new to Latin will love the ease with which they can pick up the materials and begin teaching the program to their students within a short time."
Amy Hastings Olsen, co-op teacher
If you haven't already done so, please visit the sample pages to read about the unique chapter structure of The Great Latin Adventure, which makes it easy to use. Visit the extended reviews page to read in depth about user experiences with the program.
You'll also be happy to know about our unconditional satisfaction guarantee. You risk nothing by trying The Great Latin Adventure.
You may return your purchase for any reason within 90 days for a full refund of your purchase price. Please see our policies page for more details.
We look forward to hearing from you, and may God bless you as you embark on your great Latin adventure!