What You Need to Get Started

Need help organizing the digital curriculum? We’ve got a helpful entry on our blog that covers just that!

How Visual Latin Works

Each week, your student will follow the basic pattern laid out in the Scope and Sequence.

For elementary/middle school students, plan on scheduling approx. 45 minutes per class on Monday and Tuesday, then 30 minutes the rest of the week.

For High School, plan on ~45 to 60 minutes per day. You will need to do this to get credit for Visual Latin. We also recommend High School students purchase the textbook Lingua Latina Pars I (on Amazon) and begin reading through one chapter every two Visual Latin lessons starting with VL Lesson 17. Until then, additional memorization of cases should be focused on.

The method of using Lingua Latina is to read it and re-read it over and over again until you have a good handle on what it means. It may seem tedious, but it actually works.

We also recommend listening to the free online Bible.is in Latin to practice pronunciation. Gene- sis, Matthew or John are good places to start.

Scoping It Out: Elementary vs. High School

What does a week of Visual Latin look like? Here’s how it would break down if you were on Lesson 17


For your elementary student we recommend grading Exercise B and the Quiz. Answer keys are provided.

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Both should be reviewed and then corrected so that the student sees what they did wrong and knows the correct answer. Exercise C should be corrected, but grading is optional.

For high school credit, we recommend grading Worksheet B, Worksheet C, and the Quiz.

The boxes in the checklist provide additional space so that once a gradable assignment is com- pleted, you can use that box to fill in the score.

For Exercise B, take the number of correct answers divided by the total number of questions to come up with a percentage.

For Exercise C, choose 50 as the basis for grading. Each mistake is worth one point. If a student starts to make more than 10 mistakes on a lesson, then a review of prior lessons is recommended.


Can I Use Visual Latin with Other Curricula?

As a Supplement to Lingua Latina

Lingua Latina is an all-Latin textbook that can be used alongside Visual Latin. We have created a free download that matches Lingua chapters and VL lessons. Follow the regular schedule using the patterns above but add 10-15 minutes a day of reading from Lingua Latina.

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Begin using Lingua Latina after completing Lesson 16 in Visual Latin (Lesson 10 for high school students).

Lingua Latina is a challenging book. If you start reading it too soon, you will quickly overwhelm yourself. By waiting until you have completed the first 16 lessons of Visual Latin, you will give yourself a tremendous head start in Lingua Latina. You will already understand the grammar behind the first 6 chapters. This leaves you with nothing but new vocabulary to learn. You will not find the vocabulary of the first chapters all that difficult. As a result, you will progress with ease through the first part of the book.

Tests are designed to be used only with Visual Latin after completing all three sections. If you are using Lingua Latina, use their tests, not Visual Latin quizzes.


As a Supplement to Henle Latin

If you are using Henle Latin with Visual Latin, we believe the chances are high that you are using Visual Latin as a supplement. If this is the case, you will approach Visual Latin differently.

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First, download the Visual Latin/Henle guide available for free in our store.

In this guide you will find Henle lessons next to Visual Latin lessons. Many students find the Henle lessons difficult to understand initially. It is difficult to fully grasp a language concept from a book alone. Explanation helps. This is where Visual Latin comes in. Simply find the concept in Henle, scan across to Visual Latin on the chart, and locate the corresponding video. Once you have identified the video, watch it!

Often, the video explanation alone is all a student needs. The concept, which was difficult to un- derstand from a book, is now clear. However, if a student needs more help, there is a second, practice video in each Visual Latin lesson. In the practice video, the concept is demonstrated on a board in 5 to 10 Latin sentences.

By now, the concept should be clear. If, however, the student still needs help, they should download and complete worksheet A and B.

When using Visual Latin as a supplement to Henle, it will not be necessary to complete video C or worksheet C of Visual Latin.

Tests are designed to be used only with Visual Latin after completing all three sections. If you are using Henle, use their tests, not Visual Latin tests.

With Other Latin Readers

There are many public domain readers. We provide some of them as free downloads at Compassclassroom.com

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Here’s how they match up with Visual Latin.

  • Add Cornelia after lesson 21
  • Add Ora Maritima after lesson 37
  • Add Fabulae Faciles after lesson 45
  • Add De America after lesson 55

Add Puer Romanus after lesson 57


Should I worry if my student is frustrated?

Getting frustrated is normal. Students need to know this early on. Part of the learning process of Latin is struggling with how the language works. This process is actually quite good for growing one‚Äôs mind‚ÄĒit can be a struggle, however. If this happens, encourage your children and lead them along. They can do it.

What if I get stuck?

It happens. In fact, it will happen often. When you hit a wall, do not let it get you down. All things worth achieving are difficult. Stay cheerful. You are not alone. Thousands of students have found Latin challenging. They, too, faced discouragement. Yet those who persevered reached a difficult goal. They also gained knowledge most people never gain. When you get stuck:

  • Do the Lesson again – This actually solves 90% of the questions most people have. Listen to the lecture and re-read the Grammar worksheet.
  • Ask Us Online. We want to help you. We have Facebook pages (official or Latin-specific where you can ask questions.
  • Search the Visual Latin Blog and Use the Visual Latin Chalkboards. We have answered many questions on our blog and via the short ‚ÄúChalkboard‚ÄĚ YouTube videos. Look below for samples of both.

Keep in mind, Visual Latin is a video course. This means you can watch it as often as you like, or as often as you need.

Visual Latin is designed to stand alone, but also doubles as a supplement to other Latin curricula. Don’t hesitate to use it with other books. Naturally, there is always more you can do!

Why is there so much reading, and how do I get better at it?

It happens. In fact, it Fluency in a language occurs via total immersion (being in the country) or extensive reading. Since you can’t get into a Latin speaking country (I suppose you could move to a convent or a monastery…), we opt for extensive reading. Reading is the road to mastery.

My first recommendation, then, is that you read more. Start with easy Latin. Read Cornelia by Mima Maxey. It’s available free at The Compass Classroom in audio or text.

While you are reading, keep Whitaker‚Äôs words open on a nearby computer. I am reading a book in Latin right now. It is full of vocabulary I don’t recognize. As I read, I have Whitaker’s

words open on my computer. Whenever I encounter a word I do not understand, I look it up.

Learning the word in the context of the story really works for me.

Depending upon your state, you may have different requirements when registering. Here in Tennessee, you will need to register with an umbrella school. The umbrella school legitimates your transcript and assists you in planning your child’s high school curriculum. Two Christian umbrella schools we recommend are HomeLife Academy and The Comenius School.
What comes after Visual Latin?

Wow, you finished all of Visual Latin 1 & 2?!  Well done!  Here is what Dwane Thomas recommends after Visual Latin:

“After you finish Visual Latin, read¬†¬†Lingua Latina¬†by Hans √ėrberg.¬† You will not regret it.¬† Visual Latin will give you the grammar you need to read the book.¬†¬†¬†Lingua Latina¬†by Hans √ėrberg will give you the vocabulary you need to read nearly any Latin 2 course.¬†
There is nothing quite like  Lingua Latina.  It is a novel, written completely in Latin.  Starting with the very basics, it advances quickly into very challenging Latin.  By the end of the book, students are reading sections of the New Testament in Latin.  The book teaches about 2,000 Latin words.  Henle Latin 1, on the other hand, teaches about 500 Latin words.  That is really not much vocabulary.  Certainly, it is not enough to open many Latin doors. 
My recommendation after Visual Latin?¬† Read¬†¬†Lingua Latina¬†by Hans √ėrberg.¬† It will prepare you for almost anything.”
Is there a Visual Latin 2 vocab list?

No, we do not have vocab lists available for Visual Latin 2.¬† This is by design, because of the increase in vocabulary that is used.¬† Dwane recommends that students graduate to a Latin dictionary or use the free website,¬†Whitaker’s Words.¬†

Does Visual Latin use classical or ecclesiastical pronunciation?

Visual Latin uses Ecclesiastical pronunciation.  But, honestly, there is little difference between the two pronunciations.  I created a video on this topic some time ago.  Here it is: https://youtu.be/Wh-QorH3Fi4

I’ve also written extensively about this topic in my ebook, Via: Latin for the Lost.
I learned the restored ‚Äúclassical‚ÄĚ pronunciation when I was teaching myself Latin.¬† As soon as I discovered the¬†audio Bible in Latin¬†I switched to Ecclesiastical pronunciation and have never looked back.¬†¬†
As for a version of the Bible in the restored ‚Äúclassical‚ÄĚ pronunciation, I‚Äôve not been able to find one.¬† In fact, I can find almost no free recordings of any books in the restored pronunciation.¬† Another wonderful reason to abandon that pronunciation, in my opinion.
Is Visual Latin good for High School Credit?

Visual Latin is more designed for middle school students.  It is designed to help Latin students with any Latin curriculum.  So many Latin courses are based on books.  They can be quite dull.  We designed Visual Latin to take some of the pain out of learning Latin.  The series can be used with any Latin book, including Henle Latin.  

I always recommend Visual Latin first.  Then, if students want more, I recommend Lingua Latina.  I only recommend First Year Latin by Robert Henle for those in Classical Conversations.  There is a teaching guide for those using Visual Latin to work their way through Henle Latin.  Here it is: https://www.compassclassroom.com/henle-latin-teaching-guide-pdf

Should I memorize the latin endings?

Answer provided by Dwane Thomas:

“There is nothing at all wrong with memorizing all of the Latin endings. ¬†Some of my best students are from the Classical Conversation world. ¬†They have most of the Latin endings memorized.¬†¬†

However, it is a bit strange to meet students with all of the Latin endings memorized who cannot read in Latin.  I run into that often.  It’s odd.  If you memorized the technical manual to your car, it would be impressive.  But, it would be strange if you had memorized the manual, and could rattle off the names of every gadget under the hood, but still did not know how to drive.  

In all of my classes, I flip the order.  I have students start reading in Latin.  We learn the endings as we go.  Some students memorize the endings, some don’t.  As we read, they all end up learning the endings in the end.

Instead of memorizing the endings, I would recommend more reading.  

Read Lingua Latina.  Read Cornelia.  Here is a reading list from my book, Via:

For Beginners:

1.  Cornelia by Mima Maxey

2.  Carolus et Maria by Marjorie Fay

3.  Julia by Maud Reed

4.¬†Lingua Latina¬†by Hans √ėrberg

For Intermediates:

1. Ora Maritima by E. A. Sonnenschein

2. Fabilae Faciles by Francis Ritchie

3. De America, by Herbert Nutting

4.¬†Lingua Latina¬†by Hans √ėrberg

5. Viri Romae by Charles Llomond

For more advanced students:

1. Gospel of Matthew by St. Matthew

2. Roma Aeterna by Hans Orberg

When you have finished this list, visit the Latin Library.com.  There you will find more Latin than you will ever read… and it’s all free.

If you do decide to memorize the endings (and it does not hurt to do so), I have a series on YouTube that may help: https://dwanethomas.com/memorize-latin/

And finally, I think the easiest thing you can do is simply keep the endings nearby as you read.  I have compiled all the Latin endings in one location.  Originally, this was going to be a Folder for my students, but, it never made it.  Since it was going to be a folder, I condensed all of the endings into four pages.  Print it out and keep it nearby as you work.  When you get stuck, simply refer to the charts.  Find the ending you need and compare it to what you are reading.  It will take time and practice, but it will come.   

Here are the charts: Download

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