Why Lone Pine Latin?

Our Latin students have more class time per week than other online Latin courses, do very well on the National Latin Exam (included in tuition), and are able to attend a Convention each April if they wish! 

If you would like to learn Latin via robust courses which will challenge you while providing as much help and support as you need, with many opportunities for nationally recognized resume builders and some of the most memorable components of the quintessential high school experience (building lifelong friendships and enjoying school spirit, Latin Club, Quiz Bowl, class camaraderie and other social activities), then you have found your Latin home!


Academic Benefits:

Latin 100-400: TWO online classes per week, PLUS individual tutoring sessions (five 30-minute sessions per week are available to students on a first-come basis)! That's 3 available sessions per week of LIVE instruction! (Other online courses only offer one class session per week.) Help always available via email or by posting on the discussion board.

• FREE one-on-one tutoring available!  Many 30-minute tutoring slots are available each week; students register on a first-come basis.

• FULL FIVE-YEAR LATIN SEQUENCE offered, including AP Latin!  Students can take AP Latin as a fourth year course; please email with questions.

• ALL Latin 100-400 and AP students take the National Latin Exam each March; usually >90% of Lone Pine students earn awards.

• Thorough documentation provided for your records - certificate (includes grade and total time spent studying), detailed grade report, written narrative.

• ALL Latin 100-400 and AP students are registered with the National and Colorado Junior Classical Leagues and (based on fall semester grades) the National Latin Honor Society -- two great college application and resume-builders!

• All Latin 100-400 and AP students (ages 12 and up by April 10 per facility rules) can attend the Colorado Junior Classical League State Convention with us.  (Students DO travel in from all over the country, and from Canada and other countries - even Japan!) 

• Fully-featured eLecta Online Classroom: Whiteboard, Chat window, Audio AND Video available (all students can speak), plus email support. All classes are recorded so that you can view/review them at your convenience.

• Course content is delivered via this Moodle site (and Dropbox), and most testing is completed via our Quia website. No papers to mail!

• Online gradebook - Check your grade (and print grade reports) any time you wish!  The gradebook is updated on Sunday nights for Mon/Wed courses, and on Monday nights for Tues/Thurs courses.  Latin 200 journals are scored on Tuesday nights.

• We treat Latin like a LANGUAGE - we learn to think like a Roman and work toward fluency - while maintaining very high curriculum standards and receiving solid preparation to read classical authors. (Our book has been called the "natural method" or "immersion method," but it is NOT watered-down Latin. We cover MORE grammar and MORE vocabulary than any other textbook series that I have seen.)


Financial Benefits:

• Latin 100-400: TWO-WEEK TRIAL offered - Attend class for the first two weeks, with materials, if your family is registered ($40 one-time PER FAMILY registration fee)! You will receive our materials and be treated like a "regular" student with full access.

• Tuition: Latin 100-400 tuition is only $295/semester ($590/year)! AP Latin is $325/semester. Tuition includes memberships, contest fees, and materials valued at over $65.  All classes meet TWICE/week, not just once, and a group help session and individual tutoring is included.

• Latin 100-400: AUDIT option offered -- Study on your own! You will receive all materials (and Quia access) and be able to watch recordings of the two main classes/week for just $100/semester ($200/year). Students "auditing" will not receive grades, receive individual help, or attend the help sessions. You may take the NLE with us if you request a copy by September 15.

• Latin 100, and Latin 200-400 only if space allows: HYBRID option offered -- See Policies and FAQ page for details.

• Not just a book! Bonus materials given to you: Supplementary book(s) and a comprehensive set of teacher-created materials (chapter packets, video clips, audio files, translations of chapters, audio recordings of each chapter read aloud, audio recordings of oral explanations of each chapter, maps, other activities & handouts).

• Latin 100-200: The textbook costs less than $30 and is used for two years (one book covers both Latin 100 and 200). We loan you additional books (Colloquia Personarum and various Rose Williams books). You don't even need a dictionary; there are two online dictionaries available via our Quia page.

• Outstanding students may earn scholarships (based on availability).  All students who apply will be considered for our Convention scholarships.


Fringe Benefits:

• FREE one-on-one tutoring available! An upper-level student offers four 30-minute private tutoring sessions per week, which students may register for a week in advance.  A tutor-in-training offers one 30-minute private tutoring session per week, which students may register for a week in advance.  Students email the head tutor to register.

• HomeGrown Romans - Our Classics Club! Four events/year and the opportunity to be a Latin Club officer.  It's a good resume builder!

• Colorado Junior Classical League! Two events/year and the opportunity to run for state office (for those living in CO).

• Many academic tests are offered, which students can take to earn awards and demonstrate their skills. Please see Summer Newsletter for details! Students can take the:

    • National Latin Exam - you can win an internationally-recognized award! NLE fees are included in tuition!
    • National Roman Civilization Exam
    • National Classical Etymology Exam
    • National Mythology Exam
    • Medusa Mythology Exam
    • NJCL Creative Writing Contest
    • For younger students, the Exploratory Latin Exam

Compare to Other Courses:

    • Powerglide - $169.95 - book and CD only; no teacher support. Teaches Latin like a modern language (body parts, family members, shapes) - no preparation to read ancient authors.
    • Rosetta Stone - $195 - CD; no teacher support. Teaches Latin as if you're preparing to travel to Ancient Rome -- though that may be a great adventure, it's not currently possible.
    • The Online Latin School - Seems defunct - emailed contact person and haven't received a reply. Many online schools seem to come and go quickly.
    • Other online tutorials - $550 and up for Latin I - many use the (very dry) Wheelock or Henle texts. All tutorials found only meet once/week for 60 to 90  minutes.  Lone Pine students have 150 minutes of class time per week, plus optional private tutoring!

Why not Wheelock?

This excellent review, copied directly from amazon.com, is a fantastic summary:

By Alex Sheremet Dot Com on June 16, 2008

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Wheelock's Latin" is perhaps the best conservative book of its type -- that is, it's the best of grammar-before-understanding Latin textbooks, and it shows. It thoroughly explains the grammar in ways most college textbooks don't, and it has plenty of selections from the original authors, which, if quickly understood, helps build enthusiasm: "Look, Mom! After 1/2 an hour of sweating, I finally understand these three sentences!" Moreover, there are additional readings in the back, in case you'd like to test (or brush up on) your knowledge of mechanical decoding.

But, that's where the fun ends. I used this book in a summer intensive course, and loved it. We finished most of in 8 weeks, and I, too, was pretty confident like the hypothetical student above. Soon, though, I noticed that learning Latin felt unnatural. After a semester of prose, we moved on to Ovid, and something became clear: I wasn't "reading," but decoding.. Wheelock and subsequent instruction trained me to do exactly that.

Decoding -- it's when a student looks at a sentence, and hunts: there's a noun, there's the adjective, but, they're in different cases; oh, the adjective probably goes with this noun, then. Verb, adverb, subject.. and, ECCE! Puzzle solved.

Is this reading? Why are students of German, or Russian (a more difficult language, by the way) able to build the kind of proficiency in 2 years that many 5-year students of Latin only daydream about? The difference is in the approach: German and Russian are taught as languages, while Latin is usually taught as a synthetic, mechanical puzzle. And, don't try to say that German and Russian are still spoken -- that's not an excuse, considering that it's possible to at least approximate Latin fluency by constructing artificial social situations: audio, continuous prose composition at very early levels and beyond, and exposure to low-level readings.

Wheelock does not help this problem. Instead, Wheelock does the following: he gives you a great grammatical introduction, and then throws sentences at you, which you either translate into English or into Latin. These exercises are graded by difficulty, but there's no continuous reading.. there's no introduction of "baby prose," of substantial narrative-nuggets that might get the student thinking in Latin, and thinking of Latin *as* Latin -- that is, as an individual language, one that should not be forced into an Anglicized word order, or puzzled out, piece by piece.

Now, there's certainly nothing wrong with the above if it's immediately followed by a different approach. But, Wheelock is not designed with an alternative in mind -- high schools and colleges start you with Wheelock, and then throw you into advanced prose or poetry. There is no side-step, or, even more helpful, a step back.

Students that are just starting out, like me, at one time, don't realize the following: they will never learn to read Latin properly with such an approach. Sure, they may learn to read Latin properly if they do something on their own *in conjunction* with typical formal instruction, but, I suspect the formal approach then becomes a burden, a distraction from the student's "real work."

Obviously, that's a problem.. the student never really gets used to Latin word order, among other things, because he's never around enough of it in quick, digestible chunks. Moreover, if he never practices generating Latin quickly and proficiently, there will always be a barrier between the original Latin text and his true abilities, especially in terms of reading speed. Although we have only a tiny portion of original Latin literature extant, it's pretty much inconceivable for a student to ever get through those works in his entire lifetime, if, that is, he never leaves the Wheelock approach.

Instead, I'd recommend Orberg's "Lingua Latina." It's an excellent book designed for Latin fluency, if used in conjunction with other materials. It's all written in Latin, as one continuous narrative broken into different scenes and chapters. Although it starts out very simple, it moves up to real sophistication, but slowly enough that, with a little patience and review, the student is reading the final chapters (which approximate unadapted Latin, by the way) at a respectable speed, and only sometimes hunting for objects, subjects, etc., in some of the more difficult or unclear sentences. At the end of the first chapter, you will have done several pages of solid reading, which might be more reading than in all of Wheelock's chapters combined. Interestingly, your reading speed, while it will decrease as you move on to the harder stuff, won't decrease significantly. And eventually, you can get it back, and move beyond your initial stages.

I'd also recommend Adler's "Practical Latin Grammar," which is out of print, but nonetheless available on Google Books. Adler's textbook is especially good as a supplement to "Lingua Latina," since it eventually covers every important point of grammar, including complex subordination. It's focused on *conversational* Latin, which forces the student to generate and verbalize good Latin sentences from the very beginning. The entire book has been rendered into audio on Evan Millner's "Latinum Podcast" site, which -- at least a few hundred hours worth, if not more -- is available for free. In this way, you're doing two things: you're practicing complex prose with proper reading skills with Orberg's book, and practicing listening and speaking Latin with Adler and Millner.

An article criticizing the typical Latin-teaching approaches mentioned something interesting and revealing: in the Renaissance, students were first taught conversational Latin for five or six years before ever cracking open some Caesar or Cicero. And only years later, perhaps, did they ever touch poetry. Doesn't this seem sensible? To truly understand a language, or even to simply be competent enough to read at a decent speed, from the start of a sentence to the end, without juggling endless case endings and objects in your mind, requires this kind of approach. Sure, if you're doing Latin academically, there may be no time -- you're expected to have decoded at least a couple of hundred of pages of Latin by the time you hit your Ph.D. stage, in some schools. But, if you're interested in doing well and improving every day, and visibly, for that matter, forget about Latin literature for as long as you can tolerate it, and start with the basics: easy reading, and conversation.

And it's not all bad: I'm glad I did Wheelock, because "Lingua Latina" was much easier for me, given the vocabulary and abstract grammatical knowledge I had. So, if you're completing Wheelock now, or about to start it, consider it preparation for what comes ahead.



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Last modified: Monday, 8 August 2016, 12:13 AM