Wheelock's Latin Reader
The name "Wheelock" seems almost synonymous with "Latin" and with good reason. When Frederic Wheelock set out to infuse the assumedly boring study of Latin with the rich vibrant history of the Roman experience, he succeeded masterfully. So much so, that most Latin courses now follow the same path he established in the late 40s as he faced college classrooms of returning servicemen. So, if Wheelock sets the standard, why not learn from the master? With basic components - grammar text, workbook, and intermediate reader - any homeschooled high school student can pursue the same well-organized and vibrant study as college students. Covering the grammar text and workbook in two years (Wheelock's text is the equivalent of two years of high school Latin) the Reader is then used as a sequel; an opportunity for intermediate students to experience the richness of Latin literature.
The Text's introductory material includes essays on "The Position of the Latin Language in Linguistic History" and "A Brief Survey of Latin Literature" as well as a pronunciation guide and maps. Each of the 40 Text chapters follow an established pattern - grammar instruction, vocabulary development, practice & review (sentences to translate), sententiae antiquae (reading exercises derived from original/ancient authors), and etymology (Latin derivatives in English and the Romance languages). Each chapter ends with a section on Latin phrases still in use. The Text Table of Contents pages shown on our website detail the progression of grammatical instruction.
There are two sections at the end of the Text which are intended to be used as classical reading practice for the beginning student. Loci Antiqui are passages chosen from ancient authors that have been adapted to meet the linguistic experiences of first-year college students. Loci Immutati are for those who finish the Loci Antiqui and wish to tackle some unaltered classical Latin. The remainder of the 500+ page Text includes an answer key to the reading and translation exercises, English-Latin and Latin-English Vocabularies and an index.
The consumable Workbook follows the text chapter by chapter. Again there is a consistent format: Intellegenda (lesson objectives), Grammatica (grammar review/practice), Exercitationes (translation exercises), Vis Verborum (vocabulary exercises), and Lectiones (translations and questions from the readings). Answers to the Workbook exercises are not provided, but both home school instructors and independent students can submit a request for a Workbook Answer Key directly to Harper Collins, the publisher (request form available on the Harperacademic address listed below).
The Reader includes selections from Cicero's Orations, Letters, and Philosophica, Livy's History of Rome, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Pliny's Letters, as well as examples of medieval Latin and the Vulgate. These selections are fully annotated with Professor Wheelock's comments listed on facing pages to the text. A complete Latin-English vocabulary is also included. As mentioned previously, this reader is intended as a next step for the student completing the Text and Workbook.
Wheelock's presents an excellent independent study opportunity for the motivated homeschool student. The instruction is methodical and well-organized. Incorporation of carefully selected Latin passages provides vibrancy. Online resources for support material abound but these two will provide a starting place - www.wheelockslatin.com (audio for all chapter vocabularies and other pronunciation helps) and www.harperacademic.com (teacher material). ~ Janice