Latin in the Christian Trivium Curriculum Spotlight

by Lynna Sutherland in Curriculum Spotlights

Marry Harrington, co-author of Latin in the Christian Trivium, shared with us about her journey into homeschooling and how she and her pastor's wife, Gail Busby, developed their unique Latin curriculum for middle and high school students.

I went back to college to refresh my memory and gain new knowledge.

Mary Harrington - co-author

I had studied Latin long ago in high school, and then when the opportunity arose for me to teach homeschoolers, I went back to college along with my daughter Denise - both studying under Dr. Al DiPippo - to refresh my memory and gain new knowledge.


Latin in the Christian Trivium: Facts at a Glance

Author/Publisher: Gail Busby and Mary Harrington
Website: https://www.latintrivium.com/
Religious Perspective: Christian
Levels: 7 (3 Middle School, 4 High School)
Age Range: Middle and High School
Pronunciation (?): Either
Instruction Method (?): Grammar

Where to Purchase:

{Download our Free Homeschool Latin Curriculum Comparison Chart!}

Get to Know Latin in the Christian Trivium!

Who is the author of Latin in the Christian Trivium?

Mary Harrington

Gail Busby

Gail Busby and I (Mary Harrington) co-authored this curriculum. Gail was our pastor’s wife and she made sure that all the Scripture presented was accurate.

Gail wrote the stories in English and I translated them into Latin. I also wrote the grammar, exercises, and tests. The method used is my own.

I had studied Latin long ago in high school, and then when the opportunity arose for me to teach homeschoolers, I went back to college along with my daughter Denise - both studying under Dr. Al DiPippo - to refresh my memory and gain new knowledge.

Was Latin in the Christian Trivium designed to be used as a homeschool curriculum?

Since we were homeschooling at the time, it was designed for homeschoolers. In the first year as it was being developed, I taught (and relearned) Latin to about 25 homeschoolers in the San Jose, California area.

A few years later, the shorter original books were expanded to form high school editions.

Is Latin in the Christian Trivium a religious-based Latin curriculum?

Yes, it is a distinctly and purposefully Christian curriculum.

How many levels of Latin in the Christian Trivium are available?

We have three for junior high and all four for high school level, including an AP course, (Volume V).

For which ages/grades is Latin in the Christian Trivium most appropriate?

Personally, I think the best time to learn Latin is from sixth through ninth grades. Then they can go on to modern languages, unless they just LOVE Latin! However, if a student is already in high school, we offer the four year program.

Does completion of Latin in the Christian Trivium earn a student high school credit?

Each of the four high school books is equivalent to one year of high school Latin. This curriculum was accredited by the University of California several years ago.

How can homeschool parents know if their child is ready for Latin in the Christian Trivium?

Here is the test to see if the student is ready for Volume I.

If a customer writes to me about the other levels, I email them a final test for the end of the previous volume to see which volume their student is ready for. If a student knows enough material to pass the final test, then he or she is ready to move on to the next level.

Is Latin in the Christian Trivium designed to be used by a homeschool parent with no Latin background?

Because Gail has dyslexia, she made sure that I did not assume things, but explained them completely. The result is that the Teacher’s Guide is step-by-step and should be easily understood by instructors who have no prior knowledge of Latin. Additionally, I am generally just a phone call away.

When students finish all levels of Latin in the Christian Trivium, what do you recommend for continued Latin study?

Since we only offer parts of Caesar, they can read the rest of his Commentaries for themselves. (Side note: I spoke to a very old Latin teacher two years ago and she mentioned how boring Caesar is. I felt that way, too- “Go in, set up camp; conquer everyone, break camp and move on.”)

When the students have completed three years of our curriculum, they can easily read Caesar. Poetry is easily found everywhere online. Ambitious students may enjoy reading the Latin Vulgate.

Curriculum Details for Latin in the Christian Trivium

Which subjects are covered in Latin in the Christian Trivium?

  • Latin grammar
  • Latin vocabulary
  • English derivatives from Latin
  • Latin in use today
  • Latin translation passages
  • Translating from Roman authors
  • Translating from Scripture
  • Topical vocabulary lessons
  • Roman history
  • Greek/Roman mythology
  • Ancient geography
  • Gnosticism
  • Biblical Principles

The only one we do not cover in depth is mythology, but we do offer brief studies of Roman gods, etc., and of course, in the AP book, we learn all the required sections of The Aeneid.

Only some of the activities are: Etymology poster instructions, oral reports on facets of Roman lives, Roman arches, writing a term paper.

A few of the Supplements: Phrases, mottoes of states, Apostles’ Creed, Gates of Jerusalem, What is Love? Money.

Does Latin in the Christian Trivium teach Classical or Ecclesiastical pronunciation {more info}?

We use “Church Latin” (Ecclesiastical pronunciation) because Latin songs are pronounced this way. However, since Latin is spelled the same with either Classical or Ecclesiastical pronunciation, the teacher can use whichever he or she is comfortable with.

Gail is a master teacher with decades of experience in music. She suggested using the Ecclesiastical pronunciation since it is lyrical and easier to pronounce for many.

What approach to Latin learning does Latin in the Christian Trivium use to teach language study {more info} ?

My college Latin professor taught that it is very important to stress grammar first.

However, beginning as soon as they learn first declension and first conjugation (Lesson 4) we start the continuing story for them to read: all about the Roman centurion of the Bible and his family, the life of Christ in Volume III. The family’s story progresses through the first three volumes.

At one time, I subbed for a class that only used Reading, no Grammar. The students, even in the third level, except for one student, could not identify the subjects or direct objects. It was eye-opening.

Another experience subbing: the students could speak Latin far better than I could, but
had no concept of English derivative words from the Latin words!

I also subbed for my Latin professor one week which was really fun! Even though it was a secular class, I taught them some Scripture and the Pledge of Allegiance.

What resources and ancillary materials are available with Latin in the Christian Trivium?

  • Reusable student text
  • Answer key for student text assignments
  • Activity workbook
  • Additional translation passages
  • Physical game or activity
  • Printable game or activity
  • Teacher manual with instruction for teaching concepts
  • Tests
  • Test answer key

In addition to the physical flash cards the students create during their coursework, the vocabulary of most chapters has been created by teachers on Quizlet.com, a free flashcard site.

We offer Boot Camp at no charge, which is basically an overview of the first year course. This will be added to the website this fall. Here are a few lessons you can preview:

  • Do you want me to allow readers to download the actual documents you sent me?

How many of the resources from Latin in the Christian Trivium could be reused with other students in a future school year?

The textbooks are non-consumable and, if answers are written on paper, the textbooks can be used over and over again.  The current pronunciation MP3s have no fee attached to them, and are being installed this summer.

Learn More about Latin in the Christian Trivium (and Save $$)

Free Samples and Resources from Latin in the Christian Trivium

The Resources page on our site includes two published articles, one by Gail and one by me.

Ways to Save on Latin in the Christian Trivium

We give a discount of 20% to those who call Fred at 858.335.6311 to order.

We greatly appreciate the financial sacrifices that missionaries and pastors make and offer the books at less than cost on all our materials for those families.

Additionally, right now we have about two dozen black and white Volume I textbooks with only two small printing errors corrected with stickers, that we are closing out for only $5.00 each plus postage.

We also have about 30 Volume III Teachers Guides which the printer accidentally forgot to bind. We’ll sell them for $6.00 plus postage, thinking that these might help a customer decide if they want to use our course at minimum expense for them.

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About the Author Lynna Sutherland

Lynna Sutherland is the mom of eight kids ranging in age from high school to preschool. She loves to encourage parents in grace-based, relationship-focused Christian parenting.

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