Monday, February 7, 2011

Well Trained Mind vs. the Latin Centered Curriculum

I'd like to compare and contrast the two, and then look at what I'm planning for next year. I'm planning 2nd grade and K4, for the record.

Also- a quick google search for Latin Centered Curriculum 2nd grade didn't really turn up any blogs with a detailed listing! I'm actually pretty surprised. All you LCC bloggers need to put more out there, OK?

2nd grade:

Well Trained Mind subject areas
Language- Spelling, cursive, reading/notebooking, grammar, memory work, fun reading
Writing- writing and dictation
History- medieval-early Renaissance
Science- earth science and astronomy
Religion- world religions and family faith

Latin Centered Curriculum Subject areas
English Studies- Phonics as needed, reading, copywork, recitation
Classical Studies- Norse myths
Christian Studies
Modern Studies- geography and biographies
Nature Study/Science

Looking at it I see about 14 subject areas for the WTM plan and 10 for the LCC. That's really not as big of a difference as I thought it would be since the LCC is so often referred to as pared down.

Neither one includes foreign language (well, outside Latin) at this age, and that's something that we are already doing and won't be dropping that.

My 2nd grade plan falls somewhere in the middle of the two.

So far I have a rough line up ready.

Language Arts/English Studies- Writing Tales 1, Rod and Staff Spelling 3

Reading- Books tied to the history and science rotation

Mathematics- Saxon Math 2

History- Romans, Reformers, and Revolutionaries, Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia

Science- Earth/space science

Latin- Prima Latina

French- Le Francais Facile

Religion- New Testament and Catechism

Art- Artistic Pursuits

Music- piano lessons

I plan to do dictation and memory work from History and Religion. My time goal is about 2-3 hours a day, doing History and Science both twice a week and the rest of the subjects daily.

Kindergarten 4:

Well Trained Mind line up:


Latin Centered Curriculum subjects (It should be noted that there is no K4 line up, this is the general Kindy suggestions):

Latin Centered Curriculum Subject areas
English Studies- Intensive phonics,nursery rhymes, copywork, recitation
Classical Studies- Aesop's fables
Christian Studies
Modern Studies- geography and biographies
Nature Study/Science

Our actual plan:

Phonics- Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, Hooked on Phonics
Writing: Cursive First, copywork as desired
Math- Saxon K
Latin- Prima Latina
French- Le Francais Facile

We'll also read through Aesop and she'll listen to as much science and history as she wants.

There's been quite a bit of waffling on my part on some of these, and there may be tweaking of some choices still to come, but I'm rather pleased at how it looks so far.


  1. Saxon has a placement test on the internet at their site. I am doing Saxon 2 with my almost 7 year old that I consider a first grader. After teaching in the classroom I would recommend Saxon a grade ahead. I think Saxon K would be good for 4 year old but if you are considering her a kindergartener next year then I would use Saxon 1 with her. And if you have done "on level" math with your second grader then I would try Saxon 3 with her. But I would try the placement test and that will tell you what level to start with.
    I'm only doing the CD part of Prima Latina because it was too much bookwork for my boys and I wanted more writing in just English first. They are making very good progress by just doing the CD. I'm surprised how much Latin my almost 3 year old knows just from listening to the CD when I didn't intend for him to be part of this part of school. Maybe in about a year we'll try the bookwork part as a review of the CD.
    Everything else in your plan either looks good or I haven't tried so I have no ideas to add!
    Thanks for posting this, interesting to see them compared.

  2. My K4 student is still 3, so she really won't be ready for too much this fall.
    I have heard that about Saxon, so thanks for confirming that. I think we're going to start at 2 and go through at a quicker pace because the scope and sequence are so different from Singapore. She's good with the numbers part, but needs work with time, money, ect.

  3. We did MUS last year and about all it did was numbers and telling time-no money etc. He is still picking it up easily even though we are a grade ahead. I would still recommend Saxon 3 but perhaps go slower on time, money, etc. that are new concepts. I found Saxon seemed to teach new concepts one year but mostly review the next year. I still say do the placement test and see. I know it is your decision, I'm just sharing what happened for us when we switched to Saxon plus my experience in the classroom with Saxon.

  4. We're folling a WTM/LCC curriculum, and I have a curricula page on my blog, if you want to have a look. :)

  5. You know, I just re-read both WTM & LCC, and I was struck by how little difference there truly was between the two, for all that people refer to LCC as "simpler" and WTM as "overwhelming." A good deal of the subjects which WTM lays out explicitly and LCC does not are still expected to be covered in LCC-style, too, just as part of "family time."

    I feel vaguely unprepared for next year, so I envy your having of a list!

  6. Ewe- now you are making me all nervous! :) I'll have to look at the placement stuff again, or perhaps we'll skip a lot of the material.

    Michelle- Great, thanks! That's exactly what I was looking for.

    Kash- I'm right with you on that. It had been quite a while (over a year?) since I had read LCC and from the WTM boards I had it built up in my mind that there would be huge differences. There aren't!
    I would never describe you as unprepared. ;)

  7. Sorry, I didn't mean to make you nervous. I just hate to have you pay money for materials and get them and they are way too easy. Jenny H. told me all this last spring when I was trying to make a decision myself. She forgot I had taught both Saxon 1 and 2 and 3 in the classroom. I forgot about the placement test until she reminded me. Lamb 1 is speeding through the adding/subtracting parts of Saxon 2 after we did MUS but we are spending more time on thermometers, counting money, etc., because that is fun to him. I even contacted Saxon for more thermometer worksheets because he is obsessed with temperature right now. He put thermometers all over the house-one on the oven with the temp. to bake, etc. We started in November and we are only on lesson 35 in Saxon-I don't feel bad going slower because he is a grade ahead.
    From reading your blog I have the impression that my boys are a little ahead in math and your girls are a little ahead in reading and writing, but maybe that is just my impression from reading your blog. You know your girls and what they can handle. Please don't worry about my comments!

  8. Well, I feel quite prepared for first grade... it's sixth grade that's giving me fits!

  9. Heh, Kash, that makes sense. 6th grade seems like such a big deal!!!

    Ewe- I don't know if Sweet Pea is behind or ahead on math. She can do double digit addition and subtraction, multiply and divide 0-9, but is weak on the more practical math. She is definitely ahead in LA for now, though!

  10. I really like your breakdown of everything as you plan for next year. I have begun planning, but only in my head, I have to start writing it down. I like the idea of a Classical Education, but have been implementing it slowly. I will have a 2nd grader and 5th grader next year.




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