After years of teaching children Latin, I have come to a conclusion: it’s hard memorizing those tricky Latin Verb Conjugations. And there’s no skipping the memorization if you want to learn Latin.
Memorize Latin Verb Conjugations
Need to Master the Verb Conjugations
In order to reach our goal of reading Latin texts in the original language, we need to become comfortable with verb conjugations. Did I say comfortable, we need to know Latin verb conjugations as well as we know the back of our hands.
There’s such a difference between saying he is, he will, and he was. We can’t understand the difference between I did something and I was thinking about doing something if we haven’t mastered those tricky verb conjugations.
To make it even more interesting, Latin doesn’t include pronouns. Pronouns are implicit in the verb conjugations. This just means we have to practice, drill, and memorize the Latin verb conjugations.
And let’s face it, endless drill gets old quickly.
Memorize the Conjugations with Games
Games are a fun way to memorize the conjugations. Try conjugating verbs and see who gets the most correct. Make silly sentences. Try a Latin Bee where you give a verb and the kids take turns conjugating it correctly.
Challenge each other and try playing various Latin games. Ellen McHenry has an excellent list of free Latin games to play with your kids.
Memorize the Conjugations with Chanting
Marching around the house chanting is another way to memorize the conjugations. Every morning during morning time, chant all the conjugations you know while parading around the house. Kids adore parades! While you march practice conjugating different verbs.
You can also stand in a line and drill. It’s not the most exciting method, but everyone will memorize the Latin verb conjugations.
Memorize the Conjugations with Singing
Singing is another great way of memorizing the conjugations. Instead of marching around chanting the conjugations every morning, put them to your favorite tunes.
Sing laudo laudas laudat, laudamus, laudatis, laudant using the birthday song, or “Tinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. It takes a bit of concentration but with practice you can do it. The trial and error that results is always good for a laugh as well.
Memorize the Conjugations Using Latin Verb Sheets
While verbal methods are fun and easy to use, writing down the conjugations every day works best for memorization. The hand-mind coordination helps to drill the information into the memory. Writing them down daily also prevents misspellings.
Betsy, over at Family Style Schooling, has created a wonderful set of Latin Verb Sheets to use for just this purpose.
There are lists and examples of all four verb conjugations conjugated. The verb Sum is also conjugated. We’re not just talking about the present tense, but the imperfect, future, perfect, pluperfect, and the future perfect as well.
Examples are done in color as well as black and white, so you can use whatever is easiest to print out for use in your homeschool. There’s a blank copy at the very end of the Latin Verb Sheets to copy out and practice the conjugations daily.
I was initially surprised there was only one at the very end, but you know, that’s all you need. That one copy at the end of the Latin Master’s Sheets covers all the different conjugations and even the irregular verbs such as sum.
You don’t need anything else, just a pile of the blank Latin Verb Sheet. Your kids will soon be spouting off the Latin Verb Conjugations like little Romans.
How do you memorize the Latin Conjugations?