Do your kids need to memorize Latin conjugations?
After years of teaching children Latin, I have come to a conclusion: memorizing Latin conjugations is tricky.
And there’s no skipping the memorization if you want to learn Latin, so you need a few easy tricks up your sleeve!
Need to Master the Latin Conjugations
If you want to learn Latin, you must be comfortable with verb conjugations. Did I say comfortable, you must know Latin conjugations as well as you know the back of your hands.
For instance, there’s a difference between saying he is doing it, he will do it, and he was doing it.
There’s also a difference between he did it and he was thinking about it.
And you can’t understand the difference between he did something and he was thinking about doing something if you haven’t mastered those tricky Latin conjugations.
To make it even more interesting, pronouns are often implicit in the verb conjugations. This just means you have to practice, drill, and memorize the Latin verb conjugations.
And let’s face it, endless drill gets old quickly.
Memorize the Latin Conjugations with Games
The first method for memorizing Latin verb conjugations is with games. Games are a blast! You’ll have so much fun playing that you’ll forget you’re learning Latin.
Here’s an easy game: Conjugating verbs and see who gets the most correct. The loser has to do the winner’s chores.
Make silly sentences, the crazier the better!
Try your hand at a Latin Bee. You give a verb and the kids take turns conjugating it correctly. Whoever conjugates the most verbs wins!
Ellen McHenry has an excellent list of free Latin games to play with your kids so check out her website for some awesome games to play!
Memorize Latin Conjugations with Chanting
Marching around the house chanting is an awesome way to memorize Latin verb conjugations. Every morning stomp around the house as you chant all the conjugations.
Keep in mind that kids adore parades! So pull out the flags and stuffed animals. Have a kid keep time on a drum.
And while you march conjugate Latin verbs at the top of your voice!
If marching around the house isn’t your cup of tea, try standing in a line and chanting. It’s not as exciting as a parade, but everyone will memorize the Latin verb conjugations.
Memorize the Conjugations with Singing
Singing is another great way to memorize. 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 “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
It takes a bit of concentration but with practice, you can do it. The trial and error that results are always good for a laugh as well.
Here are some YouTube videos of people singing Latin verb conjugations to get you started:
- The Latin Verb Ending Song
- “Conjugation” Music Video
- Amo Amas Amat: Latin Chant
- Bam Bas Bat (Unus Remix)
- Latin Present Tense Verb Endings
Memorize the Conjugations Using Latin Verb Sheets
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 conjugations like little Romans.