Song School Latin Review

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With its approachable instruction, activity-filled workbooks, fun songs, video lessons, hands-on learning and more, Song School Latin is an approachable and fun way to introduce younger students to Latin whose lessons can get them to appreciate this classical language…without the lacrimae.

What We Like

Easy, open and go Latin curriculum for young
Multisensory lessons
Workbooks are filled with interesting activities
Gentle Latin instruction doesn’t overwhelm
Fun songs
Optional video lessons
Supports both Classical, Ecclesiastical Latin

But watch out for

Not the cheapest program out there
Not a huge amount of grammar, mechanics or
conjugation taught

What Is Song School Latin?

Published by Classical Academic Press, Song School Latin is an introductory course in Latin aimed at younger students.

The series aims to help students learn to speak, read, understand and even write basic Latin, and does so using a combination of multisensory lessons, songs, videos, activities, worksheets and even a memory style card game.

What Ages Or Grades Is Song School Latin Intended For?

Song School Latin is roughly aimed at students in grades 1-3, or students ages 5-8. 

The series includes two books that, across their 31 lessons, teach students fundamental latin words and phrases, as well as proper pronunciation, starting from the sounds of the language and progressing to numbers and dates, adjectives, commands and more. 

While aimed at a younger audience, in particular those not ready for a more in-depth and formal study of Latin, we believe that Song School can serve as a solid introductory course for even some slightly older students interested in learning this classical language, such as those in grades 4 or 5. 

This, we feel, is largely due to the program’s effective use of multisensory language lessons, reinforcing exercises and discussions, and its clear and straightforward workbooks, which can be used a bit more independently by fluid readers.  

That said, although the language instruction is quite solid, it is important to note that the style of the workbooks’ illustrations and chosen texts does tend to skew a bit younger (being age appropriate to its intended audience) and so may not hold the interest of significantly older students quite as much.

In terms of placement or pre-requisites, Song School Latin is an introductory course that takes students through the very fundamentals of Latin and so there is no real expectation of any previous learning or ability. 

By and large, students simply need to be able to sit and listen, follow directions and have some level of English language mastery, such as being able to read and write at a basic level. 

What Does The Program Involve?

Song School Latin is a multisensory curriculum for Latin and so does have a few components to it, notably:

  • A Teacher’s Edition 
  • A Student Edition
  • Audio CDs
  • Optional Video Lessons
  • And optional flash cards

This variety of required and optional materials and resources can make it a very engaging and activity rich language studies program, which tends to be quite helpful when it comes to younger students.

Parents should note, however, that this does mean that Song School Latin isn’t the most compact curriculum out there, having a number of moving parts that parents will have to buy, store, keep track of and use during lessons. 

Teacher’s Edition

Song School Latin is designed to be a parent-led program and so includes a Teacher’s Edition for each level. 

This guide is a soft-cover book about 144 or so pages long and, for the most part, replicates the materials included in the student workbook, including the lesson texts, activities, exercises and discussion questions, but with all the answers filled in, which makes it pretty easy for parents to guide lessons along and/or follow student progress. 

Further, the guide also includes helpful teaching tips, guidance and advice in little grey boxes or bubbles that pop up periodically on the worksheet pages.

picture of teaching notes found in teachers edition of song school latin

These tips are generally short and to the point but tend to offer advice that can be pretty helpful to new homeschoolers and parents without a strong background in Latin or language instruction. 

For example, they may include things like: 

  • Differentiation ideas
  • Enrichment activities and suggestions
  • Hands-on learning and crafts
  • Adaptations for regional or climate differences
  • Explanations of Latin grammar concepts 
  • And much more

In addition, the Teacher’s Edition also includes a variety of extra activities, such as crosswords, drawing exercises, workbook-style exercises and more, that are not included in the Student Edition and that can be issued as enrichment work or extra practice.

Being largely based on the Student Edition, the Teacher’s Edition doesn’t include a huge amount of lesson scripting.

Rather than including a word-for-word script for parents to follow, the program instead leans on the instruction and guidance found in student books, its tips and, of course, a parent’s own ability to interact with their child.

This approach can be good or bad, depending on the parent in question and their preferences. 

Parents who enjoy naturally interacting with their child during lessons or improvising and adapting material to a student’s needs can appreciate the less prescriptive nature of the lessons, particularly when it comes to discussions or introducing new vocabulary. 

In contrast, those who are perhaps newer to homeschooling or uncertain of how to conduct a lesson may find themselves needing to prepare a bit before lessons.

That said, the lesson material included in the student workbooks (and that is replicated in the Teacher’s Edition) is pretty clear and detailed on the whole and generally tends to provide enough guidance that most parents should find lessons pretty straightforward and easy to teach, even if they aren’t always given a specific script to follow. 

One thing homeschooling parents should note is that the Teacher’s Edition is written as if it were aimed at a school and so does make references to having multiple students, classroom settings and so on.

Although most shouldn’t have an issue translating the material to a home setting, this can irk some parents who got into homeschooling in order to get away from traditional schooling and any references to it.

Student Edition

The student edition is where students will spend most of their time in Song School Latin. 

It is a consumable soft cover, black and white workbook that contains most of what the student will need to learn basic Latin, including: 

  • Written guidance and introductions to Latin concepts
  • Texts 
  • Chants 
  • Multiple choice and short answer questions
  • Discussions
  • Vocabulary and famous phrases/sayings
  • Writing practice
  • Review exercises
  • And more

In all, there is quite a diversity of activities in the Student Edition, which can keep lessons interesting and students on their toes. 

This is helped out by the fact that the books are extensively illustrated, with charts, graphs and cartoons dotting its pages. 

These illustrations not only help present the information in a more effective way, but they do make lessons a bit more appealing to go through, particularly for students on the younger end of the intended age or grade range. 

picture demonstrating style of song school latin drawings

That said, the books are black and white and the illustrations are a bit simple, lacking some of the visual pizazz of other language programs, such as the Good and The Beautiful or, say, Usborne’s Latin for Beginners. 

As mentioned previously, the Student Editions do contain full explanations and lessons in Latin.

This not only makes them pretty straightforward to go through, but also means that older and more fluid readers can try to do a good portion of the work on their own, which can be good for busier parents. 

Parents, however, should keep in mind that even with their in-lesson explanations and instructions, the Student Editions themselves don’t really lend themselves to self-study. 

At times, some of the words and concepts introduced in lessons can be a bit tricky or advanced for students in grades 1-3, which means that parents will probably need to be on hand to help out with explanations.

Further, there are a number of interactive components to the lessons, such as chants and discussions, that tend to require someone else’s presence to be truly effective. 


Song School Latin also includes an audio component to its lessons in the form of CDs that come with each Student Edition. 

 Designed to help students with their pronunciation and language listening skills, the CDs contain around 60 tracks filled with songs and chants, split evenly between classical and ecclesiastical Latin pronunciations. 

The songs included on these CDs are pretty fun to listen to and many are based on childhood classics, which should be pretty appealing for kids.

The audio tracks are specifically designed to connect to and integrate with the concepts and vocabulary for each lesson, which helpfully allows students to hear what they are learning in real time.

Further, the Student and Teacher’s Editions both contain lyrics for each track, which makes following along quite a bit easier, especially when it comes to the program’s chants and songs that mix English and Latin words. 

Parents should be aware, however, that the audio component of Song School Latin (at time of writing) only comes in physical media (CDs), rather than being offered as an MP3. 

This does decrease the flexibility of their use to some degree (requiring the use of a CD player, rather than phone or tablet) and it does mean that parents do have to be more careful in preventing damage to the CDs themselves. 

Further, those purchasing multiple copies of the Student Editions will quickly find themselves with spares as they tend to only ship with CDs for cost reasons. 

Video Lessons (Optional)

Interestingly, Song School Latin offers parents the ability to purchase a set of video lessons to go along with the Student Editions. 

The videos, through a combination of on-screen text, voice over and live action host, serve to help teach Latin concepts, verbs and vocabulary for each lesson. 

Although parents will likely still have to help students with review and discussions, the videos can help the burden of teaching off of parents to some degree by providing much of the direction instruction for the program – something that might be of particular interest to time-poor parents and those who are uncertain about their own Latin teaching skills.

Generally speaking the videos are pretty short (about 10 minutes or less), which makes them pretty easy to sit through, and the production quality is pretty good. 

The videos are nicely animated, with a good dose of visuals and animations, clear and calm voice overs and a fun and engaging host who pops up from time to time to introduce or clarify topics. 

The videos even include some fun animations featuring Simeon the cartoon monkey and his various misadventures, something that we feel most kids will enjoy. 

They also contain segments on Latin derivations, where students are exposed to words in English and other languages that have Latin roots – something we found quite interesting and believe has the capacity to deepen learning quite a bit and spark some interesting discussions. 

Interestingly, the video lessons are offered as both DVDs and as streaming video, which helpfully gives parents more options in terms of delivery and use, unlike the program’s CDs. 

Card Game

Finally, Song School Latin also includes about 400 or so color-coded playing cards (200 for each book) with either English or Latin words or phrases on their front and a smaller translation printed upside down below, as in the example below.

example picture of song school latin flashcard

The cards are intended to be used as a way of helping students reinforce their learning and, unlike many other card-including language programs we’ve looked at, families do have some choice in how they can be used. 

The cards can be used as simple flashcards, with parents displaying phrases in either Latin or English and having students respond with their corresponding translation, effectively drilling students’ knowledge. 

Song School Latin also offers parents and students instructions for using these cards as part of well-known games, such as memory, go fish or old maid, which is quite thoughtful and can be quite helpful for homeschooling families with students who hate or get stressed out by flashcard work. 

Beyond adding a bit more fun into the program, the inclusion of cards and card games into Song School Latin adds a hands-on component to lessons, which can make learning more multisensory and more appropriate to different learning styles, which we always appreciate. 

Approach To Teaching Latin

Introductory, Conversational Latin

Song School Latin is an introductory course in Latin aimed at young students.

Over the course of its two books, the program teaches students Latin phonetic pronunciation and over 275 unique words, with a strong emphasis on conversational language learning.

Throughout the courses, students learn a good deal of spoken latin, learning topics like:

  • Common greetings
  • Household items
  • Classroom terminology
  • Food
  • Body parts
  • Terms of address
  • Seasons
  • Numbers 
  • Days of the week
  • Historically important words and concepts 
  • And much more

In general, the program is pretty comprehensive and approachable at first look at Latin. 

The program often teaches and exposes students to key vocabulary words by weaving them into English phrases, which makes learning a lot less intimidating (for both parents and students) than a more immersive program might be. 

Students also learn to hone their basic Latin using textual excerpts from childhood classics such as Aesop’s Fables, The Three Little Pigs and even some well-known stories from Scripture, whose familiarity can make them a little easier for students to work through. 

picture of reading from song school latin

Parents should keep in mind, however, that as an introductory conversational program for younger kids, Song School Latin doesn’t really dive as deeply into Latin grammar, conjugation and composition as more advanced or full programs in Latin might. .

Multisensory Lessons

In general, Song School Latin is a very multisensory language curriculum.

Alongside its written work, the program integrates a variety of audio, tactile and even visual elements into its lessons.

Depending on the lesson and exercise, these can include videos, songs, chants, discussions card games, drawing exercises, letter formation and even arts and craft activities. 

Aside from making the lessons more fun and engaging for younger students, the inclusion of a wide array of multisensory activity types can make the program more applicable and appropriate to students with different learning styles, especially compared to more textbook or workbook-based Latin programs. 

Perhaps more than that, multisensory learning has been shown to have strong positive effects on long term memory storage and retention, which can be very helpful when it comes to language learning.

Traditional And Ecclesiastical Pronunciation Support

Finally, Song School Latin offers parents and students the ability to study Latin in either its Classical or Ecclesiastical pronunciation.

These two pronunciations are equally supported by the program, with audio, video and written instructional material provided for each, and with the Teacher’s Edition periodically providing parents with specific guidance for both. 

picture showing song school latin supporting both classical and ecclesiastical pronunciations of latin

Although broadly similar, there are some differences between these two forms of Latin that can make them attractive to different learners. 

In particular, the Classical dialect tries to recreate Latin as Romans originally spoke it, while the Ecclesiastical pronunciation represents the way the language evolved from then, and includes strong influences from the Roman Catholic Church and the societies that were influenced by it. 

A notable example of this difference can be seen with the letter “J,” which does not exist in Classical (with “I” being used in its stead) but does exist in Ecclesiastical (although it sounds much like a “Y”).

On the whole, the inclusion of both methods of pronunciation tends to increase the overall flexibility of the program, providing parents with greater choice in how they would like to approach this classical language. 

Those wanting to study of Latin as it was originally pronounced  (such as fans of classical works and history) can choose to study it with Classical pronunciation, while those who are more interested in learning it as a part of their faith-based learning (such as those who want to better understand Church texts and hymnals) are able to do so with Ecclesiastical pronunciation. 

The only real issue parents might have is that, due to the fact that many of the materials (audio CDs and videos) include an equal number of Classical and Ecclesiastical materials, they may have to spend a bit more time sorting through things to make sure they find the right support. 

How It Works

For the most part, Song School Latin is a pretty straightforward Latin program that’s not too challenging to fit into a homeschool schedule. 

Each course contains 31 lessons, or about a year’s worth of learning, and is designed around 20-25 minute lessons on a 2 day a week schedule. 

Each chapter in the books tends to start off with an overview page, which helpfully lays out the vocabulary and song that students will cover in its subsequent lessons. 

The lessons themselves can then be approached in one of two ways.

Those taking a more parent-led approach start off reading the lesson instruction contained in the student book.

This introduction lays out various concepts in Latin, such as phonetic pronunciation, differences between Ecclesiastic and Classic pronunciation and so on, and should only take a few minutes for parents and students to go through together. 

picture of lesson instruction in song school latin

Alternately, parents can have their students watch the program’s video lesson, which will  introduce important Latin concepts, introduce the week’s vocabulary through an amusing cartoon involving Simeon the monkey, and will tend to have a segment showing how words in English and other languages derived certain words from Latin (usually connecting them to the week’s vocabulary). 

Following this teaching component, students then begin to work on various activities.

As mentioned, there are number of different exercises that can pop up during these lessons, and lessons can include: 

  • Letter tracing
  • Circling words
  • Column matching
  • Drawing exercises
  • Coloring exercises
  • Describing pictures and illustrations
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Puzzles and crosswords
  • Cut outs and paper crafts
  • Short texts 
  • And more

In general, the program does lean towards age-appropriate workbook-style exercises, although as can be seen there are a number of more creative and even hands-on activities that students can try, which we feel keeps things a bit more fun and interesting for kids. 

picture of discussion and puzzle activities found in song school latin

It is during the activity component that parents are free to play and practice that chapter’s song, which parents and students can follow along (and even sing along) with the lyrics provided in the chapter opening. 

The program also recommends that students play the CDs in between lessons, giving them a bit more review to help them master its vocabulary, although this is largely left up to the parent’s discretion. 

Once students complete the week’s activity, they can re-listen to the song or review/play various card games using the program’s flashcards. 

Finally, most lessons end with a review component, which goes over and helps students practice the vocabulary they have learned so far with a short and fairly low-pressure exercise, which can be pretty helpful.

picture of review question in song school latin lesson

Every 3 or 6 weeks or so, the program offers a dedicated review lesson, which aims to reinforce and assess a student’s mastery of that month’s vocabulary and learning.

These lessons don’t introduce any new material but tend to include workbook activities and exercises that work on a student’s previous learning, such as by asking them to translate certain words and phrases, having them sing some of the songs, or by offering them a story to read aloud (which work on pronunciation and understanding).    

The program itself doesn’t really offer any formal tests or assessments in Latin, relying more on its exercises, activities/puzzles, and continual/dedicated review sessions to reinforce learning. 

Although it does encourage interested parents to integrate oral or vocabulary quizzes to test student mastery, generally speaking they will have to conduct or create these themselves.  

Although perhaps a bit disappointing to more traditionally-minded homeschools, this can be a benefit for fans of alternative assessment and those with students who get stressed out by testing. 

Pros and Cons


Easy to use, open and go

With its straightforward, detailed instructions and guided lesson content, as well as its audio and optional videos, parents don’t really have to do a lot of prep-work (or even have a background in Latin) with Song School Latin, making it pretty much an open and go curriculum. 


Song School Latin’s lessons include a good deal of multisensory activity, including reading, writing, singing, chanting, songs, hands-on activities and crafts, optional videos, card games and more.

Filled with interesting activities

While the Student Editions contain their fair share of standard workbook exercises, they also contain a good deal of interesting activities, such as crosswords, drawings, coloring exercises, cut-outs, discussions, card games, crafts and more. 

Approachable, gentle introduction to Latin

With its songs, cartoon illustrations and activity-rich practice, and with less of an intense focus on conjugation and grammar drill, Song School Latin is quite student-friendly and can make the prospect of learning Latin a lot less intimidating than other introductory programs. 

Optional video lessons

Song School Latin also offers parents the ability to purchase video instruction for each course. 

In addition to being fun and well-made, these videos cover most of the instructional content for each lesson, which can take the teaching burden off of parents and give them a bit more time to work on the many other tasks homeschooling can involve. 

Supports both Classical and Ecclesiastical Latin

Song School Latin provides equal and ample support for both Classical and Ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation, giving parents the flexibility to choose a form that best fits their interests and needs without sacrificing educational quality. 


Not the cheapest Latin program around

Although Song School does include a lot of educational material and resources, at around $100 per course it isn’t the cheapest Latin program around. 

Not a ton of grammar and conjugation

Song School is mostly a conversational Latin course. 

While it does an excellent job at teaching students the essentials of Latin pronunciation, structure and over 275 useful words, it doesn’t delve into grammar, mechanics and conjugation quite as much as some other programs out there. 

Who Is Song School Latin Ideal For?

Those looking for a gentle introduction to Latin

As we’ve mentioned, Song School Latin has a lot of elements (songs, chants, videos, cartoons, illustrations, games and activities) that make it a fairly gentle introductory program in Latin, which can be good news for students (and parents) who find the prospect of learning a classical language a bit intimidating. 

Those looking for a Latin program that goes beyond simple workbook exercises

Some students do quite well working with a simple workbook, while others may need a program that’s a little more interactive and stimulating. 

In addition to the usual assortment of multiple choice, short answer and fill-in-the-blank questions, Song School Latin also includes a wide variety of creative activities that will keep students stimulated and engaged throughout their learning. 

Those looking for a multisensory Latin program

Song School Latin is a highly multisensory language program that engages in visual, auditory and tactile learning, making it highly suitable for students with different learning styles. 

Those looking for video-based learning 

Not every parent has the time or feels comfortable teaching a foreign language, let alone one as rich and as ancient as Latin. 

With its fairly comprehensive video-based lessons, Song School Latin can save such parents considerable time, stress and effort. 

Those looking for the ability to study Classical or Ecclesiastical Latin

Some parents are more interested in teaching Latin as part of an overall classical education, with students learning its Classical pronunciation in order to better understand the Great Works and ancient philosophers. 

Others, however, might be more interested in a faith-based approach to Latin, helping students better understand prayers and hymnals in their traditional forms.

By devoting equal resources and coverage to both forms of Latin, Song School Latin can be a great first program for both these types of homeschooling families. 

New homeschoolers and parents with little to no background in Latin 

Song School Latin is a pretty straightforward, open and go program that provides most of everything a parent needs to teach Latin, including clear teaching material, answer keys, ample teaching tips and guidance and even full video lessons for students to watch.

As a result, the program doesn’t really require any pre-existing teaching experience or knowledge of Latin on the part of parents. 

Students who have a hard time sitting through long lessons

Finally, Song School Latin’s lessons generally take around 20 minutes and really only need to follow a 2x a week schedule to complete in a year. 

As a result, it can be a great program for wigglier students who have a hard time sitting and studying for extended periods of time. 

Who Is It Not Ideal For?

Those looking for a develop fluency in Latin

Song School Latin is an introductory course in Latin for young students and while parents can expect their students to develop a solid beginning vocabulary and understanding of Latin pronunciation and roots, they should not really expect students to become totally fluent by the end of the series. 

Those looking for a thorough language course in Latin

In a related note, Song School Latin is also more of a conversational course in Latin and does not contain a lot of in-depth and rigorous drill in grammar, mechanics, oration and writing that other, more advanced, Latin courses may offer. 


Note: Prices current as of writing, all prices in USD. 

As mentioned previously, Song School Latin is divided into two books, each of which has a few components to it. 

Song School Latin 1

  • Song School Latin 1 Complete Program – $101.95
  • Song School Latin 1 Student Edition w/ CD – $29.95
  • Song School Latin 1 Teacher’s Edition – $29.95
  • Song School Latin 1 Video Streaming / DVD – $23.95 / $34.95
  • Song School Latin 2 Cards – $29.95

Song School Latin 2

  • Song School Latin 2 Complete Program – $110.95
  • Song School Latin 2 Student Edition w/ CD – $31.95
  • Song School Latin 2 Teacher’s Edition – $29.95
  • Song School Latin 2 Video Streaming / DVD – $23.95 / $34.95
  • Song School Latin 2 Cards – $37.95

As always, however, parents should check for the latest prices for the program, as well as for any discounts or offers that might be available. 


Is It Worth The Price?

Although perhaps not the cheapest Latin program around, we believe Song School Latin can offer a lot of value to homeschooling families.

The program provides an approachable introduction to conversational Latin that is specifically designed for younger elementary school students, with an attractive illustrated design and plenty of fun activities and games to keep them engaged and interested. 

Further, as a conversational language curriculum, Song School teaches students a wide variety of conversational words and phrases in Latin that will pique their interest and prepare them for more in-depth study of this classical language without overwhelming them with too many formal grammar and conjugation rules. 

The program is highly multisensory, with lessons including reading, writing, listening, discussion and audiovisual components.

In this way, the program is better able to keep students engaged and active and is better able to fit a diversity of learning styles and preferences. 

Finally, the program is quite easy to teach, requiring little (if any) prep on the part of parents, and its optional video-based instruction can help save busy parents quite a bit of time and effort. 

Bottom Line

With its approachable instruction, activity-filled workbooks, fun songs, video lessons, hands-on learning and more, Song School Latin is an approachable and fun way to introduce younger students to Latin whose lessons can get them to appreciate this classical language…without the lacrimae. 

Picture of our author and editor Anne Miller

About the Author

Anne Miller is the editor of The Smarter Learning Guide and is a passionate advocate for education and educational technology. A mom of two, she majored in English Language and Literature and worked as a substitute teacher and tutor for several years. When not writing she continues to root for the Yankees and the Giants.