How to Practice a Dead Language

I received Rosetta Stone Language Learning for free and was compensated for my time. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

There are a myriad of benefits to learning Latin. The problem with teaching Latin is that there is no way to do immersion in a dead language. I mean, other than finding a Latin Mass nearby, there aren’t many opportunities for your kids to interact with Latin speakers on a regular basis.

Homeschool Latin: How to Practice a Dead Language

This is why I wanted to review Rosetta Stone Language Learning for Homeschool. I was familiar with the program from my days as an ESL teacher. We often used it with newly arrived students to help them quickly move past the initial days of zero communication to being able to function in a new culture.

This happens so quickly because the program teaches language like we all learn our first language — through repeated exposure to small amounts of common pictures and words.

My kids enjoy our regular Latin curriculum (this year to be taught at co-op!!), but I wanted to supplement with something at home that gave them the opportunity for extra practice — especially speaking and listening practice. As a bonus: it’s completely mom-independent practice!

A couple of days a week I add “Rosetta Stone” to Olivia and John’s spiral notebook lists. They are able practice on their own while I work with someone else on math or reading. The program is easy for them to use and navigate with no help from me. (Yes!)

Using the special program headset and microphone (included), the computer gives feedback of how well the kids are pronouncing their vocabulary and phrases. I like that they see immediate results on how they are doing and that many of the vocabulary words are the ones they use in their Latin class.

The kids like wearing the headset — they think it makes them look like cool Youtube gamers. Hmmph. One of my favorite parts of the speech practice is when they are required to produce a phrase based on a picture. This is a real opportunity to put the vocabulary and language skills they have been learning to work.

The program is systematically laid out so the kids always know which part to do next and it also includes adaptive review. This means the program choses the frequency of review and the content being reviewed to help move vocabulary and concepts into long-term memory — another thing Mom doesn’t have to figure out.

Our Homeschool Latin Path

Since we know that curriculum isn’t something we buy, learning Latin is the “path” we are following as a family. We are in no hurry to complete programs or finish levels. We just want to do a little Latin practice every day. Rosetta Stone is a tool in our toolbox along with our grammar based Latin curriculum, Latin memory work, Latin games and prayer folders, and also our interaction with a Latin teacher at co-op.

Altogether it makes a complete language learning package that just happens to be fun for them and easy for me.


The best way to see if Rosetta Stone Language Learning for Homeschool is for you is to give the free demo a try. There are five languages there to give you a taste of how the immersive language program works.

Rosetta Stone Homeschool Support

In the box are:

  • program software
  • headset and microphone
  • supplemental educational materials (CD that includes a printable workbook)
  • audio companion MP3

In addition you can find more homeschool support and articles on the Rosetta Stone homeschool newsletter. (A pretty good read for any homeschooler.) Or follow Rosetta Stone on Facebook for more information and their slightly addictive Word Origins video series.