Monday, August 18, 2014

Latin is for everyone

I got on board the Latin Ship late in my home school career.  I read about the importance of Latin to a classical education early on and I sort of skipped over it and jumped ahead to chapters on writing and literature which are infinitely more fun.  When we started CC Foundations, we reviewed all of the memory work, EXCEPT the Latin.  I was lazy.  I didn't know how to pronounce the words.  I had a Spanish background and felt that one extra language was enough.  I didn't really want to learn a new language as an adult.  Somehow though, I have gone from avoiding Latin to teaching Latin.  When my oldest started Latin in Challenge A, I found that I had to finally face Latin head on.  I still didn't put much effort forward, but I at least confronted my fear of learning a new language in my late 30's.  Soon, I found myself directing the Challenge 1 (and later Challenge 2) class and tutoring a half dozen or so kids in Latin weekly.  That year, I sat down and began to work my way through the Henle First Year text.  And I learned!  I began to see Latin everywhere.  I began to understand English better because of my Latin studies.  I began to recognize derivatives and to decline nouns.  I drank the Kool-Aid!  While I am still no Latin genius, I do feel confident to teach my own children Latin at home and I am a firm believer that truly anyone can teach Latin if they will only jump in and work through a Latin text.

Above is "An Ideal Latin Sequence" that I pulled from the Memoria Press website.  I have learned all of my Latin through the Memoria Press curriculum and and guides.  There may be better resources, however this is what was affordable, easy to find, and easy to use.  I had a toddler and new baby on the way when I began to learn Latin, so I was working around sleep deprivation among other things.  There are other programs and you might find that others work better for you.  Now my own children are NOT at this level or pace with their Latin.  Currently, I have a 6th grader finishing up Prima Latina and moving into Latina Christiana I, a 7th grader starting Henle I for the first time, and an 11th grader going through Henle 1 again with him for a thorough review (She has had 3 years of Latin through the Challenge program and has met her high school foreign language credits).  My 4th and 5th born will be the first children that I can attempt to try the above scope and sequence with in Latin.  To me that sequence is very rigorous and I'm not sure I even will attempt it.  However, if they can do it, then I'm willing to lead them down the path.  Only the future will tell what Latin will look like in my house 10 years from now.

Here are some additional resources  (other than those listed above) that I have found very helpful in my own study of Latin.  I hope it is helpful for others learning Latin as they teach it, like I have been doing.

English Grammar for Students of Latin

Wheelock's Latin

Latin Tutorial on YouTube

Cassell's Latin Dictionary

Quizlet Henle 1 Online Flash Cards

Articles by Classical Conversations on Latin in the Challenge Program.  Lots of great reading here.  

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