Greek (And Latin!)

January 6, 2009 @ 9:07 am | Filed under: Foreign Languages, Latin

Updated to add: lots of useful links & recommendations for both Latin and Greek materials are popping up in the comments—don’t miss ’em!

Kathy asked,

Wasn’t Jane learning Greek at one point (or maybe she is still)? I searched the archives and didn’t see anything. When you have a moment could you please share what she used? My 11yo daughter is just dying to learn Greek and I’m starting my search for a program/book/guide here. Thanks so much!

It was Rose who was (and remains, in intermittent flares) on fire for Greek a few years back. She made her way through the first two levels of Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek and quite enjoyed them. As I recall, Jane too whipped through the primer to learn the Greek alphabet. Both girls liked the format of the Hey Andrew materials, which were very, very simple and bare bones. (The first levels focused primarily on mastering the alphabet.) Looking at the website now, I see they’ve redesigned the covers but the interior page samples look the same.

I would say that I was happy with Hey Andrew as a gentle introduction to the alphabet, with one large caveat (and this is rather delicate, and I hope won’t sound insensitive—bear in mind that I’m the mother of a five-year-old with only semi-intelligible speech, so I really am sensitive to the challenges of speech impediments): the pronunciation CD that came with the workbooks was voiced by a speaker with a pronounced lisp. And for a foreign language program, that really is a bit of a problem. I had to keep correcting Rose’s pronunciation of “epthilon,” and “thigma,” for example. At first I wondered if the classical Greek S-sound really was meant to be a TH, but the speaker lisped in English as well, so I think it was just an aspect of her manner of speaking.

Jane has so enjoyed Classical Academic Press’s Latin for Children materials that I’m quite eager to get a look at their new Greek for Children series when it comes out. Mind you, CAP’s program is extremely workbooky and therefore quite out of character with our unschooly, loosy-goosy, CM-inspired but not CM-structured atmosphere, but our language studies have been a consistently fun and challenging pursuit over the last several years, and absent an immersion experience (which I cannot provide for Greek or Latin!), a kind of methodical, steady study is pretty much the only way to gain absence [edited: “gain absence”?? I plead preggo brain] master a new language. Our path to Latin works for us. (Rose actually prefers the even-more-schooly structure of Memoria Press’s Latina Christiana program, so that’s what she uses, and Jane uses LFC. Beanie absorbs by exposure to the vocab CDs the other girls listen to. For that matter, so do I!)

Hope this helps at least as a starting point, Kathy. If anyone else has a more substantive review of Greek materials, please do chime in or link to a post!

P.S. Here’s a fun video from Steve Demme: Learn the Greek Alphabet in Ten Minutes.

Related posts:
What the Tide Brought In
All Roads Lead to Greece


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Comments

8 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. My son, who is 9, has learned Latin for the last couple of years – he wanted to learn to speak like the Romans! We have used the Minimus series of books, which I guess are probably UK based and they are set in a family living near Hadrian’s Wall between Scotland and England. My son particularly liked seeing the real letters in the British Museum which are the starting point for some of the stories in the book. He has finished the books now and we are thinking about moving on to the much more formal Cambridge Course. He has a tutor, a colleague of my husband, who comes over every few weeks and gales of laughter come from wherever they are working! It always makes me smile to be considered a bit radical in my educational choices and to have a private Latin tutor for my son!

  2. Hee. Coming on the hills of your “Duck!” post… My daughter wants to learn Greek as well, but my very practical husband has almost forbidden me to invest in a program because he thinks our time would be far better spent learning Spanish. For the most part, he leaves all the choices regarding education up to me, but there’s very little that irritates him more than me bringing up Greek.

  3. We are using and loving Elementary Greek:
    http://www.opentexture.com/
    they are much more like Latina Christiana 🙂

  4. If I can shamelessly plug a Latin program, we love Lively Latin. http://www.livelylatin.com You’re looking for the Big Book. The only thing that slightly annoys me is that you are putting different sections in a binder, and if you take the chapter apart before it’s finished it’s hard to figure out what goes in which chapter.
    Other than that it has an engaging story, mapping and history, mythology, and also online help if you need/want it.

    We also have used Latin in the Christian Trivium for the older kids, and again I give it high marks for a Christian high school Latin program. http://www.latintrivium.com
    Obviously much more structured though.

    And since the Greek started me thinking about Latin, IMHO I’d be a little careful with the Latin program that Hey Andrew offers- Latin’s Not So Tough. It’s good for younger kids, but it teaches the verbs in their declined forms, not the paradigms that both make Latin so miserable, but understandable also. Sorry, that doesn’t even sound like that sentence is in English! But it’s an important detail.

  5. Wonderboy is five now?? How did that happen?!

  6. So grateful for the detailed *post*! I would have been delighted with a small scrap of info…so, thank you very much for your time and effort in supplying an answer. You’ve provided far more than a simple starting point. I’m eager to follow up on all the links and will let you know what we settle on.:-)

  7. I have enjoyed your blog. Thanks for the information. I was just raising the issue with someone recently.
    My children and I have enjoyed several books recommended by you, including “The Sign of the Beaver.” It started slowly for them, but they really go into it after a few chapters. It’s opened the door for new imagination games and has raised my son’s expectations. He thinks he can make anything out of a stick now. Who am I to dissuade him.
    I have a question, and I may be presumptious in opening the discussion. But here goes. I do not homeschool. My husband and I are practicing Catholics with three children who are in Catholic schools. And I work, but try to do so in a way that allows my to be with my children as much as possible. I guess my question involves whether you limit your family’s connections with working, non-homeschooling families. I have encountered this sentiment in my life. I wish you the best with your new baby. Thanks for the blog.

  8. Great topic! Speaking for my family, I can say that we absolutely DO socialize with non-homeschooling families, and it would never have occurred to me to do otherwise. 🙂

    For starters, all the rest of the kids in our extended family attend either public or Catholic school—all my kids’ beloved cousins. (My hubby would say we’re just glad THEY associate with US!) 😉

    In our old neighborhood in Virginia, we were one of 3 homeschooling families in the neighborhood. But our kids played with all the kids on the street every day after the school kids got off the bus. In fact, because our yard backed up to a cul de sac, a most delightful (and traffic-free) place to play, there was usually a crowd of children in and out of our yard. I remember how Rose used to watch the clock in the afternoons, waiting for her buddy across the street, Will, to get home from school. She still misses him. (“We had the BEST games together, Mom.”)

    Here in San Diego, it’s been a little different…the kids in this neighborhood don’t seem to play outside at all. After two years, we still haven’t met any of them, even though there is a public school directly behind our house. However, my oldest daughter has made a great friend at church, a girl who attends the parish school. There are several schoolchildren in our Little Flowers group as well. We don’t by any means deliberately limit connections with non-homeschooling families, but it does seem as though chance and circumstance have a lot to do with those connections being formed.