Archive for January 6th, 2009

Greek (And Latin!)

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

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