Archive for the ‘Latin’ Category

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

Latin Links

November 3, 2007 @ 9:02 pm | Filed under:

I came across this terrific page of links for Latin studies at the Cornell College website. I especially liked the Latin songbook, a page full of lyrics for well-known children’s songs such as "Gaius Est Agricola." You know that one, right? Sure you do:

Gaius est agricola. E-I-E-I-O
In agris eius equi sunt. E-I-E-I-O
Hic hinniunt. Ibi hinniunt.
Hi-hi-hinniunt ubique!

Hee. The kids and I will have fun with this.

Also appealing: the links to some Aesop’s fables and Greek myths in Latin.

This is just a smidgin of what’s available on the Cornell page, so if you’re into Latin be sure to click through and check it out.

We’ve settled into a nice rhythm with our Latin studies…we continue to be unschoolish with most subjects (even the word "subjects" feels too schooly for the way we’re encountering All That Interesting Stuff There Is to Know), but Latin falls into our "things we learn on purpose" category.

Jane is putting in about four days a week on Latin: two days with Latin for Children and two days with Latin: Book One by Scott & Horn.

Rose is finishing up Prima Latina.

We all continue to practice the vocabulary chants from Latin for Children, including Beanie. And I pulled out our copy of Lingua Angelica, a beautiful collection of hymns in Latin, published by Memoria Press, the same folks who do Prima Latina and Latina Christiana. The Lingua Angelica set includes a CD and songbook. We listen to a song many times until we know it by heart, and then we talk through the translation. It’s fun and quite a painless way to expand our understanding of the language. I say "we" because I’m learning Latin right along with the children.

(I say "right along." Ha. I should say, "trailing behind Jane, and barely managing to keep pace with Bean.")

Answering Some Reader Questions: Latin and Record-Keeping

January 5, 2007 @ 1:58 pm | Filed under: , ,

Ana Betty wrote:

Some questions! Why did you choose the particular Latin programs
that you did? What about grammar/copywork? I find that this slips
through the cracks for me. If I rely totally on their narrations which
are not written (my 8 yr old twin sons), I never get around to typing
them out or recording them. We’ve used a couple of different things for
grammar/copywork and have yet to find a real good fit.

I’d love to see how you record your school plans and reading
schedules. I’m a little organizationally challenged but feel it would
really help the kids and I to have it all laid out.

(I’ll get back to the grammar/copywork questions in another post.)


I talked a bit about the Latin program we’re using in this post:

Rose is using Prima Latina
because I like its simple format with manageable lesson size, and I
love that it includes Latin prayers. We are using the book and CD only,
not the DVD.

Jane completed Prima Latina a couple of years ago, and has resumed her studies with the highly engaging Latin for Children
(ecclesiatical pronunciation—although the DVD seems to use only
classical pronunciation—V is pronounced like W, for example—and when we
watch the DVD we have to remind ourselves to adjust the pronunciation.
The chant CD, which we use more than the DVD, offers both forms). All
of us are enjoying the chant CD and I’ve written before about how
delightful it is to hear five-year-old Beanie running around chanting

Jane especially likes the LfC activity book, which is heavy on
puzzles, crosswords, and such. Puzzle = perfect, in Jane’s opinion. We
also scored an ancient, battered copy of Latin Book One for a few
bucks, and Jane is really enjoying it as a supplement to Latin for
Children. It has you diving right in to real paragraphs in translation, and for both of us beginners, that has been a thrill.

Midyear update: Jane continues to love Latin for Children. Rose, returning to Prima Latina after several months off during our move, is less enthusiastic. She enjoys learning the Latin prayers, but the rest of it (so very workbooky) leaves her cold. Latin for Children is really a step beyond her right now, so I’m pondering. I’ll keep you posted.


What I like to do is jot down a few notes at the end of each day, recording what we did. Even during our most unschooly periods, I have made a habit of this—usually dashing down book titles and activities in a daily planner of some kind. Despite my planner fetish, I don’t use a planner as much for planning as I do for recording.

This past year, I have (on and off) experimented with the blog format for record-keeping. I have a no-frills spinoff blog over at Bonny Glen, and that’s where I jot down our daily reading and such. It’s sloppy and informal, but I left the public settings in place because I get so much mail from readers who want to know "how do you fit it all in???" and I wanted to reassure these nice folks that we are by no means fitting it ALL in EVERY day. My hope is that in sharing our daily learning notes, I can help ease the worries of moms who read all the great ideas out there in the blog world and feel overwhelmed at the thought of making it all happen in their own homes. It doesn’t ALL happen in anyone’s home, and certainly not in this Lilting House.

One recommendation for others who decide to make their learning journals public: if you have regular out-of-the-house activities, I wouldn’t include them in your notes! YOU’LL know, looking back, that you had ballet on such-and-such an afternoon. No need to announce to the world at large that your house is empty at a certain time every week.

Another point about record-keeping: the notes I described above are separate from (and far more detailed than) the kind of records I am required to maintain according to the laws of our state. And of course I only give the state what I am legally obligated to, not a syllable more. Here in California, under the private-school provision I opted for (registering as a private school), I must have up-to-date attendance records to present if asked. I keep those separately, on a simple form, in a folder beside my front door. (Which reminds me, I haven’t checked off the "here" boxes all week. Oh, that cracks me up. Hey, kids, are you here?)