Discussion in 'General' started by Dielle, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    I don't know if anyone who reads this forum other than Jenn does Latin. I'm wanting to start it, with at least my older kids. What have you used? What do you like or dislike and why? I'm asking various homeschool friends to get some ideas. I don't know too many families IRL who actually do Latin (I can actually only think of 1).
  2. NINI H

    NINI H Well-Known Member

    I conidered it this year. But chose to do French instead. I'd love to hear from others also!
  3. jenn-

    jenn- Well-Known Member

    I tried my hand at Latin with DD. We started off with Getting Started With Latin by William E. Linney. It is a very straightforward approach with a new word or concept introduced in each lesson. The book is very plain, black words on white pages and that is it. DD handled the work pretty well. Occasionally she would have issues translating a word she hadn't seen in a while and that would frustrate her. If I remember correctly, the book mainly focused on translating from Latin to English with very little of the reverse. Unfortunately, there is only 1 book and we were left scratching our head as to where to go next.

    I finally decided to go with Latin Prep by Galore Park. They did not have this kit when I ordered from them. I had thought I had gotten everything I needed. I ordered the book, both workbooks, and the answer key to both workbooks (which I thought was stupid btw, why wouldn't you include the answers). Turns out, I forgot the answer key to the textbook part. Needless to say, this meant I had to learn the Latin alongside of DD and I didn't have the foundation from GSWL as it was very independent. We were quickly in over our heads. Concepts flew at DD way too fast and she was overwhelmed to say the least. After weeks of crying over Latin and zero retention going on, we switched again.

    I had had lofty ideas to teach Latin to the twins last year as well. As they are no where near old enough to do those other programs, I had ordered Song School Latin. We never got around to doing it though, so I let DD have one of the copies to work with. It was a fun program, but really written to children in the K-3 group. She worked through it, but it was really just busy work for her. After she finished that book, we abandoned Latin.

    This year we switched to Spanish. We are using Getting Started With Spanish. She really likes his teaching style. I will worry about where to go next when she finishes. One big difference, I took 5 years of Spanish and can actually help the child.
  4. Meximeli

    Meximeli Well-Known Member

    Dielle, I just wanted to say. WOW! Good for you for wanting to tackle something like that.

    In case people are looking to do other foriegn languages, I also recently recieved an email informing me that an internet sales company has been authorized to liquidate some of Simon and Schuster's Pimsleur audio courses for $9.95 (these things used to cost several hundred dollars). The method is good for getting a quick start on a language, though not really appropriate for children. But teens could use it. Here's the url
  5. Meximeli

    Meximeli Well-Known Member

    Jenn, I just spent some time going over the preview pages that are on the website and as a foriegn language teacher I'd have to say I find it quite strange. It made me curious to know more about what she likes about the teaching style? Have the two of you set any goals for her Spanish learning? How are you measuring her progress?
  6. jenn-

    jenn- Well-Known Member

    I think she likes the 1 word/idea per lesson concept. Instead of seeing a list of 10 words that she needs to be able to recall all at once, she gets a single new word each day. She then practices all the words she has been taught in the sentences she is translating. She likes little chunks of information in all of her subjects though. She shuts down when too much is thrown at her at a time.

    I can't really say much about our current goals. I would like her to become well versed in the language. So far he has only worked in present tense and I have a feeling we will hit a wall quickly when we switch tenses. That seemed to go over her head in Latin. Right now she is happy to be learning Spanish and as long as she continues to enjoy it, I will continue to provide it. When she gets to high school and she needs it for a transcript I will worry more about it.

    As for measuring her progress, I am not doing much. I figure she is retaining the information if she isn't having to look back to the glossary to translate and she isn't crying out of frustration. Like I said, this is as much driven by her as it is by me. She became interested in learning Spanish after going to a gymnastics camp in TX and being placed in a group of girls that primarily spoke Spanish.

    As a foreign language teacher, is there a particular curriculum you find works well for students? She is quickly moving through her current book and I will be looking for something else soon.
  7. Meximeli

    Meximeli Well-Known Member

    I don't have any experience working with that age group. I've worked with preschool and early elementary and high school and university. The most important thing is that she finds it interesting. I do find that setting goals with the students and keeping track of their progress towards those goals highly effective. And of course the more exposure to the language the better. A chance to use the subject matter in some way can be a huge motivation for sticking with it.

    I don't have much experience with the online spanish materials, but I really like the BBC's learning English materials, I expect that the Spanish materials would be of similiar quality. Here is the link
  8. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    So this isn't homeschooling, except for my own education, but I checked this out from my library (Spanish) and have been doing it for a couple of days in the car. It's actually kind of fun. And while I knew pretty much all of the words in the first couple of lessons, it helped me to actually put them together right and practice my pronunciation... though I do despair a little of ever being able to roll my r's right. One of my dear friends is from Dominican Republic, so I kind of want to do a little more and then surprise her (and beg for her help, LOL). It always makes me smile when we're talking and she just breaks out in Spanish, forgetting I don't understand it. I really want to be able to understand, though. There's a fairly large Hispanic portion of our congregation and often someone will come to talk to her when we're chatting at church and then I end up feeling a little left out. She's good at having the conversation be in English if the other person speaks English well enough. But some don't. Anyway, it's just the first set of CD's, so won't get me very far. But it's a start.
  9. FGMH

    FGMH Well-Known Member

    I don't have any homeschooling specific advice (although I tutored Latin for quite a while) but I did want to encourage you to try to teach some Latin. It was by far my favourite subject in school and I did a lot of research with original medieval texts in university.

    The way I was taught it was very systematic and abstract (a bit like maths in many ways) in the beginning - you need to learn vocabulary and grammar quite strictly. Later, it was the best door opener to lots of history and ideas; I just loved reading the original Roman, church and medieval sources and immersing myself into history without the interpretation of a translator.

    Jenn, I think teaching to translate from Latin to your native language is the most common approach. We did not start actively using the language before AP classes in high school. I also think that is really important to break down the grammar and concepts into small steps. Many of the concepts are so far away from our modern usage of language and so differentiated and precise that you really need time to understand them. Once you master them it will also help for clearer and more nuanced writing in your native language.

    One good starting point for using the language if you are Christian, especially if you are Catholic, could be liturgical texts or the Latin bible.

    Please feel free to PM me if you have any further questions.
  10. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I don't homeschool, but I saw the Latin subject. I took Latin in high school and really enjoyed it. We also took it in 7th grade.

    I don't know about specific curriculums, but I would definitely look for one that is very straightforward on parts of speech with the different endings. Latin word order is different than ours and the endings of the words tell you much more about sentence structure than it does in English. The words are divided into different declensions with each declension having it's own set of endings. I learned so much more about verb tense and parts of speech in Latin than I ever did in English class. If a curriculum has chart-looking things to fill in about words, that would be very appropriate for Latin. On the verbs, the chart would be two columns with an ending for singular and plurals. Then it would need 3 rows down for first, second, and third person. And that's just the 6 endings in the present tense. There are whole different ending sets for all the tenses and all the perfect tenses. A lot of Latin is just memorizing.

  11. jenn-

    jenn- Well-Known Member

    This is where DD struggled. She could barely handle the first declension stuff and once she was pushed into the other declensions she was lost. I know Spanish is going to get tricky as well as the verbs do some interesting things, but at least the word order stays consistent. In Latin the words could be anywhere in any order.
  12. Meximeli

    Meximeli Well-Known Member

    Jenn, that's why I have a hard time imagining latin for most children that age. Memorizing is not a way to get most children (or even adults) excited about studying a foreign language. Since it sounds like you didn't have a lot of sucess with a grammatical approach I would suggest you take a lexical approach with Spanish. A Lexical approach means you recognize that lexis is the bases of any language, rather than grammar. Grammar is the mortar and Lexis (words or phrases) are the bricks. You can't build a house out of mortar, but you can build up a wall by just stacking bricks. The mortar of couse makes it better, but is an improvement not an essentail part. But in order to use the lexical approach, you have to have things you want to say. The hard thing in foreign language teaching as opposed to second language teaching is that the students are not in an environment where they need to use the languae in their lives, they often don't have anything they want to say or understand in that language. This is especially true in the case of Latin since there is no possiblity of using it on vacation or at gynastics camp. And expecting an 11 year old to get excited about liturgical texts seems unrealistic to me. (I do appreciate the tremendous vocabulary building benefits and the mental exercise of inherant in learning Latin.)
  13. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Original Latin also has no punctuation and no spacing between the words, sentences, or much else. It looks more like a big, run-on letter mess. I'm out of practice now, but even when it was fresh in my head, I had trouble reading inscriptions or anything too original.

    I also agree with Melissa that unless a kid really wants to learn Latin, it's going to be sheer drudgery. There aren't words for modern things. And there are so many ending sets to memorize along with the vocabulary. And it really is pretty useless for day to day life. It builds vocabulary, but kids don't tend to appreciate that.

    For older kids there at least used to be Latin Conventions. The Latin clubs would go to a hotel for a few days, run around in togas, and do things related to Latin and the Romans. That was available at the high school level. I didn't go to that, but some of my friends did. If there is something like that available in your area, it could be motivation for older kids.

  14. TrishaLinn

    TrishaLinn Well-Known Member

    This is our second year of Latin. I'm learning alongside my son. We did about 2/3 of Prima Latina last year as just a quick intro to Latin, but when I do it with my second son I'll probably do Song School Latin. We didn't finish Prima Latina because my pregnancy with the twins just got too tedious and it just got dropped. This year we are doing Visual Latin, which is a fairly new video curriculum. We are LOVING it. He actually recommends it for kids/adults older than my son, but my son is doing just fine with it. We sometimes have to take a little extra time with a concept to really understand it, but that can be just as much for me as him. For instance, after he introduced the 1st and 2nd declensions we took a week just to go over them and memorize the endings. He takes some fairly complex principals (in my opinion) and breaks them up into manageable bite-size pieces. The teacher is fun to listen to. The lessons are short. And it's fun to be able to translate a passage from week one!
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