My main question would be: what path would he suggest for beginners (child or adult), without a skilled Latin teacher, to get to the point where they can read the simplest texts on his site?
I was just looking through Fr. Schwickerath's book once more, and he recommends using a Latin reader in the first grammar year. He says that this practice was introduced in the German province as early as 1830. The older Jesuit documents all seem to have recommended starting right in with Cicero, though. It seems that Fr. Donnelly favored that approach as well, but unfortunately for us, he didn't write much about grammar.
Apparently I'm not entirely in "practical mode," because I'm back to thinking about the 20th century Catholic trend of medievalism, or pseudo-medievalism, and how it displaced existing traditions. In the previous EFL thread, and the big Angelicum/GBA thread, we talked about this a bit as it related to literature and art in general.
There's an interesting thread here on sacred music. I had already run into the Solesmes controversy, as well as some of the other points Goldman mentions. If you aren't familiar with Camille Saint-Saens' response to the 1903 Motu Proprio of Pius X, it goes right along with this.
Anyway, I appreciated this line: "The truly medieval way to do things is to make best out of the things at hand."
Also found a copy of the Teacher's Monographs journal from 1915, with a set of plans for "language work." I'm finding it interesting, because it clearly shows the amount and type of work that was expected for each grade. The work suggested for the primary grades is similar to EFL's in many ways, but seems lighter, probably because the class has to be held back to the rate of the slower pupils (including those with limited English). At home, each of these lessons, and probably more, can be taught in a few minutes a day.
The 3rd graders do "copying," and the 4th graders do "transcription." I take it that the former means writing from a cursive copy set by the teacher, and the latter means writing from a book.
By 5th grade, they're doing a little formal grammar (e.g. subject & predicate), and more exercises of the sort that you'd find in a workbook. This fits with my sense that this is a suitable time to shift more towards book lessons.
The major problem I'm having -- and one I'm hoping to solve by making a more set curriculum -- is that I can't figure out how to continue their individual face-to-face lessons, once they've started on "book lessons." She doesn't explicitly say that we're supposed to do this, IIRC, but I feel as if I ought to, at least for the language work. So right now, I'm fairly happy with the way things are going with the youngest and the oldest, but confused about the in-betweeners. They're happy to get to work on their own assignments (just like the "big kids), and they're definitely learning, but it doesn't seem very EFL to me.
I had thought of doing impromptu individual lessons based on their current book work, but that's proved impossible for me to keep up with, as the number of children and subjects has increased. And when I try to do oral work that's not tied to their book lessons, it seems disjointed.
My original plan was to come up with a tentative year-by-year curriculum for their individual skill work, and put the group thematic work on the side. Sort of like the revised lectionary, with the OT and NT running on different cycles. But that's apparently not going to work, without a team of mommy clones. So I think the best I can do is to have loosely-planned thematic work, with the individual lessons drawn out from that, and plain old textbooks/workbooks on the side. Which is basically KONOS. And also basically what we were doing to start with. But now enhanced, with EFL!
This gets back to the sketchiness of trying to restore some pure "tradition" from historical records. I suppose it doesn't make sense for our family to dump the parts of our homeschool that were working for years, just because they don't seem to fit with her advice, when we don't even have her actual advice for this situation.
I do hope you young'uns are able to do it more as written. With or without access to the mysterious EFL scriptures, buried under the earth of upstate New York.
So anyway... I think step 1 of the project has to be a scope & sequence for a more traditional/Renaissance-ish/humanistic approach to literature and language work, from preschool through rhetoric. This would be something that any educator could use and adapt, even if they had a different overall philosophy. (Though I'd be tempted to program it to self-destruct if they tried to teach "university methods" before the 4th grade. )
Step 2 involves putting together a list of resources, especially those in the public domain -- classic texts, study aids, exercises, precepts, works on pedagogy. Again, this could be of wide interest.
Step 3 involves making a plan for an EFL-ish homeschool that uses the above resources. This is going to be more family-specific.
I'm most likely going to be working on all of the above in parallel. "While learning three Oriental languages," as Basil Fawlty would say. I'll let you know when I'm at the point that collaboration seems worthwhile.