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New and confused about grammar and Latin.


5LittleMonkeys
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We have only been hs for about 1 1\2 yrs. at this point and I made most of my curriculum choices for this year based on my children's learning styles and from CD's top 100 list. I am very drawn to classical education and have been trying to read about it when I have time. I am trying to slowly integrate aspects of a classical education into our home and have done very well with the science, history and literature. The grammar has me stumped. I have several questions.

 

Right now I am using Easy Grammar with my dd5th and dd6th. dd1st is doing phonics with ETC but I am about to purchase Writing Road to Reading for her.

 

1. At what age do you start and stop grammar instruction?

2. Is EG to easy as the foundation of language in a classical education?

3. If so, what do I need to look for in a replacement?

4. What comes after grammar and at what ages?

 

And now for Latin. Honestly, for some reason the prospect of starting Latin instruction scares me. Probably because I know nothing about it. I will be learning it too, so I would need something very user friendly.

 

1. Again, at what age do you begin and end Latin instruction?

2. Is is done in addition to, as part of or instead of a spelling curriculum?

3. Can it be taught to multiple levels at one time or does each grade

level need individual instruction?

4. Considering I have never had any experience with Latin what should

I look for in a curriculum?

 

Sorry for all the questions. I kept telling myself I would muddle through it and figure it all out as I went but when I looked over my notes last night there were to many conflicting ideas because I was reading many different sources and some of those sources had agendas ( "To find out more buy my book.") KWIM I find the information I read from this forum is much more reliable. Thank you ladies and\or gents in advance.

 

Aime

Edited by 5LittleMonkeys
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I have several questions.

 

Right now I am using Easy Grammar with my dd5th and dd6th. dd1st is doing phonics with ETC but I am about to purchase Writing Road to Reading for her.

 

1. At what age do you start and stop grammar instruction?

This really varies from person to person. SWB recommends grammar instruction throughout school. Some classical educators find that their dc's Latin studies provide sufficient grammar instruction. I think it comes down to personal philosophy & preference.

2. Is EG to easy as the foundation of language in a classical education?

I haven't used it myself, but I believe a number of people on the board use it. I don't think so.

3. If so, what do I need to look for in a replacement?

4. What comes after grammar and at what ages?

This depends on how long you continue grammar instruction. :D To give one example, I've looked at Analytical Grammar, which covers grades 6-8, and then has books which offer review exercises throughout high school.

 

And now for Latin. Honestly, for some reason the prospect of starting Latin instruction scares me. Probably because I know nothing about it. I will be learning it too, so I would need something very user friendly.

 

1. Again, at what age do you begin and end Latin instruction?

This also varies. You could start as early as you want with something fun like Song School Latin. Or you could wait until High School and use something like Cambridge, Henle, Oxford, or any number of online courses. I'm in-between the two. B used Getting Started With Latin (GSWL) last year, and T used Latin for Children A. This year, both boys are doing Latin Prep I, which starts over from the beginning again, but at a somewhat faster pace than programs designed for younger learners.

2. Is is done in addition to, as part of or instead of a spelling curriculum?

Hmmm... in addition to, I would think. Not everyone uses a formal spelling curriculum, but often the reason for not doing so is because spelling is covered by copywork.

3. Can it be taught to multiple levels at one time or does each grade

level need individual instruction?

That depends on the program. GSWL, for example, could easily be taught to multiple grade levels. I wouldn't use something like Latin Prep with my 6yo, though.

4. Considering I have never had any experience with Latin what should

I look for in a curriculum? (English From the Roots Up looked

promising....but is it a complete curriculum for Latin?)

Something with good teacher helps, or a DVD/Audio component is nice. Most programs geared toward younger learners move at a slow enough pace that it's really easy to keep up.

 

 

Hope that helps a bit! :)

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Does Easy Grammar cover sentence diagramming? I seem to remember hearing that it does not, but I could be wrong. If it doesn't, you'll need to supplement with a diagramming text like Mary Daly's to follow TWTM.

 

One of the things I'm considering with my oldest is combining the subjects of Latin and English grammar by using The Latin Road to English Grammar in a year or two when I feel she's ready for it.

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As I see it, grammar is a subject that really is never "ended," just learned in more depth as the child progresses. I began it as soon as my child was solidly reading at a 2nd grade level for the most part, which for her was when she was 5 years old. I used First Language Lessons for Grades 1 and 2, which I liked because it trained me in the classical methods as well as my daughter.

 

As for Latin, I began with Latin's Not So Tough at about the same time. The first year of that program is just phonics so it was nice ease-into-it kind of program (I never learned Latin either), but one could start an older child skipping the first level as it is all covered in the 2nd level as review. I found Latin phonics helped with the phonetics found in many English words personally and although it is not an obvious part of our spelling program, because she is already aware that "i" can sound like "ee" as in the word machine, it has been helpful in her spelling.

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If no one in the home has ever had Latin, it is very easy to teach to all levels at once. Whether you use a course for second graders or high school, they all start with the same basic information: vocabulary memorization, noun declensions, verb conjugations. The only difference is the amount of writing and the speed at which they progress. I would choose something for your 5th and 6th graders and then just have anybody younger do the memorization with them (drilling vocabulary cards, chanting declensons and conjugations.)

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Right now I am using Easy Grammar with my dd5th and dd6th. dd1st is doing phonics with ETC but I am about to purchase Writing Road to Reading for her.

 

1. At what age do you start and stop grammar instruction?

I start grammar instruction when my kids begin copywork - after they know how to form their letters (usually 6). I choose short passages/poems/prayers for them to copy. I think that grammar instruction in many ways should continue through high school.

2. Is EG to easy as the foundation of language in a classical education?

I've never used this program.

3. If so, what do I need to look for in a replacement?

4. What comes after grammar and at what ages?

Well, as I said, I think grammar is something which is on-going. My kids are using/will use Classical Writing which incorporates grammar into each level.

 

And now for Latin. Honestly, for some reason the prospect of starting Latin instruction scares me. Probably because I know nothing about it. I will be learning it too, so I would need something very user friendly.

 

1. Again, at what age do you begin and end Latin instruction?

I think this is personal choice. My eldest (now 8) began Latin at 6 using Lively Latin. My 6yo will start Latin sometime after the new year with the same program. My requirement is that they've mostly completed their phonics program and are reading well. Your older kids could start whenever you want them to start. Because we follow more of a traditional classical educational model, we won't stop Latin instruction. When they're older the kids will begin reading works in Latin (Virgil, etc).

2. Is is done in addition to, as part of or instead of a spelling curriculum?

I don't have a formal spelling program. I use copywork (for the younger set) and Classical Writing to hit spelling. If one of my kids shows that s/he needs a more formal program I'll investigate one then.

3. Can it be taught to multiple levels at one time or does each grade

level need individual instruction?

Of course you can teach multiple levels at once, especially as none of your kids has any prior Latin experience. Just be prepared for your olders to quickly outpace your younger. This is probably why you should think about 1 program (Latin Prep I, for instance) for your olders and 1 for your 6 yo (School Song Latin, Minimus, Latin for Children, Lively Latin, et al).

4. Considering I have never had any experience with Latin what should

I look for in a curriculum?

For your olders, one which systematically teaches declensions/conjugations. Ummm...I think this is called parts-to-whole instruction. You could also supplement with Latina Lingua (I believe this is the program) which is more of a reading/translation study once your kids have a year or so under their belts.

 

For your 6 yo, many of the programs will be very easy for you to teach/guide. Lively Latin (the only program I'm personally familiar with) is written to the student (and actually is written to 3rd - 5th graders); so, the explanations are very easy for the parent to understand.

There is a difference between a roots program (like English from the Roots Up) and a Latin program. You'll need to decide if you want to study Latin as a language (in which case a roots program won't help you) or if you just want an exposure.

Sorry for all the questions. I kept telling myself I would muddle through it and figure it all out as I went but when I looked over my notes last night there were to many conflicting ideas because I was reading many different sources and some of those sources had agendas ( "To find out more buy my book.") KWIM I find the information I read from this forum is much more reliable. Thank you ladies and\or gents in advance.

 

Aime

 

If you haven't already, see if your library has Andrew Campbell's Latin Centered Curriculum. There are now 2 editions, but for a general overview either edition will suffice. This book will truly answer any questions you may have. And you can use it as a guide for your homeschool.

Edited by brehon
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