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HOW? Latin, Greek, AND Hebrew


SnMomof7
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So many great men of faith have been fluent in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. I'd love this for my own children. Well, even more so, I'd love this for me!

 

But I can't really get a picture of HOW this is going to happen! We are doing phonics still, but should be done this year, only around 22 lessons left to go!

 

After that, we are starting Prima Latina. Then I'm thinking LCI, First Form I etc.

 

BUT, when will we start Greek...and Hebrew? How am I going to fit this all in?

 

Any other moms who are planning this care to share? Or even better yet, moms who have blazed the trail?

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Well, I can speak to part of this. We are doing Latin and have added Greek. My daughter begs for Hebrew but I have balked thinking we don't have enough time and Hebrew is HARD.

 

We did Prima Latina, Latina Christiana I, Latina Christiana 2, and then we started Greek while doing First Form. We are in Second Form and Greek 2 this year. I outsourced the Greek but we do Latin at home. This year I also started outsourcing a supplemental Latin translation class for my daughter, because she says she wants to be a Latin teacher.

 

I was REALLY glad we had a few years of Latin under our belts before tackling Greek. I think that is a vital step.

 

Hebrew? I have the heebie-jeebies. When we took a Sunday School class that included learning the Hebrew alphabet, I had an epic fail. My children were able to learn most of the letters, but I was hopeless.

 

Maybe if I found a great Hebrew tutor, had extra money lying around, and had extra time I would let my daughter take it on herself.

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My ds is very interested in Latin, Greek and possibly Hebrew at some point. I can only speak to Latin and Greek...

 

We started Latin in 3rd grade using Prima Latina. He's doing Latina Christiana I this year and will do First Form next year.

 

He's thinking of Greek for next year and if he chooses that we'll start the "Hey Andrew" series. We'll just take it slow... no stress. I'm planning 2 days of Latin and 2 days of Greek a week.

 

I'm not sure about Hebrew... we may forgo that until HS? Or not at all... we'll add a modern language in 7th or 8th if he chooses Greek right now.

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Thanks for chiming in ladies. That sounds like a good course of action. We too will be starting PL around third grade, we're in the last half of second right now. I just wasn't sure if we should try things at the same time, or wait a while. Sounds like the consensus so far is to wait until First Form to add Greek in.

 

Maybe we can get a mom who's added Hebrew to the mix to pop in and enlighten us all!

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Both my kids are learning Latin and Greek, and my oldest just added Hebrew last week. His language history looks like this:

 

5th: LCI

6th: LCII

7th: Henle First Year Latin (units 1-7), Elementary Greek Years 1 & 2

8th: Henle First Year Latin (units 8-14), Elementary Greek Years 2 & 3

9th: Henle Second Year Latin, Athenaze Greek book 1, The Hebrew Reading Crash Course (published by the National Jewish Outreach Program, recommended by DragonsInTheFlowerBed)

 

He spends 1.5-2 hours per day on languages.

 

My daughter started classical languages at an earlier age, but takes longer to cover the same amount of material.

 

3rd: LCI

4th: LCII

5th: Henle First Year Latin (units 1-3)

6th: Henle First Year Latin, Elementary Greek Year 1

 

She spends about an hour per day on languages.

 

I really have no idea what I'm doing; just plugging along the best I can and trying to have a good time with it.

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I would like mine to be able to learn all 3 languages too...and I'd like them to learn a modern f.lang. I realize that *I* cannot teach all of this myself.

 

Mine are very young, so this is just rambling...

 

I'm teaching mine the Greek Alphabet very young. My 4yo sings "Alpha Beta Gamma...." with enthusiasm. I have a general goal of them knowing the Greek Alphabet by heart (sounds, writing, names) by the time they are 10yo or so.

 

I'm planning on starting Latin when they are reading English well (3rd grade-ish), and are ready for the grammar. I plan on stepping up the Greek a year later...doing both *very* slow and steady. I took Latin in high school (and have Wheelock sitting on the shelf for my "re-education"), and dh took Greek & Hebrew in Seminary. I'm thinking Hebrew will be a choice for the child in high school, if they want to start that language...and if they hint at wanting to major in Biblical studies I will push a bit of Hebrew whether they want it or not.

 

And, starting is my goal. I want to get them to the point that choosing to continue on at the college level with languages is easily within their grasp. I want them to be able to take full advantage of those language classes (NOT meeting the language for the first time paying $$$ tuition). If they choose not to continue on with the languages, then they will still have top-notch grammar and etymology skills which will serve them very well whatever they study.

 

This is all hopes and plans...a lot depends upon the individual children, I think. I may have one who would rather delve more deeply into other things...and after some crying in my pillow:tongue_smilie:, I'll be OK with that.

 

 

:bigear: It's good to hear others are attempting this too.

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I'm doing this with me right now, and planning to do so with my dc. I had this whole post typed up with my mad dreams...er, my ambitious plans :D - but I figure it's pretty useless to anyone but me 'till it gets tested ;). I'm heartened by all the people successfully doing this :).

 

Anyway, I'm doing Lingua Latina, along with CLC and Latin for Reading, plus several others as the mood strikes, for Latin. I'm also working through several linguistic texts, so I have a common framework for grammar - help me make connections b/w them all (even as little as I've done, I'm noticing several interesting connections :)), and hopefully increase cross-over learning potential. For Hebrew, I'm working through Teach Yourself to Read Hebrew - I've got some auditory processing issues, and apparently never learned to blend :001_huh:, so it's been slow going. Random Greek pronunciation practice shows it's transferring, though :) - I've known the alphabet/sounds for a year now, but my inability to blend or work through multi-syllable words stopped me in my tracks in trying to move into a grammar book. I've got the Alphabetarian now, and even though I pull it out infrequently, I'm noticeably improving just from the Hebrew practice. I've got half a dozen Greek books to choose from when I get there, and a few Hebrew books, both reading and g/t methods. Whatever I use, my plan is to bootstrap myself to reading the OT/NT for basic comprehension ASAP - I've got reader's editions already ;) - and then learn more indepth grammar from there. We'll see how it goes :tongue_smilie:.

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I'm doing this with me right now, and planning to do so with my dc. I had this whole post typed up with my mad dreams...er, my ambitious plans :D

 

Whatever I use, my plan is to bootstrap myself to reading the OT/NT for basic comprehension ASAP - I've got reader's editions already ;) :tongue_smilie:.

 

Hey, I'm all for hearing the ambitious plans! :)

 

I'd love to be able to read the Bible in the original languages - that's essentially my entire goal here! We do have the big blue interlinear Hebrew Greek English Bible sitting on the shelf here...but not sure what to do with it!

 

I need to learn my alphabets (aleph-bets, alpha-betas?) in Greek and Hebrew first, and I'll admit, it makes me all a bit nervous - self-teaching in completely unfamiliar territories...

Edited by Jennifer Bogart
haha!
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It's been a while since I've looked, but the Bluedorns at Trivium Pursuit had some interesting/inspiring things to say about this and how they did it. I've never bought any of their materials so I think I just listened to some free audio lectures and read articles they have written. You may not agree with them on everything (I don't), but I found this portion to be informative.

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Mine are very young, so this is just rambling...

 

I'm teaching mine the Greek Alphabet very young. My 4yo sings "Alpha Beta Gamma...." with enthusiasm. I have a general goal of them knowing the Greek Alphabet by heart (sounds, writing, names) by the time they are 10yo or so.

...

I took Latin in high school (and have Wheelock sitting on the shelf for my "re-education"), and dh took Greek & Hebrew in Seminary.

...

This is all hopes and plans...a lot depends upon the individual children, I think. I may have one who would rather delve more deeply into other things...and after some crying in my pillow:tongue_smilie:, I'll be OK with that.

 

 

 

Mine are young too :), I'm also a Latin-in-high-school-mom, but I need to get moving on re-educating myself - it is all so blurry now...13 years and 4 dc later...

 

:iagree: I'm hoping my littles will be co-operative of my master-ancient-languages-plans, or I may too be crying in my pillow. :tongue_smilie:

 

Did you make up your "Alpha Beta" song, or is it a resource you bought somewhere? :) :bigear:

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It's been a while since I've looked, but the Bluedorns at Trivium Pursuit had some interesting/inspiring things to say about this and how they did it. I've never bought any of their materials so I think I just listened to some free audio lectures and read articles they have written. You may not agree with them on everything (I don't), but I found this portion to be informative.

 

:iagree:

 

The Bluedorn's are my original inspiration! I also learned to sing Psalm 2 from their recording of it :). We don't agree with all their points either, but I love their book - need to read it again. This reminds me (thanks) to download their audios again. I've had a couple of computer melt downs since I originally listened to them, and lost the files :(.

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We sing the Greek alphabet to the tune of "Mama's Little Baby Loves Shortnin' Bread." My friend in college sang it that way (she was in a sorority). It ends with a rousing "yeah, yeah, yeah." :)

 

Our plan is somewhat similar. We started in 1st grade (dd was reading and writing well) with SSL. Then in 2nd we moved into PL and worked through Hey, Andrew level one learning the alphabet slowly. This year we are using LC1 and EG1, and so far so good. My plan right now (thought I'm still not 100% sure about Latin) is to follow the MP and EG series through. When she is old enough I plan to have her take online classes in Greek and Latin through Lukeion. We'll also introduce Spanish at some point. Hebrew would be nice, but it is not on the radar right now.

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Hey, I'm all for hearing the ambitious plans! :)

Well, my ambitious plan rests on me actually *learning* all these languages well enough to teach from <eek>.

 

I'm wanting to basically match SWB's English grammar progression - basic grammar and syntax in 1-4, advanced grammar and syntax in 5-8, style and literary analysis in 9-12 (also working on reading skills throughout, hopefully being able to read the Bible ~6th, and being ready for the Great Books in 9th/10th) - in each language, and so I need to hit the end goals for each stage as dd4 is entering that stage. That gives me about 3-4 years to hit moderate reading and grammar proficiency. I'm modelling my plans for teaching Latin/Greek/Hebrew grammar on 8fillstheheart's approach to English grammar - effectively you start with most basic sentence structure and build up more complicated sentences from there, but she explains it better in her essay/booklet/explanation-thing :D that's floating around the boards somewhere (eta: here it is) - using a regular text as an outline (I'd be doing English grammar the same way). I've settled on Latin for Reading as my Latin spine, I think, but totally up in the air on Greek/Hebrew. Tentatively thinking of dh's sem texts unless/until I come across better. I'm hoping to be able to do lots of cross-connections - that's my goal with the linguistics study, anyway.

 

Anyway, that's my pipe dream :lol: - we'll see how much we can do in reality :tongue_smilie:. Honestly, if my dc can read the Bible in Greek/Hebrew with reasonable comprehension when they graduate, I'm calling it a complete success :) - anything further is bonus.

Edited by forty-two
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Over the years I have tried to learn and teach Hebrew, Greek and Latin. I have some severe memory loss issues due to post trauma and a seizure disorder so...I can only talk about what I still remember :-0

 

In general, unless the family has hired help, or a parent who has MASTERED all 3 of the languages, it's really better to just pick ONE langauge if your goal is to master it. If dabbling and teaching your children how to learn languages in general is your goal, then all 3 can be a lot of fun. And you will have prepared your child to dive in and learn one or more of the languages later on in life. It is just as important to teach our children to self teach as it is to see them leave the nest with certain skills already mastered.

 

Most children can only absorb and most parents can only teach about 3 skills at a time to mastery. If you are working hard in maths and writing, most families need to pick just one more skill to master or just dabble in many.

 

So for the 3rd skill, it's a hard choice whether to tackle an instrument, or a language or serious homemaking or a trade skill.

 

We ended out dabbling in a lot. My boys learned how to learn and are comfortable tackling new studies. I sometimes wish, though, that I had been sat down and really told, that without hired help, and better educational background, that we were only going to be able to handle 3 skills at a time and I better really give some serious thought to what I wanted them to be. And that as soon as I added in a 4th or a 5th skill, I fully understood that I was going ot end out shortchanging another, and which one did I want that to be.

 

Fold a paper into 3 columns. Anytime you add in a 4th skill, decide which of the 3 columns you are going to now fold in half and expect half mastery in.

 

Yeh, yeh, we all hear about the superfamilies, but they are far and few between. And when we look back and famous people in history, their experience was usually different. Many of the great language learners had servants or didn't study much math or science, or attended a school where the teacher and students were all fluent and played in Latin on the playground and heard it in church.

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Well, my ambitious plan rests on me actually *learning* all these languages well enough to teach from <eek>.

 

My plan rests here as well. I'm not shooting for Hebrew at this time, just Latin and Greek. I'd love to learn it myself someday, but I'd probably only have DD left to homeschool by then.

 

I am going for both Latin and Greek, concurrently (as Beth in Texas did - I think that's her username). I'm doing Homeric Greek because it's supposed to be easiest to start at Homer and go forward, as opposed to starting at Koine and going back. And I already have a high-school text I can hopefully adapt down.

 

Minimus, Secondus and Latin through Mythology are there for reading practice and fun. I want them to know Latin is a language, not just word manipulation.

 

My eldest is doing the Latin sequence, but I'm waiting on Greek for him until his brother can join him - hopefully next year with the alphabet.

 

3rd: GSWL & Minimus for Latin; Greek Alphabetarian

4th: Nutting's Primer (1/2) and Secondus; Classical Greek for Beginners for Greek (will need to supplement to stretch this out to 1 year!0)

5th: Nutting's Primer (2/2) and Latin through Mythology; A Reading Course in Homeric Greek I (1/3)

6th: Nutting's Reader; A Reading Course in Homeric Greek I (2/3)

7th: Lingua Latina (1/3); A Reading Course in Homeric Greek I (3/3)

8th: Lingua Latina (2/3); A Reading Course in Homeric Greek II (1/2)

9th: Lingua Latina (3/3); A Reading Course in Homeric Greek II (2/2)

 

A Reading Course in Homeric Greek (which I happen to own) is a 2 year high-school course, if adapting it to a slower elementary/middle school course doesn't work, I'm going to buy Elementary Greek.

 

Our current state? DS8 is doing well with GSWL, and enjoys Minimus. DS7 is chomping at the bit to start Minimus (I'll probably allow him to this summer or next fall.) I'm working on Lingua Latina (trying to catch my group this month) with Linney's Latin Course as a backup. I'll start the Greek Alphabetarion before they do, and the hopefully beg out a Homeric Greek study group using Betham's (spelling?) guide. Which means I should log off and start studying. :tongue_smilie:

Edited by mtcougar832
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I plan to incorporate all 3 myself for the kids. This is my planned sequence for their studying. The purple is where we are right now:

 

Latin – Prima Latina

Greek – Alphabetarion & Hupogrammon

Latin – Latina Christiana I

Greek – Elementary Greek I

Latin – First Form Latin

Greek – Elementary Greek 2

Latin – Second Form Latin

Greek – Elementary Greek 3

Latin - Third Form Latin

Latin – Lone Pine Classical Latin 100

Greek – Machen New Testament Greek for Beginners

Latin – Lone Pine Classical Latin 200

Greek – Lukeion.org Greek I

Latin – Lone Pine Classical Latin 300

Greek – Lukeion.org Greek II

Latin – Lone Pine Classical Latin 400

Greek – Lukeion.org Greek III

Hebrew – The First Hebrew Primer

Hebrew - The First Hebrew Reader

A Reader's Hebrew and Greek Bible

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I plan to do all three for my youngest. He is doing Latin and Greek already, and we hope to finish the Latin off in junior high (Wheelock's fro 7th and 8th) and then finish Greek and do Hebrew for high school. We live near the suburb with a large Jewish population, and so we should be able to have a tutor or a class. He will go to private high school, but they are willing to have him take online classes for Greek at school. The Hebrew will have to be after school.

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link to a previous thread about teaching Hebrew, as well as a list with some of the resources we use. I agree with other posters who suggest beginning with Latin first.

 

One resource I like is The First Hebrew Primer which begins with the alphabet and guides the student toward fluent reading in the book of Ruth. This book is also available in a digital format, which has an audio component, helpful for accurate pronunciation. EKS also has a very nice series of stories from the Torah which provide the Hebrew text on one side of the page, and an English translation on the other.

 

Another text I like is Biblical Hebrew by Kittel, ETA. al. I think the 2nd edition has an audio component.

 

Follow the Hebrew Primer with The First Hebrew Reader; follow Biblical Hebrew with the First Hebrew Reader.

 

 

I would also recommend that you look for a good interlinear Tanach, or Bible. When you reach that point, you will also find The Old Testament Parsing Guide to be a helpful resource.

 

Here's a simple Linear Chumash series that I like as well.

 

 

 

 

One final thought - if you're really serious about learning Hebrew, consider taking a course at your local college, synagogue, Theological School, or Seminary (depending upon your faith and other relevant preferences). I took a year of graduate level Hebrew courses at a local Seminary in the mid- 90's and it really helped propel me forward at the time. I audited the course, so the tuition was quite inexpensive, but by doing all of the homework and taking the exams as if I were taking the course for credit, I was able to learn lot more then I would have on my own.

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WRT formal instruction, I'm fortunate in that dh's seminary has put video of all their language classes online, through iTunesU, and thanks to him, I've got the necessary texts ;). I'm not a video fan, but I will probably go through them at some point, as they are the most comprehensive resources available to me (and free to boot ;)).

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RE alphabet song: There is a cheesy youtube video that we watched several times...and then there is Song School Greek (which we just recently began listening to). My kids like to act goofy, and chant it. They just like saying silly things.:tongue_smilie:

 

Over the years I have tried to learn and teach Hebrew, Greek and Latin. I have some severe memory loss issues due to post trauma and a seizure disorder so...I can only talk about what I still remember :-0

 

In general, unless the family has hired help, or a parent who has MASTERED all 3 of the languages, it's really better to just pick ONE langauge if your goal is to master it. If dabbling and teaching your children how to learn languages in general is your goal, then all 3 can be a lot of fun. And you will have prepared your child to dive in and learn one or more of the languages later on in life. It is just as important to teach our children to self teach as it is to see them leave the nest with certain skills already mastered.

 

Most children can only absorb and most parents can only teach about 3 skills at a time to mastery. If you are working hard in maths and writing, most families need to pick just one more skill to master or just dabble in many.

 

So for the 3rd skill, it's a hard choice whether to tackle an instrument, or a language or serious homemaking or a trade skill.

 

We ended out dabbling in a lot. My boys learned how to learn and are comfortable tackling new studies. I sometimes wish, though, that I had been sat down and really told, that without hired help, and better educational background, that we were only going to be able to handle 3 skills at a time and I better really give some serious thought to what I wanted them to be. And that as soon as I added in a 4th or a 5th skill, I fully understood that I was going ot end out shortchanging another, and which one did I want that to be.

 

Fold a paper into 3 columns. Anytime you add in a 4th skill, decide which of the 3 columns you are going to now fold in half and expect half mastery in.

 

Yeh, yeh, we all hear about the superfamilies, but they are far and few between. And when we look back and famous people in history, their experience was usually different. Many of the great language learners had servants or didn't study much math or science, or attended a school where the teacher and students were all fluent and played in Latin on the playground and heard it in church.

 

Great post! Filing this wisdom away for safe keeping.:001_smile:

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It's possible to do three languages. We haven't done the combination you mention, but did Mandarin, Latin and French. We let each new language get a bit established before adding in the next one (waiting a year or more) and we don't drop any language, just add in the new one.

 

Laura

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It is possible for SOME families to MASTER 3 languages, but they are very very rare here in the USA, especially the ancient and inflected languages. Many families do themselves harm, biting off more they can chew.

 

I've seen lots and lots of families STARTING a 3 language plan, but very very few of them finishing a 3 language plan.

 

If a family includes a parent with a stronger educational background, or more money than the average homeschool family they can accomplish more. But so many families have one paycheck and the primary teacher with nothing more than a mediocre American high school diploma.

 

It's really important to factor in the reality of the family's resources. A family that doesn't feel guilty about not being able to provide horseback riding lessons, will feel like a failure if they cannot teach at least 2 ancient languages to mastery, and that is a shame.

 

I'm not advocating low standards, but I am advocating realistic ones. I've seen too many families over the decades choke on what they bit off. Yeh...year after year, I see the posts saying, "Look what I bit off! Look at my full cheeks!" and i hear the coughing. It's rare indeed that I see the fully digested meal and the smiling face of multiple languages learned from a lower income, typically educated American family.

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I think it's totally possible for a lot of people. I was raised Jewish and never learned to write, but only read and pray in Hebrew. We lived far from a synagogue. I self-taught myself some latin and greek as a teenager, and started self-teaching myself more advanced french through translating things I liked and then back to english for fun. We're working on latin, french, greek here at home, and they have heard some of the Hebrew prayers though we are not Jewish (dh was raised Catholic). So I think it partly depends on the parent's motivations in teaching and the students' desire to learn. I would use many resources and be patient-learning many languages is a lifetime goal!

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I appreciate your perspective Hunter - really I do.

 

I was re-listening to the Bluedorn's free download on classical languages last night, and after reading your first post on this thread I heard hints of that in what they were saying.

 

To extrapolate from what I heard...homeschoolers are needing to re-establish a working knowledge of the ancient languages within their own families. To establish them as normative. When that happens, becoming multi-classical-lingual (:P) is a goal that will become more achievable in future generations.

 

What many of us are doing is laying the foundations, in ourselves and in our children. If we get Latin done well, maybe our children will be able to teach Latin AND Greek with proficiency...then maybe Latin, Greek, and Hebrew with fluency in the following generation.

 

I'd still love to have all three myself, but it may be a life-long endeavor. I think it's worth it to be able to read the original languages of the Bible for myself! :)

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I always like these discussions cause I like the idea of learning Greek and Hebrew too, so am interested in seeing how people are doing it, and what materials they are using. Thanks OP :001_smile:

 

In our school, I want my kids to be exposed to a language, I want them to enjoy a language, and I want them to learn a little at a time. I see that native languages are learned like this.

 

I will not consider it a waste if in the end they know just a little bit of a language.

 

That being the case we have found some fun videos on youtube. One with a song of the Hebrew aleph-bet that is very cute from a Hebrew school in New York. We also found a professor teaching the Greek alphabet with a little story. The kids (3 and 5 at the time) learned them right away.

 

I guess I am satisfied with the dabbling, without worrying about the mastery. :001_smile: I am also totally comfortable with learning alongside my children. I don't know what God has for their futures. I would like to expose them to a lot of different topics and fields of study and watch the direction in which they excel. Then help them as much as I can to pursue that direction.

Edited by just Jenny
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I understand what you are saying, Hunter, and I appreciate the wisdom of your years. However, if it is our ambition, we have to wade in to see whether we will be one of those rare families that succeeds or whether we will choke.

 

I've gone into this endeavor fully aware of the possibility of failure (for that matter, I entered homeschooling with the same trepidation :001_huh:). If my daughter hits a wall with one or more languages, I am fully prepared (and will not feel like a failure if I have to) to cast one aside to focus on the other more intently. So far it is working for us. I do have a background in Greek, but for the most part I am relearning along with her. She LOVES both languages and enjoys doing both. We study each daily. As she gets older, both of these languages will be done by online classes or tutors. I consider myself just putting down a foundation for her. I don't assume mastery will take place until she alone takes ownership of the languages and pursues them passionately. If at that stage she no longer has interest...well, all the benefits of the foundation will still be there.

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I understand what you are saying, Hunter, and I appreciate the wisdom of your years. However, if it is our ambition, we have to wade in to see whether we will be one of those rare families that succeeds or whether we will choke.

 

I've gone into this endeavor fully aware of the possibility of failure (for that matter, I entered homeschooling with the same trepidation :001_huh:). If my daughter hits a wall with one or more languages, I am fully prepared (and will not feel like a failure if I have to) to cast one aside to focus on the other more intently. So far it is working for us. I do have a background in Greek, but for the most part I am relearning along with her. She LOVES both languages and enjoys doing both. We study each daily. As she gets older, both of these languages will be done by online classes or tutors. I consider myself just putting down a foundation for her. I don't assume mastery will take place until she alone takes ownership of the languages and pursues them passionately. If at that stage she no longer has interest...well, all the benefits of the foundation will still be there.

 

I always like these discussions cause I like the idea of learning Greek and Hebrew too, so am interested in seeing how people are doing it, and what materials they are using. Thanks OP :001_smile:

 

In our school, I want my kids to be exposed to a language, I want them to enjoy a language, and I want them to learn a little at a time. I see that native languages are learned like this.

 

I will not consider it a waste if in the end they know just a little bit of a language.

 

That being the case we have found some fun videos on youtube. One with a song of the Hebrew aleph-bet that is very cute from a Hebrew school in New York. We also found a professor teaching the Greek alphabet with a little story. The kids (3 and 5 at the time) learned them right away.

 

I guess I am satisfied with the dabbling, without worrying about the mastery. :001_smile: I am also totally comfortable with learning alongside my children. I don't know what God has for their futures. I would like to expose them to a lot of different topics and fields of study and watch the direction in which they excel. Then help them as much as I can to pursue that direction.

 

:iagree: with both. I want to try. And even though I don't have gobs of money, with the internet there are SO many resources. And right now I can make time, that means I have to do less on the computer and get up earlier, but that's a choice I have to make. And my education didn't stop at high-school. I've learned so much just teaching the kids and self-educating.

 

Plus, I have a broader goal than fluency (which I'm not aiming for, I'd like fluent Spanish and good Latin). I want to broaden my children's vision. And give them more than I had. I'm choosing to have a language focus, others choose history, or science, or _______. I'm prepared to take a different direction if needed as my kids get older.

 

Sure...

 

http://triviumpursuit.com/downloads/index.php#audio

 

Teaching Classical Languages at Home, it's the last audio in the list. Some other neat stuff there too!

 

Thanks for the link, I was about to ask because I couldn't find it.

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It is possible for SOME families to MASTER 3 languages, but they are very very rare here in the USA, especially the ancient and inflected languages. Many families do themselves harm, biting off more they can chew.

 

I've seen lots and lots of families STARTING a 3 language plan, but very very few of them finishing a 3 language plan.

 

If a family includes a parent with a stronger educational background, or more money than the average homeschool family they can accomplish more. But so many families have one paycheck and the primary teacher with nothing more than a mediocre American high school diploma.

 

It's really important to factor in the reality of the family's resources. A family that doesn't feel guilty about not being able to provide horseback riding lessons, will feel like a failure if they cannot teach at least 2 ancient languages to mastery, and that is a shame.

 

I'm not advocating low standards, but I am advocating realistic ones. I've seen too many families over the decades choke on what they bit off. Yeh...year after year, I see the posts saying, "Look what I bit off! Look at my full cheeks!" and i hear the coughing. It's rare indeed that I see the fully digested meal and the smiling face of multiple languages learned from a lower income, typically educated American family.

 

 

It is important to be realistic. :iagree:

 

I think it's OK to get the ball rolling, so to speak...and let the mastery level learning be the child's choice at the high school or college level.

 

From my dh (who has a seminary degree with Biblical languages); "I wish I would have learned the basics before college." There he was, sitting in a classroom with some AMAZING professors (paying TUITION) and rather than delving into the depths, he struggled with the vocab. kwim.

 

I took Latin in high school, and I can relate to what my dh expressed. I was capable of the translating work...but 3.5years felt like a crash course to pass the test. A gradual learning of the basics in middle school would have given me the ability to focus in a different way when I had a Latin teacher who *knew* Latin. As it is, I came away with some grammar and etymology skills..I can't read Cicero without some serious work. The outcome would have been different if I went it with the basics down.

 

I don't think I'm going to be teaching to mastery IOW. I'm going to be preparing them to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way. Same with math and science and writing...I can get them so far and then it's their choice to specialize and focus in on their life's work.

 

I'm just starting out...so maybe this is naive.:blush:

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Choosing to dabble is a worthy goal :-) There are so many benefits to dabbling in more, instead of planning on mastery of less, if you are of the philosophy of teaching a child to teach himself.

 

I think it is a very worthy goal to teach Christian children, both the Hebrew and Greek alphabets and drop the languages soon after, for Latin or a modern language. I think it just helps parents to earlier decide this is their goal rather than thinking somehow it's just going to happen that all 3 ancient languages, a modern language, multiple AP courses in high school and Teaching Our Daughters to be Keepers at Home, learning to play the piano, and certain art skills will all be completed to MASTERY by age 18.

 

It's just nice to have realistic goals and to be able to successfully and calmly and methodically work towards them. It makes for a more peaceful home.

 

I was on the Bluedorn site yesterday too :-) Even with more money and more education than most of us have, they advocate more realistic goals.

 

I am in the middle of some serious Bible study right now and really thought about the fact that Jesus and the NT writers usually quoted a Greek TRANSLATION of the Hebrew scriptures rather than the original Hebrew. I think that can be an example for us, that focusing on the scriptures in our native tongue is good enough.

 

I've been thinking about wanting to dive back in to some language study for awhile and am trying to carefully plan my goals. I think I am going to drop my math studies to fit it in.

 

For my 3 masteries, I think for right now, I want to focus on 1-writing, 2-read music and play the Scottish Psalter tunes on piano, 3- review Hebrew alphabet

 

So everything else needs to be a curriculum that does not systematically build skills, but instead should be the fragmented type that can be continued even if I didn't fully understand a previous lesson, or skipped it, or just skimmed it quickly.

 

I have decided to invest in the Spirotos word study volumes where the KJV is the main text and every Hebrew and Greek word is under it, instead of the Green volumes where the OL is the main text and the English under it. I think this will help me set more realistic goals. I don't have them right now, but the Green volumes have haunted me and brought unrest into my days encouraging me to continually bite off more than I could chew at one time. It's probably a good thing I lost my prized leather Green interlinear when I was homeless.

 

I'm doing intensive Psalm studies right now and it befefits me to be able to copy hebrew words. But I need to draw the line there and sing the psalms in English, not Hebrew. English is MY language and I need to rest in that.

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In a moment of complete disorientation and confusion I visited this place again so, given that I'm already here, I thought I'd share a word or two.

BUT, when will we start Greek...and Hebrew? How am I going to fit this all in?

 

Any other moms who are planning this care to share? Or even better yet, moms who have blazed the trail?

Discipline and organization are the keys.

There are two types of crucial mistakes you can make: (i) starting out too ambitiously, without enough flexibility with regards to certain cognitive finesses that elementary school children take time to develop, which is a recipe for much frustration and an eventual burnout of all parties, and (ii) contrary to the previous, going into this without any method, structure, clear goals to "check off" at each stage of learning and relying that things will, somehow, take care of themselves. Well, they always might, as a theoretical possibility - but the chances are against you and you will probably end up having started all three, but not having reached a considerable proficiency in either.

 

That being said, a few principles you might wish to keep in mind:

 

 

  • One cannot teach what one doesn't know.
    Ideally, you would either invest time in familiarizing yourself with the content you aim to teach somebody else or delegate the instruction altogether to a competent tutor. No matter how clearly written curriculum you may find, having somebody next to you who knows at least a few shades better what you are learning is invaluable at the elementary, and even middle, stages of education.
  • Don't sweat analytical grammar before mid-elementary or even beginning middle years, but also don't delay it for cramming in high school.
    My experience suggests that, as a rule of the thumb, 4th-5th grade is the ideal start of the first classical language, with subsequent languages being added after a year to three. It does not mean that younger children are incapable of dealing with classical languages - not at all; but it does mean that, in the case of really young children who have not yet mastered the aforementioned cognitive finesses needed to get an analytical grasp of a grammar of an inflected "dead" language, your "wins" might be tempered with your "losses", or in other words, it might not "pay off", as you might need to spend too much time to ensure minimal progression, as most children of those ages naturally learn languages differently. That is the perfect age to start a modern foreign language, but maybe not a classical one - and this is especially important if you yourself do not know the material very well and thus cannot "tweak" it as needed to match the needs of young children.
  • Consider the option of "bridging" one classical language with its modern successor.
    By this, I mean taking the modern successor of the classical language you intend to start with and starting from there - that way you will take advantage of the natural way young children learn languages, more by immersion and less by dissecting their structure, yet gain much of the advantages with regards to some basic vocabulary. For example, learning Spanish in early elementary might not only get your child a concrete, useful knowledge of basic Spanish, but also serve as a "bridge" to basic Latin vocabulary, a starting point to discuss the need to learn classical languages, how languages change in time, etc.
    "Bridging" is optional, but if you wish your children to learn a modern foreign language in addition to the classical ones, you might wish to address it that way and put an early focus on the modern language.
     
    That being said, modern Hebrew is probably the "best" bridge as it differs significantly less from Biblical Hebrew than either modern Greek from Ancient Greek or Latin from modern Romance languages - however, unless you wish to start the whole progression with Hebrew and unless you have practical or cultural-religious needs specifically of Hebrew, and same can be told for Greek, I generally advise to start the whole progression with Latin and thus, if you opt for a modern foreign language first, it can make some sense to start with a language that developed from Latin.
  • There are two stages to learning: (i) morphology and (ii) syntax with texts.
    Morphology refers to words taken in isolation: getting to know the structure of the language, practicing analytical skills of isolating and recognizing patterns within a text. So, declensions, conjugations, the use of moods and such things belong to this stage. Do not sweat texts yet, or full understanding of texts - this is the time to build the basic understanding of how the language works, any texts are here merely as an aid to understand the structure. This stage should take approximately 2-4 years per language, depending on where you start and how quickly you move.
     
    Syntax refers to the function of words within a longer unity (of a sentence, passage, etc.). Even though the basic syntactic analysis (subject, predicate, direct object, etc.) is tackled already during the morphology stage, it is important to review the proper use of tenses, types of subordinate clauses and things of the kind in the initial stage of dealing with texts, as those are generally the most tricky things. Once morphology and basic syntax is done, all of the remaining time is spent dealing with texts, as you possess all the tools needed to tackle it.
     
    Do not sweat vocabulary. This is one of crucial mistakes. While a good basis needs to be established soon, most of it just comes with time, but your studies should be organized around grammar, rather than around vocabulary or thematic units.
    Also, note that generally the introduction of the second and third classical language follows the scheme: the next one is introduced about the end of "morphology stage" of the first language. That way, you only deal with constructing one system at a time, which is a lot easier and prevents you from being overwhelmed.
  • Avoid direct method for Latin and Greek (Hebrew is not so problematic) and textbooks which force it.
    For many, this is a matter of personal preference, but I think there are actually very serious linguistic and cultural grounds to avoid it in addition to personal preference, in our day and age. The scope of learning classical languages is fundamentally different than that of learning modern languages, it emphasizes a diachronic communication with culture and forcing a modern-language pedagogy onto it not only often genuinely doesn't work, but can actually have adverse effects on understanding a culture you study "on its own terms" and reconstructing it from its own words.
  • Rome wasn't built in a day.
    Language study is an accumulative area: persistance is the key, sticking with it even in the bad times. You don't even need a daily study of all languages, but you need them integrated in your schedule as fixed points, making constant progress. Slow and steady wins the game.
  • If it's not working with all three, prioritize: get rid of one or even two classical languages in early to mid high school if it's not working with too many.
    Review your progress, plans and status and if you see that you aren't going anywhere with three languages (even with slow addition of new ones, as suggested), it might be worth to consider getting rid of one or two, sacrificing quantity for quality, and keeping the one you find the most important for you. It's often better to have one "concrete" thing under your belt than snippets of several things.
  • Translation exercises must be reviewed by somebody who knows the language.
    The drill at the morphology stage is relatively easy to handle, and so are basic texts, as you can "check" them, but translation, and the whole syntax and texts stage, is more tricky. It needs an oversight of somebody who knows the language - be it you (if you by that time learn the languages well) or somebody else who can point to better solutions, phrasings and subtleties.

 

With regards to whether the study of classical languages is worth it for religious pursuits - that is always a personal choice, of course; however, I fully and without a compromise reject an idea that a culture can be understood on its own terms in a foreign linguistic mindset; it often can't even with the access to the language (my incessant struggles with the Anglo mentality, despite obvious proficiency in English, being maybe a good example). In addition to that, every translation is a form of interpretation, as semantics of one language never fully corresponds to the one of another language (not even for closely related languages). E poi, to quote Bialik, "reading the Bible in translation is like kissing your loved one through a veil". The task does not have to be unreasonable if you are really dedicated to the goal and keep in mind to be slow, steady and calm - as well as to ask help from more knowledgeable people if you stumble upon something you cannot seem to solve on your own.

 

I wish you all the best and good luck.

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I almost never post, mostly lurk and glean, but Ester Maria, it is good to see you back again! I always learn a lot from your posts.

 

We have been studying Latin for 4 years now, just folded in Greek a year ago, and hope to get to Hebrew some day. But I agree that you must be personally committed to learning it yourself, to the exclusion of other things. I could not teach Latin and Greek to my kids if I wasn't learning it myself. And there are other things I do not do as a result. For example, once my kids start Latin, they don't do an English grammar program anymore. And my middle schooler is not doing a logic program like many people on this board probably do. I believe and hope that the logic of Latin and Greek grammar along with math and writing will be enough to make my kids good thinkers with a good grasp of grammar. I can't do everything, so I choose what I think is most important and let the rest go. I agree that you can't be doing sports and music and three languages and spelling and grammar and logic and literature study and basket weaving and gourmet cooking and have a perfect home and everything else. But you can do the things you are committed to doing, by the grace of God.

 

Just my (less than) 2 cents worth.

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We're doing Greek first... I have studied both, and Greek first just seemed like a more natural progression for our family.

So: 1st grade DS and Pre K DD have been doing Greek for 1 yr, using my own made up curriculum (Song School Greek seems too advanced for them yet)

I plan to start Latin when DS in 3d grade? May not be able to wait til then!

They have also done on & off Spanish, but I wasn't even thinking of Hebrew-- I think it's a great idea, though-- maybe someday. I might leave that for them to do in college if they like.

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BUT, when will we start Greek...and Hebrew? How am I going to fit this all in?

 

All three of my big kids began Hebrew first, then Latin, focused on Latin for awhile, then added Greek. This wasn't my plan. It just so happened that the oldest wanted to go to Sunday school at the synagogue (they do it on Sundays too), the middle child was in Pre-K and K at the right time to catch the tail end of my observant Jewish stage so we'd been introducing Hebrew vocabulary from infancy, and my next youngest guy wanted to learn Hebrew because he is enamored of biblical mythology. SO, accidentally, we started there, and in those ways. The foundation for that was my own background in Hebrew. It was also the language I learned before Latin and Greek, so it was easy for me to incorporate it in natural ways.

 

As for how we added Greek and Latin, that's the same as how we get it done on a daily basis: slow and steady. We do Greek and Hebrew for only about fifteen minutes each in our days, but we do them every day. Latin takes more time because I use it to teach composition and grammar and incorporate every other subject I can, history, geography, visual arts, science, *anything I can*; that's because we're Latin-centered homeschoolers. I'd say we spend an hour with Latin.

 

My advice to you is:

 

1) Cut out anything that can be intertwined with other subjects. For example, instead of doing a spelling workbook, a grammar workbook, a composition program, a memory work program, and a vocabulary program, do Lively Latin. Or if you're not so brave/radical, instead of doing those things all separately, just do First Language Lessons.

 

2) Find the simplest, most direct teaching materials. Don't use anything complicated or that requires coordination and parent study.

 

3) Do a little bit every day. Every. Day. If you have a project day, just do a little Greek and Hebrew before you start. If you take a day off to go to doctor appointments, stick the Hebrew primer in your bag.

 

4) Always end on a "win." If your kiddo lights up with understanding three sentences into today's Greek reading, celebrate with him, then close the book and say, "That's great for today. Let's get on with something else." This keeps everyone energetic in the subject and prevents conversations that begin with, "Why do I have to study . . . "

 

5) MASTER the alphabets before doing anything else. Make sure your kid is perfectly comfortable reading words in those alphabets. Let the kids transliterate a whole bunch to get there. By that I mean, write out English sentences using Greek or Hebrew letters. Reading those transliterated sentences should be easy as pie, with no stuttering, before you move on to a formal program.

 

6) Add four or five words or phrases a week, and USE THEM in your daily life when you talk to your family.

 

Okay, now I'm done being Opionated.

 

This weekend my eight-year-old dug out a snow fort in the five foot tall mound the plows had piled up on our city sidewalk. Then he made a sign for the entrance out of a pizza box. His sign was written in Greek. This is not at all unusual in this house.

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Ester Maria, wow! Thanks for that post :-)

 

Pooh Bear, if it was me and my son wanted to know what was written on a pot, for now I'd just have him ask someone.

 

It's important for parents to stick to their basic educational philosophy, despite what interests children develop. Yes, use the interest to teach what is already planned to be taught, but it's best not to change the core plan. Peace is lost that way and more money is spent.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest yaphanet

Latin- use either Comenius or Latinum children's audio/text. Both are audio programs. For large print easy to read text for these old classics - see Young Scholars Program.

 

Greek - while it isn't classical - I recommend Papaloizos Modern Greek - includes textbooks, workbooks, audio, software - CHEAP - easy to use, quizes - and covers all grade levels. To switch over to classical Greek later (once done with pre-school 1 and 2, and first grade) it is easy.

 

Hebrew - tons of Hebrew language programs for kids (Ivrit) some with text, wkbks, audio, online exercises.

 

The goal of fluency is not grammar - but a way of thinking in the target language. True fluency takes years of daily practice - not drills. Listening - reading - and then speaking - and finally writing. Save the translation work for logic stage or later.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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