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Recommendations for Latin and Greek curriculum for adult learner (Me!)


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My children just completed their first year of Latin this past school year using Latin for Children A from Classical Academic Press. They loved it so much that they wish to start Greek in the fall! So, now I have TWO foreign languages to learn myself as I'm helping them to learn.

 

I've browsed Latin curriculum on this board, on Amazon, on Ebay, etc., but I really haven't been able to look at enough pages/samples to decide which would be a good program for me to use this summer to get a jump start on these languages before we delve back into serious study this fall?

 

Any recommendations from experts out there who have been there / done that?

 

If it makes any difference, we are planning to continue with Classical Academic Press materials (for Latin and Greek) for the first level, and we are using traditional classical pronounciation of Latin. Not sure yet about any considerations for Greek pronounciation---maybe advice here too?

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post. Looking forward to hearing some great insights!

 

Lisa

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For Latin:

Henle is a high school text and is very clear and easy to work with.

 

Wheelock is a college text, so it goes a little faster but has tons of extraneous materials available (Henle has none.) If you are likely to want a workbook, websites, Quia games, etc go with Wheelock.

 

Both of them spell out the grammar clearly (parts to whole) so you can easily look up stuff when the children get ahead of you :001_smile:

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My younger son and I self-taught Greek and Latin.

 

Latin: Wheelock has great support and resources, but Henle has a nice pace and organization. We don't learn English with 1 book and we don't learn Latin with one book. I suggest both Wheelock and Henle, and also any other books you can get your hands on to use as graded readers. Read, read, read, just like you do with a 1st grader.

 

I do NOT recommend Athenaze as the main text, even though others seem to like it. It's like being thrown into the deep end of the pool. I do like it as a supplementary reader. Start with Koine, not Classical or Homeric. You will be warned that starting with Koine will stunt you and give you bad habits. Well...you need to know a ton of Greek to have bad habits. I'd rather have "bad habits" than know no Greek! Koine materials are written for the average person and classical materials are written for classroom and gifted students.

 

I do not recommend learning both languages. Visit the Bluedorn site to hear their audio about first generation homeschoolers sticking to one language. It's okay to start both languages, to see which one you like better, but then drop one and put your energy into your favorite. My son and I picked Greek and made much better progress after stopping the Latin.

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See sample pages at pullins.com and Amazon.com.

 

I loved this for myself because it's so much more engaging. You learn most of it by osmosis, by just reading it over and over.

 

Whereas I did not enjoy reading Wheelock's short explanations and doing the sparse exercises.

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What kind of Greek are you wanting to learn, HootOwl? Homeric, Attic, or Koine?

Athenaze is an Attic textbook (and there are plenty of other very good ones: Hansen & Quinn, Luschnig, Shelmerdine, Groton, Saffire & Freis, Seligson, JACT, and Mastronarde, for instance, are all textbooks widely used in universities); you might want to choose one with a readily available answer key (Mastronarde has one, as well as a free workbook available online and some other online resources for pronunciation and so on--it's a very, very "crunchy" grammar-oriented university-level textbook; the JACT series are excellent texts, oriented more toward reading).

There are also many, many free older schoolbooks (mostly Attic) online, at textkit and at Perseus and other resource websites. Some of them have also been reprinted; for example, WHD Rouse's "First Greek Course" (to be accompanied by the reader "A Greek Boy at Home") has just been reprinted in a revised edition by Anne Mahoney.

 

Homeric textbooks are rarer, but there are Pharr, Beetham, and Schoder/Horrigan/Edwards, for a start. I have been working with the S/H/E books myself and with one of my kids, and like them quite a bit. I can't remember if the Pharr has a key, but both of the other two do.

I know less about resources for Koine, but people seem often to recommend Mounce or Machen--I don't know those books myself. At one point, I worked through a book by Dobson that I rather liked (but I am more interested in Homeric Greek, myself). There is a book by Paine that has an introduction to both the Koine and Attic, I think (I believe the readings are all/mostly from St John and from Xenophon)--I haven't seen it, but it sounds like an interesting compromise (or maybe it's just confusing...I don't know!).

I'm no expert, but thought I might toss out a few names for you to look up, anyway! You might find something that grabs you.

Best,
HG

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Visit the Bluedorn site to hear their audio about first generation homeschoolers sticking to one language.

I was listening to their lecture about teaching classical languages right now while multitasking (I was too curious, you mentioned it a few times already), was that the lecture in your mind?

 

If so, I am thoroughly disappointed. Initial "worldview" part of the lecture aside, most of that lecture is seriously mystifying Greek and Hebrew (from a phonetic and written point of view), something I am pretty much allergic to, combined with stating some banalities (learn the alphabet and the sounds first - well, of course, how else? :confused:).

 

And this is what I 'liked' the best: "Second, some people believe that Hebrew is the surviving representative of the original language, the lashon hakadesh, as they call it, the holy language."

 

It is not lashon hakAdesh, but lashon hakOdesh. And this is not such a trivial mistake if you read Hebrew.

 

I would understand if he had said "halashon hakadosh", which would mean the holy language, literally, noun + adjective. That would be a grammatically correct form, but not a culturally correct one.

 

However, it is "lashon hakodesh" and it does not mean the holy language, but the language of holiness (it's SMICHUT, guys, not noun + adjective, and because of that it is even debatable whether 'lashon' should be pronounced the way it is in that instance).

 

The devil's in the details. I would be very suspicious of any linguistic advice you are getting from that crew, Hunter. It might be just a casual mistake, of the kind we all make, but it might also reveal something much deeper than that. I was overall not impressed by the audio.

Edited by Ester Maria
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This series will more than challenge you as an adult learner with no previous Latin experience. I would go read the comparison to Wheelocks that elegantlion posted. I used Wheelock's in college and LA is a similar format. The rationale for the progression of translation difficulty from LA1 to LA3(not released yet) really makes sense, especially given some of the more difficult grammatical construction of original Latin passages.

 

I would definitely recommend getting the DVDs that go with LA. The instructor teaches how to approach translation in a clear succinct manner and includes good tips.

 

Since your dc are already using the LFC series, it would be logical for them to move into LA, so it is a good investment for the future. Also, the structure of the lessons is going to be similar between LFC and LA and that can only be helpful for you.

 

Good Luck deciding,

PameLA in VA

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Sorry, HootOwl, I just keep having afterthoughts...I had one more Koine idea for you: if you are interested in immersion-type learning, you might look at Christophe Rico's "Polis." It's actually in French, but since there is so much Greek in the book, the only French you'll see is in things like the table of contents and chapter headings and so on, so no big deal, even if you don't know French (and if you do, then you've really got it made).

 

Hope that helps! (And I'll cease and desist now, I promise.)

 

Best,

HG

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http://www.quasillum.com/latin/latin-activities.php'>http://www.quasillum.com/latin/latin-activities.php'>http://www.quasillum.com/latin/latin-activities.php'>http://www.quasillum.com/latin/latin-activities.php

 

http://www.quasillum.com/latin/latin-activities.php

 

If you subscribe you get more info.

 

What a great resource. Thank you!

 

Lisa

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One more idea, HootOwl--the Bryn Mawr Classical Review has its archives online, where one may read reviews of most of the books I and the others here have mentioned--sometimes a good detailed review is better than a few sample pages for giving you an overall sense of any given book.

 

HG

 

Another fabulous site! I have lots of research and reading to do here.

 

May I ask, HG, what should be my factors/criteria for determining which type of Greek to study? We are Christian--Protestant--so I think we would enjoy being able to read biblical texts in the Greek language, but we're primarily planning to study Greek for a more rigorous, classical academic study. Where would be a good place to read discussions on the different types of Greek and their uses and advantages?

 

I so much appreciate your responses as well as all the others to my question. You all are awsome!

 

Lisa

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If you plan on continuing with CAP products, I'd pick up Latin Alive. It certainly will challenge you. There is a comparison with Wheelocks if you scroll down on this page.

 

Thanks for the recommendation from you (and from PameLA in VA) about checking out Latin Alive to use now. I did as you suggested and read all the sample pages and resources---especially the ones comparing to Wheelocks. I really like the comparison between the two, but I especially am glad to note the differences in the grade level/audience to which each was written. Since my kids and I all enjoy the Latin for Children program, it seems natural to use Latin Alive now for my self-study. My children will benefit now from my additional knowledge (hopefully!) and they will certainly learn from the program themselves in a couple of years when they are ready to move up to it.

 

GREAT advice! Now off to read the responses again regarding Greek---a little more tough nut to crack, I'm afraid.

 

Many thanks,

Lisa

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http://www.aoidoi.org/articles/dialects.html

 

The link above is a pretty good place to start, I think, HootOwl; there are also many helpful discussions on the textkit forums about picking a place to start ( http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-forum/ ).

 

I think, really, that Greek is hard! So to me it makes the most sense to put your time into that which will facilitate your ability to cope with what you most want to read; for me, that's the Odyssey--right now, that's the brass ring that is keeping me working. For others, the prize might be Plato or the Gospels, in which cases one would start from different places. There certainly seem to be many more contemporary resources directed toward younger learners available for the Koine, which might be a consideration, depending on the age of your children.

 

I think, you know, that learning Greek of any flavour is going to be a rigorous exercise, so if New Testament Greek is what most appeals to you, then do that--and have fun! In addition to textkit, I think there is also a B-Greek (where "B" = Biblical) list, where there are doubtless many other people who will be happy to help you, too--I love the generosity of so many helpful people on all of these lists.

 

Best,

HG

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