Jump to content

Menu

Latin or not?


Recommended Posts

How have you made the decision to teach Latin or not?

 

I had decided not to, since my kids are learning German as a spoken second language, and I hope to teach them about 1000 words of Spanish (enough that they can easily pursue it if desired), but I recently learned that public school kids in our area learn Latin and now am questioning my decision.

 

How have you decided? What arguments influenced you most strongly?

 

Emily

Link to comment
Share on other sites

where do you live, that public schools teach latin???

 

My son learns Latin. We're all fluent French/English. He tried to learn Spanish, but hated it. He's very happy with Latin though. My daughter also tried Spanish and gave up, She chose Chinese instead of Latin. So I ended up with one Latin kid and one no-Latin.

 

For us it's a third language anyway, not a second. I would not choose Latin as a second language because there's no spoken component, and as such, the brain gym is incomplete.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the idea of Latin, but chose Spanish for my kids. There are lots of ESL people in our area and think it would benefit them more to be able to communicate in another language. I have also studied Spanish in the past, but never quite felt fluent, so I'm relearning along with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, Latin is an essential language to learn. DH and I feel like we truly understood grammar after taking Latin and both wish we had not waited so long to take Latin (high school for me, college for him). I took Italian later in college and definitely think that Latin made it so much easier (same could be said of French or Spanish).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As much as I love Latin and Greek, I would choose a modern language as a second language. That said, I didn't have to make a choice, as Chinese is our second language which we began early on, and I see the benefits of learning an ancient language now. DD has had no trouble with any French or Spanish grammar because of Latin. Speaking it on the other hand....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i've been studying Latin along with my kids for 2 1/2 years now and I feel like i've just gotten to the "reward" period. I recently started taking a course on social/economic/background of the New Testament times. As I plow through the recommended scholarly books about that time period, i've been able to follow along because our Latin course has given us a lot of history background--and then, knowing the Latin language has helped me so much with terms from that time period.

 

"Nerd alert!," perhaps :), but I can't tell you the number of times i've excitedly exclaimed to my husband as i'm doing late night reading--"I CAN UNDERSTAND THIS!!"

 

Before this time, I chose Latin for no other reasons than because it was a recommendation from WTM and I was curious about it. :) i feel a little pride, that we've been able to pick up and learn something that we knew nothing about. My kids saw me work hard, struggle through, to learn along side them.

 

I think we're going to wrap up Big Book of Lively Latin 2, and then i'm going to start on Greek!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies! If only there was time in the day to do *everything* one wanted. :-)

 

We live in Chicago. It is sort of a joke. The kids have 32 kids in their class but do Latin at their mediocre neighborhood school while learning to read based on sight words. So glad I can homeschool, even if the neighbors are learning some Latin and Spanish.

 

Emily

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I chose to teach DS Latin (and learn alongside him). We started our third year on Monday (we used Memoria Press' Prima Latina then Latina Christiana and are now using First Form Latin). For us, it's been terrific. Sure the kid goes from Latin being his favorite subject to being the one he wants to avoid from time to time, but overall I know he's enjoying it because the program is easy to follow and he's progressing at an appropriate rate. I also know he's beginning to take real pride in learning a difficult subject like Latin. (Even though one of his PS teachers -- I part-time homeschool him -- once asked the class if anyone knew a second language, my kid raised his hand and said that he was learning Latin. The teacher responded by dismissing his comment and opining that it didn't count because it was a "dead language.")

 

You may think I've drank the Kool-Aid but I very much agree with the list of benefits often spouted by pro-Latinates. It really is an immortal langauge that's unlike any other -- its structure is logical which honestly in my book is as good a reason as any to learn it, as such it requires discipline which in turn develops a sense of responsibility and pride. It requires and thus expects a lot, and in turn the student delivers. It takes the student out of his small modern existence and illuminates a wider world of culture, tradition, and eventually scholarship. I'm super psyched about eventually reading the Cat in the Hat with him in Latin ... and perhaps eventually the Big Boys.

 

I speak Spanish moderately well and use some phrases and words with him on a regular basis, but I chose not to teach him Spanish yet because I'm convinced that by the time he's in, say, eighth or ninth grade with 5 or 6 years of Latin under his belt he will be able to master Spanish by college. I also read an article recently that I thought made a good point about modern languages. I agree that in order to become fluent in a spoken language one must speak it for long periods of time every day. I can't give that to him -- I really don't have the desire to do so at this point, neither do I see the upside since we and our circle of relatives and close friends are native English speakers. He can hear Spanish at church but that's for an hour a week, tops. There's no real outlet for him to converse regularly in Spanish and if there was, I still wouldn't see the point as he's only 10. I'm certainly not going to direct him to TV or movies as a language aid -- as a college student or an adult, sure, but not as a 10-year-old.

 

I really hope I'm not coming across as close minded -- I am deeply impressed with folks who are teaching their kids modern languages -- including Spanish, which will be the first modern language DS learns. I just sometimes feel as though the classical curriculum can become overtaxing to parent and child alike. To my way of thinking, Latin (and Greek) go lock-step with the subjects of spelling, grammar, and logic in a way that no other language (or secondary subject) does. In my experience, this shortens our time on those other subjects.

 

Hey, on a side note, what neighborhood do you live in where the PS teaches Latin? We're outside the city in Wheaton and there's no Latin for miles around!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are no PS's that each Latin in our area. Private schools with a tuition of $30K do teach it, starting 6th or 7th grade, depending on which school. That reminds to check on the books they use. One Jesuit high school uses LNM. Although the school has a competitive entrance process, it charges a modest tuition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are definitely teaching Latin in our homeschool. I started teaching myself Latin about a year ago and LOVE it. I was actually upset that I had never learned it before. I think teaching a modern language is great (we do a little German since I speak it fairly well), but I will teach Latin for completely different reasons than why I teach German. Here is an article to read that explains why. The second half is in the current MP magalog so I guess they will post it later.

 

Honestly, I think that Latin is the best way to teach grammar since it is such an ordered language. Much of our language is also based on Latin so that is very helpful as well. You also learn it based on the grammar which is a completely different way of learning a language.

 

So, I think it is really up to you. I wouldn't do it to keep up with the neighborhood kids, but I think there are many, many great reasons to teach Latin and with the MP programs you really don't need any prior experience. Just keep a week ahead of your child's lessons!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just chiming in to follow this thread. We had decided against Latin, but... I'm waffling. :) (We are doing, and will continue to do, Latin based vocabulary if we don't do the language... just not sure if we want to go further.)

 

We are doing etymology for fun since both kids are not interested in spelling bee. We are still deciding between French or Latin as their fourth language for the next school year as they can take it as a subject through their virtual academy.

 

ETA:

My silly kids are watching Scooby Doo DVD in french on purpose. Go figure :confused1:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...