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Latin and Greek taking a lot of time


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5 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

How so? Not arguing, just not sure I'm following!

Having to know exactly what's going on in each individual part of the sentence and exactly what its role is. It just sounds like algebra to me, and that sounds perfect for you.

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Just now, Slache said:

Having to know exactly what's going on in each individual part of the sentence and exactly what its role is. It just sounds like algebra to me, and that sounds perfect for you.

The funny thing is that I'm totally having to learn it alongside DD8. I just say it right and I don't know why... it's totally intuitive to me! Kids internalize these structures very easily. 

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Posted (edited)

Wow - this post blew up this afternoon - thank you!!  

@PeterPan and @8filltheheart: I do think there is some processing speed stuff going on.  When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING: slow to get his shoes, slow to do chores, slow to brush his teeth, slow to walk to the playground.  But he's also very bright and very academically oriented.  During his free time he enjoys reading, making up piano songs, writing poetry, drawing maps.  He's quick to understand new ideas, but slow to answer my questions or write out answers.  He's definitely not dragging his heals.  I'm about to make everyone really jealous when I say: he rarely complains.  When asked to do anything he says, "I'd be delighted to" and genuinely means it (I would attribute that to our awesome parenting skills, but that's why God gave us child #2 as a pride check...sigh...).  Anyway, that no complaining thing is awesome, but also makes it difficult to know when he doesn't enjoy things - he is just very compliant.  

Further responses: I'm definitely not doing things just because the boards say to - I would be waaaaay broke.  But, I do appreciate advice for things I value doing anyway.  But I also am noticing that the boards can breed discontent in myself, so I'm watching that.

Re: goals: yes, I think that's probably where I need to start.  It's not the first time I've thought of overall goals, but I've clearly lost focus this year.  Learning new words is definitely not the long-term goal, but it's a baby step toward the long-term goal and I think it's the part of the Greek/Latin they enjoy.  When we talked about it this morning they both said they enjoy both languages, but just maybe not the translating part.  Maybe I started too early, but at this point the door is opened and they don't want to shut it all the way.  So I think I'm going to work with that - memorizing new words that they can shout at each other is fun (they've been calling each other "puella" a lot lately...)

Options I'm kicking around now: 

1) drop the curriculum and just memorize words and make it fun

2) alternate greek/latin days

3) change curriculum and combine the older two (I like @Slache's idea of translating Bible together - they seemed interested in that). I'm going to order GSWL and see if that will be a good fit. (Edited to add: not going to order that-looking it over I think I will look for more story book type things-kicking around Familia Romana)

4) treat it like an extra curricular and only do it one time a week.

We did take a 5 week break (we have a 6 week on/1 week off type of schedule) and after next week we'll be off for 3 weeks again.  I think that's a great time to really evaluate things (probably not just Greek/Latin - I probably need to go through all the subjects and really think about goals.  Sigh....I thought I was so prepared going in this year!).  For this last week I think I'm going to try a couple of things and that will give me a better feel for how to plan after that.

I really can't thank everyone enough - not only did you give me good ideas for this specific issue, but you pointed out deeper issues that need to be dealt with.

Edited by LauraClark
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4 hours ago, Zoo Keeper said:

OP, you may find this thread interesting reading...

 

Oh, and I've got this pulled up to read through later tonight.  I had read a few older posts dealing with Latin yesterday, but missed this one.  Thank you!

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5 hours ago, Slache said:

Having to know exactly what's going on in each individual part of the sentence and exactly what its role is. It just sounds like algebra to me, and that sounds perfect for you.

I think that might be why I'm finding it so fascinating.  I never studied languages deeply in school and it has been very fun (I'm a nerd...) as an adult to figure out the functions of each word.  You're right - it is very much like solving an algebra equation.

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He sounds like an awesome kid! For Greek, have you thought about maybe creating “fun” sentences to practice his translation skills? Heracles and Apollo did a lot of setting things free and throwing things when I was helping DS9 practice the grammar. Hey Andrew is solid but it can get very dry (and the sentences don’t always make sense, all the apostles, brothers, servants and gifts...)

if he were a year or two older I’d suggest working through Athenaze doing the translations orally with him (maybe only 2-3 lines at a time) because the story is so engaging and he’d probably really have fun with it. But, it is a college text and the print is intimidatingly tiny!

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Based on your description, you might want to seek an evaluation.  I have a ds like that who is just a happy go-lucky kid.  He never complained.  He is my severe dyslexic who was my most advanced math student.  If he had gone to school, no one would ever have noticed how gifted he is in math bc he wouldn't have complained about being bored.   

FWIW, I also have another child whose processing speeds fall between the 3rd and 18th percentiles (yes, as in about as low as you can score.)  His IQ is also high.   Making him have longer days at 9 in order to fit in everything in a traditional manner would have not benefited him.  Finding ways to adapt to him vs expecting him to adapt to a curriculum was necessary for both of us.

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1 hour ago, LauraClark said:

Wow - this post blew up this afternoon - thank you!!  

@PeterPan and @8filltheheart: I do think there is some processing speed stuff going on.  When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING: slow to get his shoes, slow to do chores, slow to brush his teeth, slow to walk to the playground.  But he's also very bright and very academically oriented.  During his free time he enjoys reading, making up piano songs, writing poetry, drawing maps.  He's quick to understand new ideas, but slow to answer my questions or write out answers.  He's definitely not dragging his heals.  I'm about to make everyone really jealous when I say: he rarely complains.  When asked to do anything he says, "I'd be delighted to" and genuinely means it (I would attribute that to our awesome parenting skills, but that's why God gave us child #2 as a pride check...sigh...).  Anyway, that no complaining thing is awesome, but also makes it difficult to know when he doesn't enjoy things - he is just very compliant.  

Further responses: I'm definitely not doing things just because the boards say to - I would be waaaaay broke.  But, I do appreciate advice for things I value doing anyway.  But I also am noticing that the boards can breed discontent in myself, so I'm watching that.

Re: goals: yes, I think that's probably where I need to start.  It's not the first time I've thought of overall goals, but I've clearly lost focus this year.  Learning new words is definitely not the long-term goal, but it's a baby step toward the long-term goal and I think it's the part of the Greek/Latin they enjoy.  When we talked about it this morning they both said they enjoy both languages, but just maybe not the translating part.  Maybe I started too early, but at this point the door is opened and they don't want to shut it all the way.  So I think I'm going to work with that - memorizing new words that they can shout at each other is fun (they've been calling each other "puella" a lot lately...)

Options I'm kicking around now: 

1) drop the curriculum and just memorize words and make it fun

2) alternate greek/latin days

3) change curriculum and combine the older two (I like @Slache's idea of translating Bible together - they seemed interested in that). I'm going to order GSWL and see if that will be a good fit. (Edited to add: not going to order that-looking it over I think I will look for more story book type things-kicking around Familia Romana)

4) treat it like an extra curricular and only do it one time a week.

We did take a 5 week break (we have a 6 week on/1 week off type of schedule) and after next week we'll be off for 3 weeks again.  I think that's a great time to really evaluate things (probably not just Greek/Latin - I probably need to go through all the subjects and really think about goals.  Sigh....I thought I was so prepared going in this year!).  For this last week I think I'm going to try a couple of things and that will give me a better feel for how to plan after that.

I really can't thank everyone enough - not only did you give me good ideas for this specific issue, but you pointed out deeper issues that need to be dealt with.

Minimus, as recommended by my girlfriend.

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28 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Based on your description, you might want to seek an evaluation.  I have a ds like that who is just a happy go-lucky kid.  He never complained.  He is my severe dyslexic who was my most advanced math student.  If he had gone to school, no one would ever have noticed how gifted he is in math bc he wouldn't have complained about being bored.   

I apologize for being off topic, but I don't think DD8 would get spotted, either. Not because she's happy-go-lucky (she's REALLY not), but because she'd figure everything is boring, may as well do the minimum and be done with the minimum possible effort. That's what she did in kindergarten -- her teacher literally had no clue she already knew everything she was being "taught" when I brought it up at the parent-teacher conference in spring. I'm not sure she even believed me... 

 

1 hour ago, LauraClark said:

Anyway, that no complaining thing is awesome, but also makes it difficult to know when he doesn't enjoy things - he is just very compliant.  

Well, that's a problem I don't have, lol. I suppose this gives me something to be grateful for! 

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1 hour ago, LauraClark said:

When we talked about it this morning they both said they enjoy both languages, but just maybe not the translating part.  Maybe I started too early, but at this point the door is opened and they don't want to shut it all the way.  So I think I'm going to work with that - memorizing new words that they can shout at each other is fun (they've been calling each other "puella" a lot lately...)

Latina Christiana would be ideal for this. Then, when you finish LC1 or 2, then move over to a roots program. Or use just the vocabulary from whatever you've got now and skip completely the conjugations, etc. You could bring in some cultural supplements (spend a day in ancient rome, etc.) rather than focusing on the grammar and translations.

1 hour ago, LauraClark said:

1) drop the curriculum and just memorize words and make it fun

Yes. LC1 would be fine. Or go to a roots program. They'll probably like it just as much.

1 hour ago, LauraClark said:

translating Bible together

They said they didn't want to translate and translating requires significant processing. Doesn't make sense as an option, sorry. 

I only know, because I watched what it did to my dd. She could memorize parts, and she could conjugate. But when you tried to pull it together and ask her to do it as a whole, she literally had steam coming out of her ears. It was awful. She has like a 60% discrepancy between IQ and processing speed. HUGE disability. Super able to do each component, and just a disability when you said to pull it together and process the whole.

1 hour ago, LauraClark said:

do think there is some processing speed stuff going on.  When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING: slow to get his shoes, slow to do chores, slow to brush his teeth, slow to walk to the playground.  But he's also very bright and very academically oriented. 

This would be a very good reason to get evals. Or just wait. But if he also sneaks in some ADHD or anxiety, even with just the processing speed, he could have some accommodations coming. My dd had high ACT scores and got a great scholarshp, but she needed the *accommodations* you get for the low processing speed. The paper trail you get with evals makes that happen, and doing those evals now might give you information that would make you more confident about working with him. It would give you the right words for what you're seeing and make you confident to say yes, this is what should happen.

1 hour ago, LauraClark said:

He's quick to understand new ideas, but slow to answer my questions or write out answers. 

So my dd had her evals with a neuropsych and he did some testing for *word retrieval*. It turned out she had terrible word retrieval. So you get the EF (executive function) issues from the ADHD and the poor word retrieval and the low processing speed, and all together it makes writing really hard! Which is not to say she's not a good writer, because she is!! She was doing well in 300 level classes as a freshman, writing philosophy papers, etc. But it was HARD. So again, that's where good evals with someone who spends time could give you some information to work with him better. Or just be sensitive. But me, I was better for having the information from the evals, lol. These just aren't issues people talk about and we just assume try harder, use IEW, it all works out. And some kids are kind of contradictory like this, and that's where evals can help.

2 hours ago, LauraClark said:

I also am noticing that the boards can breed discontent in myself, so I'm watching that.

Hehe, come hang on LC. Then you'll feel like a rock star, lol. We're pretty free wheeling over there, because everyone has to just roll with exactly where their kids are. 

It's a hard thing, because you want to do well by your kids and do a good job. Maybe that's something to think about while you're here getting all philosophical the next few weeks. What does it mean to you to "do a good job"? What outcome will = did a good job? If you make a picture, you can work toward it. One of the hard things for me was moving from the theoretical start in homeschooling in K5 to this is the real dc in front of me. I realized my philosophy didn't matter, only what my dc actually needed. I'm not sure if I did a good job with my dd, lol. I can tell you I became more of a facilitator as I went on. 

2 hours ago, LauraClark said:

During his free time he enjoys reading, making up piano songs, writing poetry, drawing maps.

Does he find himself fatigued after these long days? I think that's something really important to ponder. If he works at a slow, consistent pace, still has time for his hobbies and explorations, and is happy with a particular load, then it seems good. My dd wanted a lot of free time for her own things, so there were just limits. If we did more than an amount of time, she was really wiped out the next day, unable to focus, just tired. Even my ds is like this, so I'm always controlling load. But I know someone (just a someone irl) who was that turtle type who would just plod and get through work. And it seems to me like as long as he's not unduly fatigued, as long as his ability to work his checklist and do the list is consistent from day to day and as long as his enjoyment level is high (time for hobbies and life), then maybe it's fine. I don't think being a turtle and plodding is a problem. Being wiped out is a problem, but things taking longer because you're a turtle is not necessarily *in and of itself* a problem. 

It's just something you can think through and decide for yourself. I think I would honor their request to keep it at the memorization level for foreign language, not anything requiring more processing. 

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13 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

, but I don't think DD8 would get spotted, either.

Everybody on the board knows it but your dd wouldn't get spotted? Hahaha, your kid is SO a spotted bored bunny. :biggrin:

No in all seriousness, there are kids with very low processing speed, like crazy low, who plod along. They don't need evals, nothing. Now the low processing speed *can* get connected to problems like stuttering. And I think the fact that it's affecting writing is noteworthy. You'd like to know if that is EF or if there's word retrieval or something going on. She'd like to know if there's ADHD or some anxiety comorbid. But it also can happen that nothing else is going on and the kid is just a turtle. 

So yeah I would do evals, but that's because I've got so much water under the bridge that I'd rather have the information than not. But she can go with her gut as she analyzes the full situation. There's definitely that context to look at (history, things she's not saying, etc.).

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Fwiw, I think the compliance thing is a tick in the go ahead and do evals column. It would be easy to walk over that and expect things and not have him realize he should pipe up for his own good. Information is your friend on this.

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

Everybody on the board knows it but your dd wouldn't get spotted? Hahaha, your kid is SO a spotted bored bunny. :biggrin:

Lol, I'll have to tell her that -- she likes bunnies. 

And yes, she genuinely didn't get noticed in kindergarten, and knowing how she works for me when she's bored, I'd guess that she wouldn't get noticed for a good long time, unless she had a sensitive teacher (she did have a preschool teacher like that, so it DOES happen.) We had the exact same issue with the local homeschool classes and with a trip to the local math museum, too. She doesn't show off and she doesn't work on stuff that she's not interested in, which is... most things other people tell her to do, sigh. She's my budding entrepreneur, lol.

But what it comes down to is that people can never tell that she's really smart unless they are really aware of the signs of the giftedness. If they think gifted kids show off a lot or get super eager about the learning being provided for them, then she doesn't get noticed, and I get told that she's a normal bright kid (someone's actual words), never mind that I'm pretty sure blasting through AoPS Intro to Algebra at almost 9 is way outside the range of "normal bright kid." 

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I understand wanting to do LCC style and not wanting to give up on Latin and Greek. We've been doing Latin in some form since preK, and Greek for my oldest. However, it's amazing to me how little the young ones have retained from words they had down cold just 6 months ago - it's basically almost all gone, all 300+ words they had. I start the kids on their "real" Latin (LfC vs SSL) in 3rd grade, but honestly, my oldest still had a hard time on the most basic translations before 10 years old, and then it became easier. So now I'm dropping Latin for the littlests, because it wasn't worth all my time and effort. 

 

I wouldn't go with Familia Romana for young kids -- it's notoriously good but taxing even for adults. I even find Minimus hard for young kids. I like the history readers from CAP once they get there.

 

For the long 6 hour day problem, perhaps some of his stuff can be done independently, and then perhaps you can just use the "timer" method to do what you can with core subjects? Then you can leave content subjects like art, history, lit, and science as library-book-based interest-driven subjects. Have lots of good audio books and library books around to read and keep your own contribution to a minimum. 

 

Sorry, one last idea: semester or trimester blocks! You can schedule fewer subjects in blocks. We only do Greek in the spring and Latin in the fall and winter. That eliminates the switching and confusion. And on the whole I can still see LOTS of progress. I still consider us as "doing Greek and Latin" even though we never do them simultaneously.

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7 minutes ago, Emily ZL said:

However, it's amazing to me how little the young ones have retained from words they had down cold just 6 months ago - it's basically almost all gone, all 300+ words they had.

That must have been disappointing!! 

I've kind of always figured that knowledge that's very disjointed (like words in a language you can't speak) is very hard to retain. And for young kids, many things feel disjointed, since they have a narrower initial knowledge base. So a language you can actually speak (even if you have a limited vocabulary) sticks, whereas simply words from a language that aren't connected to each other don't. 

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Actually, I guess I was exaggerating a little. If I say "Quid agis?" They'll say "sum pessime!!" and giggle hysterically. They just didn't keep as much as I did, and that's frustrating.

 

In retrospect, I think the best use of young-child time for Latin is perhaps memorizing declensions while memorizing is easy and fun. It's amazing how chants can stick in young kids' brains, to be recalled and used later. I'm not a devotee of Dorothy Sayers and the neo classical model, but this is true, and something she mentioned. Though she also mentioned that if you can get them speaking and hearing it spoken, that really helps. I'm intrigued by Artes Latinae for that reason, but not sure if it's worth the money to go that route.

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1 minute ago, Emily ZL said:

Actually, I guess I was exaggerating a little. If I say "Quid agis?" They'll say "sum pessime!!" and giggle hysterically. They just didn't keep as much as I did, and that's frustrating.

 

In retrospect, I think the best use of young-child time for Latin is perhaps memorizing declensions while memorizing is easy and fun. It's amazing how chants can stick in young kids' brains, to be recalled and used later. I'm not a devotee of Dorothy Sayers and the neo classical model, but this is true, and something she mentioned. Though she also mentioned that if you can get them speaking and hearing it spoken, that really helps. I'm intrigued by Artes Latinae for that reason, but not sure if it's worth the money to go that route.

Haha, we did one year of Classical Conversations in 2013 and I still use their Latin chant songs. 

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15 minutes ago, Emily ZL said:

I understand wanting to do LCC style and not wanting to give up on Latin and Greek. We've been doing Latin in some form since preK, and Greek for my oldest. However, it's amazing to me how little the young ones have retained from words they had down cold just 6 months ago - it's basically almost all gone, all 300+ words they had. I start the kids on their "real" Latin (LfC vs SSL) in 3rd grade, but honestly, my oldest still had a hard time on the most basic translations before 10 years old, and then it became easier. So now I'm dropping Latin for the littlests, because it wasn't worth all my time and effort. 

This was exactly my concern. For my family Greek is a part of our lifestyle through Bible study and it's read and written daily so I'm not concerned, but Latin? It has no place outside of a text for us. I don't see that surviving in a home. I had one (strange) child beg for Latin early, so he's doing LNST, otherwise I wouldn't touch it until 6th. I'm considering GSWL in 5th, but that would be the most I'd be willing to do.

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2 minutes ago, Emily ZL said:

Actually, I guess I was exaggerating a little. If I say "Quid agis?" They'll say "sum pessime!!" and giggle hysterically. They just didn't keep as much as I did, and that's frustrating.

In retrospect, I think the best use of young-child time for Latin is perhaps memorizing declensions while memorizing is easy and fun. It's amazing how chants can stick in young kids' brains, to be recalled and used later. I'm not a devotee of Dorothy Sayers and the neo classical model, but this is true, and something she mentioned. Though she also mentioned that if you can get them speaking and hearing it spoken, that really helps. I'm intrigued by Artes Latinae for that reason, but not sure if it's worth the money to go that route.

This is probably rather off-topic, but I really don't understand why people listen to Dorothy Sayers at all! She wasn't a teacher. She didn't even bring up a kid. Plus, I've just finished reading her Peter Wimsey novels, and that is a woman with a LOT of unexamined biases, lol. An excellent writer, but not someone I'd expect to be all that thoughtful about education. 

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

This is probably rather off-topic, but I really don't understand why people listen to Dorothy Sayers at all! She wasn't a teacher. She didn't even bring up a kid. Plus, I've just finished reading her Peter Wimsey novels, and that is a woman with a LOT of unexamined biases, lol. An excellent writer, but not someone I'd expect to be all that thoughtful about education. 

Actually, Sayers did teach for a few years before her career as a copywriter.   She also had a illegitimate son.  A cousin of hers cared for him, but Sayers was involved in his life as an "aunt," and later adopted him when he was older (without actually revealing that she was his birth mother). 

And sadly, she did write with many of the biases of her time.  

Edited by Zoo Keeper
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Just now, Zoo Keeper said:

Actually, Sayers did teach for a few years before her career as a copywriter.   She also had a illegitimate son.  A cousin of hers cared for him, but Sayers was involved in his life as an "aunt," and later adopted him when he was older (without actually revealing that she was his birth mother). 

And sadly, she did write with many of biases of her time.  

I didn't realize she was a teacher for a bit, but I did know about her son. Anyway, I think that she actually has fewer years of experience with kids that age than almost all of us on here. 

As for writing with the biases of her time... I've read a bunch of stuff from that time, and it's not all equivalent. She was somehow laser-focused on the ethnic differences in a way that not every single writer from that time was. And I have the sense she didn't think there was anything wrong with doing that... 

I'll say that Chesterton is even worse, though, lol. Apparently she was a great admirer of his...  

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1 hour ago, Slache said:

This was exactly my concern. For my family Greek is a part of our lifestyle through Bible study and it's read and written daily so I'm not concerned, but Latin? It has no place outside of a text for us. I don't see that surviving in a home. I had one (strange) child beg for Latin early, so he's doing LNST, otherwise I wouldn't touch it until 6th. I'm considering GSWL in 5th, but that would be the most I'd be willing to do.

For us, Latin is much more "living" than any other language. We hear it every Sunday. We don't do the full Latin mass but instead go to the novus ordo mass in English, but since it's a very traditional parish, tons of it is in Latin, and it's all memorized! We usually hear "Gloria in excelsis deo..." and the whole congregation starts in with "..ex in terra pax homnibus.." and I'm like "next week we are learning this!! I say this every week!!" Lol. My son prays the Anima Christi and I'm learning that too. The rhythm is so beautiful! We are Catholic converts. So I didn't need convincing to prioritize Latin!

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52 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I'll say that Chesterton is even worse, though, lol. Apparently she was a great admirer of his...  

I love Chesterton! And PG Wodehouse, and loads of other people who lived a long time ago. I don't really think there's much point in judging people by the standards of today. Everyone is a product of his or her time. But that's another subject.

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10 minutes ago, Emily ZL said:

I love Chesterton! And PG Wodehouse, and loads of other people who lived a long time ago. I don't really think there's much point in judging people by the standards of today. Everyone is a product of his or her time. But that's another subject.

Yes, I like Chesterton a lot, too. He writes lovely prose and has plenty of wise observations. But if you told me he had the key to teaching children, I’d be pretty darn suspicious, given how he interpreted every single culture but his own. Basically, I don’t trust him not to be insular.

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21 hours ago, LauraClark said:

2) alternate greek/latin days

I would suggest another alternative to this: make one language, say Latin, your primary language to teach and for your DS to learn. Make the other language, say Greek, the secondary language for your DS to learn. Sticking to this model, you could schedule the schooling in such a way that both languages get coverage during the week and that the major focus is on one of them and the secondary focus is on the other. I too have a very bright boy who was totally compliant, who was excited about learning all this new and awesome stuff and would bring books to do school even on weekends because he simply wanted to see what was next in the storyline used in his language books! But, doing 2 Classical languages with equal emphasis on them in addition to whatever English Language Arts you are doing is not feasible in the long run because there are other subjects to do as well.

We did Latin 3 days a week and Greek on two days a week and he picked up Spanish in late elementary because he wanted to do that as well.

We scheduled it like this: Mon, Wed, Fri: Latin. Tue, Thurs: Greek.

Eventually, my son decided to drop both Greek and Spanish when his Latin studies got to the high school level and other subjects and his music studies demanded more of his time. So, your kids will eventually choose what languages to keep and what to drop. But, it is not a bad idea to let them learn languages early if they are interested in it.

(We used Minimus for a supplement. It has a fun storyline.)

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1 hour ago, Emily ZL said:

For us, Latin is much more "living" than any other language. We hear it every Sunday. We don't do the full Latin mass but instead go to the novus ordo mass in English, but since it's a very traditional parish, tons of it is in Latin, and it's all memorized! We usually hear "Gloria in excelsis deo..." and the whole congregation starts in with "..ex in terra pax homnibus.." and I'm like "next week we are learning this!! I say this every week!!" Lol. My son prays the Anima Christi and I'm learning that too. The rhythm is so beautiful! We are Catholic converts. So I didn't need convincing to prioritize Latin!

I've been wanting to go to a Greek Orthodox church for this exact reason!

Also the food...

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4 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

That must have been disappointing!! 

I've kind of always figured that knowledge that's very disjointed (like words in a language you can't speak) is very hard to retain. And for young kids, many things feel disjointed, since they have a narrower initial knowledge base. So a language you can actually speak (even if you have a limited vocabulary) sticks, whereas simply words from a language that aren't connected to each other don't. 

Lots and lots of kids lose languages they are fluent in. My son has lost one since we moved. He was fluent (for his age, so did not have adult vocabulary, but had what other 5 year olds had). It has nothing to do with connection, but all to do with the brain. The brain is still in the age of forming any language. Which means it also can lose language. 

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We do Latin 3 days a week and Greek (just the alphabet right now)2 days a week. I set a timer for 30 min. with Latin and 15 for Greek. That is working well so far. 

We also have a local language that ds has a tutor for. He started with 3 hours a day for 3 months and is now doing 2 hours 3 days a week. 

This gives a lot of time on language, but DS loves it and it is important to him and me. 

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2 hours ago, lulalu said:

Lots and lots of kids lose languages they are fluent in. My son has lost one since we moved. He was fluent (for his age, so did not have adult vocabulary, but had what other 5 year olds had). It has nothing to do with connection, but all to do with the brain. The brain is still in the age of forming any language. Which means it also can lose language. 

I think it's both? I would guess the amount of reinforcement a tightly connected spoken language requires is a LOT less than a bunch of disjointed words. 

I lost a language, too, so I do know that it happens. But then it got zero reinforcement. 

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Yes, kids lose languages and young kids do so rather rapidly.   Our oldest ds was fluent in Portuguese and lost it in about a yr after we moved Stateside (his accent, otoh, was perfect when he started taking Spanish in high school, so there was that. 🙂 )  Friends adopted 2 girls from Bulgaria at ages 5 and 7, and they lost their Bulgarian language within 18 mos. 

Languages take maintaining.  If they don't use it, they will lose it, even when they are older (though from our family's experience, languages that they have learned older, they can hold on to longer.)  But, even my language-loving dd who is fluent in 2 non-English languages has lost a lot of her Latin even though she was incredilby strong in Latin.  (It's been 6 yrs since she has used Latin.)  

A list, non-reading/writing/speaking approach, not going to retained long term.  Bits and pieces, yes, but majority, doubtful. 

Edited by 8filltheheart
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We had a similar struggle with Latin a few years ago, and dropped it after deciding it ranked lower for our family than science and history content. At 11, my oldest wanted to start Latin back up, and as I wasn't going to require starting Spanish until 12, I told him he could for the year, but I wasn't going to be doing it with him, as I didn't have the time, and it wasn't my priority. So he does DuoLingo, which he loves, every single day including on weekends and while we took a vacation. He gaming aspect to DuoLingo makes it fun. He also does GSWL, the book and the audio recordings, 2-3 times a week, and that takes anywhere from 15 to 30 mins, including checking his own work. He has surprisingly learned a significant amount over the last year, and understands the idea of conjugating verbs. As my goal was just for him to enjoy it at this age, and inspire a desire to learn more Latin and Spanish in middle and high school, this was a perfect solution that didn't require my attention and time and is a fun diversion for him.

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Haven't read everyone's responses, but quick answers off of the top of my head. Foreign languages just take a lot of time.  Latin was high priority for us starting around 4th/5th grade.  It was along the same lines as math with regards to the intensity and time we took on it with one exception.  Math was always daily, 4x a week from the time they started school until graduation.  Latin was rarely daily.  We did longer sessions a couple of times a week.  What worked best for me was a co-op day where I taught it for 45 min plus a scheduled Latin club day with members from the class where we did additional study and review.  Then the workbook pages in between classes were done whenever.  If a kid got the whole week's work done in one day, fine.  If they worked on it over a couple of days between class times, also fine.  The years we put in of dedicated time once a week reviewing and working aloud together coupled with written work on their own sometime during the week gave plenty of retention.  

I took this model from my own experience.  I grew up with a Spanish tutor once a week.  She spoke to us in Spanish once a week for an hour or so, and we maybe had a few projects in elementary school on top of that.  Then in middle school in that one time period a week she began teaching us grammar with the speaking practice.  By the time I had high school Spanish it was a breeze.  That once a week over the years really added up and I retained a lot. Even though I never tried for fluency or anything, I can still easily read and pronounce to teach my daughters from those years of hearing it properly spoken, even if only once a week. 

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Update for any one who is interested:

We did a week alternating Greek and Latin and ds9 did it with me each day instead of on his own. We put our workbooks away and used Telling Tales for Latin and just started very slowly translating John (like 4 words a day). Ds9 wants to continue both languages. Dh wants me to continue reviewing vocab with ds7, but otherwise I'm dropping the workbooks until he's older.

This has been a good week for many reasons. Here's a few:

1) he gets to do it with me and I think that's his favorite. I keep trying to move him towards more independent work (because I have other kids and other tasks), but he really enjoys those one on one times-and I realized that is one of the things that I also really enjoy about homeschooling. So I'm keeping our language subjects as one on one.

2) it took significantly less time-maybe 15 min-as opposed to the 1.5 hrs it was taking.

3) we're breaking from grammar and making Greek more useful. Translating the Bible is really why I'm teaching koine Greek in the first place, so it makes sense to go ahead and start that. Will we add the workbooks back? Maybe-but I'll continue to do alternate days and one on one and monitor for burnout (mine and his).

Thank you again for all the reccommendations and advice!

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