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Classical Schooling–Learning Latin

18 Aug

My daughter has reached a time in her schooling where we have to consider learning Latin. Unfortunately, it was not taught when I was in school. I am very glad that it has made a recent comeback. I believe learning Latin has many advantages. The first thing I can think of is that it gives you a better understanding of grammar-English as well as French and Spanish. You will develop and expand your vocabulary by learning Latin roots. You will acquaint yourself with mythical references in literature. You will learn words used in medicine, law, and pharmacy. Being the history lover I am, I can’t leave out the fact that it also allows you to learn about an ancient culture. It will increase your knowledge of the past and of our own history. A biggie for kids headed to college is that it will help you maximize your SAT scores. And then don’t forget, it can be fun!

More than half of all English words derive from Latin. If your child has problems with grammar, then Latin could be an answer for them. Learning Latin helps establish good study habits such as building your memory skills, concentrating on word order, and being cautious about attention to detail. In Latin, you must focus on the origins of words. According to ACE-Academy For Character Education, Latin teaches grammar far more effectively than any English curriculum. Here is an excerpt from them, “This claim astounds and confounds many homeschoolers, but you need only look at the masters of English style from the Renaissance onward and ask what they all had in common. The answer: They did not study English, a subject not even available in their grammar schools, but Latin. Lots and lots and lots of Latin. The same was true of their counterparts in other countries. Think about it this way: You can teach English grammar, and your child knows English grammar. Or you can teach Latin, and your child knows Latin…and gets English grammar as a bonus.”

One easy way to practice Latin is by playing Latin matching games. I played the online games for quite a while. It became almost addictive to me to see if I could get them all correct. It was lots of fun, too. Oops, wasn’t I supposed to have my daughter playing these games? Oh well, I think parents need to practice, or learn, as much as the kids.

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One response to “Classical Schooling–Learning Latin

  1. Nancy Barth

    May 19, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    Have you seen the History of Rome podcasts by Mike Duncan? http://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/
    A Latin teacher I know only via the internet told me about them. If you want to connect with her, let me know.

    If you have the iPhone, ipod Touch, or iPad, there are apps for studying Latin. Two of the ones I downloaded are SPQR and Latin. There are also Wordology and Rootology.

    If you haven’t heard of these books, Unlocking Literacy, or Words: Integrated Decoding and Spelling Instruction, both by Marcia K. Henry, you might want to check them out. They are excellent for teaching about Latin roots and Greek combining forms, word origin and word structure.

    Here’s one article: http://www.dyslexia-rmbida.org/ritr/articles/Henry-Ways_with_Words.pdf

    and a powerpoint handout I found:
    http://www.nybida.org/PDF/Handouts_35th/Henry.pdf

    I had two years of Latin in high school many years ago, and I KNOW it helped me tremendously in college and since.

     

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