"Intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes Scholarship. Selection committees are charged to seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. The Rhodes Scholarships, in short, are investments in individuals rather than in project proposals..."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Keeping Latin Interesting

We have five Latin students at our house.  The Kindergartener and Second Grader are no longer enjoying, but rather enduring Song School Latin.  The Kindergarter, who has an impeccable ability to memorize things, has all the songs memorized, but does not have the attention span to sit and do book work.  The Second Grader is still working through some other issues and has dropped doing the workbook in order to keep up on other things.  She's impetuous and loves something while it's new, but the second it becomes "work," she's over it.  That's life with a Second Grader.

The other three students are the Sixth and Seventh Graders along with me.  I have not had the ability to "keep up" with them.  One of my children is gifted and despises repetition and has found this Latin program (Latina Christiana I) to be extremely boring.  The other finds it an adequate challenge, although, I sense they, too, could progress much faster than I had planned.  I need to make time to get "caught up" because they are going to blow past me and I want to be able to help them.  I love learning Latin.

So, a good friend of mine, who is a smarty pants (and I love her for it), gave me some great suggestions for "spicing up" Latin.  Is that possible?  I thought it was pretty exciting, myself.  Here are a few suggestions:
  • Start a Latin Journal - give the child a translation assignment each day like "Write what you had for breakfast in Latin." Or, "Write the date in Latin and describe the day's weather."
  • Work on Latin translation - Find stories in Latin and work through translating them.
  • Get some of the kids' books written in Latin for them to read aloud to the other children.
  • Translate some popular current sayings into Latin.
  • Translate comics into Latin or vice versa.
She also pointed me to a great web site.  If you are interested in improving your Latin skills, check out this blog.
I will be doing these as well as exploring Our Latin and Greek Roots with all the kids (as a read aloud.)   It's actually a short, seven Unit book exploring the origins of many of our vocabulary words.  It will also look at Roman and Greek history, as well.

I'll also be throwing in a study of Gregorian Chant with Lingua Angelica from Memoria Press.  I love Gregorian Chant and this program has 4 prayers and 12 hymns for students to translate.  Lingua Angelica II has another 12 hymns.  I'll be looking for that on the used market.

Those children who are interested will be starting Orberg's Lingua Latina on top of LC I.  I'm not sure who will do it (me, and both the older students or just one of them.)  We'll start off with Familia Romana and work our way from there.  These are Latin texts that need to be translated, but don't require translation.  It's called the direct method whereby the child learns the Latin "per se".  The text and diagrams are almost self-evident, making the translation quite easy.  I think this will be a good challenge for all of us.  The kids loved Minimus  and have worked their way through translating the entire story by themselves, for fun.  I think this will be enjoyable and it was a recommendation from many parents who participate in a Yahoo! Group on Latin Centered Curriculum.  If I can find the money, we will also pick up Minimus Secundus.  The kids cannot resist Minimus.

Lastly, one of my children has asked me to do a "Latin Club" next year.  I don't know how I can say no when I relentlessly remind them how important learning Latin is for their education.  Said child came up with a list of things to do at club meetings from doing plays to translating fables.  I will have to see how I figure this in with schooling five kids next year (the soon-to-be Four Year Old deserves some preschool time.)  I'm not sure it will be of interest to anyone else.  We're kind of nerdy about Latin at our house.  In fact, the Seventh Grader memorized, "Rident stolidi verba latina" (Fools laugh at Latin language. -Ovid) so he could recite it to his fellow Boy Scout buddies who claimed Latin is a dead language.   Maybe someone can translate the following for me:  "Foolish mothers push Latin and then regret it when the kids ask for more!"


RealMom4Life said...

If you need a little help catching up you might want to check into quizlet.com If you go to FIND FLASHCARDS and type in Latina Christiana 1 you will see that someone has already taken the time to enter them. There are various games you can play.

You are way ahead of us. My 6th and 7th graders are doing Prima Latina, using quizlet for extra practice (and I am trying to keep up). For various reasons it was best for us to start at this lower level, but I'm saving your blog entry for future Latin info.


Margaret in Minnesota said...

We would be interested in a Latin club! We are just as geeky as you in this (Roman) arena. :)