Classical Latin

Classical Latin

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There are three main reasons to learn Classical Latin:

1) English Vocabulary

Latin constitutes roughly half of the words in modern English; for instance, the Latin word pater, meaning “father,” forms many English cognates (paternal, patriot, patronize, etc.), all of which are absorbed more easily with a Latin background.  Additionally, the majority of medical, scientific, and philosophical terminology still used today is derived from Latin.

2) Classical Phrases and Texts

A large portion of the most important texts, phrases, and thoughts in history are written in Latin; a solid foundation in this language will enable students to do everything from understanding short phrases used in popular culture to reading entire texts by classical authors!

3) Cognitive Development

The very act of learning Latin teaches students far more than Latin itself.   It teaches linguistics, which is applicable in every language; this also leads into the study of logic and rhetoric.  Furthermore, it teaches critical thinking skills, since grammar is a very precise and delicate subject manner.  In short, students learn to think clearly and analytically as part of the process of learning Latin.

Language is made up of three parts: vocabulary, morphology, and syntax.

The Overall Goal

My goal in teaching Latin is to teach all three of these parts in a synthetic and comprehensive manner.  I leave no stone unturned, and my students learn to approach language in a way as to not merely translate but to actually understand and be able to write and speak in Latin as well.

Going Deep

Ultimately, I teach language at a level that meets or exceeds what I had in language courses – even those in my Master’s program.  Yet, in spite of the depth involved, I have seen even fourth graders enjoying a full understanding of those same concepts!

Having Fun

However, I do not confuse comprehensive with boring.  Quite the opposite, in fact – I intentionally aim to make lessons fun! We laugh, we make jokes, we make fun of our mistakes.  Many of my illustrations have come straight from the minds of junior-high students, and I’ve learned well that students having fun are students that tend to study more with more regularity.

I currently teach Latin with two curricula:

1) Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg (Or Your Textbook)

This is an entire textbook filled with nothing but stories (written entirely in Latin) about a family in ancient Rome and their daily lives.  We use this as our source of reading material, as it is exceptionally well-written and contains a marvelous mixture of humor and Roman culture of the day.

However, if your student is already involved in a Latin textbook (for school or otherwise), we can certainly continue on with that curriculum instead.

2) Sentence Village, written by myself

While it is still a work in progress, it takes the entire foundation of language (vocabulary, morphology, and syntax) and creates a single massive analogy to contain it all – and it works alongside of any existing curriculum.  While it is especially useful for younger students, the basic framework is still very helpful for older minds; ultimately, it is just a re-working of normal Latin education into categories the human mind is naturally adept at.

Sentence Village is a place full of kids from different families who run the village business of creating and analyzing sentences.  However, instead of dry paradigms and sentence diagramming, this village has an orangutan mayor (Stephanus), pet rocks, preposition fish, owls who are also expert actors (a.k.a., pronouns), and all sorts of other odd characters who all work together to form sentences.

Students love learning about this village, but it also works better by far than other teaching methods with which I have worked.  I wrote it out of a realization that typical grammar and endings are often difficult for young minds to understand, so I set out to write a story that would teach it under the guise of memorable characters.  I have to say, it’s been a greater success than I had ever imagined, even with high school students!

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No Strings Attached

After experiencing the first free lesson, you are under no obligation to continue. Though, of course, I hope you’ll want to do so!

What We Will Accomplish

In the first hour, I introduce students to Sentence Village and many of the characters thereof. In the course of doing so, students will already learn basic parsing and sentence diagramming in their very first lesson – and actually have fun doing it! This, beyond never ceasing to amaze and encourage me, also means that you can tell a lot about how I teach and how your student will respond in just the first lesson.

The Bottom Line

I would love to hear from you and see how I can help your student(s) learn.  I can come to your home (especially if you’re near Osceola, WI or Anoka, MN) at a time that works for you and see how we can work together. You can send me a message here: Contact Me.