Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Is all that Latin study worth it? (Yes!)

As a homeschooling mom, I have always had a slight worry that I'm not "doing it right". At certain times of the year I'd get these "What if" thoughts. What if we didn't  do enough science this year, or math or the kids didn't learn enough - you know, the usual kind of things moms worry about. But because we homeschool, who could I blame but myself? And the kids - eventually they get old enough that you really can't blame yourself anymore because you can't do the work for them. You can't make them learn - you can give them every opportunity and resource available, but you can't make them learn. I've had faith in my choice of classical homeschooling for several reasons: 1) this is the kind of education I would have chosen for myself if I had been able to; 2) this type of education stands the test of time; 3) the resources I consult are quite thorough and provide a similar education as some pretty impressive prep schools. These are only some of the reasons, but they are as good as any.

Now, to test the theory! My oldest is in eleventh grade this year and we are right in the middle of all the college testing. What fun that is! I haven't done a lot of testing for him and I was a little worried. We gave him test prep practice, strategies, etc., but basically put faith in the overall education we have tried to provide for him. After seeing his first attempt at the ACT, I have to say I am quite pleased. He easily exceeded the benchmark scores for all subjects. His English and Reading scores were 99%. I feel that this is due to his Latin studies and all of the Great Books reading he has done over the years. He stopped studying Latin after 9th grade, but he had worked through Latina Christiana I and II and about half of Henle I  before we switched to Latin for the New Millennium  from Bolchazy for high school. I feel strongly that any Latin is better than no Latin.

My daughters are currently working through Latina Christiana I and First Form Latin from Memoria Press. I plan to continue their Latin studies through at least 9th grade using Latin for the New Millennium. I hope they will continue on to Latin for the New Millennium Level Two. The description of Latin for the New Millennium from the website:

This new complete introductory course to the Latin language, suitable for both high school and college students, consists of two volumes, each accompanied by a teacher's manual and students' workbooks. The strategy employed for teaching and learning incorporates the best of both the reading approach and the more abstract grammatical method. The choice of vocabulary in each chapter reflects ancient authors commonly studied for the AP* Latin examinations. There are exercises designed for oral use, as well as a substantial core of more conventional exercises in each chapter. The readings, pictures, and supplementary inserts on cultural information illuminate Roman life, civilization, Roman history, and mythology, as well as the continuing use of Latin after antiquity and its vigorous literary tradition in such periods as the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Each chapter also includes derivatives, the influence of Latin vocabulary on English, and selected proverbs or common Latin sayings.
This will be my high school choice for the girls because it so much more interesting and we found it to be quite fun to read some of the readings for translation and recognize the story -- from Shakespeare! (He borrowed heavily from the classics, you know.) But again, any Latin is a good thing, in my opinion. My kids have learned more grammar through their Latin study than through their English grammar curriculum. The enrichment materials are great too!

 I loved From Romulus to Romulus Augustus

and The Original Dysfunctional Family.

Other favorites were/are:

The enrichment books helped to make life in ancient Rome interesting and accessible while studying the hard stuff - Latin grammar.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing these resources! I am intrigued by all things Latin right now and love to see more ideas to be ready for when we start. I also love how you practically showed it's usefulness with how well your child did on that test! Way to go! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Trivium Tuesdays! I hope to see you again this week!