Latin & Greek to Me


I've looked at different Greek and Latin curriculum, and I haven't found anything that followed the classical method a closely as I'd like. And the other thing is, I've studied and taught Greek so I don't really feel like I need help in that area. As for Latin, I can learn it without too much trouble. One of my goals in our homeschool is for me to be the teacher. Meaning, I teach the lessons, make up the work, and use curriculum as I see fit. I've used scripted material, and while that's fine, it takes some of the joy out of learning for me and my kids. So that's what I'm doing with Latin and Greek. Those and history are the easiest subjects for me. I'm learning math, and I'll start learning science next.

Firstly, let's talk about what the classical method is. The classical method begins with the knowledge stage, when the student is introduced and made to memorize the basics of subjects. The basics of Greek, Latin, and any other language start with the alphabets and sounds, move onto words, endings or organization, and grammar. Latin and Greek are considered dead languages, because they are not spoken anymore (and when I'm talking about Greek here, it's Koine Greek which is the Greek of the New Testament. There are older Greek language variations.). Because they are dead, we don't have to learn how to speak them or translate our thoughts into those languages, we just have to learn how to read them.

Moving on to the second stage of the classical method is the understanding. This is the stage that the student would be able to actually start understanding and translating text. This is also when a student can begin understanding exactly what language is and how it works. Finally, the third stage is rhetoric, which would be when a student could use the knowledge and understanding to teach or speak about the text, context, and interpretations.
So I had to decide what using the classical method to teach Latin and Greek meant. I decided that Classical Conversations is doing a great job, I can just add to the Latin memory work, and add in some Greek too. Bear with me a moment, I have an analogy. This part is kind of the bow.

One of the hardest parts of learning Greek for me was memorizing the vocabulary and conjugations and declensions. That's the part that doesn't actually take any hard thinking, just work and dedication. This is the arrows.

If you are still following me, than you might can see where I'm going with this. Except there is one more step. I knew we would be using Henle Latin through CC Challenge, and I knew I wanted to use Mounce's Greek curriculum in high school, so now I have my targets. (Those are affiliate links, thank you!)

I'm using the classical method to shoot my arrows of basic knowledge of vocabulary and language definitions towards the later curriculum targets.

I will set my kids up for success in those curriculum by giving them a head start on the material. I'm preparing them by having them memorize the vocabulary from those books, along with the declensions, conjugations, and alphabets (not in that order).

Since I also need to learn Latin, I've started (and stopped, and started, and stopped...) studying the Henle curriculum. I'm thinking (in order to give myself some accountability) about offering to do a book club/explanations of text here on the blog once a week after CC lets out for summer break. If anyone wants to join me in learning Latin, we could study the lesson, break it down into what needs to be memorized, understood, and taught and help each other out. And we could do Greek too.

Now, I just want to add why I think it's important to study Latin and Greek. Once you've studied these languages, you realize what a poor language English is. Greek, since I've studied it more in depth, is a brilliant language that says things you really can't translate into English. And Koine Greek was the simple Greek! I see Greek as a very artsy, philosophical language, and Latin as a very militaristic language. Koine Greek is the simpler version of Greek because of Alexander the Great. As he conquered his empire, he forced everyone to accept Greek culture. This was his way of uniting many separate cultures. He built bath houses, and introduced his conquered people to the finer life of Greece. And he gave his Empire a common language. This helped with trade and gave people a connection, or at least the ability to make a connection.

I think this is why Jesus came when he did. It was the first time in history since the tower of Babel that there was a common language. The common language made it easy to spread the gospel. The New Testament was written in Greek because everyone could understand Greek. So the Letters didn't need to be translated, they could just be passed around.

Latin, on the other hand, is another language of higher order. Whereas Greek spread down and wide, Latin spread up. Since Latin was used in what became the heart of the church, Rome, it also became the language of the church. The Romantic Languages are all simplified versions of Latin, so Latin was the commonality for the peoples of the different dialects that became French, Spanish, and Italian.

Both of these languages were used to spread the Gospel. Both of these languages offer a more sophisticated way of expressing one self. And both of these languages will make it easy to study any language that came after them.

(I'm sorry y'all. When I start talking about languages...I get a little word-y.) (Hehe)

More coming of how exactly I'm implementing these ideas. Tell me what you think about all this wordiness.

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