Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Learning to Love Latin

Once upon a time, Latin was a central part of students' education.  Students not only learned to conjugate verbs, but to read and enjoy literature in Latin as well.  Unfortunately, Latin has slowly been pushed aside to make way for other subjects.  Many schools only offer Latin as a lower-level course, making it a poor option for students concerned with their GPAs.  Luckily, as afterschooling parents, we have the option of giving our kids what the schools do not provide.  Even if you don't know a bit of Latin, you can learn along with your kids!  Here are some fantastic reasons to teach your kids Latin:
  • Your child will increase his vocabulary and increase his ability to understand unfamiliar words.  (SAT skill!)
  • Latin teaches grammar explicitly, which helps kids comprehend confusing English grammar concepts.  (SAT skill!)
  • Understanding Latin makes learning other Romance languages easier.  Since most college-bound students will study a Romance language in high school, this could be a huge help!
  • The ability to read Latin opens up a door to a world of Classical literature and culture. 

Convinced?  There are many wonderful Latin programs out there designed for homeschoolers.  While it is nearly impossible to teach your child a spoken language if you aren't fluent yourself, it is possible to teach Latin!  Most classical homeschoolers and afterschoolers start Latin instruction around third grade.  At this age, kids have the ability to read and write in English and understand basic grammar rules.  They are still young enough to memorize easily (a skill that fades as we grow older) and see learning a "secret" language as exciting.  

One Latin program I've looked at is Visual Latin.  It's a lively video Latin program that takes the pressure off nervous parents.  I've heard nothing but positive reviews from parents in the Well-Trained Mind Forums.  (Although I can teach my daughter Latin now, I know she'll probably progress faster than me as she gets older.)  And right now, it's 30% off!  Check it out below.


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