Tagged classical education

A Rationale for Latin


Just a quick note — Latin discussion at one of my homeschooling moms’ group and the question came up:

Why Latin? What are your end goals?

My answer:

My end goal was simple: for my kids to develop an appreciation for Latin since it’s where the Romance languages came from…

  • So that, should they decide to learn any of those it would come easier to them. When we lived in Italy for a bit it was fun for them to learn Italian kasi many of the words were already familiar to them
  • So they’re comfortable whenever they attend any Mass where Latin is spoken/sung
  • So that if at some point they’d want to read any of the Latin documents of the Church they wouldn’t be intimidated and might even have fun with it
  • For a better grasp of the English language and grammar

Beyond those, whatever they want to do with it. There are people in my kids’ circles who are Latin fanatics.

One of my daughter’s best friends was an atheist who used to compete in national Latin competitions. Side note, he is now an agnostic — rapidly becoming Christian in his thinking — and has even started reading St. Augustine. Pray for him!

Our family’s favorite Latin materials:

Lingua Angelica:

Latina Christiana:

Prima Latina:

Henle Latin:

500 Latin Verbs:

Minimus Latin (though this is NOT ecclesiastical Latin)

Our 14-year-old also used the course Visual Latin and enjoyed it.

The book that helped me to decide to include Latin in our homeschooling curriculum:

Climbing Parnassus

(For some reason my Amazon links are not showing up, so I’ve edited so you at least see the names of the books.)

7 Benefits Latin Offers Today’s Students

Oh, and lastly, my PERSONAL reason for incorporating Latin into our homeschool: I just LOVE botanical names! 😀

Sentence Diagramming Helps

One skill that I believe my children should learn is diagramming sentences. When they diagram sentences, I can see how the lightbulbs come on and they understand better. Diagramming helps them not just in their English and Latin lessons, but more generally in comprehending how words are strung together to make sentences meaningful, no matter the language.

My favorite diagramming resource is — my kids prefer doing this together so what we usually do is gather round, and then I read the lesson to them. They then pass the book from person to person, each person reading the examples aloud. They spend 10 minutes or so making up their own sentences and diagramming them afterwards. Quick and relatively painless.

I thought I’d spice things up a bit this year, though, so I went online to look for some additional helps, and I found a couple you might like as well:

Sentence Diagrams by Eugene R. Moutoux — you’ll have to click on each link to see the examples. Might help if you use tab browsing and have everything open in different tabs, rather than backspace after each example.

Wisconsin Technical College has a Flash page where you can try diagramming. There are 33 pages in all. I found it easy to use and easy to understand; my only quibble is that it’s difficult to place the slanted downward lines into their proper spots. The words are much easier to move to the exact locations, but you can’t move forward to the next lessons unless you put the lines in also.