The concept of the one-room schoolhouse must, as a necessity, be a reality in our home. This year we are homeschooling a 1st grader and a pre-k kid, while trying to keep a busy and quick learning almost 2-year-old. Well, we are homeschooling in between nursing the baby and dealing with tantrums and naps and meals (and, and, and). And there are days that go incredibly well and days where nothing happens of seeming importance.
These are the days when I have to take the long view of the education of our children.
I take a deep breath (or a fresh cup of coffee) and remind myself we have a LOT of days in which to educate and train our little ones. I also remind myself that the older two, for better or worse, are test cases. Hopefully, I have much more figured out once the younger two are walking through the stages we are going through today with the older. I think: “We can make mistakes. We can take breaks. We will have another chance to do these things.”
Ok, that was a little bit of a bunny trail…where was I?
ONE ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE
My little guy (AG, almost 2) is, as I said before soaking up and working out words at high-speed lately. He is working on what we are working on: counting and singing and reading. The other day we were listening to a song about the Louisiana Purchase and as soon as it was over, I hear from the car seat behind me,
“AaAAVY COCKETTTT, AaAAVY COCKETTTT!!”
He is listening! He is learning! And it is about time I started making sure he is included in the educational pursuits around here. So I made him a book. Well, I made a simple Latin-English reader for the girls to use for their Latin and Bible this year in Classical Conversations. But I wrote it with him in mind. I wanted it to be super simple and engaging for him.
Who knows, he just MIGHT learn something!!
How We Use the Book
Since we are a one-room schoolhouse, we have to appeal to all ages. And I have decided to try to invest in the early years of our schooling in lasting things. I am purchasing items with long-term use in mind, knowing these things will be used by 4 students. I am also trying to find and create educational items that will appeal to as many of our kids in the stages they are in today.
So, we are using our Latin-English reader to introduce very simple concepts about God to our 6-and-5-year olds. We are talking about Jesus being the God that was in the beginning, the one they already know about from Genesis. We are talking about how some people don’t know Jesus and how they are the ones in the dark. And we are trying to field the many questions about Jesus as often as they come.
And for my littlest learner (almost 2) I am using this book to introduce simple shapes along with simple concepts about Jesus. I am also using this book during our one-on-one time because he tends to LOVE the books Mama reads to him during that special time. What better time is there to reach his tender heart than in one of his favorite times of the day, when he has my full attention?
You may be wondering why I included the Latin along with the English. And a little over a year ago, I would have wondered that, too! I mean what two-year-old needs to know Latin. For that matter what elementary aged kid needs to know Latin?
Well…I haven’t gotten it all figured out yet, but I have discovered that we are a Classical model of education family, for sure! It has proven to be a fit for our family. We are currently working through Classical Conversations cycle 3 and this is a portion of the memory work for this year. Thus, I am using this simple Latin-English reader as a help in our pursuit of memorizing this passage of Scripture.
I am betting on my kids learning the Latin in their early elementary years paying off in their later school years. It isn’t a shot in the dark kind of bet – there’s research involved. You have heard good things about teaching kids a foreign language in the early years? I have heard even better things about teaching kids Latin – improved vocabulary, improved determination to learn, etc. Obviously, I don’t have kids in the later school years, yet; but I hope this will put them in good stead for the future. Who knows? It could turn into a marvelous party trick for our girls when they get older.
And, by the way, I am not going to be placing a huge emphasis on speaking the Latin portion of the book to our little guy.
If you are interested in using the Latin-English reader without the Latin, you are more than welcome to omit the Latin pages. I won’t even know!
John 1:1-7 A Simple Latin-English Reader
I am really excited about how our Latin-English reader turned out. It is simply the Latin text and English text (from the KJV) with SUPER simple illustrations. The book is intended to be printed out 2 document pages per printed page, but you can print it out on a one to one basis.
To assemble the book, simply:
- download the pdf of John 1:1-7 A Simple Latin-English Reader
- print 2 pages per paper (this is a special setting on your printer)
- cut the pages and trim – I use this paper-cutter in our school and really like it.
- insert pages into a 5×7 photo book with the Latin and English pages facing each other
We started working our way through John 1 last year doing a super simple inductive study with the girls, reaching them where they were at. I have written a little bit about it here and here. Amazingly, to this day, I can start saying, “In the beginning,” and the girls can follow me with the rest of the first few verses of John 1.
Keep checking back to walk through our inductive study of the book of John. It should take a LONG time!!
Also, if you are looking for some more simple ways to help your kids memorize this passage of Scripture in Latin (with help for those tricky pronunciations!), check out this video. You can also use this tune along with the reader!
For the English translation, check out this MP3.