3 A.M. I woke up almost mid-thought. I had apparently been thinking in my sleep again. The night before I had read a small portion of our homeschool manual for grammar before going to bed. Verbs was the topic. At the end there was a passing reference to the Latin word for “Word” (the same “Word” referenced in John 1). I made a small observation regarding the action of God and called it a night.
At the above referenced time the next morning, I awoke with a rush of thoughts which could not be put back to bed. I got up and started searching the Scriptures to see if this was so. It was all too…BEAUTIFUL!
And it is so good, I just have to share with the class!
Ah, Latin! The most intimidating aspect of a Classical education. Right? Most of us parents feel inadequate to teach Latin because most of us ever took an actual Latin course.
Interestingly enough, I had a class in 7th grade which was an exposure to various languages. It started with Latin. We moved 3 times that year, so I only got the first part of the Latin unit. I am proud to say I can perfectly remember one Latin phrase: “Quid agis?” “How are you?”
Somehow I don’t feel this is adequate preparation to teach Latin. But here we are.
This entry is part 26 of 27 in the series Homeschool
Latin in 4th grade. Part of me simply wonders, “Why?” That part of me, the mama part of me, still sees my oldest girl as young – too young for such big things. And part of me, the homeschool teacher part, sees her enthusiasm for learning and knows she can do it.
The teacher part of me is winning on this one.
We have had very little previous exposure to Latin. Since participating in Classical Conversations, we have familiarity with the Latin memory work for each cycle. As a family, we have also watched the first level of Song School Latin and have sung some of the songs. We know some very basic conversational Latin and some very basic conjugations. But, I do not believe my students would be able to tell you what a conjugation is, nor how to do one.
I have one student who is READY for more Latin. She has expressed a desire to learn Spanish, coming to me with new words and identifing Latin derivatives on her own. And I have another student who is, let’s see – less inclined toward diligent Latin studies. Oh, and we have a first year student and a toddler running around shouting out “Vale!” when someone leaves our home.
In general, we do a one-room schoolhouse thing around here. So I have these younger students in the room for almost all instruction. I wanted to reach them, too, where they are at. Plus, I wanted to create something that would be a cultural touchstone in our home. So, I came up with a combination of our Gathering and our Inductive Bible Study for Kids. I am calling it: Conlatio
Over the past four years of homeschooling my kids, I have grown to understand just how difficult the job of those one-room schoolhouse teachers was. Though we have settled into our homeschool routines, there are many interruptions, many adjustments, many opportunities for growth. There are days when I choose to take the long view of our children’s education, rather than checking all the boxes.
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.”
The concept of the one-room schoolhouse must, as a necessity, be a reality in our home. This year we are homeschooling a 4th grader and a 2nd/3rd-grader, introducing a pre-K/K mash-up student. while trying to keep a busy and quick learning 3-year-old occupied. It’s a lot. The idea of separating these kids and their learning into completely different boxes is just not feasible.