If you’re a homeschooler you probably are either teaching your kids Latin, planning to teach Latin, or know someone who is teaching Latin. So what is the big deal about Latin? Why are so many people studying it? How can you teach a subject that you know nothing about?
Several good reasons to study Latin are:
- Learning Latin vocabulary helps with English vocabulary because much of English is of Latin origin
- Learning Latin makes learning other foreign languages easier.
- Learning Latin grammar increases the understanding of English grammar.
- Studying Latin helps develop discipline and logical thought.
In her article Why Study Latin, Cheryl Lowe of Memoria Press explains some of the many benefits of learning Latin.
But how are so many homeschool parents able to teach Latin without knowing it themselves? There has been an explosion of resources for Latin instruction in the last decade. (Truthfully, there has been an explosion of all types of resources for homeschooling in the last decade.) To teach Latin as a parent who is not proficient, you have three basic methods to choose from. One possibility is to have someone else teach Latin. Options include co-ops, classes, on-line instruction, and teaching DVDs. You could also have your student study Latin independently. There are several Latin courses designed to be used in this manner. The final option is for you, the teacher, to learn Latin in order to teach your student. You can use your child’s curriculum or a more advanced textbook to teach yourself Latin. Several curriculum companies offer seminars to teach parents the basics of Latin quickly in order for them to successfully teach their students. Classical Acadmic Press offers their Latin for Teacher’s Video Course on DVD.
There are many options for Latin curriculum currently available. The following list has many of the popular programs divided by the earliest starting age. They can also be used for the next higher age group. There are short reviews available for many of these programs at Paula’s Archives.
With such a wide variety of Latin resources available, anyone desiring to teach Latin in their homeschool is likely to find a program that is suited to the age of their children and the style of instruction that they desire.