Foreign Language

For the study of Greek with my kids, we began Hey Andrew, Teach Me Some Greek around age five or six.  It was fun and a good introduction, but given what I already knew about Greek, decided not to continue with that curriculum.  I would recommend it for starting out, though.  My kids liked it and they learned the Greek alphabet and a few words.

The same author as the aforementioned Greek curriculum also wrote, Latin’s Not So Tough.  We did not like it as well as the Greek.  I discovered ¾ of the way through book one that my son was able to write the correct answers on pages, copy letters, and parrot sounds to me without actually learning the material.  For the study of Latin, we used Latina Christiana.  It was extremely fun for my kids to do, because we met with three other families.  The kids in all the families studied throughout the week then met with friends every Friday morning for a new lesson.  Since none of the moms knew any Latin, we used the dvd’s as well as the workbooks, and they are definitely worth getting; I would not do the program without being able to watch the lessons on dvd.  We had younger kids in one room and older kids in a different room.  For my kids who were too young to study Latin that year, we plan to do Prima Latina in second grade, followed by Latina Christiana 1 in third grade, and then take two years to work through Latina Christiana 2 in fourth and fifth grades, then take a year off and begin Henle in junior high (I do not like Wheelock). For those who don’t like Latina Christiana, take a look at Matin Latin – I probably would have used it if we had not been learning along with a group of friends.

My children do not like the Rosetta Stone foreign language software, and I am inclined to agree with them.  We did find an excellent computer-based Spanish program called Visual Link Spanish.

My fourth grader child wants to learn French.  Memoria Press (the people who publish Latina Christiana) now has a French curriculum.  We are planning to try this French program once they have the DVDs available.

Note:  at the time of this writing, two-years of the same foreign language at the high school level are required for entrance into any state university.  At least one of those state universities accepts public and private school transcripts, but does not accept foreign language on a homeschooled student’s transcript.  Homeschooled students claiming foreign language credit are required to pass a test demonstrating proficiency in the foreign language.  This is reasonable.  However, it does affect your scheduling.  If your student studies foreign language as a freshman and sophomore, the information might not be retained by the time college placement tests are taken two years later.  Another option is to simply wait and take a year of foreign language at a community college before transferring to a four-year college.

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