Latin, the habit builder – Wednesday with Words

Living a reading life together…

Current favorites at our house

I’ve been preparing grammar lesson outlines for my writing class that starts this week. I’m using a combination of Our Mother Tongue by Nancy Wilson, The Mother Tongue by Kittridge and adapted and republished by Amy Edwards (I am using the teacher’s manual for lesson content and sentences to use, but not using the student workbooks), and Evan-Moor Paragraph Editing (grades 5 & 6). Can I just say, I love grammar. I could read these books for pure pleasure. Hopefully I can communicate that and pass on the joy of the logic of grammar to my 6 students.

Knox and Ilse are both enamored of the Pathway Readers, and I don’t blame them.

Jaeger is still enjoying the Landmark books I bought on modern times; this week his favorite finish was The Sinking of the Bismarck: The Deadly Hunt.

Hans’ favorite read this week was Brian Jacques’s Rakkety Tam, the seventeenth Redwall book. My almost-21-year-old brother was cleaning out his closet before leaving for college and passed on a couple Redwall books we did not yet have (the ones we do have were my husband’s first). The boys were very happy recipients.

My Book Bag

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I’ve never read any Edwards except for “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and selections of his resolutions. I love grammar and I love 17th & 18th century authors. I think English was at its height during this time.

Might be cheating to call it a science book, but since we’re learning both about the periodic table and modern times this year, it seems like a good fit.

Week’s Words

I started my own independent study of Latin this week, using Henle. I already knew the vocabulary and declensions of the first lesson from Latin for Children Primer A. I can see even in the first section that LFC is modeled on Henle, so it was a good choice. If I’m going to be doing Latin with 5 children, I might as well actually learn it at my own level and not just barely be keeping up as I learn alongside Hans.

And remember how I said I loved grammar? Latin is logical study of grammar to perfection, so it turns out that I actually really enjoy it. The only thing that would make it better would be not having to memorize vocabulary. Sigh.

Anyway, the introduction “To the Student” was great prose, and pointed out the exact reasoning for Latin that brought me on board with it in the first place:

Latin will give you many things. It will teach you how to work intelligently and systematically; it will teach you what language – man’s most wonderful and useful invention – is; it will teach you to speak and write better. You will develop habits of concentration and correct thinking and many other habits which you will be able to appreciate only after you have acquired them.

Isn’t that the way with so many good habits? The use and value of them appears slight or nonexistent when we stand on the other side, just looking at them, but only after we’ve fought for them and learned them do we see their full weight and impact.



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  1. Great quote. When I’ve asked Martin Cothran (of Memoria Press and one of my fave speakers at the HS Convention) what to do for logic with my kiddos, he always replies with Math and Latin. We just had a “Latin is like reading cyphers and following clues” review talk yesterday, hope it helps. I like that my kids can all kind of work together with me so we are all helping one another as we learn.

    Sadly, my children love logic workbooks and go through them like candy if I don’t control their pace.

    Thanks for posting!

  2. I only wish I could discipline myself enough (and find enough time!) to read Latin before I try to teach it to my children in earnest!

  3. I really like Henle and was self teaching from that back when my 12 year old was only in Kindergarten. I wasn’t able to keep it up (we built a house and had three more kids in the last 7 years!) but last year I started working through Henle with my daughter. We’re just about caught up to where I was all those years ago and we’re venturing forth together. I’m glad I had a leg up on it though, and spent that time memorizing the vocab and declensions. I did manage to review them periodically in the in between years, and that helped a great deal. I’m glad to know that Latin for Children follows a similiar path as Henle – I’ve been wondering what to use with my son when he starts Latin next year. I am toying with the idea of using Henle with him, but very very slowly. I’m already having him memorize the declensions as part of our family memory work. (My 2 year old is learning them too – I love hearing him chant “servus, servi, servo over and over! lol)

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