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10 July 2010

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Marybeth

Like your husband, I had Latin in High School (2 years) and remember precious little.... Conall is doing Prima Latina right now and Freya is doing Latina Christiana 1 (They both watch the DVD's together, but I have them only doing work from their program... You'll have to let us know what you think of First Form once you have done it for awhile....

Kelly

Thanks, that is very helpful. Last year we just did the first 25 Roots Up cards, but this year I want to do all of Prima Latina with my 2nd and 4th grader. I live close to the Highlands Latin school (though not close enough to actually consider sending them), and I spoke to one of the Memoria Press women at a local conference. It has greatly inspired me to buckle down a bit more for this year.

bearing

FWIW, Prima Latina worked great with my workbook-loving oldest when he was in maybe 2nd grade. I wouldn't start PL before reaching reading fluency.

Kelly

My 2nd grader is reading Redwall, Percy Jackson, and other such series. A librarian tried to kick him out of the Young Adults section just last week.

(Isn't it annoying when you keep saying "It's okay" and the other adult refuses to accept that you can handle this parenting thing? It's not my fault they put the Redwall books in with the Twilight books.)

Now, I'm not sure he'll get all the grammer, but I think he'll do well enough that I'm going to try teaching them together. I believe they do Prima Latina at the Highland's School in 2nd grade.

Rebekka

Spanish I agree with you, but French is useless? And Arabic for international utility? I don't get it.

bearing

Rebekka, you live in Europe, if I recall correctly?

The average urban American encounters very few native French speakers in daily life. I can count the number of times I have run into a Francophone and struck up a conversation on one hand. And the Francophones in question all spoke perfect English.

On the other hand, the city block that I live on is populated by a MAJORITY of native Spanish speakers. Many of whom speak very little English. When I had to get comments from my neighbors in order to seek a zoning variance a few years ago, I had to draft a letter in two languages.

This is not an unusual situation in urban America.

It's a matter of *comparative* utility. (Note that I used the phrase "comparatively useless.") If I want to read existentialist philosophy in the original language, or work for the UN, sure, French is great. If I want my next-door neighbor to move his car so I can get out of my garage, I need Spanish.

Tabitha

We just finished Latina Christiana I and I was planning on moving on to Level II. Why are you switching to First Form Latin instead? I hadn't really thought of making a change and am curious as to the pros and cons (before I buy my stuff for next year!).

Also, a French question: My oldest daughter went to the Nat'l Spelling Bee this summer. She would like to continue in her spelling study and French is a huge issue. I took 3 years of High School German, Spanish isn't as much of an issue because of living in the desert SW. Do you have any thoughts on learning French for spelling English type purposes? She's not interested in speaking it at this point--Spanish is the language she needs to learn for speaking purposes. I've been at a loss on how to best help her with this aspect of language study.

Thanks!

bearing

First form Latin is arranged much more the way *I* would wish to learn Latin. It's grammar-centric. And it looks like the way this is working is that I'm learning a tidbit, then digesting it and passing it on to the kids. So it's going to work better if the material meshes with my brain. (Also, this is what Memoria Press's website seems to recommend for the age group I'm working with.)

Learning French just for spelling English... hm. I commend your daughter for her thoroughness. If she wants it just for spelling, then you would not need to study French *grammar,* but *vocabulary* and *pronunciation* could be helpful. Is there a roots program that has a big section on borrowings from French? Or find a long list of French words used in English, sort them out, and learn their etymology? Or attack it through a "history of the English language" study? My memory is that many of the Latin-rooted words in English come to us through the French -- so you could begin with the Latin roots and trace their path through French to English. These are just thoughts off the top of my head.

Tabitha

Vocabulary and pronunciation are what we are interested in. I have noticed that a lot of the Latin words came to us via French, but they change in their own French way. That's where I'm not sure how to help her. There are some etymology helps out there--the ones I've looked at (so far) are focused mostly on Latin and Greek, though. It's the French tendency to drop the ending of a word in pronunciation that really kills us--that dropped ending can be so many different combo's and my background doesn't help me in helping her decode it. I'll have to do some more searching on this front.

If you watched the Nat'l Spelling Bee Finals this year, the Canadian Speller ended up missing a French derived word because of the pronunciation. Once she heard the spelling, it was clear that she knew the word. Those things can't be completely prevented, but it's the sort of thing I'm hoping to give her depth in.

Rebekka

Yes, I live in Denmark. (I don't speak French, though. Or Spanish.)

I completely agree with you about the Spanish. (I'm originally from California.)

It just sounded very weird to me that you would consider French comparatively useless, and then throw Arabic into the mix for "international utility". I understand wanting to learn Arabic for cultural reasons, or if you have a burning desire to live/work in Northern Africa or the Middle East. But Arabic as a conversational language has actually a very small area of application. As far as international utility is concerned, after English of course, the large organizations will want you to know Spanish for the Western hemisphere and French for the Eastern.

PNG

Regarding that last post by Rebekka, I believe "bearing" is writing from the position of living in a place where there are several Somalian refugees. Although, Arabic is not their official language, many somalians speak Arabic for religion, education, and commerce. I also live in a place surrounded by an influx of somalians and arabs. There is an arabic school in my neighborhood. You'd be surprised how many somalians are coming from their country to here these days. We even have an offering in our community ed. brochure called, "Get to Know Your Muslim Neighbor"...go figure! The time is coming, since the school is in my neighborhood, when I just might have to know Arabic to get my neighbor to move his car.

bearing

PNG is correct. I am influenced by the demographics of the immigrant populations in my immediate neighborhood.

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