It’s one thing to buy the books and supples, to make a plan, to create a chart and quite another to actually pull it off in a typical day.
Days never go exactly as imagined, but it’s worth the time to imagine it even so – and the more you practice imagining it and planning for contingencies before the heat of the moment, the better you’ll become and rolling with the punches of a real-life homeschool day in a household bustling with people.
Here are three tools I use to help me put together my homeschool day.
Read the original post: 3 tools for a sane homeschool day
Clever Curriculum Connection
So, I use a simple practice page for this that I created not because there are not enough review materials in Latin for Children as it is, but because it simplified our review process. I pull sentences provided within the LFC workbook, but copy them onto these sheets for a few reasons:
- I’m not confident enough in my own Latin yet to compose my own Latin sentences.
- Those sentences were already composed to help the student review the lesson material.
- My boys’ handwriting doesn’t fit well in the space provided in the workbook a lot of the time. These workpages have much more blank space.
- If I copy out the sentences, I can pull sentences from previous lessons. Chances are, they don’t remember the sentences they did last month anyway, and I can at least swap out a different verb with the same conjugation if I want to change it up. This allows us to get a lot more translation practice, which I consider the most valuable part of Latin, while still using the sentences written by the curriculum people (i.e. people who know what they’re doing).
- Usually the workbook only requires parsing or translating, and rarely marking sentence parts. But if the boys already have to mark sentence parts, then they’re a step ahead when they have to parse. I want them to do all 3 steps as much as possible.
In helping my boys through these translation exercises over and over again, I have finally made it over my own Latin difficulties and see how the endings work, what they’re doing, and that they are communicating something. I have several key phrases I repeat each and every time as I help them over their own bumps and stalls:
- “What is the ending?”
- “What does that ending tell you?”
- “Is it a noun or a verb?”
- “What parts does a noun have?”
- “What parts does a verb have?”
- “What’s number mean? What are the two options?”
- “What’s missing in your translation?” (Usually it’s a capital letter and a period.)
The good news is that after about 100 repetitions of the same question, they actually do start to ask it themselves. Just when you think it will never happen, suddenly you hear one muttering the question under his breath to himself and then you know it was sinking in after all. Just don’t be surprised if it takes a solid year – or two.
It takes patience, certainly. So we are all being stretched and growing: they are learning discipline and I am learning patience – and we are all learning perseverance. Learning is often difficult, and that’s ok.
We used to only do two sentences in a sitting, because it stretched them so much. Now they can do four, and though some days are still tearful, by the time we’re done, we’ve pulled through and taste success.
Learning to read Latin might be an important classical aim, but even if we never do, learning Latin will have made us better people.
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