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Welcome to another week of the Teaching the Trivium book club! I am so excited to read and discuss this book along with you. I loved the discussion last week and would love to hear from more of you! Today we talk about languages.
Chapter 5 - Teaching Lauguages
I am going to come right out and say that this was a difficult chapter. My kids are little, and while we have begun basic Latin (we love Song School Latin), this chapter goes deep into the 'whys' and 'hows' of teaching classical languages. Let's start of with a question for you!
What language(s) are you teaching your children?
Do you value teaching the classical languages over modern languages?
An Argument for Teaching the Classical Languages
This first section of the chapter talks generally about the benefits of learning these dead languages, and then takes Latin, Greek, and Hebrew specifically and defends why the study of each is worthwhile.
I find the reasons for learning Latin compelling. As a Christian, I think that learning Greek would be extremely helpful. Hebrew just sounds painful ;)
I underlined a lot of things in this chapter. Many of them because I know that I will want to revisit them as my children enter this stage more. Here are some of the quotes that I found really interesting.
As the knowledge of the Biblical languages diminished among the common people, a darkness crept over professed Christianity. The people became more and more dependent upon religious professionals. pg. 108
Wow. That is very interesting to me! I have never even considered learning Greek for myself, for the sake of understanding the Scriptures. I've just always depended on trustworthy translations like most Christians do. The Bluedorns also mention that many seminaries do not even require the study of Greek and Hebrew anymore. If that is true, it is shocking to me. I don't know how well versed they are, but I know that my pastors had to learn Greek. (I'm not certain about Hebrew).
If you are a Christian, does your pastor know Greek and Hebrew? Does it matter to you if they do or not?
Only a century ago, no seminary in the United States even offered a course in Greek. Students were expected to have mastered Greek before they entered seminary.
Wow! Fascinating again! Can you imagine if that sort of knowledge was expected in this day and age? Most kids graduating high school can barley even handle our own language, let alone mastering another language (and a classical one at at that!)
Most classical educators expect their students to learn Latin. I think the benefits are most obvious for that language, though if you are a Christian, the others become important as well. Here are the reasons that the Bluedorns give for learning Latin (if you are a classical homeschooler, these reasons will be familiar to you):
- Latin is basic to English - much of our vocab is derived from Latin in one way or another
- Latin is a springboard for mastering other inflected languages - if you want to learn a modern language, Latin will make it much easier for you!
- The study of Latin sharpens the mental process
- Everything in a culture is embedded in its language
- Technical language is in Latin - medical/scientific/legal/etc.
- Latin is also valuable for further studies in all disciplines
- Latin is useful in English
A General Course of Study
The last part of the chapter is devoted to how exactly to teach these dead languages. There are lots of charts and examples. Honestly we are just not there yet in my family. I underlined a lot of things to come back to in a few years and I learned a lot of thing I didn't know that I didn't know =) What about you?
How do you teach the classical languages to your children?
What resources have you used?
What resources have you loved?
Leave comments here on the blog post, or share about it on social media (#ClassicalMamasRead). I'll be sharing too, so follow me on facebook, twitter, or google+ and we can chat about it there as well! Don't forget, if you want to share your thoughts about Teaching the Trivium on your own blog, link it up below so we can all come and visit!
Next week we will be talking about chapter six of Teaching the Trivium. If you haven't gotten your own copy yet, make sure you check your library or order one soon so you can be ready for next time! Also, this is a 600+ page book, so I am only touching on certain points of each chapter. There is so much great information that I am not covering, so if this discussion interests you, you are going to want to make sure to pick up your own copy so you can read more!
Classical Mamas Read Link-Up
Did you write about Teaching the Trivium on your blog? Have you been reading and blogging about another book (for you, not a children's book)? Do you have a book club going on at your blog (once again, not for a children's book)? I'd love for you link up here so we can all be encouraged by each other and maybe find another great book to read!
I think I'm going to keep this link-up ongoing since there aren't going to be a huge number of posts and then anyone new will be able to be encouraged by the other book reading ideas and discussions. If the number of posts gets too large, I will fix it.
Please note, all posts must be on topic (about a book you are reading) and appropriate (think family friendly).