Friday, June 3, 2016

Planning Ahead: Foreign Language

When it comes to languages I have backed myself into a corner.  I was so eager to start Latin.  So we have been pursuing it for 3 years.  I think we have covered most of what my under 10 year olds can successfully do with it (short of just memorizing tons of vocabulary aloud).  However, I realize now that I should have followed EVERYONE'S advice and spent my time orally on a more modern language.  We are actually going on a mission trip in Mexico this year where knowing a bit of Spanish might be helpful, Ah well.  


Let's review. As usual, I have gathered a gazillion resources for Latin (click Latin in the sidebar and you can see the collection - lots of google books) imagining that just owning them will teach my offspring and I Latin.  It hasn't happened yet - no osmosis around here.  We did use Memoria Press' Prima Latina but it was just a bit too dry for us.  We moved to Song School Latin 1 and listened without completing the workbook two years ago. This past year my oldest did the workbook, watched many of the videos and I hope learned some Latin.  Actually, the fact that the Penderwick's dad uses Latin phrases has made Latin much cooler in our house.  Additionally, we have been in Classical Conversations for 3 years - so there is that memory work.  

What will we do this coming year?   I have purchased Latin for Children A and I think I will have my oldest work through that.  With my younger ones I am going to slow down and read stories from Olim in Latin.  We will use the readers but not the workbooks from Olim.  I am debating trying to align some of LFC with Visual Latin.  I think my oldest would like the Visual Latin instruction but he would need something different to actually practice the concepts - more like what LFC does.  But, I am probably complicating things again.  For my 2nd kiddo we might try out I Speak Latin in two years.  Am I crazy - probably. 

I do want to study Latin at a deep level and our plans to stick with Artios (instead of CC) means that I won't have a community to learn Latin through.  (Although this weekend I did speak to a CC mom with graduates and she had lots of good things to say).  My oldest isn't quite old enough for Dwane Thomas' courses yet - but this might be a great option eventually.


I took 4 years of Spanish in high school and Senora Gallivan did an AMAZING job.  I actually got a 3 on my AP which meant that I didn't have to take a language in college.  I foolishly did not think Spanish had a life long benefit and stopped learning Spanish.  BIG MISTAKE - HUGE! However, I can still remember quite a bit and can read basic texts.  We'll see how much I really remember when we head south this summer. 

My next oldest is 6 so there is still time for lots of oral language input in Spanish for my younger children.  I read the books about incorporating Spanish at a young age but just never implemented ANYTHING.  I dug out The Fun Spanish and my 6 yo enjoys it.  The older one balked but it doesn't help when you introduce it in the last 4 weeks of school because you are going to Mexico. Whoops! 

I will also use the bilingual song book that I got and try to incorporate some of the stories and songs into our daily routine, especially with the younger kids.  

The other coop that I am participating in (more on that another day) will be using the SCM Spanish program.   After reading the rationale behind this method I feel much more comfortable using it.  

The Fun Spanish uses some similar concepts as CM but the sentences she introduces are silly - intentionally - to help the kids remember the words.  CM might call them twaddle but I think it is for a good cause.  It is not the "real life" conversation or series that Gouian and CM fully recommended. So this might be a good oral combination for the youngers and my older one will probably have to do copywork with it.  

In the end we will be pursuing two different languages next year.  It remains to be seen how heavily we will focus on them, but exposure is important.  I should take Dwane Thomas' advice and just listen to the Latin and Spanish Bible more often around here.  I just have to implement some of these things!  

What are you thinking about doing for foreign langauge next year? 

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