Latin?

Does anyone still learn Latin? I was surprised when my then thirteen-year-old asked me about learning Latin. He thought it looked like it would help him understand English better. I think he read somewhere that it would be a good place to start learning other languages. He really enjoyed the program we got because it wasn’t just learning the words. It had a lot of history along with it.

We bought the online version that you could print the pages you needed as you went along and really enjoyed that. My son was always overwhelmed at the sight of a large book of print when he was younger. He knew he didn’t need to complete it. And he knew that it was up to him how long he wanted to stick with it, but he having the book there in his sight made him feel anxious. He didn’t even like coloring books when he was younger because he felt compelled to complete them even though he didn’t really like coloring. I’m happy to report he grew out of that. He’s almost sixteen now has large books sitting on his nightstand that he reads a bit from every night. And he is perfectly capable of taking apart a big project and doing a little at time. But I digress! I was able to print out a couple pages at a time this way and it gave him a chance to practice writing a bit as well.

The program we used was called Lively Latin. The author of the program was a homeschooler herself. I met her once at a homeschool conference after my son had been using her program for about a year. She was so friendly, one of those people you feel like you already know when you meet them.

Here are some articles about why you should, or should not learn Latin. Do some research and decide for yourselves. I know we had a great time learning it together! It’s come in handy learning other languages and at museums. And it’s entertaining to harass each other about using Latin words in games like Scrabble!

7 Reasons Why I’m Learning Latin And Teaching My Kids Too

Don’t Study Latin

Kissing the frog: Our Latin Curriculum Hunt and What I Learned

Duolingo For Foreign Language

My sons have been using Duolingo to learn French and German for about a year now, but a few days ago my oldest told me there was a new “dashboard” for teachers to use as a classroom. I looked it up and it’s also amazingly free! My sons have been using the totally free site for the past year and have found it to be very good at motivating them to continue learning every day. It plays a bit like a game, so there are points to get for completing lessons and translating articles. They showed it to me when they found it to learn German and have since started learning Norwegian, and Spanish as well. They tried Russian but found it too much to learn along with other languages.

You might try just putting your kids onto it and seeing where they go with it, but if you’d like to be able to assign work with a due date, you can log into Duolingo for Schools
and sign up your school and invite your kids as students. It’s very easy to use and completely free. Pick a language to learn together and speak to each other at the grocery store like it’s some kind of secret code!

Foreign Language

My kids have been using Duolingo to learn German the past six months and they love it! The best part is that they are both learning the same language and converse with each other in it now, so I’d say it’s working.

Duolingo is free, works in a similar way to Rosetta Stone, and has lots of different languages to choose from. Check out this TED talk with Luis von Ahn about what makes it even more interesting and why it’s free!