Written by Marissa Moldoch
Studying Latin provides middle school students with a solid foundation for academic achievement and personal growth, making it a valuable, rewarding pursuit. “There are countless benefits to studying Latin—indeed, it is no wonder that Latin has been a required subject in schools for centuries!” Dr. Christopher Perrin exclaims. “You will likely find that the study of Latin brings life to your student’s learning and becomes a silver key that opens a dozen different doors.” Here’s a list of the top 10 reasons to teach Latin for Children to your middle school student.
1. You’ll Fuel Your Student’s Desire to Learn New Languages
“Latin evolved into French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian (the Romance languages), and therefore to learn Latin is to begin a study of 6 languages at once,” explains Dr. Perrin. “In fact, about 90 percent of the vocabulary of the Romance languages comes from Latin.” Homeschool dad Sean is delighted that Latin for Children opened his daughter’s eyes to the beauty of other languages. “My daughter and I love this Latin course. She is becoming a polyglot like me and we are having a wonderful bonding time together . . . She begged me for the Greek, and I told her we have to finish the Latin first,” he says. As students continue to build their knowledge, they will acquire a taste for language that extends beyond the classroom. “My kids find Latin everywhere now!” says Anthea from Hawaii. “I do believe my kids are going to be lifelong language learners because of your curricula,” adds homeschool mom Kim.
2. Students Will Have Fun
Humorous and captivating, Latin for Children incorporates elements that will appeal to students of every learning style. “The Latin for Children curriculum uses engaging activities and pictures to help students learn Latin,” says S. Fuller from Missouri. In addition to the beautiful visuals and enjoyable exercises, families also benefit from the complementary videos, songs, and chants. “My students love the vocabulary videos and get up to practice with the movements along with the family in the videos,” continues S. Fuller. Similarly, Britta from Morning Star Learning says, “Your delivery of Latin for Children is both engaging and thorough. Your chants and songs are pleasant and upbeat and will appeal to a wide age range of students!” Designed for children, this classical curriculum clearly brings joy to parents, too.
3. You’ll Find That the Program Is User Friendly
If you haven’t studied Latin, you can learn right along with your kids as you go through the Latin for Children program together. “This curriculum made Latin fun and easy for two newbies. It ended up being my daughter's favorite subject this year,” says Wendie from Illinois. “If you are attempting to learn Latin along with your student using an elementary curriculum, then Latin for Children is definitely the one you should choose,” concurs homeschool mom Beth. “It goes much deeper and more thoroughly into the grammar than any of the other elementary programs do.” Teachers who know the language also appreciate that they don’t have to alter the curriculum to make it more understandable for their students. Jennifer says, “I teach Latin in our co-op, and this is honestly the first curriculum I haven’t had to rewrite (or at least seriously tweak) in order to teach it. It’s all there, well written, and fun to use. The kids love it, I love it, and I’ve seen the kids grow in understanding and application of the language.” After reviewing the language with your children, you might be inspired to continue your own education. “Latin for Children is challenging and thorough enough for the students, yet simple enough for a homeschool mom without a Latin background to implement. I’m seriously thinking about going back to school for a second degree (in classics) when my homeschooling days are over,” says homeschool mom Loretta.
4. You’ll Introduce Your Whole Family to a New Language
Younger children often mimic the words and actions of their family members, including the new language their siblings study. “We are entirely smitten with Latin for Children, this being our second year,” says homeschool mom Kendra. “I am so pleased with the progress my eldest is making in Primer B, and equally delighted to hear everyone else down to the two-year-old chanting right along.” Kristy from Louisiana says that she plays Latin chants in the car for her student, which gives the younger children “a good introduction to the program before they start.”
5. Students Will Retain the New Information They Learn
We’ve all been guilty of cramming for a test, remembering the information for a short time, then forgetting most of it in the days, weeks, and months that follow. Latin for Children differs from other language learning programs because it presents the material in a fun, manageable way that encourages students to retain it. Wendie from Illinois says, “The chants and songs were spot on and enabled my daughter to memorize the vocabulary easily.” Evelyn from Australia expresses similar thoughts, saying, “My son was so scared to learn Latin, but the teaching and layout of the book have really encouraged him to keep going. He is picking up so much and, more to the point, retaining it.”
6. Students Will Be Prepared for Advanced Latin Courses
Since students can retain the information they learn from Latin for Children, they can effortlessly take more advanced Latin courses, as middle school teacher Marley attests. “Most of my Latin Alive 1 students had completed at least one or two years of Latin for Children. I was so impressed with the Latin knowledge they came into my class with! We were able to move much more quickly. This year, when I began looking for a new curriculum for my 5th and 6th grade Latin students, I immediately started looking into using Latin for Children. I would love to give my students the core Latin knowledge that I saw in my past students!” KMS from South Carolina agrees; when her daughter completed the Latin for Children program and began a different curriculum, “she knew as much or more than anyone else in her class.”
7. Students Will Make Strides in Other Subjects
Studying Latin can enhance students’ vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension skills, as well as help them understand the roots of many English words. “My kids’ English vocabulary is increasing as we progress through the program,” says the Gant family. Additionally, “Latin enables students to enjoy some of the most influential literature and art in the world,” Dr. Perrin says. “Learning Latin well enough to read original Latin works is an attainable skill that imparts great satisfaction and enjoyment. Great works of art and monuments all over the world are frequently graced with Latin as well.”
8. Students Will Gain Historical Context and Foundational Virtues
Latin can deepen students’ understanding of the culture, history, and literature of ancient civilizations, such as Rome, which can broaden their horizons and stimulate their curiosity about the world around them. “CAP's Latin texts provide younger students with a good balance of Latin vocabulary, grammar, Roman history and culture, and practical usage that attracts student interest, as well as supplemental, history-based translation exercises, games, songs, and activities that are appealing and make learning Latin accessible and fun,” says Karen G. from Florida. “We have used Song School Latin and Song School Greek, Latin for Children, Writing & Rhetoric, and Well-Ordered Language. My children and I have learned so much together—about language, about history, about virtue (amongst other things)—and have enjoyed it immensely,” notes Mrs. Hoffman from Pennsylvania.
9. Students Can Move Through the Curriculum at Their Own Pace
With the Latin for Children program, students are free to learn at their own speed. “We are so grateful for Classical Academic Press’ at-your-own-pace Latin curriculum. We find your Latin program perfect for all of our children, especially for our middle son with special needs. Having not learned Latin in school, I needed a program that taught Latin comprehensively with excellence. Check. Having a son with special needs, I needed a program that allowed our family to individualize the pace of lessons to match his neurodevelopment abilities. Check. With my son’s particular learning style, auditory aids such as songs and chants greatly help. Check. Lately, we enjoy that the curriculum adds humor. In our home, Latin is a beloved subject,” homeschool mom Krissy articulates. Completing the curriculum in a shorter period of time is also feasible. “My son is starting a new school next fall, which is a year ahead of his old school in Latin; so we are doing a whole year of Latin for Children this summer to keep him on track,” explains homeschool mom Ellen.
10. Students Can Learn with a Seasoned Instructor
Thanks to his tried-and-true teaching methods, Dr. Perrin has become a fan favorite among homeschool families. “Dr. Perrin made the grammar lesson so easy to understand. He didn't move too fast or too slow. And he is delightfully funny and engaging,” says Wendie from Illinois. “We love this program! Our kids find Dr. Perrin very engaging, and we all look forward to our Latin time each day,” confirms the Gant family. “With the DVD, lessons, and fun activities, our learning seems almost effortless.”
Learn more about the award-winning Latin for Children curriculum, watch the first chapter from the Latin for Children Primer A curriculum video, and discover Dr. Perrin’s explanation for why students should study Latin first.