Why do so many homeschoolers teach Latin? After all, Latin is a dead language with very few people in the world speaking it. Actually there are very good reasons to include Latin in your homeschool.
7 Reasons to Include Latin in Your Homeschool
1. Latin trains the mind to think logically
Why? Latin is one of the most logical and systematic languages we have, and it requires attention to detail. A child who studies Latin learns to think logically.
They also learn to pay close attention to detail, which does come in handy learning algebra and programming.
2. Latin prepares for the study of all foreign languages
Because Latin is so systematic, it teaches the logic behind how languages work making it easier to learn future languages.
In addition, French, Spanish, and other Romance languages descend from Latin. Their vocabulary and grammar is largely based upon Latin. Learning Latin gets you halfway to learning one of the Romance languages.
3. Latin teaches you how to spell the difficult words
Is it curricula or curriculums? Why? What about the plural of hippopotamus? Do you know that one? It’s hippopotami or hippopotamuses.
Learning Latin conjugations and derivatives helps you learn to spell the words that derive from Latin, and there are more than a few of those!
4. Latin helps you learn English grammar
It is easier to see the sea from the outside than when you are swimming in it like a fish. We swim in English grammar. We know instinctively what is correct or incorrect, but this makes it difficult to learn WHY.
Since English grammar is based upon Latin grammar, learning Latin helps us to see the sea from the outside and learn the WHY of English grammar. It also reinforces English grammar lessons.
5. Latin aids in English vocabulary
For centuries the educated elite of Europe all spoke and wrote Latin. Our legal language, medical and scientific terminology, and higher vocabulary all come from Latin. You can go through and memorize the roots of English vocabulary or cut to the chase and learn Latin.
For that matter, we’re still creating English words from Latin. Have you ever wondered why we call that little arrow on the computer screen a cursor? It means runner in Latin.
6. Latin boosts SAT Scores
Studying Latin does more to improve SAT scores than studying any other subject, and not just for reading and writing. Latin also gave the 2nd highest score in math.
7. Latin gives the ability to read classics
Latin gives the ability to read the classics of the Western tradition in the original language, as most of the major works in the Western tradition for the last 2000 years were written in Latin.
The translations help us read the major works, but as it’s commonly said, something is lost in the translation.
There you have it. 7 reasons to include Latin in your homeschool that range from improving grammar and vocabulary to helping to learn foreign languages.
For that matter, I have it on good authority that Latin helps you win Scrabble games!