Top Ten Tips for Teaching Latin

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Tips for teaching Latin.

Teaching Latin isn’t the easiest thing to do. It’s even harder when you don’t know any more Latin than a few dinosaur names. Here are a few tips to help you teach Latin to your kids.

1. Study Latin ahead of Your Kids

The best course of action is to study Latin ahead of your kids. You don’t need to work years ahead, but it really helps to be a week or two ahead. You’re ready to answer the many questions that come up during the lessons.

2. Learn Latin with Your Kids

If you can’t study ahead of the kids, learn Latin right alongside them. I’ve enjoyed this approach myself. While I lose a bit because I’m not prepared, I’m able to demonstrate to my preteen good study habits.

3. Move Slowly

The biggest mistake I’ve ever made teaching my children Latin was not moving slowly enough. We tried to keep up with the pace of the curriculum and ended up overwhelmed. We should have slowed down and studied for mastery. Ah well, live and learn!

4. Drill to Kill

Along with moving slowly, drilling to kill is vital when learning Latin. You need to learn those declensions and conjugations backwards, forwards, and upside down. The meaning of sentences changes dramatically if you use the wrong ending, so over-learn the endings.

5. Extra Resources

Make use of extra resources to help you drill and learn Latin. There are many good lectures on DVD, books, workbooks, and worksheets such as Latin Master Charts: Verbs.

6. Use Curriculum Created for Children

Unless you’re adept at creating or adapting curriculum, don’t try to use curriculum meant for adults. It moves a lot faster than young children are able to. Children’s curriculum has also been developed to retain kids’ interest. The pictures of fun, worksheets entertaining, and plenty of games are usually included. Use a curriculum created for kids.

7. Games

Games make learning fun. There are many, many games created to help homeschool kids learn Latin. Don’t feel guilty about using them. Indulge yourself and your children. The games help you to drill and kill while having fun.

8. Be Patient

Learning Latin doesn’t happen in a day, a month, or even a year. It’s an ongoing process that will occupy much of your schooling years. Don’t be in a rush to check Latin off your to-do list. Instead, enjoy the journey. Eventually, you’ll reach your goal.

9. Know Your End Goal

Do you know why you’re learning Latin and what your goal is? There’s a world of difference between wanting each child in the house to have two years of high school Latin under their belt versus being able to read the Aeneid in Latin. Keep your personal goal in mind and make your Latin plans off that, not what your neighbor is doing.

tips for teaching Latin10. Have Fun

Latin can be a lot of work, but it also can be great fun. Make an effort to have fun learning Latin. Play games, be silly, and laugh at your mistakes.

If you follow these ten tips for teaching Latin, you’ll find yourself not just enjoying your Latin studies but you will also successfully teach your kids Latin!

5 Days of Latin

Day 1: Why Study Latin
Day 2: Top Ten Tips for Teaching Latin
Day 3: Latin Curriculum Roundup
Day 4: How to Find Time for Latin
Day 5: 40 Latin Resources for Your Homeschool

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  1. What a great gift for children – the gift of Latin! If you just learn the basics you’ll be well ahead in the world as it makes English vocabulary so much easier. I want to study this with my kids, but one thing at a time and we are learning some Greek now ahead of a vacation adventure to Greece later this year! The tips of staying a little ahead of them and learning along with them are brilliant and make the whole thing both easier and more fun for everyone!

    1. The trick is to stay a little ahead. There have a been a few times I’ve fallen behind, but generally learning with my kids is easier and more entertaining for all of us. It also gives me a wonderful opportunity to model good study skills for my kids. 🙂

      A vacation to Greece sounds exciting! What cities and places will you be visiting?

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