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    Second Form Latin/CC:Narrative - Suggestions on mastery

    Hi everybody!

    As I mentioned on a different thread, it has been a very difficult academical year for us. Latin, FMMA and CC were the most challenging subjects to master this year. I was unable to help my 5th grader as much as I would have liked. Mea Culpa!

    I'm trying to find the best way to master Latin and CC during this summer (We'll take an extra week to finish FMMA). For Latin, my 5th grader can conjugate the verbs easily and understands the grammar/vocabulary, but is unable to translate. I have committed myself to review FFL this summer so I can be better prepared to help with translation as I am unable to clearly help with this at this time. I have considered SFL review summer class online but I do not know if the 1.5 hr class will be a good fit.

    CC was difficult last year and this year, so I am considering an 'easier' writing program for the summer and see where it take us. Though I do not know which one yet?? Too many options out there.

    Thank your for all your suggestions in advance.
    MG
    Last edited by MG_; 06-02-2018, 12:11 PM.
    ***Using some 5A and 8A MP materials for 2020-2021***

    #2
    Re: Second Form Latin/CC:Narrative - Suggestions on mastery

    MG,

    One of the great things about reaching an "end" to a school year is that feeling of accomplishment that comes with it...but some years are definitely not as strong as others! I was simply glad to plough through, but I have felt very much like you described - that I wish I had been more focused/had more time to give in certain areas. Definitely looking ahead to next year with thoughts of how to manage better in our house, too!

    But about your questions, would you mind giving us a bit more detail about how Latin and CC are going right now? For example, when you say he's struggling with translation, give us an idea of how it goes currently. And what are the stumbling blocks in Narrative? How's it going right now? (and forgive me...I could not tell from your post whether this is a son or a daughter)

    The one thing I will offer with Latin, is that when my kids are learning to translate, first of all, yes, it can take a bit to get the hang of it, and Second Form prime time for that to be a challenge. Thankfully, MP knows this and works it in gradually. Translation work is really not going to be a major focus until Fourth Form, so you still have a lot of time to help him get good at it.

    But a couple of tips right now are that I kind of run down a list of questions with them, and try to stick to the same order as much as possible.

    First I ask them to figure out the verb, and we go through all the attributes they know how to use (conjugation, person, number, tense). When they are really new at it, I have them jot it all down in the space around the sentence they are translating in teeny, tiny print so they don't forget it while we go on to the rest of the words in the sentence.

    Then we look for nouns, and go through those attributes...what is the ending of each noun? so which declension is it? which case? what job does that case do? so what does that word mean in the sentence? Usually there are just subjects and direct objects at this point, I think.

    Then we look for adjectives and do the same thing...what is the ending? which gender is that ending? which number? which case? so which noun does it agree with?

    All these questions should help them figure out each word, which we write in above it, and then they figure out the entire sentence.

    But again, some more specifics about your particular struggles would be great.

    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
    DD, 11
    DD, 9
    DD, 7
    +DS+
    DS, 2

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Second Form Latin/CC:Narrative - Suggestions on mastery

      Hi MG,

      I am going to say something you aren't going to want to hear. Wait for it. The jump between 2nd form and 3rd form is enormous. Like, the biggest jump any of us has seen. I have tried to alert others over the years to this, and although many thought they understood what I was implying, they, too, were run over by a Mac truck when it came.

      Ask me how I know.


      But, please don't think I am saying that 3rd form is insurmountable. I am not. I am saying that there is a steep, upward jump between the two forms. In a way, that might make your decision more clear: your child needs to have 2nd form MASTERED. All vocab, check. All grammar forms, check. All ablative and accusative prepositions and their usages, check. If this isn't the case, I must recommend you tackle SF again this upcoming year with the eye toward mastery, not only toward "recognition". Latin is a journey, not a grade level program.

      My daughter did not leave SF with mastery at the end of her 8th grade year. I thought we could wing it. Nah. I then enrolled her in MPOA for TF, hoping the master teacher could assist with the process. Nah. It turns out that the complete mastery between SF and TF is necessary, IMO, of course.



      Jen
      DS, 28 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

      DS, 26 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

      DD, 23 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

      DS, 13 yrs, 9th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

      All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

      Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling, now a high school chemistry teacher at a large Catholic high school

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Second Form Latin/CC:Narrative - Suggestions on mastery

        Good morning MG,

        Regarding Latin, Sarah has asked a great question (more specifics) and provided great advice on how to tackle a translation. The fancy term for what she recommended is to "parse" each word.

        I also agree with Jen that there is a significant increase in difficulty between SFL & TFL, and that mastery of SFL before beginning SFL is important. I do want to define the needed level of mastery: instant recall of grammar forms and vocabulary. You mentioned your son is doing well with those concepts, so he may be all or most of the way there. Congratulations to him!

        Translation is HARD. It requires a level of abstract thinking that requires practice and a certain level of physical maturity and development. In short, it takes time.

        If necessary, redo only half (or perhaps even fewer to start) of each sentence translation exercise in SFL, but do each sentence slowly, parsing each word as Sarah suggested, analyzing the parsed words, and finally putting all those words together. Then, check your answer against the Key and, whether your student's answer is right or wrong, ensure he understands WHY the correct answer is correct, i.e. why the subject is the subject, the main verb the main verb, the object of a preposition ablative or accusative, etc. Our Second Form Latin Review, and even First Form Latin Review, books may be helpful. They will review all grammar and vocabulary, provide new sentences to translate, and even guide your son through the steps of parsing. Of course, the additional specifics you provide may change these recommendations, but I hope they still provide a start.

        Finally, you've had several responses about Latin. Hopefully you'll soon receive some responses regarding Composition (not my area of expertise!).

        HTH!

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Second Form Latin/CC:Narrative - Suggestions on mastery

          Thank you all for your suggestions!

          We did 'parsing' when I was helping him with the translations . After we proceeded to translate a sentence together, he would translate the other ones without help, so I thought he understood how to do it on his own (this was during Unit V review -ablative of agent and means). However, I'm looking at the Final review and he missed a few words, misunderstood singular vs plural, tenses, endings, etc. I think that the problem is consistency on my part. I should have been more prepared to help.

          Here's one sentence:

          Virum nescit was translated as : The men are known
          (Book translation: He does not know the man)

          Oratoris vocem audit was translated as: The orator was hearing the call
          (Book translation: HSI hears the voice of the orator).

          I need to figure out a way to review declensions for the final test. I know he'll do well on everything except translation. Memorization is easy at this time.

          In regards to CC, he has only been able to produce one paragraph composition as the final draft, figures of description and outlines are challenging.
          Maybe I need to start from the beginning? Teach how to form a sentence, paragraph, etc.?

          You're right Jen! I don't want to hear that we need to wait for TFL, we don't like to feel 'behind' schedule, but I also know he has not master translation at this time.

          Thanks again. I sure appreciate your time in answering my questions!

          MG
          ***Using some 5A and 8A MP materials for 2020-2021***

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Second Form Latin/CC:Narrative - Suggestions on mastery

            MG,
            Another post to ask some questions rather than answer any...(yet)

            For composition, you asked if you should go back to basics and work on sentences and paragraphs....so, do you think it is a struggle for him to write a sentence? Does he write complete sentences in any of his student guides? How much does he do currently?

            And then, for his “one-paragraph” compositions...how complete are they? Does he include most of the narrative?

            And then for outlining...do you have a process you currently follow for working through them? For example, with my kids, I have a set pattern we follow each and every time of working through an outline. Would you say you have that with him? And I guess I should ask, because I am making an assumption, are you helping with his entire composition lesson?

            Lastly, what sort of a kid is he? Short and to the point, or is he more imaginative? Does he enjoy telling the story to you even if writing it out is difficult? Or is it torture to ask him to tell even a little bit of it? Somewhere in between?

            AMDG,
            Sarah
            2020-2021
            16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
            DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
            DS, 17
            DD, 15
            DD, 13
            DD, 11
            DD, 9
            DD, 7
            +DS+
            DS, 2

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Second Form Latin/CC:Narrative - Suggestions on mastery

              Originally posted by MG_ View Post
              We did 'parsing' when I was helping him with the translations . After we proceeded to translate a sentence together, he would translate the other ones without help, so I thought he understood how to do it on his own (this was during Unit V review -ablative of agent and means). However, I'm looking at the Final review and he missed a few words, misunderstood singular vs plural, tenses, endings, etc. I think that the problem is consistency on my part. I should have been more prepared to help.

              Here's one sentence:

              Virum nescit was translated as : The men are known
              (Book translation: He does not know the man)

              Oratoris vocem audit was translated as: The orator was hearing the call
              (Book translation: HSI hears the voice of the orator).
              MG,

              I, too, have a few more questions in order to better help. When you and your son worked on a sentence together, was he able to parse and translate correctly, or least more correctly than in the examples above? For example, were the verbs at least the right number and voice when you worked together? I'm wondering if this is an issue of the student not knowing the material or of the student not taking the time to do his work carefully. Does that make sense?

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Second Form Latin/CC:Narrative - Suggestions on mastery

                In both of these examples you provided it looks like he's making an expected mistake: defaulting to English word order by using the first Latin word as the subject without checking its case. In these sentences the first word is the direct object in the accusative case, then the other is a a genitive with a direct object. Does he do this regularly? If he figures out the verb first (usually at the end) then looks to see if there's a nominative subject he would find no nominatives in these sentences. At that point he knows he has to use subject personal endings (he/she/it in both these sentences) as the subject pronouns.

                You might already know all this! I'm just thinking as a teacher-the mistake I expect is for students to start at the left and work across just like English. Instead, they have to learn to start with the verb and go from there. Detaching from English word order takes practice!

                HTH!
                Festina lentē,
                Jessica P

                2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
                12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN
                10th • HLN, Latin online, MPOA
                7th • HLN & Home
                4th • HLN & Home
                Me • Third Form for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

                Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Second Form Latin/CC:Narrative - Suggestions on mastery

                  I have aswered the questions asked. Thank you!

                  Originally posted by KF2000 View Post
                  MG,
                  Another post to ask some questions rather than answer any...(yet)

                  For composition, you asked if you should go back to basics and work on sentences and paragraphs....so, do you think it is a struggle for him to write a sentence? Does he write complete sentences in any of his student guides? How much does he do currently?


                  He writes down the answers to every single question in his workbooks in short sentences.


                  And then, for his “one-paragraph” compositions...how complete are they? Does he include most of the narrative?


                  He does include most of the narrative.


                  And then for outlining...do you have a process you currently follow for working through them? For example, with my kids, I have a set pattern we follow each and every time of working through an outline. Would you say you have that with him? And I guess I should ask, because I am making an assumption, are you helping with his entire composition lesson?


                  He'd watch the DVDs on his own, then we'd get together to go over his final draft. Could you kindly share with me your process?


                  Lastly, what sort of a kid is he? Short and to the point, or is he more imaginative? Does he enjoy telling the story to you even if writing it out is difficult? Or is it torture to ask him to tell even a little bit of it? Somewhere in between?


                  Definitely short and to the point when writing. He certainly does not enjoy the process but understands that I expect him to make an effort (hence the short sentences :0)). He enjoys retelling the stories.

                  AMDG,
                  Sarah
                  ***Using some 5A and 8A MP materials for 2020-2021***

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Second Form Latin/CC:Narrative - Suggestions on mastery

                    Here are my answers. Thanks!

                    Originally posted by Michael View Post
                    MG,

                    I, too, have a few more questions in order to better help. When you and your son worked on a sentence together, was he able to parse and translate correctly, or least more correctly than in the examples above? For example, were the verbs at least the right number and voice when you worked together? I'm wondering if this is an issue of the student not knowing the material or of the student not taking the time to do his work carefully. Does that make sense?
                    I think is both. He can recite declensions and conjugation without much help, but translation has become very challenging for us. I really do not know what to do. I do not want to give up on Latin! He has not taken his final yet. We are going over the final review and redoing the translations. Also, I feel I can't be much help with translation either as I get confused!. I already went over FFL myself and slowly reviewing SFL now.
                    ***Using some 5A and 8A MP materials for 2020-2021***

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Second Form Latin/CC:Narrative - Suggestions on mastery

                      Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
                      In both of these examples you provided it looks like he's making an expected mistake: defaulting to English word order by using the first Latin word as the subject without checking its case. In these sentences the first word is the direct object in the accusative case, then the other is a a genitive with a direct object. Does he do this regularly? If he figures out the verb first (usually at the end) then looks to see if there's a nominative subject he would find no nominatives in these sentences. At that point he knows he has to use subject personal endings (he/she/it in both these sentences) as the subject pronouns.

                      You might already know all this! I'm just thinking as a teacher-the mistake I expect is for students to start at the left and work across just like English. Instead, they have to learn to start with the verb and go from there. Detaching from English word order takes practice!

                      HTH!
                      Thank you!
                      I have been explaining this to him as we are working on the translations again (final review). I'm asking him to label each word in the sentence and see if that helps. So far it is good, although he has forgotten some of the verb tenses 😕.
                      ***Using some 5A and 8A MP materials for 2020-2021***

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Second Form Latin/CC:Narrative - Suggestions on mastery

                        I just want to make sure you all know how much I appreciate your help. It has been a very difficult year but I do not want to give up on Latin nor CC.
                        ***Using some 5A and 8A MP materials for 2020-2021***

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Second Form Latin/CC:Narrative - Suggestions on mastery

                          Hi MG,

                          Your son is similar in age to mine, so if I may...

                          Latin. Possibly one of the reasons he hasn't segued easily into the translation work is that his brain hasn't entered the logic stage. While I don't ascribe to Dorthy Sayers' leveled development of the brain, using grammar, logic, and rhetoric the way the neo-classical crowed does (Susan Wise Bauer, etc), there is some merit in the realization that kids do move from the concrete to the ability to intuit: they move from simple fact based answers to "figuring it out".

                          Using a parallel: when he completes his Literature, how does he do on the comp questions that ask him to think deeper? I predict that you are still coaching him a bit to get to the correct conclusions.

                          If this is true, AND he seems to be forgetting his verb tenses a bit, I still think you might want him to review SFL (maybe not begin from the beginning). You don't need to give up on Latin!! But, here's the kiss of death in regards to Latin: proceeding ahead when the student only RECOGNIZES the Latin. It is the mastery in the Forms series that is the genius of the program.

                          Personal experience story. My daughter went to Catholic high school for two years and took Latin as her high school language. She had completed FF and SF before she arrived. Her classmates were seeing Latin for the first time in 9th grade. It became obvious that they were always in a muddle, trying to learn Latin piecemeal from the textbook, whereas my daughter had already mastered huge sections of the Latin grammar. We moved before she could take Latin III at the school, but the teacher told her that she gets very few students who continue to take Latin past the two year requirement. I am not surprised: they were muddling through without mastery, just checking blocks.

                          The way I see it, MP has designed a program for pure success: use the elementary/middle school years to cement mastery of the Latin grammar, then in the high school years (9th or maybe 10th, depending on the student's progress), the student can move into higher levels of Latin without the bother of try to master the Latin grammar *while* they are reading Caesar, Virgil, etc. It's genius.


                          That is why I think there is merit in asking your son to consider reviewing SF. Mastery. TF is a roller coaster, so he should be prepped for that.



                          On composition, back to my son. He's 10, nearly 11. He dislikes the physical act of handwriting more than he should, so he is very concise. I think that's a personality thing (often with boys, but not always). If your son is hitting the requirements, mostly, I'd simply keep going. If there's one thing I have learned about teaching writing over my years it's this: practice and outside reading are the two best sources of encouraging a young person toward better writing. Filling a child's mind with language rich opportunities (literature, poetry, etc) and pairing it with practice compositions eventually will produce a student who can put thoughts down on paper. It's a process and it takes time and maturity.





                          Jen
                          DS, 28 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

                          DS, 26 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

                          DD, 23 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

                          DS, 13 yrs, 9th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

                          All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

                          Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling, now a high school chemistry teacher at a large Catholic high school

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Second Form Latin/CC:Narrative - Suggestions on mastery

                            Good morning MG_,

                            Thank you for the additional info. I agree with Jen that your son may just be struggling with the more abstract thinking skills required to translate. He also may need to slow down and be more careful. Either way, time and practice are the answer. You've mentioned redoing SFL and the MPOA summer review class. A third option is to complete our Second Form Latin Review this summer. Finally, I want to encourage him (and you) that if he has mastered his conjugations, declensions, and vocabulary, he has done so much! Translation is the last, and hardest skill.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Second Form Latin/CC:Narrative - Suggestions on mastery

                              MG,

                              Good morning! I tried to link your post in which you answered my questions, but it didn't work...so I'm going from memory; bear with me!

                              So, to recap:

                              1. He does write short, complete sentences in all of his guides.
                              2. He watches the DVD's to do his CC lessons. You jump in at the point of his final draft.
                              3. He does narrate well, and seems to enjoy that part, but he has some skills with which he struggles (figures of description and outlining).

                              All of this sounds like you have done a good job with Narrative for the year and you should not be panicking at all. Learning to write well is something that develops so gradually, and takes a great deal of effort. Keep up with good, daily habits and you will get there, little by little.

                              A few ideas for you:

                              1. Keep him writing in his guides. It is such great daily practice of writing skills. But since he has a tendency to be brief, make it a point to always make sure he is answering everything that is asked. This will gradually become more important as he gets older and the questions become more complex. Just a thought to keep in mind as time goes on.

                              2. The DVDs are a great teaching tool. But if you are not doing so already, I would maybe try to jump in a bit in between the DVD and his execution of his trouble spots...you mentioned the outlining and the figures of description, specifically. Having a bit of one-on-one help with these steps where you model for him the thinking involved can help him make more progress.

                              3. When my kids are new at doing the figures of description, I try to give as many examples as I can personally think of in each lesson so that they see that coming up with descriptions are easier than they think it is. Most of my examples are not "great," but they do help them get over the stigma of thinking that these things are strange and hard. And I can often tailor them to the child that way too...to help them develop their own way of doing it that is more natural to them. When you give one example to a child, that can make it seem like there is one, right answer. When you give them a lot of examples, they see that there is a lot of freedom in what to write and start to be more creative.

                              As for the outline, the process I use of walking them through it is that first, I write the structure (the numbers and letters only) in their book. The Student books used to have the structure for the child to fill in, which we really liked. So I have continued to add them into their student guides so they can see what we are shooting for. Then I ask, "So how many main divisions of this story are there?" (usually there are three - some variation of a beginning situation, a middle/change/chain of events/, and a resolution) These are the main, Roman numeral divisions. We do those first.

                              Then I remind them that for each division of an outline, there are main points (the capital letters) and details (the arabic numbers). If a main point has details listed under it, each of those details is going to be about that main point. As soon as it starts talking about something else, then we are out of that main point and into the next one. (This is true for every type of division of an outline and it is good for kids to recognize). So we work on filling in each main point with its details as we go through. I like having the letters and numbers already there for them as a model so that they can identify the divisions more easily. I think it's an important initial step toward helping them outline on their own later.

                              Hopefully there are some ideas there that will help you, but feel free to ask more questions. Again, writing is something that is simply not that natural. CC does a great job of giving specific tasks to practice specific skills to help kids make definite progress. Just keep at it; it does come. And remember, everything "new" is presented at the beginning of the year. It takes the whole rest of the year to practice it and get good at it. This means that every time you start a new level, you will have a lot more trouble at the beginning than you will toward the end of the book. It will always be a sequence of "really hard" at first, followed by gradually getting a bit better every lesson you go through (that's the hope, anyway!).

                              AMDG,
                              Sarah
                              2020-2021
                              16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                              DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                              DS, 17
                              DD, 15
                              DD, 13
                              DD, 11
                              DD, 9
                              DD, 7
                              +DS+
                              DS, 2

                              Comment

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