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    Elementary Greek

    Hi Everyone,

    My rising-6th-grade son completed Latina Christiana last year and is going to start First Form Latin in September. He is VERY interested in also learning Greek next school year, and has actually asked me to order him Memoria Press's Greek program after looking at the catalog. (I think I mentioned that in a previous thread.) He keeps talking and talking to his friends about how he is going to learn Greek next year and how exciting it will be, etc. (Even though I haven't yet decided if he will or not.)

    I keep going back and forth about how I feel about starting Greek. Normally, I am all for helping to facilitate his interests. Except he is also starting AOPS Pre-Algebra (a very challenging math program that will take some time) and adding some additional science into his year. (middle school Biology program). He also has dyslexia, and while he is able to master vocabulary/spelling, it takes him a lot more effort and work than a typical child. I don't want to overload him next year. I want him to have free time to explore other interests, etc.

    However, I could also make the argument that Greek IS his "other interest", and if he wants to try to add it to his day, I should allow him. Who knows if he will be so motivated to learn it if I were to wait a few years? And it isn't like his schedule is going to get easier as the years go by....right?

    So, my question is: what would you do if you were in my situation? Let him attempt Greek or try to talk him out of it?

    If you voted to let him try Greek, what should I order? Elementary Greek? The Greek Alphabet Book? Both? Not sure how they fit together.
    Also, could anyone tell me how long Elementary Greek takes per day? That might help me make a decision one way or another.
    Cathy aka The Attached Mama
    2019-2020
    DS 12, 7th Grade
    DD 11, 6th Grade
    DS 5, K

    #2
    Re: Elementary Greek

    It sounds like he's going to have a very full load already with that advanced Science and Pre-Algebra! If you want to let him do something with Greek this year, then the Greek Alphabet Book could be a nice touch since it has very little weekly work at all. One thing to consider about First Form Greek (which would the next year) is that it assumes pretty good grammar mastery from a few years of the Latin forms. It is best paired with Third or Fourth Form Latin. My issue with adding Greek early is that very few students can keep up the trajectory of Latin and Greek vocab and form memorization on the front end. In other words, they can get through Greek more quickly later if they will delay it now and focus on mastering the Four Forms of Latin. That doesn't solve your problem about letting him dive in to this interest now. There are lots of good entry programs and MP has options, but thinking ahead to future years can be helpful to sorting out what to do now.

    If this was my kid I would say for them to hold off for a bit and do Greek Alphabet with Second Form Latin and then do First Form Greek alongside Third Form. If that year goes well, then you can look into online help for Greek after First Form.

    Yes, we want to encourage kids to do Greek. And yes, we want them do to Latin well. In those early middle school years it can be tempting to overload. But overloading with optional things can risk the mastery we need in those years that will actually propel them to greater heights in high school. The early years need to be for mastering the classical tools they will need later. It's tempting to put more content in, but it can spread effort too thin and then you risk lack of mastery in not just one area, but potentially many.

    I think there's a place to say, "Yes, this is good and I want it for you. AND, I want you to wait to do it so that when you begin you are well prepared and can be all in." He's too young to fully realize what the workload from Second and especially Third Form is going to mean for daily work time. Better to make haste slowly in my estimation. Your concerns about not overloading him are coming from your gut which I think looks at the year ahead and sees no room for an additional content subject. But I'm no mind reader! Haha! Just a mom like you.

    I'm sure others will chime in with their experiences as well, some of which will be different from mine.
    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


      #3
      Re: Elementary Greek

      Hi Ana!

      Our experience is as Jessica described...my son started Greek at the time MP recommends - when he was nearly done with learning the Latin grammar. He did the Greek Alphabet book first, during his year of wrapping up the Latin grammar. Then he did FFG while doing Henle II (Caesar). When he started Henle III, he also started on a college-level Greek textbook, working through about half of it this past year and planning to do the second half this next year as a sophomore in high school.

      The experience with Latin was excellent preparation, which made the transition to Greek so much better. But also, by waiting, he developed a level of maturity that translates to the personal discipline needed to stick with Greek - because it has been his own interest and persistence that has kept him going. It is really, truly HARD to keep going. The stack of vocabulary cards my son has made for himself in both languages is staggering, but the other thing is that when you have a Greek vocabulary word on one side, you basically have a paragraph on the other side explaining what it could mean depending on how/when it is used. There is so much abstract thinking going on in determining meaning, not just understanding grammatical rules.

      So if you jumped right into FFG right now, your son not only doesn’t have the Latin foundation the program expects him to have, but he will have to juggle learning both Latin and Greek at the same time (which in my mind will mean one of them will suffer), and he will also hit the “next step” of learning Greek from a textbook that assumes a level of maturity he does not yet have.

      I think following the MP plan in this case is your best option for helping him do well in both and actually succeed in what he really wants to be able to do. This can be a great lesson for him on how many steps are involved in achieving a long-term goal, and will make him value it that much more when he gets there.

      ETA: Yikes! I always forget about the Elementary Greek program...(which is even the title of your post!) We did not use it ourselves, so I forget about it. But that CAN be a great way to give in to his interest at an age-appropriate level. So good that you have others to chime in with experience too! (SEE KRISTIN BELOW)

      AMDG,
      Sarah
      Last edited by KF2000; 07-18-2018, 09:22 AM. Reason: Forgot an option!
      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


        #4
        Re: Elementary Greek

        I would strongly encourage you to let your son start Greek if he loves it! My daughter loves Greek and we used all of the MP Greek offerings, after which she can read and understand passages by herself in her Septuagint.

        Definitely start with the Greek Alphabet book. The Elementary Greek offerings do not take a lot of time in the school day - I think that my daughter spent about 20 minutes a day on them, so it won't add a lot of time to your son's schedule. They are gentle and build mastery.

        This is what I would suggest:

        6th: First Form Latin & Greek Alphabet book followed by Elementary Greek 1
        7th: Second Form Latin & Elementary Greek 2
        8th: Third Form Latin & Elementary Greek 3
        9th: 4th Form Latin & First Form Greek

        All the best,
        Kristin
        Kristin - Administrator for Vita Beata (discussion classes for MP users)
        DD19; AFROTC and Aerospace Engineering Major
        DD17; Senior - doing MP Divine Comedy, Renaissance & Reformation, Cicero & Augustine, and moderating 4th Grade Literature for Vita Beata.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Elementary Greek

          Kristin with a strategy for the win!
          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


            #6
            Re: Elementary Greek

            I second Elementary Greek for the younger interested kid. The lessons are short and it is very do-able. Something like 5 vocab words a week.
            Amanda - Mama to three crazy boys, teacher at St. Dominic Latin (FFL, TFL, 4FL, Traditional Logic 1&2), Memoria College student

            2021-2022
            9th grade - a mix of MPOA, Vita Beata, Lukeion, and AOPS
            8th grade - 8M with modifications
            4th grade - 4A

            "Non nisi te, Domine. Non nisi te" - St. Thomas Aquinas

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Elementary Greek

              I really appreciate all of the advice! I **think** I am going to get him the Greek Alphabet book and just see what he does with it. It won't take much time, and it won't hurt to practice the Greek Alphabet a little early. If he decides his school schedule is too much, then we aren't out much in terms of money. Plus, it will give us time to see what his schedule feels like in real life.
              Cathy aka The Attached Mama
              2019-2020
              DS 12, 7th Grade
              DD 11, 6th Grade
              DS 5, K

              Comment

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