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Teaching Foreign Languages

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    Teaching Foreign Languages

    In another thread, I received this question:

    Today, 09:02 AM #16 Courtney


    When did you start Hebrew and do you already know it? What texts do you use to teach that and how did you get started?

    Mom to 5 boys-10,9,6,3,1
    Using MP3,MP2 and MPK


    I thought I would simply start a new thread, so as not to highjack the original :-) This thread can be a place for us all to share, as we feel moved, what foreign languages we teach our children, or hope to, and what resources we use.

    Courtney, I use a Seminary-level Grammar Text plus Student Workbooks. Entitled, Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar, here is an amazon link:

    It comes with a cd-rom that includes the full answer key to the student workbook, so that, along with the text, is my Teacher's Guide.

    I did not already know Hebrew, we began last month, we are learning together with me as the teacher, and are in the third chapter.

    Studying university level Biblical Hebrew with one's kids probably sounds dramatically advanced, but we didn't jump into it out of the blue :-) How we got here is honestly simply thanks to Memoria Press! :-)

    A little over four years ago I purchased Prima Latina for my children. They were then turning 8, and 10. Maybe a little 'old' for Prima, but I never let that sort of thing bother me :-) I just meet my kids where they are at. My then 10yo was a struggling reader and I felt Prima would be best suited to her specific needs. But we didn't actually get stared because we discovered that I had a brain tumor. So for the next year or slightly less we continued on our Charlotte Mason / Unschoolish ways while I recovered from surgery and we all adjusted to my new physical disabilities.

    We began Prima when the kids were 9 and 11 and it was an enormous success! They both took to it like proverbial ducks. I could not have guessed at how well it would suit our family. Having studied French and Latin myself back in high school (and then French and Italian in college) I was thrilled. And my struggling reader daughter? She credits Prima Latina with getting her past her challenges, with turning her into a fluent reader. Glory! She's a very special girl and I truly had not thought she would get there.

    After Prima we went on to First Form Latin, then Second, then Third. They completed Third Form this past October. At that point they were ready for, and asking for, a Translation program. I knew that Fourth Form incorporated Henle I -- and that Lingua Biblica, MP's translation of St Jerome's Vulagate, does as well. So I chose LB, which has been terrific for my kids: continued grammar, plus translation of long passages. They've currently got two lessons left.

    Meanwhile, MP had come out with their Greek Alphabet program. My kids loved that and I adjusted my thinking: we were becoming a family of linguists, who knew?! At the time, there was forum chatter about MP developing a First Form Greek program, but it wasn't yet ready when my kids finished the Alphabet book. Tanya suggested Christine Gatchell's Elementary Greek three-year series (which MP sells now, but did not then). I put my kids through Year One and half of Year Two, and then MP's First Form Greek student books and answer key became available for phone order. We loved that program, and were disappointed when MP didn't carry on with Second Form Greek -- maybe they will at some point? I liked it so much better than the Elementary Greek series, and so did my kids.

    Well, now I had to decide where to go next with Greek. My kids really wanted to continue learning, and I wanted them too as well. My online search for a good program led me to the Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar: a Seminary level program, with workbook and an answer key. Hooray! I was thrilled. As it turned out, my kids were ready to jump in at chapter six, because of the studies they had already begun. That was last year: they've now got six chapters to go before they're finished. This book, like the Hebrew Grammar, is meant to be used over the course of two university semesters. My kids, being kids :-), will take a little longer than the eight months given at university. (More like 12, probably).

    So how did we decide on Biblical Hebrew. Honestly, it's me following my children's passions. They have a facility for languages that, as I say, I could not have guessed at three/four years ago. The Hebrew and Greek books are published by the same folks, so that's how I stumbled across the Hebrew, and that set the wheels turning in my head. Now I've got an assortment of translation programs lined up, pondering the possibilities for ongoing, post-grammar studies.

    Meanwhile, my daughter says that when we've run our course with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew she wants to study Sanskrit. And my son wants to study Japanese. Four years ago i would have told them they'd have to wait until college but now? Now I know that I can teach them and they can learn, successfully, with joy.

    It was MP that opened the door to this amazing world of Linguistics. It was MP that taught me that I can teach my children amazing topics. It was MP that helped my children discover entirely new worlds.
    homeschooling mother to a 16yo boy & 18yo girl, both learning at the high school level, and an adult son whom I homeschooled all the way through. You are welcome to read more about our homeschooling life at my blog: link via my username. Please forgive any typos in my comments here! I'm disabled and can't always type clearly.

    Thanks for starting the new thread.

    And thanks for all the back story! I really like languages, and my oldest does too. I was French major in college (that went nowhere though) and I would really have to brush up to be able to get back to that level. I can also understand basic Spanish in conversation. I didn't know anything about Latin back then though and probably could have progressed much better had I! I'm finishing LC1 with my 9 and 10 yr old boys.

    I'm going to start my oldest in Elementary Greek 1, he's had the alphabet already and we can review that over the summer too. So I will be learning right along with him. I really want to get to Hebrew eventually even if the kids don't. I would study it for my own furthering education. I know I need to get some more Latin under my belt and then Greek as well. This seems to be the logical progression of things. I've been intrigued with studying those 3 languages since I read Teaching the Trivium by the Bluedorns. I read that book when I was discovering classical education and found it helpful. (I'm a little disheartened with them now as it seems they subscribe more towards unschooling especially in the younger years). But anyway, that was the progression they recommended too and seems to be what you did naturally!

    I've thought about even just introducing the alphabets when they are younger. I got a little Hebrew alphabet primer from the library for pennies one year but have never really pulled it out. It's just the alphabet with pictures.
    Mom to 5 boys-14,13,10,8,5 and the girls- 3 and 1


      Wow! Thank you for sharing all of that Elliecove. So inspiring and encouraging. Makes me very motivated to keep after it. We started this year with LC1 with my 10 yo and 13 yo daughters. They are both excited to keep learning Latin and then add in some other language.

      Again thank you and blessings as you dive into Hebrew!


      Nine babies, 6 graduated, 5 married, 16 grand babies 6 and under!
      2019-20 MP 2nd, 5A, 10th MPOA, College student. Starting 7th year using Memoria Press
      Director of Coop 412, a Classical Christian Coop using MP and based on Ephesians 4:12.


        Courtney, I agree: it is a very natural progression Latin --> Greek --> Hebrew. From here, if with my children we continue to follow the path, it would be Aramaic, then Syriac, then Sanskrit. (I've been tracking down Grammars for all three). The paths and development of the Indo-European languages is a fascinating one!

        If you're wanting to teach the Biblical Hebrew Alphabet: make sure your alphabet primer is Biblical not modern, as the modern Hebrew alphabet is different.

        Maggie, you're welcome! It truly was Latin that gave us the solid foundation, enjoy your studies! We are all loving our Hebrew studies and it is amazing how it is suddenly clicking. We spent the first seven weeks solidly learning the alphabet -- which is all consonants -- and the rules: lots of rules! And then the vowels: vowel markings (accents) were developed for written Biblical Hebrew in the middle ages. So it's a matter of memorizing all the wee dots and lines and their names. But now we're reading one word at a time (right to left, mind you) and it really is a lot of fun. We're loving the discovery, the untangling of the linguistic puzzle. And we're really looking forward to being able to translate passages of the Old Testament.
        homeschooling mother to a 16yo boy & 18yo girl, both learning at the high school level, and an adult son whom I homeschooled all the way through. You are welcome to read more about our homeschooling life at my blog: link via my username. Please forgive any typos in my comments here! I'm disabled and can't always type clearly.