Tuesday, August 17, 2010

LHP Review: Teaching Greek and Latin to the Youngest Among Us

Rehn, Amy. Songschool Latin. Camp Hill, PA: Classical Academic Press, 2008. 139 Pages. Paper with Audio CD. $22.95. http://www.classicalacademicpress.com/ (LHP)

Rehn, Amy. Song School Latin (Teacher's Edition). Camp Hill, PA: Classical Academic Press, 2008. 113 Pages. Paper. $22.95. http://www.classicalacademicpress.com/  (LHP)

Hahne, Michelle. Songschool Greek. Camp Hill, PA: Classical Academic Press, 2009. 222 Pages. Paper with Audio CD. $24.95. http://www.classicalacademicpress.com/  (LHP)

Hahne, Michelle. Songschool Greek (Teacher's Edition). Camp Hill, PA: Classical Academic Press, 2009. 139 Pages. Paper with DVD Video. $28.95. http://www.classicalacademicpress.com/ (LHP)






Classical Academic Press is one of the major publishers for the Classical School and Classical Homeschool markets. In our previous seven academic years, Martin Luther Grammar School had not used any of their material. That is soon to change!

Learn Latin along with a friendly and erudite monkey with Song School Latin. We will be using SSL with our Kindergarten-Second Grade classroom beginning on September 1.
"Did you ever believe that there would be a Latin program that would match the energy, developmental level, and fun loving nature of primary students? Song School Latin is a gentle and delightful introduction to Latin. Each weekly lesson is peppered with songs, illustrations, hand-writing practice, stories and activities for easy mastery and memorization. Learn over a hundred engaging everyday Latin vocabulary words for the seasons, body parts, food, animals and common greetings. A lively musical CD is a delightful and essential piece of the program, and is included in each student text. As an ideal introduction to the language, Song School Latin will more than prepare a student to begin a grammar school program such as Latin for Children. Come join the fun!" (Publisher's website)

MLGS has long used classroom commands to sit, stand, and to pray, especially at chapel. We've added many more to even expand the vocabulary of our older classroom (3rd-5th).

Uncertain whether to use reconstructed classical or ecclesiastical pronunciation? The CD has you covered! The songs are recorded both ways. (I've discovered that this is more of an issue for educators than the children.  :) They giggle when Pastor Cain uses the wrong dialect!) The songs are quite addictive, as I've found listening to them in my car.

The helpful Teacher's edition reproduces all of the pages of the regular edition with answers and the same CD.

Consider also a cousin volume, Song School Greek.

"Designed for children in the early elementary grades, Song School Greek is a lively and gentle introduction to Koine Greek, the language of the New Testament, and Modern Greek. Each of the thirty-two weekly lessons includes songs, fun vocabulary, illustrations, handwriting practice, stories, games and activities. Enjoyable, everyday vocabulary is introduced in weekly lessons to encourage and engage young students. A lively musical CD, with a track corresponding to each chapter, is included in the program. This text is an excellent prequel to the grammar-based elementary program, Greek for Children.

"Are you concerned about teaching Greek? The accompanying Song School Greek Teacher’s Edition includes answer keys, pronunciation keys, teaching suggestions, and a special DVD for parents and teachers that will teach you the basics of the language. You can do it!" (Publisher's website).

The DVD is really the best part of the Teacher's Edition.  (I hope they add the DVD like this to a 2nd Edition of a Song School Latin Teacher's Guide.)

The audio CD has songs similar in style to that for SSL, with male and female vocals, guitar, violin, and occasional laughter.

It is encouraging and educational, even for a seminary-trained pastor who survived a 10-week Greek bootcamp and all of those "Readings" and Exegetical classes! It certainly will expand my vocabulary (once I master it myself). We look forward to other Greek texts for the youngest among us, especially the forthcoming Greek for Children.

We will discuss adding Greek to our MLGS curriculum during this academic year in preparation for the future.

Just before I wrap up...

Some of you may still be asking, "Why? Why teach Greek and Latin to little ones?"

Well, students who study Latin (and Greek) know English better. Latin easily leads to Spanish, Italian, and French. Latin and Greek give us most of the prefixes, suffixes and root words in English. And, young people who have learned Latin score higher on the SAT college entrance exam than students of any modern language. Plus, think of how well-prepared young scholars will be for ministry, medical and engineering careers.

Don't forget the Greek is the original language of the New Testament.
So, "Why not?"

Please visit the CAP website (http://www.classicalacademicpress.com/) for more information about these products and many others. And don't forget to ask for a catalog.

The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, a member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.