Not sure about the online Latin classes? This may help…

This note made me happy:

Let me start by telling you how happy I am to have found your website!!  You have totally revolutionized the way we study Latin in my home. 🙂  This will be my 4thyear being a Challenge director for Classical Conversations, therefore 4 years of trying to diligently learn Latin in order to teach both my students in class and my 4 children at home.  Even though I actually enjoy learning Latin, it has been an uphill battle using Henle Latin.  But now that I have been watching (and re-watching) your videos I feel like it’s finally starting to truly make sense.  You have a remarkable teaching style…and it just clicks!!  Thank you!! 🙂

Last year I really wanted my older Challenge level kids to join in on your Henle classes, but unfortunately the finances just weren’t there (even though your prices were SUPER reasonable, especially with your sibling discounts).  However, when you opened your site to a family rate, I just couldn’t pass it up.  I prayed about it, and God provided (He is so good)!!  Well, being the one-income, frugal homeschooling family that we are, we get our money’s worth…with everything!! 😉  Last year we would have ONLY gone through Henle.  However…since you’ve opened your website to include ALL of your classes, and since I have discovered so many wonderful gems in terms of learning language with your videos, I am having my kids view many of your other classes as well.  (I am not quite sure they are as excited about all the classes you offer as I am, since in their minds that equates to ‘more school.’ 😉  But I do know that they are learning so much more than they could ever have gotten with just doing Henle.)  As a family, we have added Lingua Latina and love it!!  And even though my kids may grumble sometimes when I call them to watch a video, they giggle their way through them.  You throw out so many interesting tidbits.  I just love the conversations it opens up for us!   

Even though my 10 year old’s main Latin curriculum is Visual Latin, she enjoys watching and reading/listening to Lingua Latina as well.  I am absolutely amazed at how quickly she is picking Latin up with your videos.  She absolutely loves VL, even now that we have reached lesson 13 and it’s starting to get more intense for her.  But that’s o.k., she has plenty of time….and we are just taking it slowly.  You truly have a wonderful God-given gift of teaching and relating to kids.  Thank you so much for making learning Latin fun!!

I know you are a super busy guy, and I am sorry that this letter is so long, I just really wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all that you do: making a great service extremely affordable (especially to families with multiple children), making learning Latin FUN, and providing great content in all of your classes. 

– Anita

Next year?

I received this question:

I am planning out our 2017-18 school year. We have been involved in Classical Conversations for seven years now. Due to some changes in our family, we will be taking the year off from CC. I am looking into online Latin classes for our son and daughter. Our son will be 15 next year and our daughter will be 12. I would like to possibly have their work graded. I have a few questions:

1. What day of the week and time will the Henle Latin 1 class be next year and when will it start?

2. Would this be appropriate for our 12 year old? Can we re-watch the classes if we need to?

3.  How much would next year cost if we pay all of it up front?

Thanks so much!

Here is my reply:

I’m still working on my schedule for next year. It will very likely be the same as it was this year. This year, on Tuesdays, I taught Henle Latin 1 from 9 – 10 central time zone.  Henle Latin 2 was from 10 to 11.

This year, on Wednesdays, I taught Lingua Latina 1 from 9 – 10 central time zone.  Lingua Latina 2 was from 10 to 11.  And, I taught Lingua Latina (Roma Aeterna) from 11 – 12.  

Next year I will likely be adding Greek, and possibly a vocabulary class.

All classes are recorded, so yes. You can re-watch any class I teach. I never really take them down, so there are even classes from 2014 on my site currently. At the moment there about 600 videos on my site.

I highly recommend students be at least 13 years old before entering any of my classes. The classes that I teach more aggressive. For example, we finish First Year Latin by Robert Henle in, well… the first year.

I only charge per family.  If you want me to grade work, the cost is $500 per year.  I’m afraid I am near capacity. It is very difficult for me to keep up with the students I have now. I may not be taking on too many graded students next year. If you just want access to the live classes and the recorded classes, the cost is $250 per year.

A subscription grants access to every live class I teach. It also grants access to every recorded class on my site.  

From Latin to Italian

As many of you know, I’m studying Italian.  This year, I hope to blog my way through the language.  I am going to attempt to post something about Italian, or about my trip through Italian, every day.

For starters, let me explain why I am starting Italian even though I’m in my 40s.

Ironically, it was arguments and debates over Latin pronunciation that inspired me to start learning Italian.

It seems like everyone has an opinion on Latin pronunciation. Should we use the restored classical pronunciation?  The English pronunciation?  The church pronunciation?  Everyone has an opinion, and yet no one has an answer.  There is only one thing we can all agree upon.  We absolutely must pick on each other for using the wrong pronunciation.  Um… okay.

Eventually, I abandoned the Northern European, English, and American argumentative, pointy-headed, academic crowd and looked toward the Italians, and the Catholic Church.

Interestingly enough, they seem pretty calm about the whole thing.  They have a pronunciation that appeals to me immensely.  They call it the Italian pronunciation, or the church pronunciation.

And here’s the funny thing.  The Italians live in Italy. Not sure if you know this, but that’s where the Romans lived.  The Catholic Church is based in Rome.  Not sure if you’re aware of this, but that’s where the Romans were from.

Just an observation.  It’s interesting to me that the Italians, and the Catholic Church quietly move on pronouncing Latin the way they’ve pronounced it for years.  Meanwhile, the descendants of the barbaric tribes who invaded Rome can’t seem to agree at all on Latin pronunciation.

Years ago, I discovered this: http://www.bible.is/LTNNVV/Matt/1

Immediately, I begin imitating the Latin pronunciation of these guys.

Over the last several years, I have had a nagging suspicion that learning Italian would actually help me with Latin pronunciation.

Finally, in 2016, I began to study Italian with some real dedication.  Turns out, I was right. Italian has shed much light on the pronunciation of Latin.  And, there’s a bonus.

Italian is just fun to learn.  And, compared to Latin, Italian is easy.  In his book, The Loom of Language, author Frederick Bodmer states:

“Of the romance dialects, English-speaking people find Spanish easier than French. Italian is more easy than either.”

He wasn’t the only one to notice.  In his book, How to Learn Any Language, Barry Farber writes:

“Italian, I discovered, was Latin with all the difficulty removed. Much as a skilled chef filets the whole skeleton out of a fish, some friendly folks somewhere had lifted all the grammar (at least, most of it) out of Latin and called the remainder Italian!”

These days, when someone asks me when to start Latin, I generally respond with: “Start Latin after you have learned French, Spanish, or Italian.  Those languages are easier.  Best of all, if you never make it to Latin, you will know French, Spanish, or Italian.  If you do make it to Latin, you will find it is much easier after having studied one of those other languages.”

So, how am I doing it?  How am I learning Italian?

Well, that will be the subject of many posts to come.  For the time being, I will tell you this.  Start here: https://www.duolingo.com/.

DuoLingo is free, fantastic, and a great way to practice pronunciation.  If you want, you can join my Italian class.  Simply click on this link: https://www.duolingo.com/o/uftpsz.

If that doesn’t work, just go to DuoLingo and use this classroom code: UFTPSZ.

At the moment, my Italian class is simply a place for students to connect with me.  I intend to launch a live Italian class this fall.  But don’t get your hopes too high.  After all, I am nowhere near fluent in Italian.  This class will be an experiment.  We will basically meet once a week to talk about the transition from Latin to Italian.

For now, DuoLingo.