Posted by Kathy Sheppard on Monday, 11 April, 2011
It is essential in order to get the most of your classical education to undertake the study of Latin. It is even more essential that you* and your student understand Latin! What happens, though, when you get stuck? Thankfully, for most of us reading this, we belong to communities that have other parents who are doing the same thing we are. We can discuss anything and usually help each other through when we get stuck. Once in a while, though, we need a bit more help. Here are some resources I have found to be useful in helping people get unstuck:
1) QUIA — This website has games students can play concerning many subjects. There are quite a few shared games involving Henle Latin and Latin declensions. Any student can do the games without logging into Quia. Students can do flashcards, games, quizzes, memory, et cetera.
2) LACUS CURTIUS and FORUM ROMANUM — Both of these websites contain books from the early 1900s that discuss the ancient world. The entire text of my favorite Roman culture book, The Private Lives of the Romans by H.W. Johnston is on the Forum Romanum site. When your students are getting ready for the National Latin Exam (more information next month on that), these two sites are essential for the study of Roman culture.
3) THE CLASSICS PAGE AT AD FONTES ACADEMY — This website is a treasure trove of help for the Latin student/teacher! First, there are texts to almost every extant Latin work including Ancient, Christian, and Medieval Latin. Secondly, there are handouts for many facets of Latin grammar. Thirdly, there are online declension and vocabulary exercisers. Students can practice declining and then the exercises are self-correcting. Ad Fontes also has links to national and state Latin groups.
4) THE NATIONAL LATIN EXAM — This is an international test that helps students measure their Latin knowledge. (I am going to discuss this more at length next month). The test website has practice National Latin Exams, worksheets dealing with grammar, and links to an oral Latin news program from the 1980s called Forum Romanum.
5) GOOGLE BOOKS — This is one of my favorite places to “shop” for books! There are so many good free Latin texts from the late 1800s and early 1900s on Google Books related to Latin. Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar can be downloaded there. This book is a bit like the extended version of the Henle Latin Grammar book and it works with any textbook (Henle Latin Grammar, of course, is essential when using Henle). Henle is an excellent textbook, but when you are stuck, you may try to look at a different approach. Some books have more pictures and some have more narrative. Some books rely heavily on paradigm charts. Try them all and find what works for you to get unstuck!
These websites, hopefully, will help you if you get stuck in your pursuit of Latin excellence. Your children and you will be rewarded by the study of Latin and by the confidence, you will gain when you get unstuck!
*Nota Bene: I always say that once you have a mortgage it is harder to learn things because you have so many other matters to concern you. This is true concerning Latin. You need to be involved in your child’s studies of Latin, but at some point (you hope) they may surpass you. Don’t feel badly if this happens!