Week 1: In Principio erat Verbum
In the beginning was the Word:I'm taking time this week to show my daughter how Henle Latin is set up. We have three books—Purple Lesson Book, Blue Grammar, White Answer Key. I tabbed my books so that I can find what I want when I want it. It really does help.
Purple Lesson Book - I highlighted all the rules. THESE ARE IMPORTANT. They are placed in rectangles all throughout the book. The vocabulary words are spaced throughout the lessons so you have to watch out for them. I like how the vocabulary includes all parts of speech. This enables the student to read simple Latin sentences without having to have English words thrown in. Also, at the end of Units 1-2 and at the end of Units 3-4 are lists of all the vocabulary words introduced. They are listed by declensions and conjugations, and also in groups of adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, and adverbs. This is super helpful. Last year, I was well into the semester before I realized that in the back of the book is a Latin-English as well as an English-Latin dictionary. I've just about worn this section out. At this beginning learning stage, I've found that no other Latin dictionary is necessary.
Blue Grammar Book - The purple lesson book refers to this blue book. It directs the student to a particular section to study. It assigns a rule number, not a page number. That can be confusing. Once I got the hang of it, I really appreciated the way that it's laid out. Tabbing is crucial since the rules are not assigned in the order that they are presented in this book.
White Answer Key - I bought this answer key because I didn't know that there were better ones. This one has worked for me. Some exercises aren't included in it because we're supposed to be smart enough to already know some of the answers. (Yeah...right.) I supplemented with answer lists provided by Sonya Hemmings. You can find her here. hemmingshalfdozen.com
Now to get started on this week's lesson ideas.
My daughter has a fairly good grasp on the basics of English Grammar so my plan for her this year is to fully participate in our awesome community's Essentials class while going slightly deeper. We'll also read and work through Our Mother Tongue. I've found this to be an unbelievably helpful and interesting book. This week, we'll aim to spend some time on Lessons 28-33. These correlate with not only the Essentials lesson but also the Latin material.
Now, she'll apply her knowledge to the literature that she's reading. This week, she'll identify the four sentence structures, different sentence purposes and patterns in The One and Only Ivan. We'll also isolate the various parts of speech, concentrating on nouns and their particular jobs. We're using Bravewriter's Arrow curriculum to help her find her writer's voice, improve her spelling, and work on punctuation as well as read some wonderful literature. We each have our own commonplace notebook in which we copy some favorite passages from books that we're reading so she'll make some entries this week of her choosing, focusing on her cursive handwriting. Read more about starting a commonplace notebook with you student here.
For our Latin study, we'll work through Henle Lesson 1- Section 1.1: The Declension of Terra; Section 1.2: Rules for Gender; Section 1.3: Use of Verbs. I've recently purchased Magistra Jones' Henle First Year Study guide. I think I'm going to love it. Magistra Jones Latin.
My daughter is quite introverted. I want to use this year to help her feel comfortable with group discussion using the Five Common Topics. Definition and Comparison are two of the topics fairly easy to talk about so we'll do some defining of terms and compare the ways that Latin and English nouns are the same and ways that they're different. Here are some we came up with.
1. They all represent a person, place, thing, idea, or activity.
2. They both have concrete nouns and abstract nouns as well as common and proper nouns.
3. They both use nouns in various ways according to their job or function in the sentence.
4. They are either singular or plural.
1. English noun jobs are apparent by where the noun is placed in the sentence. Latin nouns have different endings specific to the noun job. Sentence placement isn't important in Latin.
2. English nouns do not have a gender the way that Latin nouns do. In English, if the meaning of a noun reveals the biological gender, the pronoun he or she is used. If the gender isn't apparent, the word is neuter and the pronoun it is used.
We'll also spend some time reviewing both English noun jobs and Latin noun cases—matching them up with each other. There are always exceptions, but this is the basic idea. In order to choose the correct Latin equivalent of an English word, you have to be able to identify the word's function.
Subject - Nominative: Always used when the noun or pronoun is acting as the subject of the sentence.
Possessive - Genitive: Used when the noun owns or is in possession of something. In English, we usually show this by using an apostrophe, but in Latin, we look for the word "of". It helps to NOT think of "of" as a preposition when studying Latin. Think of it as showing possession. Also, this is the noun case that identifies the declension and provides the stem.
Indirect Object - Dative: This is used when a noun is receiving the direct object. Look for the words "to" and "for".
Direct Object - Accusative: The direct object is the noun that is receiving the action of the verb and also used with certain prepositions.
Object of the Preposition - Ablative: The noun used in a prepositional phrase.
As far as verbs go, we'll review the personal signs. Rule #160 in the blue book. (Tab this.) Then we'll recall how one of a verb's attributes is its person—1st, 2nd, and 3rd; singular and plural. The important ideas to note here are:
1. In Latin, the personal pronoun is determined by the verb ending. So instead of using two words as English does (I pray), in Latin we only use one (ōro). I like that!
2. Whatever the noun is in person (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and number (singular, plural) the verb must be also.
Mary has a Latin notebook in which she'll copy the vocabulary words from the Henle lessons in addition to the weekly Latin memory work from the Foundations' guide, do some exercises, practice diagramming, and write down any derivatives she discovers in her reading. This year, we'll look at a few of the Henle exercises and do them orally. In the Introduction on page 1 of the blue grammar book, there's a pronunciation guide. I needed more, so I bought some great audio recordings of the vocabulary words last year so we can listen and repeat those. Youtube has some as well. Henle Vocabulary Lesson 1.
My daughter has already been introduced to Latin but backing up and layering the information is a sure-fire way to cement it into her brain. I've found that small steps of learning usually brings the greatest result.
We'll watch Lesson 3 of Visual Latin. Compass Classroom has a free pdf matching the videos up with Henle Latin. We'll also use the VL worksheets (sparingly), saving most of the Henle exercises for Challenge A. The Challenge Tier of CC Connected has some of these videos in the Classical Learning Center plus a whole bunch of other stuff to help with the study of Latin.
This week we're getting back into our routine. Yay! I'll be posting what we're doing each week and if you decide to come along with us in our study of Latin through English Grammar, please let me know. I've created a facebook page where we can communicate—ask questions, get inspiration, or just whine a little. If you're not the Facebook type, follow by email or Google +. I think doing this together will be lots of fun and I love to make new friends.
Cito maturum cito putridum.
Quickly ripe, quickly rotten.