23 March 2006


I've mentioned several times here that I really dislike Latin. I've called it boring and tedious. I've written similar comments on various homeschooling forums such as Mothering.com and TheDenimJumper.com.

Yet, a year ago I was telling other homeschooling moms that Latin was the best part of our day. I proclaimed that Latin was Fun, that everyone should give it a whirl.

What happened to change my thinking? You know, I'm not really sure. I think part of the issue is that KidV1 has reached the stage where she knows more Latin than I do. I understand the logic of it better, and can see why we're learning all of these declensions and conjugations, but she actually knows the declensions and conjugations. So I need to either work to learn the stuff myself (eeeew!) or give up, throw up my hands and declare, "It's beyond me!"

Another problem is that we've been using the same curriculum for several years now. We started in Prima Latina, moved to Latina Christiana I, and now are working through Latina Christiana II. I tend to be a curriculum-hopper, flitting from program to program. And Latina Christiana tends to be a wee bit dry when used strictly as written (and I don't know enough Latin to jazz it up like the cool homeschoolers do). So, 3 years of the same ol' same ol' is almost guaranteed to have my eyes roving for something better, be it a new Latin curriculum or a new language (Greek, hmmm, there's a thought).

I decided to purchase Minimus. We've started alternating it with Latina Christiana. You know, KidV1 had said she liked LC and didn't want to change to something else (she has completion issues, a trait that I obviously don't share since I'm willing to ditch things at the drop of a hat). But she really likes Minimus. Cartoons! Silliness! Cats! Mice! I think she even likes the Roman history lessons. She had cheered the day we were finished with the Romans when we read about them in Story of the World (she said she got bored with them), but this stuff is lively and personal.

I don't think we could enjoy Minimus so much, though, if we didn't know any Latin already. Well, if one of us didn't know any Latin, at least. I suppose if the teacher knew what s/he were doing (unlike me) they could make it comfortable for the students, and answer any questions that might arise. As it stands, we puzzle out any questions together.

I'm considering getting Peter Jones' Learn Latin to inspire me and perhaps help me get a clue. But, sigh, I suspect that the book isn't going to spring up and present all of those declensions in charming song and dance while I just nod my head absentmindedly. I suspect I'm still going to have work at it. It's the same problem I run up against constantly -- simply obtaining the books isn't enough, I still need to read them and think about them. I'm like the person who wants the 6-pack abs without having to do any exercise; I want a toned, taut brain without having to do any thinking. I want to be able to flex my translation skills on the beach this summer, lying there in a bikini, reading the Aeneid, my legs waxed, my toenails painted, looking like it's all so effortless. The probable reality is, though, I'll be the one in the old Speedo that doesn't quite fit anymore, who couldn't find a razor to shave her legs or the clippers to cut her unpainted toenails, reading Terry Pratchett.

This has got to change. I must toss off the shackles of slothdom. I must go pump dendrites.


Weaver Brewer & Fam said...

We are not trying to learn latin, but after 4 months of no car (and no leaving the house) I'm begining to feel like the stupidest woman on earth! even crocheting is getting boring. I too should throw off
the cloak! :) Good Luck with Latin!
ps I've never tried to roast my mallows, but I've heard from lots ofpeople on craftster who have roasted theirs. here is the thread
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=76011.0 There are other recipes in there and how much agar agar to use instead of gelatin in case you want vegan mallows. The dipped and coated ones on sticks would be great at a bake sale. sold individually, one could make millions! (or at least some good money :) )

GailV said...

I'm intimidated by craftster.org, so I never go there. Those people seem so incredibly hip. I've even heard that some of them chat with Debbie Stoller, kwim?

If you keep mentioning it, though, I'll eventually take the plunge.