Posted by: Brian Glass | March 1, 2010

Lingua Latina

Somebody has to work and make money so we can eat. That duty falls to me.  I am now working for 5Q Communications (a distributed company) and don’t have to leave the house to go to work – our company lives in cyber-space. But since I do have to work, I was only allowed one class to teach. I lucked out and got Latin.

Most people are thinking, “Latin?! That’s not lucky. Why on earth would you teach your kids latin?”

I guess I just like a challenge and learning (and teaching) Latin is one of the most fun and challenging things I do. But the real reasons for learning Latin are numerous:

  • nosce te ipsum (know thyself) – 50% or more of English is derived from Latin. Knowing Latin is a lot about knowing English. Kids who know Latin tend to score in the highest percentiles on the SAT. Understanding the roots of English makes you a better English student.
  • it reconnects you to your ancestors – a large number of the books written in the last 2000 years were written in Latin. Yes, there are translations of some  of those works, but a translation is never as good as the original.
  • In the past, if you were educated you knew Latin. Most things worth reading were written in Latin. (That still may be true.)
  • Most European languages are Latin based. If you know Latin, it is much easier to learn other Latin-based languages. (e.g. Spanish, French, Italian)
  • et cetera (<- another Latin phrase we use regularly)

This year I’m teaching Micah. Next year Hannah will start as well. Maybe I’ll start baby Sarah then too…


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