Latin Instruction as a Fundamental Component of a Classical Curriculum
For centuries, Latin has been a part of traditional education throughout North America. Beginning in Grade 4 all students at St. Timothy’s receive Latin instruction. Right through to Grade 8 they methodically work through Latin spellings, vocabulary, grammatical structures and pronunciations.
Llewelyn Morgan, Oxford Classicist and co-author of a recent pamphlet on why Latin should be taught in primary schools, says of Latin students: “Those kids are learning through Latin what I did: what verbs and nouns are, how to coordinate ideas in speech and writing, all the varieties of ways of saying the same thing,” he says. “I did not and could not have learned that through English, because English was too familiar to me. It was through Latin that I learned how to express myself fluently in my native language.”
Some of the important benefits of teaching your child Latin
Latin reveals a great deal about English and significantly enhances the student's powers of expression in his native language.
About 80% of English vocabulary is derived from Latin and Greek. Latin trains minds to encounter unfamiliar material, with success, whether in science or any other discipline. It is simple, logical and consistent; therefore, Latin students more easily grasp the grammatical structure of English and the foundation is laid for other language study
Latin develops and deepens the student's understanding of and appreciation for literature
A doorway is opened to outstanding classical literature. The student's understanding of English literature grows because great English literature is filled with classical allusions, and a student who understands these develops keener insights.
Latin provides an understanding of the classical impact on our modern culture
It is evident in small things such as names for constellations and planets. We see it also in politics and government, law and medicine, art and architecture. These, and much more, can be traced to classical origins.
Latin trains the student in the essentials of scientific method: observation, comparison, and generalization
Students of Latin are equipped in a methodology of rigorous analysis. Latin trains minds to encounter unfamiliar material, with success, whether in science or any other discipline.
Latin provides a wonderful foundation for the study of other modern languages
Latin is a root language for English and other languages, and studying it greatly enhances vocabulary and comprehension skills.
Direct descendants of Latin are Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian. Students learn how inflected languages work, such as German, Russian, and Greek.
Latin is and has been a means of expressing many significant theological ideas in the Christian church.
It is also helpful for further theological study.