Formal public school education once included study of Latin, a language that has all but disappeared from the elementary and secondary academic landscape. As you create an academic schedule for homeschooling your children, consider including this fundamental language in their studies. There are definitive advantages to learning Latin as a youngster.
Enhancing Understanding of English Vocabulary
Some 60 percent of English words have Latin origins. By learning the basics of Latin root words, suffixes and prefixes, kids have an easier way of understanding difficult words they've never seen or heard before. For instance, if a child hears about a woman having quintuplets, he or she will understand that this means five children were born.
Boosting Comprehension of English Grammar
Interestingly, when children learn to read in classical education, they start with English vocabulary but not with English grammar. Instead, they learn grammatical structure from studying Latin.
Latin provides a structural contrast to English, since it is an original language rather than a conglomeration of numerous languages. This introduces students to grammatical consistencies they can use later when learning details of English grammatical structure, such as the proper use of nouns, verbs, prepositions and plurals.
Students also learn the reasons for confusing traditional English grammar rules that go back to Latin, such as not ending a sentence with a preposition.
Helping With Understanding of Scientific, Political & Legal Terms
Learning Latin vocabulary makes learning many other subjects easier because so many of the words have Latin origins -- or actually are Latin. This is helpful when students first encounter concepts such as placebo, status quo and bipartisanship.
Even the word "science" itself is from the Latin word scientia, or knowledge.
Providing Fundamentals for Learning Romance Languages
The romance languages, such as Spanish, French and Italian, evolved from Latin. With Spanish such a prevalent language throughout North America, you may especially want your children to become proficient in it. They can easily learn conversational Spanish from an early age, and knowing the fundamentals of Latin will help a great deal once they start reading and writing in Spanish.
Bringing Context to the History of Western Civilization
Latin was the main language of the Roman Empire, which has had an enormous influence on Western civilization. For example, it greatly influenced Western medicine and the U.S. legal system. Many scientific, philosophical, historical and religious works -- including the Bible -- were long ago written in Latin. Your youngster might one day want to study those early writings in the Latin language
Including Latin in your homeschooling curriculum will broaden their education and help them excel academically. Look for classical education materials to introduce them to this subject and to continue their Latin studies in the future. Contact an outlet, such as Classical Academic Press, for further assistance.