Friday, November 09, 2012

Younger Son Dropped Latin Class

Not enough students enrolled into Introductory Latin to justify a class for it. Instead the "not a homeschool co-op" combined the Intro and Intermediate Latin kids. They dropped the Intro text and changed to Wheelock's Latin (a high school program).

Just one hour of instruction a week with a paid teacher with a combined skills class did not work out. My son was lost after about six weeks. The kid is in grade 7 not high school. I am guessing that ideally a student would do more than one hour of instruction a week with a foreign language teacher but perhaps I am wrong?

I decided this was not a good fit and pulled him out of the class.

Monetary loss: $500 for the course and about $100 in textbooks.

Add this to the list of this homeschool year's grand plans that failed miserably. Add it to the list of reasons why this is the worst year ever of our homeschool.

We are batting a thousand over here.


Aya Katz said...

The way dead languages are taught is traditionally quite different from the way we teach living languages. Since the goal is not spoken fluency but reading fluency instead, it is something that a student can learn at home without a teacher, if he just follows the instructions.

Since you have all the books, you could try to study Latin along with your son at his pace. Remember, the goal is not to speak it, but rather to learn to read ancient texts.

Ahermitt said...

I think you should be due for a refund since the class is not what you initially paid for. At least half anyway depending on when he dropped it.

Also, I think for a 7th grader a Latin roots work book from The Critical Thinking Company would be a good substitution.

Maybe you can sell the book on eBay.

Xa Lynn said...

As a former foreign langugage teacher, nope, you cannot learn a language in one hour a week.

I have Wheelocks. Unless you have a totally-in-love-with-learning-languages, very self-motivated 7th grader, it's way too hard. The only way it would work is if you went really slowly, and did a lot of flashcards and other practice that isn't in the book. I like the program for high school, but not for junior high age students. It gives you the info you need, but you have to be able to design your own study of it according to your learning style. It's good for high school students just learning to do this - it is good prep for completely independent college work.

I'm sorry they changed the program on you. I think they ought to refund the fee, if they combined the classes and changed the text after you signed up.

Last, please do not worry too much about your son starting a foreign language this year - it isn't required, and your kids do a lot already. If you are doing it to improve his standardized test scores in the verbal sections, that can be done more easily by simply memorizing Greek and Latin prefixes, roots, and suffixes. It isn't necessary to learn the language itself (grammar, idioms, culture, etc).

Hope this was helpful...

Xa Lynn

Deborah said...

I also would ask for a refund...for this and the other classes as well. It is not out of line to expect a company that gets paid for its "expertise" in education to provide instruction, materials, and workload suited to the age and level of its students. You were baited and switched...and the one who "pays" is your son.