One of the requirements for all our kids is to learn Latin, because my husband learned it in high school and has found it to be very beneficial in his career and and in his critical thinking skills, not to mention vocabulary and just the skill required to come up with the right endings and the ability to really know grammar. Anyway, that is another topic…
So he found this fabulous Elementary Greek program designed specifically for young students. It is called Elementary Greek by Cristine Gatchell. There are 3 levels. Each level comes with a textbook, workbook, flash cards and CD. Each book has 30 lessons. Each regular lesson generally introduces a new line of a Bible verse to memorize in Greek, 5 new vocabulary words and a new grammatical concept divided up into 5 sections.
The workbook goes along with the textbook lessons and has the practice already for the kids to write and fill out. There are also plenty of review lessons. It is very well done, and not too overwhelming for elementary levels while at the same time teaching the kids valuable information. I wish I had learned Greek as a child! Greek is similar to Latin grammatically, but not quite as crazy, and it has a different although similar alphabet. And really this curriculum is just awesome. It is our pre-Latin course. You can find it at www.opentexture.com .
I have had 2 kids complete the entire series. I learned it along with them, it was easy for me to learn with them so knowing Greek is not a prerequisite to teaching it with this course. It did take us almost 2 yrs. to get through the first level book, but my girls were young when we started and I was trying to figure out how to homeschool. The key is to keep doing and do at least something in Greek everyday.
I now have one child in the 3rd book, one in the 2nd and one in the 1st. Going through it with them the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th time is definitely easier. I don’t have to tell them to wait while I look up a word because I already know it, we don’t have to spend time listening to the CD because I know how it is pronounced. It really has made it go much quicker for my younger kids. Also, when I taught my older kids, I would have them repeat after me a lot. Now I have my younger kids read things to me and repeat it that way rather than only through auditory, this also helps their reading skills. My younger kids definitely have an advantage in this course having listened to the older kids go through it, and having a mom who knows the course also. But the older definitely benefited, I think Latin would have been much much harder and one of the older kids wants to study more Greek. So we will be choosing a more advanced course for her to continue. I also think it is so cool to be able to read the Bible in one of its original languages.
We have the kids start when they are reading English well usually around 2nd- 3rd grade and we have the goal for them to start Latin no later than 7th grade. Some of the kids are ready in 5th grade and others are sweating trying to finish the 3rd book in time. It is easy for some kids and harder for others. The kids who are able to memorize things naturally and easily will find this course a lot of fun. Those who have a harder time with memorization will have a harder time with this, but it is worth it. It helps their skills in reading– Greek is mostly phonetic, it helps spelling– now we know why the “ph” in English makes an “f” sound, and of course grammar– what are the parts of speech?