Latin-centered curriculum, also known as classical education (or Latin-centered classical education, if you want to combine them!), is something that I’ve been interested in for a couple years now. This is the approach my homeschooling sister-in-law aspires to, so of course she often extols its virtues to me when we’re discussing homeschooling.
What is Latin-centered classical education? In short, it’s a curriculum focused around Greek and Latin languages, and studying the civilizations those languages arose from. Sometimes people take this to mean that only Latin/Greek and only Greek/Roman cultures are studied, but of course, that’s not the case. The Greeks and Romans felt a good education was well-rounded and included many different subjects, and so classical education does as well. Latin and Greek simply provide the “backbone” of the curriculum, specifically in the language-arts department.
Why consider a Latin-centered curriculum? There are probably as many reasons as there are reasons for homeschooling in general! Typically though, people drawn to a Latin-centered curriculum are those who feel modern education is lacking in some important areas, particularly when it comes to disciplined use of logic. Classical languages are a fantastic way to train a mind in such a way! Once common practices like memorization have nearly been lost in modern education, and few high school graduates could tell you anything meaningful about Cicero, Diogenes, or St. Augustine, let alone read their works in their original language!
Typically, many classical educators teach Latin/Greek, math, and composition on a daily basis, with science, history, and other topics being discussed weekly (and rather informally in the early years). And yes, this is started in grade school! Latin is beneficial at any age, but it’s benefits are particularly effective when begun early on (once the child is fluent in their native language).
This, of course, is a very brief overview! If you’re interested in a more in-depth look, I’d suggest reading over at The Latin-Centered Curriculum.
As for us, I continue to be intrigued by this style of education, though I haven’t implemented it as of yet. I decided to take a more relaxed approach for our first year of homeschooling as we get our feet wet. But next year we will be starting Latin instruction, and I hope to move closer and closer to a classical education in the next few years.
What about your family? Have you ever considered a Latin-centered classical education?
Katie lives amidst the cornfields of Indiana with her husband and three daughters and can be found blogging (occasionally these days!) at Just Another Catholic Mom.
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Mia Zagora says
I started teaching Latin with my fourth-grader last year. The Lively Latin curriculum not only teaches the Latin language but also history, mythology and grammar. However, I do not consider myself a classical/Latin homeschooler. I still use traditional texts for Language Arts, Math, science, history. I believe I would like to be a classical homeschooler, but not sure how I would do it. Thanks for the blog link. I would like to learn more about the classical way of homeschooling.
While I have been interested in the classical approach at times, I don’t really think it’s for us. Maybe it was cinched by the fact that Noah declared that Latin was “really hard” at co-op. LOL
I have been intrigued by the idea of introducing Latin into our days- if for nothing else than helping SAT scores someday. (Knowing the roots of words is a great word attack skill for SATS)For now we continue to find our homeschooling feet through unschooling.
Good post Katie! (From that sister-in-law) Just wanted to put in a pitch for my now-defunct Classical Ed Blog (oh Blogger how I hate thee when I’ve changed email addresses) for more indepth discussion. Culloden House Farms