At the elementary level we emphasize Latin instruction, reading/reading comprehension, and the grammar (foundational principles) of subjects. The grammar stage is the child’s natural inclination at the elementary level. The grammar of a discipline is composed of the fundamental principles, postulates, rules, or data of a subject. It is the foundational components upon which further learning is built on. Students at this stage in their education are able to memorize and recite information fairly easily; however, reasoning is a difficult task. Contrary to the contemporary educational philosophies of Horace Mann, John Dewey and their decedents, rote learning, chanting, and recitation are highly effective educational tools at the elementary level. Our teaching methodology and curriculum work not just from the actual components of a discipline but by emphasizing process as content. Our processes flow in a systematic linear fashion, building from part to whole.
We teach phonics from an explicit framework (including decoding and building), again emphasizing the teaching process of building from part to whole.
At Claremore Christian School our Latin program starts in 4th grade and continues until 10th grade. Latin provides many intellectual benefits to students, including:
WHY WE STUDY LATIN
The Latin language reveals a great deal about English and it solidifies the student’s powers to master and effectively use the English language. A large percentage of our English vocabulary (some estimate as high as 80%) is derived from the classical languages of Latin and Greek. Students of Latin enlarge their vocabulary as well as their ability to express the finer qualities of English vocabulary. This is strengthened with the study of Latin roots, prefixes, suffixes, and synonyms. Students learn underlying meanings of words, and grow more familiar with the process of word formation, and gain a greater insight into the structure of English grammar. Latin is a great tool of leverage for mastering our own language.
Another benefit is that it gives the student an understanding of the infancy of our civilization. Not only is our language rich in Greek and Latin words, but our culture exhibits a Greco/Roman influence throughout. This influence can be seen in our use of wedding rings, dollar signs, political structures, architecture, the names of constellations, et cetera.
A third benefit is that classical language study trains the student in the essentials of the scientific method-observation, comparison, and generalization. The study of Latin grammar requires a great deal of precision and its structure is very systematic.
The study of Latin provides a great foundation from which to study other modern languages.
Lastly and perhaps the most important reason is so that a student may have the necessary skills to read Latin literature and to encounter some of the greatest minds of Western civilization.