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Classical Education

SCL Preconference on Classical & Modern Languages

The Society for Classical Learning will hold its annual conference in Austin, Texas on June 26-29, 2019. This year SCL will feature a full pre-conference day workshop on teaching foreign language. This conference will not limit itself to Latin, but will also consider Classical Greek and modern languages.

This preconference features several seasoned language instructors and leaders within classical Christian Education. Karen Moore (Grace Academy, Georgetown, TX;, Lisa Snyder (Covenant Christian Academy, Colleyville, TX), Dr. Tim Griffith (New Saint Andrews, ID;, Marcus Foster, Daniel Faubus, and Dr. Jason Merritt (Covenant Classical School, Ft. Worth, TX) will consider the following questions:

Why Latin? Why foreign languages? Must we commit to only one method? Is it possible to teach a language’s grammar through immersive conversation in the target language? How do we keep the struggling students supported while challenging those who are advanced (and having some fun along the way)? What are the pitfalls and benefits of a Foreign Language Program that offers both classical and modern languages? Can a modern languages and methods (TPR, CI, etc.) benefit and enhance Latin instruction or overall curriculum and vice-versa? Can a diverse, multilingual program really adhere to the maxim multum, non multa?  How do we teach our students to love learning languages, especially when asking them to do something so difficult as conversing in a foreign language in front of peers or reading great authors in the original language?

Each talk will also feature considerations of both principles and best practices that can be brought directly in to the classroom, aiming to be applicable to teachers of any language with any curriculum in any school. Besides speaking to these topics, our speakers will also lead round table discussions on various issues such as: AP Latin, classical languages in college and beyond, department culture, lateral entries & remediation, hosting immersive workshops, and adding new language offerings.

For a look at the complete schedule and registration details visit:


SCL’s 2019 Conference will also include workshops in Latin by the following:

The Art of Latin, Karen Moore
The 12th and 13th century A.D. have been hailed as the Aetas Ovidiana for the great extent to which Ovid influenced the literature and art. The 8th and 9th century have similarly been dubbed the Aetas Vergiliana for the great influence of Vergil. Even today should you attend any of the excellent collections of Renaissance art, should a student of literature know the stories of Ovid, Vergil and the Bible that student would be able to well interpret the great majority of any piece that should capture his gaze. He would do well to consider, however, that the artists of such masterpieces were inspired not merely by the concept of a story, but the artful writing of Ovid and Vergil. This workshop will look at several masterpieces from these time periods as object lessons in the art of Latin. Such lessons integrate the study of Latin literature with art history enhancing the students’ understanding and appreciation of both studies. Such studies better equip our students and ourselves to grow as life-long learners and life-long lovers of both art and Latin.

This workshop will greatly benefit teachers of Latin, Art, and Ancient Literature.

Teaching Latin That Good Old Way But in the Twenty-First Century, Dr. Tim Griffith
It may seem impractical to spend valuable class time learning to write or speak in a dead language . As almost everyone capable of using Latin is now dead, even those who see the value of learning the language at all usually only see the value of learning to read it. But composing Latin, whether aloud or on paper, has been proven for centuries to be an excellent way for students to learn to read it better. This workshop will demonstrate how teachers can teach Latin the old and proven way—through composition and oral composition—while using powerful tools from the 21st century.

Basics of Speaking Ancient Greek, Dr. Jason Merritt
Many classical educators have only limited exposure to the Greek language, and the different alphabet employed by Greek presents an impediment to further learning. This workshop seeks to bridge that gap by introducing the attendee to the Greek alphabet, pronunciation, and basic vocabulary through spoken exercises. This workshop is ideal both for lower and upper school teachers who deal with Greek history, culture, and literature in their curriculum and would like to explore the language further and incorporate basic elements of the alphabet and language into their instruction.

Veritas Press Teacher Training 2018

I am pleased to announce that I will return to beautiful Lancaster, Pennsylvania this summer to speak at the annual Veritas Press Teacher Training Conference on July 11- 13. If you attended last year, you may recall that I walked through best practices in teaching through Latin for Children, Latin Alive Book 1, and Wheelock.  This year I will be taking on some different topics, though still related to these same ages and stages. (If you missed the 2017 conference you can get my Latin sessions through Veritas Press).

Here is a sneak peek at the topics I am speaking on this year!

Latin: The Key to the Grammar School

Latin is often considered a core element to a classical education, even in the younger years of grammar school. This session will explore the reasons why Latin is a key component in the grammar years and how this study can support and reinforce other subjects. Topics covered will include vocabulary, grammar, enrichment, and integrative opportunities with other subjects.

Latin: Taking it Beyond Vocabulary

This second session will build on the vocabulary skills introduced in session one. The goal of teaching Latin is to be able to read wonderful stories written in this ancient and beautiful language. In this session the class will move beyond vocabulary to consider how students can apply words to simple sentences, eventually reading simple stories. This class will use lessons within the Latin for Children series along with stories from the Libellus de Historia Reader series to demonstrate how to teach students to read Latin.

Latin I for All Children

As enrollment grows and new students join existing schools and programs, how do we bring new students into our Latin programs? This seminar will explore ways to welcome new students and set them up for success in classical languages. We will look at entry points for grammar, logic, and rhetoric programs. We will also consider opportunities for additional support as students adapt and grow.

Using Latin Alive!

As students mature their styles of learning change, and so must our style of teaching. The paradigms are the same, but we must move beyond them to find ways to make Latin come alive for our students. This session will highlight teaching strategies for older students utilizing some of the lessons and tools of the Latin Alive program. Karen Moore, Latin teacher and author of Latin Alive, will also share a number of techniques she has developed as we review the finer points of Latin grammar, reading, and even a little composition.


For more information on the Veritas Teacher Training Conference, including registration visit


Latin Practicum @ ACCS with Karen Moore and Tim Griffith

I am very excited to partner with Tim Griffith in bringing a full day of Latin wonder to the pre-conference for the 2018 Repairing the Ruins Conference, hosted by the Association of Classical Christian Schools. My distinguished colleague is a professor of classical studies at New St. Andrews College and the brilliant creator of Picta Dicta (click to see my earlier post extolling this site!). I have enjoyed getting to know him over the last year as we exchanged ideas and shared our passion for Latin. Our goal as we join forces is to bring together teachers from a variety of disciplines, approaches, and backgrounds to discuss "best practices" for the various ages and stages of learning. Every teacher has their own strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Likewise, our students all have various approaches to learning. The goal is to find the best ways to engage students in a variety of approaches to strengthen not only their skill sets in language, but their love for learning. Tim and I will also share a wide variety of resources for use inside the classroom as well as for teacher development outside the classroom. Read the rest of this entry »

Latin Authors in Italy: A Study Tour for Teachers

This summer I was afforded the great blessing of attending Latin Authors in Italy, a study tour designed specifically for high school Latin teachers. The title and description resonated with me immediately. Here I was promised the opportunity to read Latin authors in situ, to walk through the remains of Ancient Rome with an experienced archaeologist, and to discuss practical pedagogical applications with an experienced high school Latin teacher. The balance of culture, history, art, and literature described seemed almost too good to be true. The experience did not disappoint, on the contrary it exceeded my every expectation. Read on for my full review of the summer study program every Latin teacher dreams of (or should). Read the rest of this entry »

Vocabulary Building with Picta Dicta

Picta Dicta is an innovative and highly engaging tool for students to build their Latin vocabulary. This program could easily serve as an introduction for young students into the delightful world of Latin. The lessons would also prove a wonderful supplement to any Latin curricula, or even as a summer strengthening program for Latin students. The approach engages students in learning vocabulary through pictures and images rather than the usual vocab word list found in most textbooks. Read the rest of this entry »

The Classic Texan – April 21, 753 B.C. and A.D. 1836

All classicists know that today, April 21, is the anniversary of the founding of Rome. All Texans know that today, April 21, is the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto. Do you know the story of the Classic Texan, the legendary figure of Sam Houston and the imprint of the Classics in his own life? His tale is truly that of a modern Odysseus or Aeneas beset with a torment that forces him from his home and sends him wandering through the wild west. Eventually, Providence would guide him to Texas where his destiny and that of the land he came to love became forever inextricably linked. Read the rest of this entry »

How My Road Led to Rome – A Latin Teacher’s Testimony

I am often asked why I became a Latin teacher. The story is not what one might expect. It is every bit a testimony of God's direction in my life. The Lord had a plan and a purpose for me. He made sure to lead me down a path that He clearly purposed for my life, my own Roman road of sorts. Read the rest of this entry »

Scripture Memory

My New Year's Resolution? This year it began in August. I am in the process of joining my daughter and her classmates in memorizing the book of Philippians. This exercise is part of a vision that began in 2010 when my 7th grade ancient humanities class first memorized the book of James. Since then our school, Grace Academy, has challenged our students to commit an entire book of the Bible (or extensive passage) to memory each year, hiding God's Word in their hearts. The Association of Classical Christian schools asked me to write an article for Classis, their quarterly journal, about the vision and implementation of our Scripture Memory program. I share it here with all of you. Read on to learn the historical precedent, the present implementation, and the fruit this work is bearing in the lives of our students. Read the rest of this entry »

Imitation in Writing through Latin

l believe the purpose of learning the Latin language is in order to study Latin literature. By studying Latin literature, I mean studying the Great Books. These are great pieces of literature of outstanding merit that have stood the test of time. Such works reflect the worldview of the culture and time in which they were written. Such works have often influenced not only the people of their own time, but the people of times that would follow. Such works should demonstrate some combination of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. By studying such works we better understand the flow of human thought over the course of history. We better understand our civilization when we know from whence it came. We better understand what is truly great literature. By studying Latin literature, I mean Read the rest of this entry »

Loki Loves Latin!

I have always wanted to create a course on the classical origins of comic book heroes.  So many of them have strong ties to classical mythology.  The Norse themes of the Thor series are among the most notable. So imagine my pure delight to learn that actor Tim Hiddleston, who played Loki in the recent Marvel movies for Thor and the Avengers, holds a Classics degree from Cambridge!  What better training could there be for such a role?!  In the following clip Hiddleston offers a wonderful answer to the question, “what do you do with a classics degree?”

Be prepared to take notes.  You will want to write these answers down!