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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.

This practicum will be followed by seminars on Latin during the main conference that will build on the sessions from the practicum with the aim of empowering and encouraging teachers for the new year.

Check out the synopses for the practicum as well as our individual seminars at http://2018.repairingtheruins.org/latin-practicum/.  The link will take you to a detailed description for the Practicum. The synopses for our individual sessions during the main conference are provided below.

Practicum Details

ACCS Latin Practicum Details – Tim Griffith & Karen Moore

Teaching Latin that Good Old Way but in the Twenty-First Century – Tim Griffith (main conference)

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.

Latin as the True Liberal Art – Karen Moore (main conference)

In sixth century A.D., Cassiodorus ambitiously outlined a program that would integrate the proven academic studies of Greece and Rome with the study of sacred writing deemed necessary to fully equip the mind and the souls of our youth for a life lived to the glory of God alone. In this text it was Cassiodorus who laid out the seven liberal arts as the pillars of such education. Today the term liberal arts is not so clear cut as it once was. Modern day students and even educators might struggle to give a clear and concise definition. We in classical Christian education still look to Cassiodorus’ framework to define this magnificent seven as grammar, logic, rhetoric (the trivium), along with arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy (the quadrivium). The challenge we face in modern times is to redeem an approach to teaching these seven liberal arts as part of an integrated whole. The Latin classroom may be the last bastion of such study. As the lingua franca of urope for well over a millenia, Latin is the common thread that draws all seven studies together. In Latin we find the rhetoric of Cicero and Quintilian. In Latin we find the scientific treatises of Galileo and Newton. In Latin we find the muses who inspired Vergil and the countless poets and artists who followed him. In Latin we find the writings of the early church fathers, the chronicles of church history. Within a Latin reading course the teacher has the delightful opportunity to lead students through all these studies. Latin is not merely a study of language, but a course in world knowledge. This workshop intends to demonstrate how such readings may be woven together to showcase the seven liberal arts as students grow in their reading proficiency.

  • Hint: This presentation will include some of the lesson plans featured on this blog site that integrate the study of Latin with other disciplines!

Hiding God’s Word in their Hearts – Karen Moore (main conference)

Most of us would readily agree with the importance and even the necessity of memorizing some Scripture. This exercise seems to be emphasized particularly within the grammar school as our dear little sponges readily and eagerly soak up any data to be memorized from grammar chants to math facts to short poems, often using delightful ditties to ease the labor. However, the suggestion of asking older students to commit whole books of the Bible to memory might be considered daunting to say the least. Why? Truly the biggest obstacle may be that in this postmodern era we have no cultural precedent for such a discipline of memory. This is a discipline so far removed from what we have learned that our frame of reference feels inadequate. How can it be done? This resentation provides both an apologetic for the memorization of large quantities of Scripture and a model for accomplishing these goals. Mrs. Moore will call upon examples from Scripture and educational models from the ancient Mediterranean world as she demonstrates what upper school students are presently accomplishing at Grace Academy.

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