Alex loves Latin so much. She’s been flying through her lessons recently. Her new curriculum (Lively Latin, which I keep meaning to review) deserves much of the credit; it’s fun, varied, and colorful, but it also takes kids seriously as Latin learners and demands a lot from them.
My one reservation has been that Alex isn’t up to the writing that Lively Latin requires. Her motor skills, writing stamina, and spelling ability just aren’t at the level of the 3rd-6th graders the curriculum is meant for. So far we’ve done everything orally. I do try to make her tell me, for example, which verb endings have macrons in them, but for the most part she’s been learning to read, understand, and speak Latin rather than write it down.
Finally, I’ve figured out what I want to do about it. In retrospect, the answer seems obvious: We’re going to study “Latin spelling” as a separate subject. Instead of slowing her Latin language learning down to the speed of her ability to learn to write it, we’ll just decouple the two skills. One day a week, instead of doing her regular English spelling lesson, Alex will use that time to practice the spelling of the Latin words she’s learned.
We started today. For the first time ever, Alex actually suggested that we do spelling rather than wanting to do everything else first. We spent 10-15 minutes at the whiteboard working on nouns of the first declension. She didn’t do perfectly – regina isn’t spelled “ragena” – but she did pretty well. In this picture she’s declining the noun silva, silvae, f. – forest.