The study of Latin is the core of a classical education. Latin begins in second grade and continues every year, culminating in the translation of Latin literature in grades 9-12.
All new students in both the lower and upper schools are enrolled in an age-appropriate beginning Latin class. New students join with more advanced students in the Lower or Upper School Latin Choirs and Assemblies. The Latin Assembly features individual and group recitation of Latin prayers and the full Latin grammar. It aids new students in learning the grammar and provides much needed drill and review for more advanced students. The Latin Choirs sing classical music in both Latin and English and perform in the Christmas Cantata and Good Friday Service.
The Latin Curriculum follows a traditional scope and sequence; consistent with the grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages of the trivium:
Grades 2-6 focus on the memorization of the Latin grammar by the traditional method of oral recitation and form drills.
Grades 7-8 focus on the study of syntax and translation skills using Lingua Angelica, Henle I and the Gospel of Mark.
Grades 9-12 read Latin literature – Ovid, Caesar, Cicero, Vergil, and Medieval Latin.
Students who enroll in Latin in middle and high school follow the same sequence but at an accelerated pace. Memorizing the Latin grammar is a great challenge and thrill for students. The mastery of the grammar greatly enhances English language skills and builds the kind of confidence that comes only from great achievement. Latin develops the mind of the young student like no other subject. There is no substitute for the mental development provided by the study of the Latin grammar.
Prior to the 20th century, it was the norm for students to achieve mastery of the Latin grammar before high school. At HLS we are pleased to have developed a Latin program that has achieved this mark of excellence once again in this 21st century.
Most of the classroom materials used to teach the Latin grammar (Prima Latina, Latina Christiana, Lingua Angelica, and the First Form Series) have been developed by Mrs. Leigh Lowe and Headmistress, Mrs. Cheryl Lowe and are each the most widely used Latin texts in the country for their ages. For Latin literature, we use Henle II and III for Caesar and Cicero, and Pharr’s Aeneid to prepare for the AP Latin Exam.
There are two classical languages: Latin and Greek.
Students study Greek as part of the regular program in grades 7-8. This two-year course covers the Greek alphabet and the basics of Greek grammar, vocabulary, and translation. Students are enlightened by the similarities between Latin and Greek grammar, and are surprised to learn about the large number of Greek roots in both English and Latin.
Why do we require classical Greek as an essential component of a well-rounded education? Even though our classical and Christian heritage from the ancient world has come down to us through the Latin language, most of that inheritance has actually been Greek in origin.
The ancient Greeks created a body of thought characterized by such brilliance and clarity that it has been called the Greek Miracle ever since. Their work in philosophy, literature, art, logic, mathematics, and science has been the wellspring of western civilization. The Greeks have been and remain the world’s first and greatest teachers in the natural order. The Romans, as has every generation since, imitated and enlarged, but did not reverse, the Greek depository of knowledge.
Even more importantly, the New Testament was composed in Greek, and the Old Testament, in the form of the Greek Septuagint, was the Bible of the apostles and the New Testament Church.
Since Divine Providence has so ordained that the sources of both human and divine wisdom be clothed in the garment of the Greek language, there can be no more compelling reason to recommend the study of classical Greek.
We are pleased that we are able to offer Greek to our students as an integral part of their language education. For students who choose to continue their study, Greek will be offered as an elective in grades 9-12.