Why do students at Geneva Academy study Latin?
Latin was a basic part of American education until the 1960’s. When government education began to emphasize vocational training and social programming, Latin fell out of the curriculum.
Latin is a mental discipline. It requires students to think carefully and to follow a pattern of logical steps. It requires concentration and analysis. Pastor Dan Sieker, who developed our Grammar level Latin program, says Latin is “gymnastics for your brain.”
Latin students learn the mechanics and structure of language: how words function in a sentence, how they relate to each other, how they are emphasized. This prepares students for studying other languages including French, Spanish, and even German, Russian, and Arabic.
Latin builds vocabulary and writing ability. It strengthens reading comprehension. It encourages attention to details and organization. Dorothy Sayers said Latin is the key to the “technical vocabulary of all the sciences.”
Latin also provides exposure – in their own tongue – to some of the greatest authors and figures of classical civilizations including Virgil, Cicero, Tacitus, and Julius Caesar.
Ask one of our third or fourth graders why they like to study Latin, however, and they might simply say, “It’s fun!”