Latin memorization, recitation, and translation serve many purposes for our students. 

The study of Latin is essential to a sound Classical education. Despite its neglect in progressive trends in education, memorizing the Latin grammar and mastering Latin translation are foundational for any Classically-educated person.

 
 
Teach a child Spanish and he knows Spanish. Teach a child Latin, and he can readily learn Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Portuguese, or French. 

Latin serves to develop the mind in a unique manner. Latin mastery is difficult, and we believe this hard work strengthens the habits of the mind in such a way that ensures students are equipped to apply themselves to nearly any academic area.

Latin serves as the basis for the grammar and vocabulary of the five Romance languages, thus equipping students to easily learn a variety of modern languages.


 

Additionally, Latin lends its roots to many fields of study and practice today. Should a student enter into the fields of medicine, law, or other scientific fields, he will be grateful for his Latin studies as a child! Latin also lends its vocabulary very generously to our own tongue and serves the student by providing a solid foundation for mastering English grammar and vocabulary. As a result, students with a Latin background test higher on standardized tests in the areas of science, word-study skills, reading, grammar, and spelling. 

Finally, Latin familiarizes students with the mother tongue of Western Civilization – by which many of the foundational literary, theological, and historical works were written. These works are our cultural inheritance.  The ability to read them in their original languages is a means to grab the baton of Western culture and pass it on to future generations. There is simply no substitute for the mental development provided by the study of Latin.


Latin study at HRA begins in the 3rd grade and continues through the translation of Caesar’s Gallia Bella (The Gallic Wars) in the Upper School. Students all begin at the same level (First Form) and are placed according to their ability, as opposed to grade level. 


First – Third Form Latin:

Emphasis is on memorization of the Latin Grammar through the ancient method of oral recitation and form drills.

Students begin memorizing ten new Latin vocabulary words and one grammar form each week, until they have learned all five Latin noun declensions, all four Latin verb conjugations, prepositions, and pronouns,as well as rudimentary translation exercises. 

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Henle I-II:

Once students have mastered the Latin Grammar, they focus on syntax and translation. Henle I gives a review of the grammar and vocabulary learned in First – Third Forms but emphasizes translation over basic grammar. Students work toward the goal of translating Caesar and begin translation of this work over the course of two years in Henle IIA and Henle IIB.