Classical Languages - Latin
The study of Latin is the core of a classical education. Latin begins in third grade at SFA and continues every year, culminating in the translation of Latin literature in grades 10-12. Latin is part of a rich heritage in Western civilization and has a privileged place in the life of the Church. The study of Latin forms an integral aspect at the grammar level of the curriculum. Formal training in Latin grammar is emphasized in fourth through eighth grade. Latin is integrated into the curriculum in less formal ways beginning in kindergarten with the singing and recitation of Latin hymns and prayers. Latin leads the student to an understanding of the logic of language. Latin roots are the basis of some 60% of English vocabulary while Greek roots form another 20%.
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 Latin Choir and Assembly. 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 Choir sings classical music in both Latin and English and performs in the Christmas and spring programs.
The Latin Curriculum follows a traditional scope and sequence and is consistent with the grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages of the trivium:
Grades 3-6 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.
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 SFA we are pleased to have available the methods and materials of Highlands Latin School and Memoria Press. Cheryl Lowe has 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. Cheryl Lowe, Headmistress of Highlands Latin and founder of Memoria Press, and Highlands teacher, Mrs. Leigh Lowe. In high school we use Henle Latin and read Caesar and Cicero. Students may prepare for the AP Latin exam and read Pharr's Aeneid as well.