Tuesday, April 4, 2017

First Form Greek - A Homeschool Crew Review

Review Crew
In mid-February I learned I had been selected to participate in the first Memoria Press review of the Crew for 2017. 

Memoria Press

On February 19, a package containing First Form Greek Complete Set arrived at my doorstep.

First Form Greek Complete Set
Grades 7-12

One of the first reviews I ever did for Memoria Press was First Form Latin. I was impressed then, and I am impressed now. I don't think I've ever tried a Memoria Press product that I didn't love!

I was permitted to work on First Form Greek as the student, and I highly recommend any parent doing this before they have their student take the course. 

I started my work in Greek by reading through all the introductory material. Next I watched introductory video. I watched the video for Chapter 1 with the textbook open and took copious notes in a spiral notebook. Next I opened the student Workbook to Chapter 1 and found the workbook asks for the same things I had been writing in the spiral, so I ditched the spiral.

The workbook is broken down into five days of work which reinforces the lesson watched on the video on day 1. Friday of each week is a test or quiz. Each day begins with a greeting and responses. You can play the video each day to practice this. Once each week you recite Greek material that is being memorized. As the material accumulates you will recite on more than one day per week, making sure all material gets recited once per week. On day 1 the lesson is read from the textbook, the saying is covered, and new vocabulary is introduced. For independent work the student completes the Workbook pages for Day 1.

Days 2 through 4 the student recites the lesson's new grammar forms and vocabulary and does the appropriate work in the Workbook. It is helpful to listen to the pronunciation CD for the lesson each day. As each week's vocabulary is introduced, there are corresponding vocabulary cards. I like to copy the new words down, pronouncing each Greek letter as I write it and pronouncing the finished word when I am done. All the writing and speaking helps cement the new material in my mind.

Day 5 begins with the week's recitations one more time, and then the student takes the quiz or test. There is Oral Drill that you, as the teacher, are supposed to do with the student, which is an example of why I believe the parent should work through the program once as the student before teaching the material to the kids.

Beginning in Lesson 4, Day 5 will also include a cumulative review (which can also be assigned as homework over the weekend).

The focus of Lesson 1 (week 1) is largely "review" of the Greek alphabet. Memoria Press strongly recommends the student of spend one year studying The Greek Alphabet program before studying First Form Greek. Those who have not done that need to spend longer in Chapter 1 learning the alphabet. Chapter 1 also explains diphthongs and accents, breathing marks and syllables, and punctuation.

Lesson 2 builds on week 1, reviewing alphabet, and introducing pronoun endings. I remember in Latin we memorized -o, -s, -t, -mus, -tis, -nt. (-o is for "I"; -s is for "you"; -t is for "he", "she", "it"; -mus is for "we"; -tis is for "you all"; and -nt is for "they".) In Greek the respective endings are -ω, -εις, -ει, -ομεv, -ετε, -ουσι. The charts begin, similar to the Latin charts: I loose; you loose; he, she, it looses; we loose; you all loose; they loose. Vocabulary words begin in Lesson 2, with the vocabulary cards.

From there week builds on week, lesson builds on lesson. At whatever speed you can muster (I am slow), you build your Greek vocabulary and your understanding of tenses and declensions. I love the educational pieces included periodically to add to my Greek education.

Learning a new alphabet has been challenging and fun, and difficult. I've gone around saying the alphabet in my head, "Alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon..." while trying to visualize each letter in my head. And I'd get stuck on gamma. Alpha, beta, delta and epsilon I could visualize, but gamma... And so it went. I had never thought about when my 2-year-olds were learning the alphabet song they didn't know, simultaneously, how to read, write or recognize the letters they were memorizing the names of.

Moving on, still struggling, because I can't spend a year on the alphabet and still do the First Form Greek review. Not quite having that alphabet under my belt, moving on was a bit like using a decoder ring to decipher Greek words being presented.

So, here's the Greek alphabet:
Α α - alpha; Β β - beta;  Γ γ - gamma; Δ δ - delta; Ε ε - epsilon; Z ζ - zeta; H η -eta; Θ θ - theta; I ι - iota; K κ - kappa; Λ λ - lamda; M μ - mu; N v - nu; Ξ ξ - xi; Ο ο - omicron; Π π - pi;  P ρ - rho; Σ σ ς - sigma; Τ τ - tau; Υ υ - upsilon; Φ φ - phi; X χ - chi; Ψ ψ - psi; and Ω ω - omega.

Some of the letters are pronounced the way my brain expects (B = B), and some are not! (P sounds like "R") A v is a small N, a υ is a small Y. It is a whole new language, and if you're still reading this you deserve to say, "It's all Greek to me!"

Seriously, though, I never thought I'd be studying Greek. First Form Greek makes Greek studies attainable without having to pursue a Master of Divinity. I love bringing the classical education back to the up and coming generation, and Memoria Press makes it attainable. This is a formal language program. Being introduced to Greek roots is not the same thing. This program is wonderful! I give it two thumbs up!

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Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew also reviewed this and other Memoria Press programs. To see more reviews, please click below.
First Form Greek, Iliad/Odyssey and American History {Memoria Press Reviews}

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