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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Excelsior!

In Latin class, Hope and Sydney are working on the first and second declension of Latin adjectives at the moment. The early days of conjugating amo in a happy chant are now a fading memory--replaced by tears. Before Thanksgiving, a quiz for which they were ill-prepared discouraged them greatly. I heard cries of "I hate Latin!" (Is it only for the homeschooling teacher that such a complaint feels like a personal failure?)

Before Thanksgiving break, we picked up The Penderwicks on Gardam Street from the library, along with the audio CDs of the same book. This is the sequel, published just last year (2008), to the original (2005) The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall.

These charming books feature a widowed father of four daughters named Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty. Mr. Penderwick is an academic who happens to sprinkle Latin throughout his everyday discourse with his daughters. Consider this delightful exchange following a soccer-game brawl in which Skye lost her temper (p. 49-50):

Mr. Penderwick sighed. "How I came to be surrounded by such war-like women is beyond me. Rosalind, give me the Latin for 'war.'"

"I know that," said Rosalind, pleased with the change of subject. "Bellum, belli"

"Correct. And from bellum came bellatrix, which means 'female warrior.'"

"Bellatrix Penderwick!" Jane put up her fists, longing for the chance to show the world a true female warrior. Batty, unwilling to be any less of one, put up her fists in challenge.
As it happens, bellum, belli is a recent vocabulary word for Hope and Sydney. And, perhaps it is a coincidence, but both girls are enjoying Latin class this week, interrupting our recitations with voices eager to tell me about just such passages as this one from The Penderwicks on Gardam Street.

2 comments:

Amy said...

Hi Amy. :) I am also Amy, and I live in Australia. It is nice to 'meet' you - you have a great blog here.

These books look like a great idea. In our own latin learning there have been times when we have found it difficult, until we stumble across some Latin in a book - and the interest is revived and latin because real and alive again.

These books look great.

Mrs. Edwards said...

Amy,
Thank you for the comment and introduction! I hope you'll be back, and I'll look forward to spending some time over at your blog Merigoldcottage.blogspot.com.

The Penderwicks are a nice surprise for juvenile fiction. I tend not to expect recently published books to be very worthwhile, but this one seems pretty good.

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