Category Archives: Q&A

Doing whatever just to stay alive.

In 2017, a hacker named “Lucy Pat” invaded my site and sent flirtatious messages to all of my middle school students.  Thank you, internet.

Instantly, I received angry messages from a bunch of homeschool moms.  They sent angry messages because they thought that I sent flirtatious messages to a bunch of middle school students.

Not to put too fine a point on it, please do not be stupid when you email me.  Do you really think that I would do that?  Do you really think that I would torpedo my means of income and provision?  Do you really think that I would burn my own financial house down?  Do you really think that I would send out flirtatious messages to a bunch of kids online?  Please think before you yell at me.

Those who were angry with me canceled their accounts and left.  I was glad to see them go.

Most people recognized the hack as a hack.  Most people encouraged me to hang in there.  You know who you are.  Thank you.

On this side of the hack, I remain nervous.  I do not want to get hacked again.

I have probably overdone website security on my end.  Now, there is a new problem.  From time to time, my students will receive one of two messages.  Either they will get a “Forbidden” notice, or they will get this notice:

“ERROR: JavaScript and Cookies are required in order to register. Please be sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled in your browser and reload the page.”

The problem is an overzealous security feature.  This affects about 2% of my students.  If you find yourself in this number, please email me at dwane@visuallatin.com.  I know how to fix the problem.  It will take a few emails.  I apologize for the hassle.

If you don’t want to wait around, here are my online hours.  I start about 4:30 am every morning.  I finish up around 7 am.    I am usually back online from about 9 pm until I fall asleep at 11 pm.  Most days, I am in the Central Time Zone.

I know the objections.  Put your hands down.  I know these hours are not healthy.  But, with a large family, hours and hours of Latin and Greek research, writing, teaching, filming, taxes, bills, the DMV, website repair, and on and on, I don’t know how to get off this train.

Doing whatever just to stay alive.

Want to join one of my classes?  I promise not to send flirtatious messages to you.  Click the blue button below: 

Add to Cart

Everything. I am not kidding.

I received this comment:

Hi Dwane, I really apologize in advance for this question. I am confused about options regarding Latin. It seems like I am missing the page that explains it on your website. I would like to do one of two things and I don’t know which.

Either 1) enroll my son in an online LIVE interactive course of Henle 1, or,

2) pay for him to be able to watch your previously recorded Henle 1 lessons.

All I can see is a $25 per month subscribe option; it is unclear what that gets us…the interactive live course or access to recorded lessons. Could you please direct me to the explanation for this?

Thank you very much!

Here is my reply:

I only charge per family.  

A subscription grants access to every live class I teach. It also grants access to every recorded class on my site.  At $25 per month, everyone in your family has access to everything I teach as well as access to everything I taught in the past.

Let me know if you need more help!

Grading? Pronunciation?

I received a series of questions. Here is the first one. This may apply to many of you:

I would like to enroll my son in your 2017-18 Henle Latin course with grading.

Here’s my first reply:

Unfortunately, I am not currently accepting new students whose work needs to be graded.  I am maxed out at the moment.  I just don’t have the time to grade any more work.  There may be some openings in the fall, but I can’t promise anything.  Would you like me to put you on a waiting list?

I am scrambling for a solution right now. 

Happy to answer any questions you may have.

Our conversation continues:

Continue reading Grading? Pronunciation?

Latin in three years?

I received this question:

I have a question regarding Henle 1.  My 13-year-old is taking Latin 1 through a Homeschool Community this year.   They are covering Units 1-5 this year and will be covering Units 6-14 next year.  However, I am anticipating a change in our homeschooling and he may not be continuing on in this community.  I have found your website and I am thinking I would like to sign him up for a class to continue his Latin with you in the fall, but am not sure how I will be able to do that since you cover all of Henle 1 in one year.  Have you run into this problem before?  And if so, do you have any suggestions for a solution?  Thanks in advance for your help.

Here is my reply:

Continue reading Latin in three years?

Greek?

I received this question:

My boys will be entering 9th grade next year. They really want to learn Greek, as we attend a Greek Orthodox Church. However, I saw your posting about learning Latin first. How many years of Latin would they need to take for you to feel comfortable starting Greek?

Here is my reply:

I am so embarrassed.  Last week, I discovered that my site was hiding over 800 comments and questions from me.  I have not responded to literally hundreds of questions.   This is not like me.  Scrambling to catch up over the next few days.  

I just returned from three months in Greece.   I have changed my position on this.   I actually recommend that you start with the fantastic, free program available online: www.duolingo.com.   My kids use it all the time for German, Italian, and French.   They can’t get enough of it.  

According to the site, Greek comes out on August 20.   I would start there if I were you.   Skip Latin.  

If you wanted to go from modern Greek, which is what you will find on DuoLingo, to biblical Greek, you could use the recordings on my site.   I will be developing a biblical Greek course over the next few years beginning in September.

Let me know if you need more help!

Dwane Thomas

A stack of Q&A cards…

A few days ago, I received an email full of questions.  I suspect many of you have the same questions.

Here they are:

1. How much time should we expect to have to devote to Latin 1 daily?   

Typically, students spend about an hour a day studying.   I suggest they do this six days a week.   I always suggested that they take Sundays off.  

2. What does the homework tend to entail? Is it intensive? How demanding is the course?   

The course is demanding.   Whether you go through First Year Latin by Robert Henle or Lingua Latina, students are expected to be able to read the New Testament in Latin by the end of the course.   There is no way to accomplish this goal without a demanding course.

3. Are quizzes & tests given in spite of whether we pay you to provide a grade or not?  

Yes.  There are online automated quizzes and tests that you can take on my site.   There are also assigned quizzes during the school year from the textbooks.   I will be creating a series of videos to explain to parents exactly how to grade these assignments.   That series of videos should begin in about two weeks.

4. How does he ask you questions should he need further explanation?   

Email. My blog. My contact page. Facebook. There are lots of ways.

5. How long is the course in terms of weeks & number of lessons?   

We start at the end of August and finish at the end of May. We will take two weeks off for Christmas and one week off for Thanksgiving.  I have not decided yet if there will be a spring break at all.   Comes out to about 36 weeks of instruction.

6. How flexible is the course? i.e. in terms of holidays & unexpected occurrences?   

Everything is recorded. So, students can miss any class they like.   My site currently has about 430 videos on it.   In theory, students never have to show up to the live class and could still reach the goal of reading the New Testament in Latin by the end of the course.

7. What does the calendar schedule for the class look like? Time off due to holidays?  

Two weeks off at Christmas. One week off for Thanksgiving, and that’s about it.  May change from time to time.  If it does, I will make sure students are alerted well in advance.

8. Level of maturity needed for course? Age range? I have a group of 3 boys interested in possibly taking the course together (ages 11- 13). Would you suggest this course for them? If not, what is your opinion of a curriculum called Latin for Children – Primer A (Classical & Ecclesiastical Pronunciation) by A. Larsen & C. Perrin? Have you heard of it?    

I require students to be age 13 at the least.   Through years of experience, I have discovered that it’s just way too much for anyone younger than 13.   I will make exceptions to that rule so long as the parents are willing to vouch for the maturity of their children.   The parents also have to be willing to take responsibility if the course is just too much.   I am familiar with Latin for children.   If you are going to teach your children Latin, and I recommend it.   Of course, I also recommend Visual Latin for younger children.   However, I have to say that as I age I become increasingly convinced that the place to start with younger children is Spanish, Italian, or French.   Push Latin off until later.   If a child learns Spanish at a young age, he will be able to use Spanish for the rest of his life.   If he never makes it to Latin, oh well.   It’s not going to kill him.   Millions of people have lived happy lives without Latin.   If the child does make it to Latin, Spanish will have paved the road. (Italian and French will do the same).  

Why am I charged during the summer?

When you join one of my online class, you have two payment options.  You could pay for the entire year up front.  This option comes with a discount.  

If you hire me to grade your children’s work, you will pay $50 a month, or $600 a year.  Or, you could opt for a $100 discount, and pay for the entire year up front.  If you chose this option, you will pay $500 per year. (Note: At the moment, 2017, this option is no longer available.  I am maxed out.  I cannot grade the work of any more students.  I am looking for a solution and hope to have an update soon.)

If you would like access to all of the live classes, recordings, and online automated quizzes, but you do not want me to personally grade your children’s work, you will pay $25 a month, or $300 a year.   Or, you could opt for a $50 discount, and pay for the entire year up front.  If you chose this option, you will pay $250 per year.

If you opt to pay monthly, my site is going to charge you $25, or $50 each month.   Of course, this means that you are going to send payment during June, July, and August.  I do not teach live classes during those months, but you will still have access to the old classes and quizzes.  You will also still be able to contact me.

I have done the research for you.  Most online Latin providers are going to charge you quite a bit more.  Also, pay close attention to how long the process takes.

Years to complete

Average Annual Price

Monthly  Price

Think Outside the Border

1 to 2

$300/$600

$25/$50

Classical Academic Press

5

$545

$45

Veritas Scholars Online

2

$620

$52

Carmeta Online Latin

5

$520

$43

Harvard Online Latin

2

$950

$79

Lone Pine Classical

2 – 3

$509

$42

Memoria Press

3 – 10

$500

$41

Classical Learning Resource Center

3

$600

$50

You do not need to learn Latin to live a happy life.  You know that.  I know that.  It is likely that someone else decided that your children needed to learn Latin.   It is likely that you are simply trying to satisfy some educational requirement in order to get your kids through high school.

I can help you, and I can do it at the best price.  If you pay for the entire year up front, or if you opt to pay monthly,  you are still getting help with a difficult subject, and you are getting that help at the best possible price.