Category Archives: Q&A

Help me?

I received a cry for help.  To keep myself on track, I responded to her questions in red.  Her questions are in black font.

Ok so I think I get it. Your classes are live? & recorded.  Correct.  Live and recorded.  Come to class if you can, or watch class later anytime you like.  I feel live offers more dynamics & accountability. So how does that exactly work, we watch live at set time & if I have different kids in different class levels they can jump in on different times?  Yep.  Students can jump in at any level.  If they are joining Lingua Latina though, I highly, highly recommend starting at the beginning.  That book is much tougher than people think it is.  25$ a month for my whole family? Sounds to good to be true.  $25 is correct.  I strive for “too good to be true”.  To see what others are saying, check this page out:  https://dwanethomas.com/testimonials/

I have 8 kids & did cc last yr. Henle killed us. I see you offer Henle plus the other book you recommend for your live T/W classes. Do you assign homework or?  I do assign homework.  I used to check it, but I just do not have the time to do it anymore.  Students and parents are able to check their own work now using the resources I have loaded into my site.  I have also created almost 100 tests and quizzes.  That number is climbing and will continue to climb.  The tests and quizzes provide an immediate grade and immediate feedback.  In the past, students had to wait a long time for me to respond.  I realized that I was the rock in the path.  I am now focusing on creating more resources for parents and students.  I havnt had as chance to look at the Lingua Latina book. But we’re almost to the ‘drop Henle’ point. But if we did the online LL fall class would my child/me easily know what homework he’s to be doing?-sort of like the cc guides spell out for the ch programs? Yes.  I provide syllabi for all of my classes.  These syllabi tell students exactly what steps to take.  I will be updating them with even more detail soon.  Help?  I have been doing this for 20 years, and I see no reason to stop.  You don’t have to learn Latin to live a happy life.  In fact, I recommend learning a modern language before learning Latin.  But, if you have to learn Latin, I can definitely help.

What are the online classes like?

One of the most frequent questions I receive on my site is this one:

“What are the online classes like?”

Fair enough.

First of all, you should know that the online classes are designed for two types of students.

First, the online classes are designed for those who enjoyed Visual Latin and want to go beyond.  The online classes are next level Latin classes.  They are not easy.  In fact, they are highly challenging.  Please do not ignore this warning.  I typically do not allow students under the age of 13 into these classes.

Second, the online classes are designed for Classical Conversations students studying Latin using First Year Latin by Robert Henle.  I recommend the Henle classes only for students required read the Henle series.  For everyone else, I recommend Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg.

The online classes are not a well-produced series like Visual Latin.  Instead, they are a series of screencasts.  Students watch me explain the text on my screen.

Here is an example of what class is like:

You will also have access to explanatory videos.   For example, if you are having a hard time with a difficult concept, or exercise, I will create extra videos to explain.  Here’s an example of one of those videos:

You will have access to about 800 videos.  Currently (June 2017) there are 771 videos.

In the past, I graded the work of my students.  I spent 6 to 8 hours a day grading.  I did this for years.  Eventually, I had to stop.

However, I kept a record of all of my notes to my students.  I am now in the process of making those notes available to all subscribers.

Here is an example of question from Lingua Latina (My corrections are in red.  If a student gets the answer is correct, there will be no red corrections.)

=================================================

1.  Quis Iuliam pulsat?  Who punches Julia?

  • Marcus
  • Marcus Iuliam pulsat.
  • Marcus pulsat Juliam.
  • Mārcus Iūliam pulsat et rīdet.
  • Mārcus Iūliam pulsat, quia Iūlia cantat.

Puer quis Iuliam pulsat est Marcus.  If you are going to use the relative pronoun (and I think it’s impressive that you did), you will need the masculine relative pronoun in this case.  Qui, instead of Quis  I’m not taking any points off, because you missed it by one letter, and you had the courage to even attempt it.

Marcum Juliam pulsat.  Since Marcus is the subject of the sentence, he is in the nominative case.   Change his name from Marcum to Marcus  -1

Marcus pulsat Ioliam.   One small spelling mistake… Julium, not Joliam -1

Marcus pulsat Julia.  Julia receives the action… she is in the accusative case.  Marcus pulsat Juliam.  -1

Iulia non pulsat  True.  But, the question is, “Who punches Julia?”  Of course, Marcus Juliam pulsat.  -2

=================================================

Many people ask, “How will I grade the work of my children?”

Now that I am done grading, I am in the process of uploading even more answer keys.  I am also in the process of creating more automatic quizzes on my site.  Using the quizzes on my site, students will be able to immediately receive feedback, and parents will be able to track the grades of their children.  My site will keep track of students grades.

As students take quizzes, my site tracks their progress.  Here is my progress, for example:

As you can see, I am pretty good at English vocabulary and not so good at Latin.  I’m teasing.   🙂

As I write the quizzes, I intentionally insert wrong answers to test the system.

This site is how I make my living.  I am doing everything I can to make my site more user-friendly and even more powerful for those attempting to learn Latin or Greek.  I have stopped grading the work of individual students so that I can dedicate more time to everyone.

If you are unsure about signing up, you are welcome to see what others are saying over in “Kudos” section of my site.

Or, you can just read the letter of another subscriber:

=================================================

Dear Dwane,

Let me start by telling you how happy I am to have found your website!!  You have totally revolutionized the way we study Latin in my home. 🙂  This will be my 4thyear being a Challenge director for Classical Conversations, therefore 4 years of trying to diligently learn Latin in order to teach both my students in class and my 4 children at home.  Even though I actually enjoy learning Latin, it has been an uphill battle using Henle Latin.  But now that I have been watching (and re-watching) your videos I feel like it’s finally starting to truly make sense.  You have a remarkable teaching style…and it just clicks!!  Thank you!! 🙂

Last year I really wanted my older Challenge level kids to join in on your Henle classes, but unfortunately the finances just weren’t there (even though your prices were SUPER reasonable, especially with your sibling discounts).  However, when you opened your site to a family rate, I just couldn’t pass it up.  I prayed about it, and God provided (He is so good)!!  Well, being the one-income, frugal homeschooling family that we are, we get our money’s worth…with everything!! 😉  Last year we would have ONLY gone through Henle.  However…since you’ve opened your website to include ALL of your classes, and since I have discovered so many wonderful gems in terms of learning language with your videos, I am having my kids view many of your other classes as well.  (I am not quite sure they are as excited about all the classes you offer as I am, since in their minds that equates to ‘more school.’ 😉 But I do know that they are learning so much more than they could ever have gotten with just doing Henle.)  As a family, we have added Lingua Latina and love it!!  And even though my kids may grumble sometimes when I call them to watch a video, they giggle their way through them.  You throw out so many interesting tidbits.  I just love the conversations it opens up for us!   

Even though my 10 year old’s main Latin curriculum is Visual Latin, she enjoys watching and reading/listening to Lingua Latina as well.  I am absolutely amazed at how quickly she is picking Latin up with your videos.  She absolutely loves VL, even now that we have reached lesson 13 and it’s starting to get more intense for her.  But that’s o.k., she has plenty of time….and we are just taking it slowly.  You truly have a wonderful God-given gift of teaching and relating to kids.  Thank you so much for making learning Latin fun!!

I know you are a super busy guy, and I am sorry that this letter is so long, I just really wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all that you do: making a great service extremely affordable (especially to families with multiple children), making learning Latin FUN, and providing great content in all of your classes.

– Anita

=================================================

Want to join a class?  Click the blue button below: 

Add to Cart

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