Eat that Frog!

I received this inquiry: 

“I know the Henle Latin class is going to carry over into the summer or Fall, which also leads me to the question: when do you plan to have the class which finishes the Henle Latin 1 book? How many weeks/classes will it be?”

Here is my reply:

Hi!

Our last official class will be May 27th.  We will make it to chapter 33.  There are 42 chapters in the book.

Anyone who would like to finish the book is welcome to join me at the regular time on July 15, 22, and 29.  We will also meet one week in August, on the 5th.  Class will last a bit longer.  We will likely meet for an hour and half.  

This is completely optional.  

Perhaps you are wondering…

“What is going on here?”

This year, I taught an online Latin class using the book First Year Latin, by Robert Henle.  It is no big secret that I am no big fan of this book.

I have read many Latin textbooks.  None of them have ever asked students to translate sentences where dead bodies are floating in a river.  None of them but Henle Latin, that is.

Typically, teachers spread this book over two to three years.  Like everyone else, I did the same.  At first.

But, you know what?  The title of the book is “First Year Latin.”  I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds like a book to be read in one year.  Perhaps even the first year.

But, hey.  Maybe that’s just me.

This year, I started teaching the class again.  We started off just like everyone else.  We were going to read the book in two years.

About six weeks into the course, I changed my mind.

Want to know what happened?

Here is what happened.  I looked at my kids.  I have five of them.  I asked myself, “If my own children had to read a book like this, would I ask them to take their time, or would I help them get it over with?”

The answer is easy.  I would help my children get it over with.

Success guru, Brian Tracy, puts it another way.

“If you have to eat a frog, it makes no sense to stare at the frog for a long time.  Just get it over with.”

(He even wrote a book called “Eat that Frog!”  I’m serious.  Want to read it?  Here you go: http://www.briantracy.com/freegifts/etftranscript.pdf)

Compared to Lingua Latina, by Hans Orberg, Henle Latin is a frog.  I like my kids.  I like my students.  I want to help them.  If they have to read Henle’s

I like my kids.  I like my students.  I want to help them.  If they have to read Henle’s First Year Latin, then they have to.  But, if they have to do it, they might as well get it over with.

There is no way I am going to ask my students to spend two years on a book named First Year Latin.

Unfortunately, that is not the way I began the year.  Since my classes tend to run forty full weeks, and since there are forty-two chapters in the book, my current class is behind.  My fault, not theirs.

So, any current student who would like to finish the book is welcome to join me this summer.  We will finish

We will finish First Year Latin in…, wait for it…, the first year.