here to see sample translation work from
5 year old,
7 year old
students in Grammar I.
Throughout history, the study of language
was was divided into two distinct studies: Methodical
Grammar and Historical Grammar. In the former, the
grammaticus (Grammar teacher) taught the formal rules of Grammar.
In the latter, the grammaticus guided students through the writings of
the master orators, poets and historians so that students could hear and
see how history's greatest speakers and writers used the language.
Only the CLAA provides students with both branches of grammatical
studies, without which there can be no "classical" education.
In Grammar I, students receive a systematic introduction to the rules of
Grammar, learning the content of the first part of the classic
Grammar of Emmanuel Alvarez, S.J.. The content of our course is
also influenced by the Latin Grammar of the famous Roman Varro, the Elementa of Aelius Donatus, who was St.
Jerome's Latin teacher, the Brevissima Institutio by the English
Lilly, which was Shakespeare's Grammar school textbook and the writings
of Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian.
Grammar I students are immersed in real
Latin, learning how to read Latin words in the very
first lesson and beginning to read the Latin New Testament in the second lesson.
We do not use artificial readings, or school translations, but teach the children how to truly
read and speak Latin.
When students complete Grammar I, they begin
a dual study in Grammar II. Here, they continue in
methodical Grammar, studying Latin Syntax and beginning Greek Grammar.
However, students also begin the study of historical Grammar with the
letters of the Roman orator Cicero, who is the authority on correct
In Grammar III, students begin the
study of classical Poetry--both methodically and historically--as they
studied Cicero in Grammar II.
Following Grammar III, students will
continue in the CLAA's Classical Literature program, which will
allow them to continue with guided readings of the classical masters.
Authors to be studied will include Homer, Vergil, Cicero, Caesar, St.
Augustine, Sacred Scripture and more. These studies are intended
to be enjoyed by CLAA students throughout life.
We invite you to examine a few sample
lessons available on the right. If you have any questions,
Introduction to Grammar
2. Reading: John 1:1-3
3. Of Nouns
5. Noun Gender & Number
7. Noun Cases
9. Noun Declensions
11. Noun Figure & Kind
13. The First Noun Declension
14. Noun Review
15. The Second Declension
16. Noun Review
17. The Third Declension
18. Noun Review
19. The Fourth Declension
20. The Fifth Declension
21. Complete Noun Review
22. Adjective Nouns of 1st & 2nd Dec.
23. Adjective Nouns of 3rd Dec.
24. Comparison of Adjectives
Reading: John 1:24-28
27. Declension of Pronouns, Pt. I
28. Declension of Pronouns, Pt. II
30. Of Verbs
31. Participles, Gerunds & Supines
32. All Active Verbs
33. All Passive Verbs
34. Infinitives, Imperatives & Participles
35. Irregular Verbs
36. Reading: Complete John 1
39. Conjunctions & Interjections
40. Grammar I Review
Note: Grammar I
is an extremely rigorous course that may take a student more
than one academic year to complete. In fact, it may take
up to three years for some children. Grammar II will be
opening in September of 2011 as our first students complete
amor et usus lectionis non scholarum temporibus sed vitae spatio
"The love of Grammar and the habit
of reading end not with the schooldays but with the end of
Why We MUST Study Greek and Latin
My husband and I do not know Latin or Greek. Will our children be
able to handle the CLAA's Grammar courses?
Answer: Yes. Face it, hardly any of the families using
the CLAA program have had the privilege of studying the classical
liberal arts. Like you, they are seeking something better for
their children than they received themselves. At the same time,
you cannot give what you do not have. The CLAA Grammar courses are
written and taught so that students and parents with no background in
classical languages can get along just fine--with hard work, of
My child has already had one year of Latin using another program.
Should he/she begin in Grammar I or II?
Answer: We have tried to admit students from other Latin
programs into our higher level language courses and they simply were nowhere near being prepared for CLAA studies. No matter what program a child has
studied in before ours, they will need to begin in Grammar I.
Is it necessary for my child to complete lessons online?
Answer: Yes. CLAA students are in
touch with their instructors daily and we provide detailed assistance
and immediate feedback online. On the other hand, every
lesson is available in a printer-friendly format and can be studied away
from the computer.
What pronunciation is used in CLAA's Grammar courses?
Answer: Our Grammar courses are intended to make students
masters of language in general and the classical languages in
particular. Therefore, we begin with classical Latin
pronunciation, which was the reason for many of the rules in Latin, then
quickly move to Ecclesiastical Latin since we are reading the Latin New
Testament. We follow the principle that, for the sake of style,
every writer ought to be read with the pronunciation he himself used
since that is the pronunciation he intended his writing to be heard
At what age should a child begin the CLAA's Grammar I course?
Answer: We have students doing well from
ages 6 through 15 in Grammar I. Remember that Grammar is first in a
series of classical liberal arts courses in our full classical study
program, so the earlier the better. If a child is not yet able to
work independently, a parent can assist with reading lessons, reciting
memory work and completing online activities. The CLAA Petty
School is intended for younger children being prepared for the CLAA.
Will my children have help with pronunciation?
Answer: Yes. Our video prelections
allow the child to listen to Latin and Greek readings as they are
studied. Also, each Grammar lesson includes audio recordings which
allow students to hear their Grammar rules recited. Students and
parents have live support help available daily through our
When do students begin Greek?
Answer: In Grammar I, students survey all of classical
Grammar--focusing on Latin. In Grammar II, students go deeper into
Latin Grammar, translation and composition, and meanwhile begin the
study of Greek. Because the system of Grammar used in Grammar I is
universal, students will move rapidly through Greek grammar since many
of the principles are already known from Grammar I.
OUR STUDY MATERIALS
CLAA students are
provided with instruction that was effective for centuries in
Christian schools. Drawing from the very textbooks studied by
the writers on our library shelves, our students learn Grammar
as it was taught by those who used it everyday. The methods of study are those time has proven
to be most effective and the results are unquestionable.
if you read Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian or any other classical
author speaking of language instruction, you will find the CLAA
to be a living example of what they're talking about.
Our Grammar lessons rely on
several timeless texts. The first is the Introduction to
Grammar by Emmanuel Alvarez, S.J., used for centuries by Jesuit
academies and recommended by the
Ratio Studiorum of 1599. The
second is Father Jacob Pontanus'
Progymnasmatum Latinitatis. Third is
Lily's Grammar, which was the
royal Grammar, used in England by nearly every English student between
1550 and 1700--including John Milton, William Shakespeare. The
Grammar, which employed the same system as the Latin
Grammars for the efficient teaching of Greek. Readings are
original texts from the New Testament, Cicero, Caesar and the Church
Fathers. While these texts may be dated to the 15th-18th
centuries, they continued a traditional of classical language
instruction that was very ancient. The CLAA's materials and
methods are not experiments but proven sources of classical language
The stuff being sold under
the banner of "classical" education is shameful and embarrassing.
Authors are writing books that have no historical foundation and that
are completely unproven and are marketing them with an air of
historicity that deceives unknowing parents and schools. True
classical studies have specific goals and require specific methods
because of those goals. Cardinal John Henry Newman faced the same
trouble in his day that we do in ours and wrote the following:
"Nothing is more common in an age like this,
when books abound, than to fancy that the
gratification of a love of reading is real study.
...there are many, who
certainly have a taste for reading, but in whom it is little more than
the result of mental restlessness and curiosity. Such minds cannot fix
their gaze on one object for two seconds together; the very impulse
which leads them to read at all, leads them to read on, and never to
stay or hang over any one idea. The pleasurable excitement of reading
what is new is their motive principle; and the imagination that they are
doing something, and the boyish vanity which accompanies it, are their
reward. Such youths often profess to like poetry, or to like
history or biography; they are fond of lectures on certain of the
physical sciences; or they may possibly have a real and true taste for
natural history or other cognate subjects;—and so far they may be
regarded with satisfaction; but on the other hand they profess that they
do not like logic, they do not like algebra, they have no taste for
mathematics; which only means that they do not like application, they do
not like attention, they shrink from the effort and labour of thinking,
and the process of true intellectual gymnastics. The consequence
will be that, when they grow up, they may, if it so happen, be agreeable
in conversation, they may be well informed in this or that department of
knowledge, they may be what is called "literary"; but they will have no
consistency, steadiness, or perseverance; they will not be able to make
a telling speech, or to write a good letter, or to fling in debate a
smart antagonist, unless so far as, now and then, mother-wit supplies a
sudden capacity, which cannot be ordinarily counted on. They cannot
state an argument or a question, or take a clear survey of a whole
transaction, or give sensible and appropriate advice under difficulties,
or do any of those things which inspire confidence and gain influence,
which raise a man in life, and make him useful to his religion or his
Cardinal John Henry Newmann
On the Idea of a University