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2323 E. 12th St. ∙ The Dalles, Oregon
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Community Classes for Older Students and Families

From time to time, we offer certain classes for older students and families, usually in the evenings after the end of a typical work day.

The Classical Model used at Columbia comes from the best tradition in education, stretching back 2,500 years in western civilization. Because of that long history, a major part of classical education makes use of the ancient languages. This eventually gives our students direct access to the original writings of people like Julius Caesar, Virgil, and most of the Church fathers, as well as the Greek text of the New Testament and ancient Greek writers. Since our present-day languages are based mostly on Latin and Greek, it also provides an excellent foundation for success in English or the so-called romance languages (Spanish, French, Italian). The study of any foreign language adds a major dimension to the student’s education, but the ancient language of Latin also underlies most English vocabulary, especially in specialized fields like science, medicine, law, and theology.

A More Thorough Introduction to Latin

In the 2015–2016 school year, we are offering a more thorough introduction than we did last year. This one will expect about 15 minutes of daily work from our students, will meet for an hour a week, and depending on enrollment, will cost $50 per participating family, per month.

This year I’ve begun our advanced Latin students at Columbia in a curriculum with a different teaching method. Instead of drilling grammar and vocabulary, while practicing snippets of Latin translation, this is an immersion course that incrementally introduces the student to Latin vocabulary and grammar by reading it all in a larger context, directly from Latin. At the start, the Latin used is very simple, lending confidence to the student who keeps up with assignments. Our extracurricular offering this year will use this approach, and Wheelock as a supplemental reference.

Students will be expected to complete short assignments at least six days a week. They will be about 15 minutes long. Multiple students in the same family will help if they can work together and encourage one another, especially if any of them are ten or younger. Second-year Latin students at Columbia may participate, but we will not be in the same place in our textbook. You will need to buy your own textbook and workbook, but students in the same household may share one set to help reduce costs.

The textbook: The exercises:

You could also buy Wheelock’s Latin, but there will not be any assignments from it. Instead, it will be a nice reference to see how Wheelock describes the grammar we are learning as we go.

If we have at least three participating households, the cost will be $50 per month, per household of students. We could still hold the class with two households, at $75 for each. If we reach five or more households, the cost will be $40 per month, per household.

From October into next June, we will try to cover about ten chapters. That may be ambitious, depending on the experience and dedication of our class. Your daily assignments will be provided online through Columbia’s “Google Apps for Education” account. Each student will receive a login for accessing the assignments. This login may also provide an email account for class purposes, as needed. You can reach all of it through a web browser.

Face-to-face class meetings will be on most Fridays between 5 and 6 p.m. If there’s a better time Friday evening, we could adjust it, but with our school and church schedule, there’s really no better day. It will be possible to keep up with work online even if you have to miss a few classes.

If you have any questions, please call the school for more information. To sign up, please use the form here.


In the future, we may also offer basic classes in reading the Greek language. Again, please contact the school if you are interested. We would study what’s called koine, or “common” Greek, in which the New Testament was written. Later, we could expand into classical Greek authors.

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