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Greek for Children Primer A (Teacher and Student Books) / Greek Alphabet Code Cracker Review by Maggi Beardsley

Dr. Christopher Perrin
Classical Academic Press
3920 Market Street
Camp Hill, PA 17011

We just arrived home from the local spelling bee. We had memorized lists of words and tried to understand the rules of the words from different language origins. On our porch that day was Greek for Children. Now I understand the influence that the Greek language has had on English!

My nine-year-old daughter absconded with the Greek Alphabet Code Cracker. I had a difficult time removing it from her hands to complete this review! My son, who is not fond of learning foreign languages, asked why he didn't get the book. Needless to say Greek Alphabet Code Cracker is now a must-have in our house.

The Greek Alphabet Code Cracker has mysteries for the children to solve. In the first lesson there are three Greek words written in Greek imbedded in the mystery. The students have to use the Greek alphabet to solve for the words. The book has the upper and lowercase Greek letters, their names, and their sounds. In unit 2 the book focuses on six Greek letters. There is an exercise where the student matches the Greek letter to the English letter. For example, my daughter matched "beta" to "b." There was also a place to learn how to write the six letters. Then the students match the three letter English words to Greek words.

Greek Alphabet Code Cracker has a diphthong and breathing mark reference. It also has an answer key. The book comes with a password to use the Web-based materials. We enjoyed listening to the Greek alphabet song on the website.

Greek for Children Primer A is organized into units: verbs, nouns, adjectives, imperfect tense verbs, future tense verbs, case nouns, and prepositions. Each unit begins with a Bible verse written in Greek and English. Then there is some instruction about that part of speech. The children then look at a word in Greek and write it in English. For nouns they also write the singular and plural. Sometimes they need to write the nominative, genitive, dative, and accusative.

Greek for Children Primer A is a great sequel to the Greek Alphabet Code Cracker, although you don't have to use the Code Cracker to benefit from Greek for Children Primer A. It uses Koine Greek. For me it was a bit overwhelming. I knew the capital letters in Greek but not the lowercase letters. Many of the words are written in lowercase Greek. The children use their code sheet to write out the word in written English. While I was a bit overwhelmed, my three children were not. The youngest is six years old, and she had no trouble keeping up with the ten-year-old. After a few lessons, there is a quiz to take. The children are encouraged to speak Greek often. I liked that it listed verbs out in the first, second, and third person both singular and plural. By the end of the book your children will be translating Greek sentences into English, such as "The fruit will be bad."

While I have wanted to introduce my children to Latin, which I have studied, and Greek, which I know nothing about, I have been very hesitant. I wonder if the books will be easy enough for my children to understand but not so easy that they don't really learn the language. For years I have stared at the Latin and Greek books in the local bookstores. I have interviewed many homeschooling parents about their choice of text. Greek Alphabet Code Cracker is awesome! My nine-year-old uses it as an independent study book. She was informing me of the sounds that the Greek letters make. She is enthusiastic about learning Greek. For moms like me who didn't know where to begin, Greek Alphabet Code Cracker is an excellent place for your children to start learning Greek. The tagline for Classical Academic Press is "Classical Subjects Creatively Taught." I would wholeheartedly agree. I would write more about this great series of Greek books, but I would need to go and hunt the books down!

I found that I needed one Greek Alphabet Code Cracker and one Greek For Children Primer A per child. This is the one series of textbooks that keeps disappearing from my teaching table. It seems that each child wants his own copy! I wish all foreign languages were this fun.

Product review by Maggi Beardsley, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2011