Teaching "Grick" to my Children
As a homeschool dad, I've prided myself on not being one of those fanatical homeschoolers who tries to overdo things: you know, the ones who want their babies to be reading Aristotle, their toddlers to be concert violinists, and their kindergartners to be experts at pre-algebra. I've largely succeeded, but I do have a confession to make: I am trying to teach my children Greek. Yes, it sounds like I'm one of those smart-alecky fathers who wants his kids to know the original languages of the Bible better than their pastor does, but honestly, my reasons for doing it are largely pragmatic. They need to learn a language, and the ones I know best are Greek and Hebrew.
At any rate, now that you're convinced I "doth protest too much" about being an overly ambitious homeschool dad, I want to talk a little about how I'm using Accordance to teach "Grick" to my children. By the way, that's my best impersonation of the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, whose accent I mimic in order to inject a little humor.
The text I've been using is Bill Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek, the second edition of which has long been available in Accordance. (We're working on the third edition, which should be available fairly soon.) I'll read from the text on my screen with my youngest daughter seated beside me. The three older kids sit across from us and share a printed copy. Jo Jo, age 2, is exempted for the time being! We're basically just working our way through the text slowly, and I'm really trying to make sure they understand the concepts behind what they're learning. I figure at the very least, this will help reinforce their English grammar even if they don't go on to become Greek scholars.
At this point, we've just gone over the first set of case endings which Mounce introduces. I had them write out Mounce's paradigm chart and begin memorizing the endings, but I wanted to make sure they understand how to use those endings to parse and translate individual words. Mounce's initial chart covers the nominative and accusative singular and plural endings for second declension masculine and neuter nouns, and first declension feminine nouns (a total of 12 endings). The example nouns he uses are λόγος, γραφή, ὥρα, and ἔργον. So I decided to do a search of the Greek New Testament for any of those words in the nominative or accusative, and then we all looked at various examples together. In an upcoming post, I'll tell you how I constructed the search and how I conducted the exercise. It ended up working pretty well. (Would I be blogging about it if it had bombed?) :-)