By Sophie Klomparens (12 years old)
At ten o’clock in the morning, seven children rush to their stations. They gather their pencils, books, laptops; at their places they await the cry of “Language Hour!” As the timer begins to tick, their pencils scratch out Greek letters, their keyboards tap out Hebrew glyphs, and Latin chants fill the air. What is this strange practice? It is called Language Hour!
Now this may seem hectic, but it is really fairly uncomplicated. Each child is assigned a different subject to start on for each day of the week. There are five activities: Latin, Greek, Hebrew, piano (the language of music) and playing with Ransom, Christian, and Charity, the youngest members of the team. Frequently, the little guys see the “big kids” working on Hebrew and Greek, so after the hour is over they load up the Hebrew program and start playing and learning themselves! After everyone completes a fifteen-minute assignment, they go on to the activity on the chart. The Hour completes with all of the kids at the Hebrew station, where they learn their vowels, or some vocabulary, or read from the Hebrew Old Testament! With only fifteen minutes a day, a child can start reading the Hebrew out of the Old Testament. The system is effective.
The subjects of the Language Hour are basically the centerpiece of the Klomparens’ curriculum. The round of Latin expands on earlier study, working on verb forms or noun declensions. Greek, however, is only studied during Language Hour. Even so, Caleb (13) is already approaching translating the beginning of the Gospel of John. Like Greek, Hebrew is also a Language Hour only subject, and the children learn vocabulary, vowels, letters, and how to read this ancient tongue. Caleb and Sophia (12) are becoming much more fluent in their reading; Calvin (10) and Trinity (8) know all the Hebrew consonants and vowels.
Language Hour equips and teaches effectively. The hour and fifteen minutes goes by in a flash, leaving the kids wondering where the time has flown. In a day of separate subjects lasting a whole hour, Language Hour is a fresh and brisk course of languages and learning.