Families interested in introducing Koine Greek to their young elementary students will enjoy this new offering from Classical Academic Press. Like their other curriculum products, Song
School Greek (SSG) offers attractive, well-organized materials in manageable increments, a logical scope and sequence, and a good value for the price. Families who have used and enjoyed Song
School Latin (SSL) will find themselves in familiar territory and can
easily add Greek to their studies or use SSG after SSL before beginning higher-level
materials in either language.
The 222-page student book contains 30 chapters (lessons), including 6 review
lessons. Three appendices contain a chapter-by-chapter glossary, an alphabetical
glossary, and a listing of numbers up to 100. A typical lesson contains the
- Words to Learn presents a list of 6 or 7 words for vocabulary
- Chapter Song provides a chant to help student retain the
new words. The music for each chant is very catchy; sometimes
the tunes are familiar.
- Chapter Lesson contains an explanation
of a Greek language concept (e.g., Greek Words and Their Endings,
Counting from 1 to 5).
- Practice Your Greek requires students
to provide written responses. This might include writing Greek
letters and a brief matching exercise. You can decide whether
your young students are ready to provide written responses.
If they're not, just do this section orally.
- Grow Your English
helps students appreciate the Greek roots to our English language
by making connections from Greek words to familiar words in
- Chapter Fun and Show What You Know might ask students
to draw pictures of words their new Greek words, practice saying
words from the current or previous lessons, or provide other
brief written responses. Again, these can be done orally, if
- Chapter Story provides a brief (sometimes
familiar) story that includes Greek vocabulary from current
and previous lessons. The teacher can read the story using
the English words first. The second time through the teacher
reads the story with the targeted Greek words. By the third
time, students should try to say the Greek words at the appropriate
times. This component is not in every lesson.
Based on my experience with Song
School Latin, you may or
may not elect to have a student workbook for each child. If your children are
not yet writing proficiently, you might get along very well with just one workbook,
doing the exercises orally. With my first-grade and kindergarten children,
we just sat on the sofa together and went through the lesson over
the course of a week. I wrote the responses. I do wish Classical
Academic Press (CAP) provided an inexpensive option for obtaining
additional student workbooks. Currently,
the student workbooks are bundled with the chant CDs; a family is more likely
to need extra student workbook pages rather than additional CDs. When I contacted
CAP directly, I was told that they would provide permission to make one additional
copy of the student book for family use.
The Teacher's Edition (TE) contains a complete copy of all the student workbook pages with the answers, but unlike the TE for Song
School Latin (SSL), this TE for Song
School Greek has additional helpful resources. Each chapter in the TE includes a two-page spread of additional teacher resources. There are helpful notes for the exercises and complete texts of all the chants and stories in both the traditional and modern pronunciations. But wait, there's
more! The TE for SSG comes with a video instruction DVD to help prepare the
parent/teacher to present each lesson with some background and confidence.
This is a welcome resource.
To be honest, one could get by without purchasing the TE for SSL. The Latin
alphabet is (almost) the same as our English alphabet. However, teaching
Greek (without having any background in the language) is another story.
When I looked at the vocabulary lists, chants, and stories in SSG, I found
it a little daunting. It's . . . um . . . Greek! The DVD provides brief introductory segments that
explain the program in general, the alphabet, the two different pronunciations,
word markings, and building words. Then there are segments for the chapters.
This DVD resource is not intended for students; it is geared for the parents/teachers.
The instructor is standing in his office in front of a white board as he thoroughly
explains the vocabulary words (i.e. both pronunciations, the translations,
perhaps some etymological background, the articles that go with the words).
I have found it very helpful to preview this information, and I feel encouraged
to begin the program with my children.
The Greek Beak Match Flashcard Game provides a fun way for students to
practice the Greek vocabulary they are learning. The whole set contains
four color-coded decks that correspond to sections of the student book.
Each deck covers 6-8 chapters. The decks can be used as flashcards or for
playing familiar card games, including Memory, Apple Core, and Go Fish!
The decks may be used separately or together.
The Song School Greek bundle (student book with CD, Teacher's Edition, and Greek Beak Match Flashcard Game) lists for $72.95 on the company's
website, which also offers PDF samples from the student and teacher books and
the song CD. The books and CD contain both traditional and modern pronunciations.
I will also mention that the texts are very well-organized and visually appealing.
The program overall is user-friendly for students as well as the parent/teacher.
Song School Greek is a great option to begin teaching your children Koine Greek.