Foreign Language Progress – Ancient Greek

Ancient Greek Foreign Language ProgressThis has been an interesting year for our Greek studies.  I started out my oldest in a free online Koine Greek program.  I guess it is true what they say about free things.  While it looked like a great program, it was difficult to use on a regular basis.  I went in search of something else and chose Athenaze because of the reading emphasis and the inclusion of portions of New Testament into each chapter.

We had planned on learning Koine Greek only, but Athenaze seemed to be the right fit for us so we are going the ancient Greek route.  It will enable us to read Koine Greek as well.

My younger son started the year in Hey Andrew.  As the year progressed, he moved into book 3.  Books 1 and 2 gave him a good grounding in the Greek alphabet, but book 3 started to teach grammatical elements.  It was confusing to him and confusing to me as a teacher.  I dropped it and decided to give Athenaze a try with him.  He had to relearn a few letters and the sounds they made because Athenaze uses a different pronunciation than Hey Andrew.  Within a few months he made so much more progress than he did over the last few years.  Here is a little video of his progress.

Here is my 8 year old reading from the first chapter of Athenaze Book 1.  We have practiced reading and translating this paragraph 2-3 times now and will move onto the grammatical instruction in this chapter when this becomes easy for him.

My older son really enjoys Greek and I have to work hard to try and keep up with him.  He can read most any Greek text right now, but that is simply decoding.  He is learning the vocabulary, accents, and grammar as we go through the book.

Athenaze is a very economical choice.  While it isn’t cheap it is something that will take us several years to complete and it can be reused for each child.  Hey Andrew was consumable and needed to be purchased yearly.


  1. Thanks Shannon. I try to tackle the languages at the start of the day so they aren’t dropped off. Multiple languages take a lot of time and it makes our school day longer. It is also quite time consuming for me because any program that teaches the child without my involvement has been unsuccessful. I also have to work with each child individually since they are on different levels and progress at different rates. Here is our tentative schedule for next school year. I may increase the time on languages (not exactly sure yet). My oldest is adding French so he will be working on 4 all together. This year I have used breakfast and lunch as exposure to modern languages through DVDs.

    • I checked out your block schedule – good to know! I have 2 children close in age so I teach them together, which has worked well for all of us. Are you fluent in any of these languages, or are you learning alongside the children? I am not fluent in my chosen ones, so will have to learn with them. I am really looking forward to the challenge and praying I haven’t bitten off more than I/we can chew – smile. But that’s the beauty of homeschooling! I can always change my approach and schedule! I look forward to hearing more about your children’s progress. Question about your Greek curriculum…Athenaze looked INTENSE with all the reading…I need a gentler approach to our first year and found Song School Greek. Any thoughts? Much appreciated!

    • No, I’m only fluent in English. I do have a strong background in phonology and accent reduction, but I’m not even close to fluent in any other language. Right now I’m somewhere between my two children skill-wise. I do have plans to study Greek this weekend since my lack of skills is holding my oldest son back (i.e. if he asks a question that my teacher’s manual doesn’t address it can take me some time to find the answer). Athenaze isn’t a good starting point. We did about 3 years in Hey Andrew before starting Athenaze. Song School Greek is high on my list for my youngest child to use when I start Greek with her.

    • Great! Then I think I will start with Song School Greek and Song School Latin. Thank you so much for your insight and advice. Take care!

  2. I am so inspired by your foreign language studies! I started Mandarin this past year using the same program as you and basically fell off the horse. After I took a trip abroad, I realized how important it is for my kids to become fluent in other languages besides English. I want to do Greek, Latin, Mandarin, and Italian this year, but I need some encouragement. I don’t know anyone doing multiple languages in my homeschool area. I would love to pick your brain and learn how you are managing the languages without missing the other academics. You are an inspiration to me!

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