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One of the things that our family is very involved in is classical education.  We were introduced to the concept through an informational meeting for Classical Conversations over 5 years ago.  We began when my oldest was in kindergarten at a local campus and have loved it!  My first year I just drank it all in.  My second and third years, I substitute tutored and the last 2 years I have been able to tutor my own class, and train the tutors at the CC Practicums.

One of the things I love about tutoring is the ability to give kids the tools they need to really master the information they memorize on a weekly basis.  I try to memorize it right along with them, so I think up tips that help me and share them with my students.  Today it crossed my mind that maybe I could share them on my blog as well.  A lot of them are corny, but they help me immensely!  I’m hopeful that there are moms and tutors that would benefit from some of my crazy ideas.

The thing I want to share today is a way to remember Latin conjugation endings.  I find that my students can easily memorize the song each week, especially because we spend 4 weeks on each Latin list.  But as the weeks pile on top of each other, it’s difficult to remember which list goes with which tense.  I find that my students do really well if they can have a cue that leads them to the first sound in the list and they can remember the rest from there.  So here are my helpful hints for them:

1st conjugation present tense.  It begins with the sound of a long O.  So I tell them that when you get a present, you say “Oh!  I love it!”  That reminds them the list they need for present tense is o, s, t, mus, tis, nt.

1st conjugation imperfect tense.  It begins with what sounds like “bomb”.  So if they can remember that if you bomb something, it makes it imperfect, they will remember the list bam, bas, bat, bamis, batis, bant.

1st conjugation future tense.  It begins with what sounds like “bow”.  So I tell them, in the future, you want to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow.  Then they can remember that future tense list is bo, bis, bit, bimus, bitis, bunt.

1st conjugation present perfect tense.  It begins with the sound of a long “I”.  So I tell them that the gift God wants from us is us, our whole selves!  So I am the perfect present to give to God.  Then they remember that present perfect tense is i, isti, it, imus, istis, erunt.

1st conjugation pluperfect tense.  It begins with what sounds like “air ummmm…”  So I say ‘Is there air on Pluto?’ (sounds sort of like Pluperfect)  They can answer  ‘Air?  Umm…no’.  So they can remember Pluperfect tense is eram, eras, erat, eramus, eratis, erant.

1st conjugation future perfect tense.  It begins with a sound like “arrow”.  So when I get my bow in the future, I will practice and be able to shoot the perfect arrow into the center of the target.  So they will remember future perfect tense is ero, eris, erit, erimus, eritis, erint.

It takes a minute to explain each of these to the kids.  But I found that as soon as we talked through them in review a couple weeks in a row, the kids remembered what list goes with what tense with no problems at all!  I hope this makes sense and that it’s helpful to others who are plowing through this Latin with us!

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