Often Asked Questions

 

How old does my child need to be in order to start lessons with you?

I suppose younger than three years old would be pushing it! Seriously, we have taken on three year olds with some success, but it could be argued that the most suitable age is five or six. They obviously go at a very different pace to older children, and lessons are very short (maybe only fifteen minutes at a time), but even in that short space of time, and especially if it is regular, they can benefit hugely from the discipline involved in learning by heart, getting their pronunciation exactly right, and having to concentrate their full attention.

Younger than three years old is unusual, but we have had children aged three who have really gained quickly; and in fact three is an ideal age for them to start learning to memorise and concentrate. They obviously go at a very different pace from the base of older children; but the earlier the start, the easier the child is going to find the learning of anything in the future. The lessons are very short, in some cases only ten minutes for each lesson; but even in that short space of time, and especially if it is regular, they can benefit hugely from the discipline involved in learning by heart, getting their pronunciation exactly right, and having to concentrate their full attention.

How long are the lessons, and how many lessons should there be per week?

As to length of the lessons…. The length of any lesson is entirely up to what the student can manage. In theory there is no minimum or maximum, but in practice fifteen minutes is most suitable for small children; for an adult an hour is what we usually recommend; for older children, either three quarters of an hour or an hour.
As to frequency of the lessons…. Ideally a child should do Latin on a daily basis, half an hour or three quarters of an hour each lesson. That is the traditional approach, always used in schools until relatively recently. If daily lessons are not a practical possibility, whether for reasons of available time or for financial reasons, we recommend that a child should have a minimum of an hour a week, split into two sessions. For children over ten, then two lessons of 45 minutes each would be much more satisfactory than that, or even three lessons of half-an-hour each. Yes, having only one lesson weekly is much better than nothing at all, but progress is bound to be slower than it would otherwise be (because of so much being forgotten between lessons), and one inevitable result is that the learning process is harder work and therefore less enjoyable. In the case of lessons a week apart, much depends also on the amount of homework the child will do between classes. If he or she can do a reasonable amount every day or so, that will be a great and will gain a very noticeable advantage.
For adults – well, again, it really comes down to how much homework can be done in between lessons. With plenty of homework, a weekly lesson can achieve a lot, though obviously two lessons will be far better.

How much are lessons?

We currently charge £60 per hour for one or two pupils – less or more proportionate to the time, with no minimum or maximum. So a quarter of an hour would be £15, half an hour would be £30, one and a half hours would be £90, etc.

How many people can attend the same lesson, and how does this work?

Especially when we start with a new pupil who is young, we like to have an adult family member present, and ideally that family member will be actually learning latin alongside the pupil, this of course being at no extra charge. If more than two people present are actually learning, we charge £60 an hour for the group. With bigger groups than three, this is subject to negotiation.