Learning Koine Greek is useful on so many levels, from gaining a better grasp of English grammar to New Testament Bible study, it's surprising more homeschool families don't take the time to learn it. Classical Academic Press is attempting to make that endeavor easier than ever with Greek for Children, a course designed for young students. While there are fun exercises and activities, the emphasis is on learning, so the text is unfettered by lots of cutesy illustrations or gimmicky aspects. Still, the book is far from scary and kids should have a good time investigating one of the most intriguing and influential of the dead languages.
29 chapters offer one year's worth of work. The book is designed for students grades three or above, though students in junior high are likely to find the text a bit juvenile. Each chapter is a one-week lesson with a memory/grammar/worksheet/quiz progression. The course can be largely self-directed, though students will likely need some guidance with pronunciation; there is an accompanying CD, and the Classical Academic Press website also offers free audio resources.
This is a no-frills course. Other than the little "Greek Alphabet Critters" (little black and white animals made from Greek letters) there is straightforward, easy-to-read text and consumable exercise pages. Students begin with the alphabet and diphthongs, moving rapidly to vocabulary and grammar. The pace is quick but the frequent review and emphasis on memorization help children retain the information. This isn't a complete Greek course, but it is a thorough introduction, paving the way to more in-depth study.
Students who have completed Song School Greek will be particularly ready for Greek for Children Primer A, though you can jump straight into this text without any previous Greek study. We would encourage not starting this one before the recommended third grade, due to the pace and extent of the content. The answer key contains all the student exercise pages with answers; there is no supplemental teacher information, lesson plans, etc. Fortunately, the student text is self-contained and even a parent with no Greek experience should be able to guide students.
This is a great starting place for Greek study. It is thorough and straightforward while still managing to appeal to elementary kids. As Christians, learning Koine Greek has more than simply academic ramifications, and getting kids on the path to understanding the language of the New Testament at an early age is an excellent goal. And while the text is quite thorough in its treatment of the basics, there isn't so much here that kids will get burned out and not want to continue studying.