In 2017, my son and I launched ourselves out on a crazy adventure that surprised us beyond measure. To celebrate a year of loving learning Latin with people all over the world, we're taking a moment to give you a glimpse behind the scenes of Latin with Andy.
It All Began With Some Worksheets
I started my blog in 2015 with the intention of contributing to the family income. Basically, I was blogging to create an online business from the beginning. At the same time, I was struggling along with my friends to learn Latin with our kids. It's a tricky business if you didn't study languages much in high school or at all in college.
As my son and I wrestled with the materials, I started developing helps to share with other moms that might be having similar struggles with Latin. After receiving such a great response to my Noun Declension worksheets, I also created some simple verb worksheets. These worksheets are available for free to help families understand why the memory work in Foundations is so valuable.
With such a great response to the basic Latin worksheets, I thought I might make something to help Andy and I with our current struggle: verb conjugations. He had been copying a chart that helped him memorize the endings, but I felt like I needed something that could walk me through each conjugation a little more thoroughly, so I created the Latin Mastery Charts.
Again, I was surprised at the response to the sale of these charts. I realized that people were interested in finding help with their Latin studies. One of those people happened to be my sister.
The Things You Do For Family
My nephew joined Classical Conversations in Challenge I. If you've been there, you know that the pace for learning Latin can be fast and furious. If you've never studied the language before, it can be challenging to keep up with that as well as everything else that's going on that year. My sister asked for help with learning Latin, but I knew it needed to be little bits along the way. I couldn't just dump the info we'd gathered on her. So I came up with a plan. I love my sister . . . she in no way asked me to do this whole crazy thing.
Andy had really grown fond of Latin at this point, and I thought it would be fun to make some videos to help his cousin learn Latin. At the same time, I thought it couldn't hurt to make it a resource that others could enjoy too. Why not?
We did a little research and came up with a business plan to invest in together. He'd be the man in front of the screen, which meant he'd plan out all of the lessons, study all of the concepts, and present them on video. I'd be the girl behind the screen, which meant I'd upload the videos, develop the course pages, and create the printables to accompany his material. It seemed doable . . . and a little crazy.
We found a little Mevo camera that allows me to produce the video live, meaning I don't have to do any editing after the fact. This has been a huge blessing since Andy ended up making over 700 videos . . . and many of them had to be made more than once.
We also found some additional lighting. I thought we'd only need this cool circle light, but it turns out, when you wear glasses, that little circle reflects on the lenses and makes you look a little creepy! So we ended up getting a couple of other lights to brighten things up a bit.
Technology can be a pain as we've discovered the hard way many times. It's been good to struggle through the challenges together though.
Latin with Andy Launch
When we launched Latin with Andy, we were hoping to just serve Challenge A families since we only had the first six lessons videoed at that point. We were also hoping to have around 300 members in our first year. That seemed pretty reasonable.
In the first six weeks we had 885 members. What in the world?! In 2018 we served around 2,400 families—eight times more than we expected. Since then the Latin-learning community has continued to grow, and we have been more than blessed to be a part of this journey with you.
Andy and I can't even begin to express how much of a privilege it has been serving families in this way. We see how God has provided exceedingly above our imaginations not only through providing income for our family during a difficult time, but also in the skills and abilities that come from producing a product like this.
Andy's confidence in Latin, teaching, and presenting has grown tremendously. He's led a couple of CC Practicum Latin camps, and really enjoyed connecting with live students.
What I've been truly encouraged by is his excitement about taking his struggles and finding ways to help others who might have the same struggle. Check out Andy's take on what he's learned through the process.
Latin with Andy Became a Resource Library!
Since we started in 2017, Latin with Andy has expanded to include a video resource library that covers every exercise and lesson in Henle 1 and Henle 2.
Inspired by the story-writing camp he attended, Andy even wrote a story in Latin for you to translate. He also discovered that the book of Jonah is a great place to start in translating the Vulgate and created a Jonah workbook to give your students a first introduction to the Latin Bible.
In 2019, we created one of our most fun additions. Andy had spent so much time in Henle that he wondered what he would do if he had the chance to give students a first introduction to Latin.
That's when we created Latin with Andy Code Breakers.
If the idea of jumping into the Henle textbook intimidates you, a great way to dip your toes into the Latin language is to try out Andy's Latin Code Breakers series. He loves to share fun and easy ways for students to learn the foundational concepts of the language, so that you and your student can enter into the Henle world with confidence. And if you watch to the end of the videos, you might just find a hilarious surprise!
The best part of this resource is that all of the videos are FREE to watch on YouTube, or you can find them all organized here!
If you'd like to follow along with his videos, check out these free video companion guides. They're great for taking notes!
We'll be continuing to build the Latin with Andy resource library and we look forward to serving families in the future as they continue to pursue a love of learning Latin.
We're all about rediscovering joy in our studies—especially in Latin. Lately Andy has been creating fun in the world of Latin vocab. Have you ever thought about putting vocab together with something like Minecraft? Here's a fun and fast way for your student to practice their Henle vocab while also gaining inspiration for their Minecraft worlds. (Every lesson is free on Andy's YouTube channel)
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.