A year ago, my son and I launched ourselves out on a crazy adventure that has 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 and giving gifts to our friends that have been so helpful and supportive over the year.
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 in mind 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 any in college.
As my son and I wrestled with the materials, I started developing helps to share with other moms that might be in the same struggle with Latin. After receiving such a great response to my Noun Declension worksheets, I also created some simple verb worksheets. I gave those away for free because I wanted families to 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, and so I created the Latin Mastery Verb Charts.
Again, I was surprised at the response to the sale of these charts. People then asked for Noun Charts to go with them, and the sales of these two downloads stayed consistent for over a year. I realized that people were interested in help in their Latin studies, and 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 over the past three years of study 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 has now made over 500 videos...and many of them twice.
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?! This year we've served around 2,400 families—eight times more than we expected. His Facebook group for Latin with Andy members just hit 1,000 members this month.
We also were compelled by our Challenge I families to pick up the pace and make it all the way through Henle's First Year Latin book. It was crazy at times, but miraculously, we made it.
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 this year through the process.
Future Plans for Latin with Andy
This summer we've been working on resources for Henle's Second Year Latin text. This is where students gear up for starting their hand at translating Caesar and Cicero.
This week Andy's sharing some projects he's come up with this summer. Inspired by the story writing camp he attended, Andy started writing a story in Latin. He also discovered that the book of Jonah is a great place to start in translating the Vulgate.
You see, he struggled in Henle 2 with translating the original texts because they don't offer students a literal translation, just the poetic translation in the answer key. It takes time and practice to be able to translate that way. He wants to offer some other alternatives for practicing that skill. I think you'll love them.
We continue to build the Latin with Andy resource and look forward to serving families in the future as they continue to pursue a love of learning Latin.
Win a Year of Latin with Andy Access
To celebrate our first year of service, we're giving away 10 gift subscriptions for a year of access to Latin with Andy. This includes access to the printables library where you can download all sorts of great resources like the charts mentioned above.
Stay tuned this week for some brand new Latin resources that you can get for free for a limited time.
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.