Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How Do You Say 'Flashcard' in Greek?

A few weeks ago my oldest son brought home his first assignments to complete for Greek tutoring.  On the first crisp white pages of the workbook I saw it.  It.  The completely totally, utterly, insanely different-from-ours alphabet that you're supposed to learn when your mind is young and supple, not when it's somewhere in between young adult and middle aged and getting rigid.  I broke out in a sweat.  How am I supposed to assist him with his homework???  How will I be able to sound anything out???  Help!  I am entirely un-schooled in anything Greek!!!  (Well, except I really like stuffed grape leaves and tzatziki and souvlaki.  Oh, and baklava.)  

"Pull yourself together, Theresa.  No more complaining."   Well... a little less complaining, at least.

I started combing the Internet with searches like "Greek Alphabet reference chart," "Greek Alphabet flashcards," "Greek for elementary students," and "Greek for the anglophile parents of elementary students studying Greek."   Let me tell you, there's not a lot out there.  At least not what I was looking for.   So I did this the hard way and made my own teaching tools, the way I wanted them and the way I thought they would help my son best.  (Let's be honest though... these are really more for me.)  And for what it's worth, I share them here with you.

Anyone may freely use these pdf files.

** Note: Pronunciations are based on the lessons in Song School Greek, Classical Academic Press (Koine Greek) and may be slightly different than pronunciations used in other Greek language programs.
** Double Note: I am not a Greek scholar.  And I am a notoriously bad speller, typist, and editor.  (Why the heck do you have a blog, then? you may ask. I have no reply.)  I have read, proof read, and re-read again, (don't you just love over-redundancies?)  but it is more than likely that there are some mistakes here.  I will not be upset if you find one (or more) and point it out to me.  I will be embarrassed, but I will fix it.  Thank you.

(1) Greek Alphabet Reference Chart
     a chart with capital and lower case letters, letter names, letter sounds

(2) Greek Alphabet Flashcards, letter names
     Greek Alphabet Flashcards - each card has capital letter, lower case letter, and letter name on the front   Instructions: cut pages into sixths to form flashcards.

(3) Greek Alphabet Flashcards, front and back
     Greek Alphabet Flashcards, front and back - the front of each card has the capital and lower case letter, the back has the letters, letter name, and letter sound.  Designed so a child can self-quiz, or an adult can see the "answer" info on back while quizzing.  Instructions: cut cards along the OUTER lines and in between the cards the width of the paper.  This will leave the front and back of each card attached; fold along the line in the middle.  (If this sounds as confusing to you as it does to me, see the photo below)  I stuck some double-sided tape in the middle of each card and put all the cards on a binder ring... because I. can't. stand. flashcards. flying. everywhere.  KEEP THEM TOGETHER.  ok?

(4) Greek Alphabet to Color - capital and lower case letters to color, letter name underneath.  Instructions: cut sheets in half lengthwise, tape together if desired to form an alphabet banner.  (Idea shamelessly taken from a friend in the same Greek boat, except she complains less than me!)

So, with these handy tools you're ready to take on Greek.  Good luck!  I'm sure you'll do fine.  As for me... Well, if Greek restaurants had been handing me menus in Greek all along, I would have had a little practice and I wouldn't be in this predicament.     Aaron would have brought that workbook home and flipping through it I'd say, "Oh, look!  You're going to learn about grape leaves and baklava. It says so right here!"


  1. Theresa, this is great stuff! Look at you, learning and teaching GREEK! We did English from the Roots Up I with John Paul but didn't do any of the alphabet. Is there any other purpose to learning the alphabet besides some of the symbols used in higher math and knowing how to read fraternity names? (Not that learning it for it's own sake isn't important...just curious.) Also, do you care if people pin your things?

    1. Mary, Believe it or not, almost all of the Greek language programs for kids I found on-line are for the purpose of reading the Bible in Greek. That's some serious Scripture study! Speaking of Scripture, I'm very close to buying the Truth and Life New Testament CD's you've recommended - they are in Amazon shopping cart limbo! Thanks for the recommendation - I may want to ask you more about them before I take the plunge!

  2. This is absolutely fabulous! Thank you for sharing! (And for your humor!)
    Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood

    1. Thanks, Brandy! I hope the resources can be helpful to you! I clicked over to check out your blog and love all your resources on Classical Conversations. Our homeschool sounds very similar to the description you mentioned in your profile, though we have yet to add a formal memory program. I appreciate the info on it! Thanks!

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  4. Hi. Are your pronunciations modern or ancient?

  5. Thanks so much for the printable flashcards. We are using Hey Andrew, Teach Me Some Greek and making great progress. However, they only use the lower case Greek letters, which I find a bit puzzling & frustrating. These flashcards will help us learn both the upper and lower case letters.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing! I was so pleased to come across these resources an am looking forward to using them myself, and with my children. Many Thanks!


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