I took a course at a homeschooling conference that addressed this question - why teach Latin? The answers they gave, as I recall, were:
- To improve English vocabulary and understanding (Latin roots)
- To open up new ways of studying history (reading original Latin texts, I suppose)
- To expose the mind to the structure of Latin, which is logical and almost mathematical, especially as opposed to English
- To gain the benefits of being bilingual, regardless of the language (not the practicality of the language, but the opening of the mind to the idea that concepts can be represented by more than one concrete)
- To make it easier to learn other Latin-based languages.
- There is also Biblical Latin (I forget what you call it), which was another reason for those so inclined.
Actually, I'm not sure they included #4 or if that comes from me. I intend to teach my children Latin (but beginning in 4th grade, not Kindergarten! [as someone had discussed]), and my reasons are primarily #1, 3, and 4, especially #1. I do not intend to teach them to speak, but only to read and write Latin, and if they are very resistant, I wouldn't push it too hard as a subject. But the final reason I want to teach it is because I want to learn it for those same reasons, and so does Adam. We plan to learn it as a family.