I'm a novice interested in the history of reading comprehension, and I'm trying to piece together an English translation of any or all of Erasmus's two-page letter "Qui sit modus repetendae lectionis" — a nice little guide to learning how to read from the early 1500s.
The piece is included (in the original Latin) in De conscribendis epistolis; it appears with some very minimal English translation (or paraphrase; I can't tell) on pages 223-226 of William Harrison Woodward's 1904 study Desiderius Erasmus concerning the aim and method of education.
Here is my attempt at the first paragraph. I have basically no Latin; using Wiktionary, my extremely naive pass at the first section
Quibusdam prima ac unica fere cura est statim ad verbum ediscere; quod equidem non probo, est enim tum magni laboris, tum fructus prope nullius. Quorsum enim attinet, psittaci more, verba non intellecta reddere? Commodiorem igitur viam accipe.
is as follows:
To some people the first and generally only concern is to begin immediately by memorizing the words; for my part, I don't approve of this, because it requires a great deal of work and yields basically no fruit. Why indeed stick to the manner of a parrot, yielding no comprehension of the words? It is more suitable to learn of the right way.
I don't know what "tum" is doing, and I'm not sure I've got the grammatical sense of the last two sentences right. I'm certain there's a more idiomatic translation of the final sentence.
Where have I made straight-up errors, and where have I made tolerable but sensible departures from the grammar?