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About This Blog

This blog is for anyone interested in raising their children in a foreign language--meaning a language which neither of the parents speak natively.
We have used the approach where both parents speak the target foreign language (in our case, German) to the children. Neither of us is a native German speaker, yet we have spoken German in our home for the past 20 years and have 8 German speaking children. In this blog, we hope to share our successes, our lessons learned and a few of the insights that we've gained along the way.

German Homeschooling Resources

I spend a lot of time with my little ones doing preschool activities in German. When my older children were younger, I ordered German schoolbooks and workbooks to aid me with German "homeschooling". See this post: German homework with the first batch. I didn't really homeschool the older children, since they all attended public schools, but we did do a lot of German "Hausaufgaben" (homework) during the preschool years and even continued into the first few grades. We mostly worked on it during summer vacation and sometimes I even had them do some German homework after school...but this was never popular. They usually had other homework or just wanted to play. Eventually, as the kids got older, my attempts ran out of steam. I do plan on homeschooling the younger kids. You can read more about my plans here:Homeschooling Thoughts? Me??

I started out using Kunterbunt from the Klett Verlag many, many years ago (about 17 yrs). We got a lot of use out of the textbook and the single workbook that I ordered. I made numerous copies of the pages and all 5 of my older kids had spiral notebooks with the copied workbook pages. We really liked the series. It taught the kids to read in German. I believe that the skills were transferable to their English reading skills, as well. They can all read German pretty well. Actually, reading German is pretty easy since it's so phonetic. Their writing is another story. We just never took the time (it's hard when the kids are in school full time) to really learn how to spell, write or even understand basic grammar.

But, the time we spent on our German homework was well worth it and we really liked Kunterbunt. Since then, Klett has revised their Kunterbunt series.
My old Kunterbunt Fibel next to the newer edition that I recently ordered

Piri Fibel (beginning reader)
I still enjoy Kunterbunt, but have been super excited about a new series that Klett has called Piri. I like how they teach reading by breaking the words into syllables. This type of teaching works so well for German (being such a phonetic language). The kids love it, too. I also found amazingly wonderful free software that I was able to download off the Klett website.
Piri Fibel Software Download
Piri 2 Software Download

My very favorite part of Piri is that I found a bunch of classroom reading games that go with the series. What a fun way to learn. My kids love the games. We spend a lot of time playing the games. They have bingo games, matching games, games where you roll the dice or flip coins and they all help the children to learn to read syllables and then help them learn how to combine the syllables into words.

If you live in the states, let me just put in a plug for Abe Books. I have been able to order almost any German book that I can find with nominal or free shipping. They are wonderful!!
Piri's Silbenspiele
 Here's a fun video of the kids playing one of the syllable matching games. They flip a coin and if it's heads they take out of one pile (with word beginnings) and if it's tails, they take out of the other pile (with word endings). Then they lay their cards on the pictures of the words. The games have made reading lots of fun.

video

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I'd love to hear from you! Do you speak a foreign language? Do you have questions or comments? I'd love to hear them. Thanks!


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