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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.

Chickens, Swings, and Summer! Big kids and little kids speaking German together.

I absolutely LOVE summer time. I love having all my kids home from school. This summer is particularly fun, because my college freshmen twin girls are home for the summer, too. We sure missed them while they were gone this past year. The little kids are so happy to have their big sisters home. Michaela and Kiana have been like "other mothers" to them. In fact, the little ones usually run to one of their sisters when they need something, instead of coming to me. They ADORE their sisters. It is so much fun having both older and younger children and seeing the love and joy that exists in their relationships with each other. I can honestly say that nothing brings me more joy than witnessing the sweet love that the kids have for each other. 

Another fun bonus that has come with having a later set of children (there's almost a 9 year gap between the older kids and the younger ones), is that the younger kids have inspired the older ones to really work on their German again. Before the younger ones were born, the older kids had pretty much stopped using their German at home. We had a few German routines, but most of our home language had switched to English. When the younger ones came along, we all decided we would speak only German to the little ones. It's been fun to observe the improvement in the older kids' German ability. They don't speak perfect German, but they get lots and lots of practice at home. In fact, often, my little 6 year old Jonathan, will teach his 17 year old brother, Dallin, a few words. 

I came across this video the other day. Michaela and Kiana had taken the video camera out to the pasture swing. Jonathan, had just caught one of his chickens and brought it up the hill to show his sisters. The reason I like this video so much is because I'm not in it. This video shows how the big and little kids interact when I'm not around. Michaela is taking the video, and because she is out playing with the little kids, she is only speaking in German. If we hadn't had our second batch of kids, Michaela and Kiana would not have been sitting out in the pasture having German conversations. All that wonderful German speaking would never have happened!! Anyways, I'm just feeling grateful for my children today and grateful that we decided to raise them in our non-native German language. 


M. Prasad said...

Nina! I just love reading your blog :) So fitting, and the stories are all new and appropriate for teaching kids another language. Love it.

M. Prasad said...

Oh, and keep sharing your stories! I read every one of them!

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