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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.

Language Learning During Everyday Living

So, the other day, my little 6 year old Jonathan was working on emptying the dishwasher. It was his job that morning. He's my little analytical engineer. He loves to figure out how things work. Anyways, as he was emptying the dishwasher, I noticed that he kept stacking the clean dishes in ascending or descending towers. He would take the items out of the dishwasher, line them up in order of size and then he would analyze his work. Then I  noticed that he was working on comparative and superlative adjectives in German. He would start on one end and say: "Biggest, bigger, big..." I pulled out my phone camera because he was just being so cute about it.
I was impressed with his desire to really learn the correct words. He got them a little mixed up at first, but I could tell that he really wanted to get it right. It was fun to see the little gears turning in his head as he put the words together with the meanings.
As I watched him, it occurred to me that this kind of learning is "real" learning. Of course, it's something that you could also learn from a textbook in German class, but this was just a little more "real". I thought about how I had at one time considered sending the kids to the local German/American private school. I didn't send them because, firstly, it was way too expensive and, secondly, I felt like I could give them just as much or even more German at home with me. These kinds of experiences also continue to persuade me to consider some sort of homeschooling. I get glimpses of the fun learning environment that we can create in our home and I also get excited about having my sweet babies with me all day long and watching them learn, grow and develop. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do as far as schooling goes, but we will, for sure, continue to speak, teach and learn German at home--for as long as we can.


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