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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.

"I don't have water!!!" German schooling is working :-)

I was so tickled by what happened last night, that I had to write a quick blog post about it:
At night time, we usually have a lengthy routine for our three little ones. They get changed, brush their teeth, clean their room, say their prayers and then I read bible stories to them as they lay in their beds. After that, I turn out the lights and sing a bunch of German lullabies. Oh, on top of that, each child usually fills up their sippy cup (non-spill cup) with water and sets that cup within reach.
Well, last night, I apparently forgot about making sure that their water was filled. So, after songs and goodnight kisses, I closed their door and came downstairs. We were relaxing in the family room, when I heard some shuffling in the kids' bedroom above me. A little later, I heard some footsteps on the stairs and there stood Simon. He was a little bashful, because he knew he wasn't supposed to be out of bed. He handed us a note and scampered back upstairs.
We were all surprised and amused at his funny behavior. I took a look at the note. It was so cute. He wrote: Ich hade kein Wasa. Simon!  Translation: I don't have water. Simon. Then he drew a picture of a very sad boy holding an empty sippy cup. The first thing I noticed was that he had actually written the word for "I" correctly: ich.  We had been working on the "ch" sound last week in our German school. We also work a lot at sounding out words in syllables. Being very phonetic, German is an easy language to learn to spell, except that sometimes it's hard to hear certain endings...like the -er. As I expected, he misspelled the word for "Wasser", but I was impressed that he wrote it phonetically--like it sounds. We're still working on those -er endings. And like most kids, he confuses the "b" with the "d", but that will come with time.
I was just so delighted to receive this precious little note. I was pleased that he had the confidence to write a German message on paper. I love that he applied the skills that we've been working on in our German homeschooling. And most of all I love that he's learning and growing and experimenting with the language.
I promptly went upstairs and filled his little sippy cup. I love having little kids!!


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