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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 Update

So, we're now into our second month of part-time German homeschooling. What is part-time German homeschooling? Well, we're sending the kids to school three days a week and keeping them home on the other two days (I still can't believe how lucky I am that our public elementary school has been so amazing to work with me on this). On the days that we're at home, I homeschool the kids in German (and French).
  • I bought a German 1st grade curriculum (which I absolutely love) and that curriculum is the basis for our homeschooling. I have the teacher's manual, the reading book, the workbook and some other items. I just ordered the "Sachbuch"--which I'm super excited about. 
  • I also bought a French curriculum (intended for German elementary students). My French is very limited, so I'm basically learning right along with my littles. It's pretty fun. I had about 4 semesters of French in college about 25 years ago. Needless to say, I had forgotten most of my French. But I'm surprised at what is coming back to me, as I introduce the kids to the basics. I like like that this curriculum has lots of songs. The kids and I sing them all the time together.
  • I supplement with fun crafts and ideas from Kindersuppe.de. I love this site. You have to pay a small fee, but have access to tons of fun German educational craft ideas. 
The kids seem to be keeping up just fine in school. I guess, this only applies to my 1st grader, Jonathan, because he is the only one who technically is missing school in order to stay home on the days that the two Kindergartners already have off. There were a couple of occasions where he wanted to go to school instead of stay home. I think he worried about being "different" than the other kids at first. But, we came up with a fun points program to earn a visit to our local children's museum and ever since that, he's been much more excited about staying home and doing the work to earn the points. 

The other wonderful thing about homeschooling in German is that many of the same skills that we're working on as we learn to read and write in German also apply to reading and writing in English. The alphabets are different, yet similar. I'm amazed at how they know to pronounce certain letters one way in German and another way in English. Yes, there is some confusion, but it's relatively minimal. The positives far outweigh any issues we've had.
We spend a lot more time reading books,
both English and German.

One of my favorite things about our "German School" days is that I have some extra time with my babies in the morning. We read more books together and we cuddle more. They also get more time to play. Just yesterday, after we finished our school work, I sent them outside with an old broom and told them to clean up the tree house. Well, I didn't see them for 3 hours after that. But I heard lots of happy, energetic, and fun sounds coming from the trees. And, best of all, they all needed a bath because they had played so hard and had gotten so dirty. 

I still feel like I should pinch myself to make sure this isn't a dream...it's just so close to perfection! I am so, so pleased with the way things are working out. I'm so glad that they can go to school and improve their English. I really enjoy my 3 days a week to get things done at home. And I love that I get those other 2 days to really focus on teaching my babies. Life is good.


Isabelle said...

wow, I really like your blog. It is the first time I heard about raising a child in a foreign language. I just started my blog with German homeschooling material. It is very difficult to find some because homeschooling is not very common here. And in Germany, it is even forbidden to teach your kids at home instead of going to school :(.
Wishing you all the best,

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