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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.

Job Chart in Action

One of the things I LOVE about having two batches of kids, is that I don't have to reinvent the wheel for each phase of the kids' childhood. Now that the younger ones are old enough to really help with chores, I don't have to try and come up with a whole new system. I already did all that work the first time around.  I actually did a lot of cool things with my older batch that I'm able to use with the younger ones. For example, I spent a lot of time developing a great job chart that I used for many years with my older kids. How fun to pull it back out this summer and put it to good use!! All I had to do was change the names on the chart and update some of the chores. I LOVE my job chart. It has worked so well for us for so many years and I'm just tickled that I get to use it for many more years (one of the perks of having another batch of kids later in life)!!

For anyone interested in how it works, you can read about it HERE.


As you can see, it's a hodge-podge mixture of English and German--but it works for us. Each morning I pick all the jobs that need to be done that day. I sort of walk around the house and see what I'd like to have done. Then I lay the corresponding job tabs on the counter and have the kids pick which ones they want to do. Then they hang them on the chart in the order that they prefer to do the jobs. Then, throughout the day, as they complete each job, they are able to turn over the corresponding tab. They know they can't go out to play until all the tabs are turned over. And I am able to easily track their progress. It's been a great system for us.

Below is a video of the kids using the chart. As you can see, the kids mostly speak German as they discuss what chores they are going to do. But, many of our words we use for our chores are English. For example, we've always used the English word "mud room"--probably because there just isn't a good word for mudroom in German. We also use "stair basket" instead of figuring out the German word (Treppenkorb?). I find that we often insert English words into our German conversations. It's just easy to do. I should probably try a little harder to come up with German versions and get them to switch to the German word...but honestly, I often just don't worry about it. The kids already speak way more German than I ever expected from them. I'm just tickled that they are still speaking mostly German as they go about their morning chores.

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