Saturday, February 11, 2012
A Homeschool Mother's Journal Link Up
Since we found Five in a Row our schooling has been a breeze- everyone is excited to find out what we're reading next (including me!) and we're doing lots of extension activities and fun things above and beyond the recommendations because we're too excited not to. I love that. Honestly, this wonderful, happy, excited collaboration between the children and me is exactly how I envisioned our homeschooling endeavor when we first began it.
Still, there is one piece that I haven't yet "mastered." (I put this in quotation marks because I know that no one ever masters homeschooling- its too emorphous.)
What about foreign language??
Spending as much time as I did in foriegn countries while growing up, I find that I value learning foreign language very, very highly. In fact, I regard one of the major limitations of the public schools to be lack of education in the arts- language included- and this deficiency was one of the major reasons my husband and I began to homeschool our kids. Still, we're finding it difficult to incorporate foreign language into our homeschool curriculum.
We bought the Muzzy curriculum put out by the BBC two years ago, and have been only mildly excited about it. The image and sound quality are not great on these DVDs, but the plot really is exciting and engaging for my young learners. The workbook and computer games which accompany the curriculum are designed for children who already read independently in English, and since my children don't yet do that, I have to sit with them and translate from English to French or Spanish each and every item on the game. As you can imagine, the kids quickly loose interest because they aren't actively engaged in the process.
What can be done? I have looked at Rosetta Stone but I hesitate to spend money on another curriculum just yet given my experience with the first "bought curriculum". I speak French well enough to design a few early lessons, but don't speak Spanish at all. I am really looking for a way to expose my whole family to other languages and to keep those language-learning synapses in my childrens' little brains open for as long as possible!
What do others do to help their young children learn foreign language? Are there curricula out there that I don't know about? Is there something I'm missing here?
(Link up hosted by The Homeschool Chick)