Homeschoolers get asked a lot of questions (Do you kids get enough socialization? Do your kids have to take standardized tests? Where does your curriculum come from? Do you have to teach what the schools teach?). And a question that I’ve been asked several times is, “Will your kids learn a foreign language?”
My answer has been, “yes, someday.” Honestly, just getting a solid start in English has been our priority so far. We dabbled just a bit in learning Spanish with a co-op we participated in when Miss M was in Pre-K and Kindergarten. I day dream about teaching Latin (but I can’t see my kids getting excited about). I have generally been of the opinion that while learning a language in elementary school is nice, if you don’t have an immersion opportunity, you might be able to quickly get up to speed in middle school or high school when English skills are stronger.
But the kids have been bugging me a lot lately…about learning German. Now, this isn’t as out of the blue as it seems. We have close friends across the street who often speak German at home and their kids go to a German immersion school. Other than smatterings of Spanish and Somali my kids hear spoken at the park or around the neighborhood (those being the two primary immigrant groups in our area), German is by far the non-English language they hear most often.
So, I think we may at least dabble in a bit of German and see if the kids’ interest persists. At least they will have the opportunity to practice with German speakers! Luckily, I actually did take German in grades 7-10. While I don’t remember a lot, I have a bit of a clue of how things should be pronounced and I am guessing more will come back to me.
Unfortunately, unlike Spanish and Latin, two languages often studied at school (or at home by homeschoolers), I haven’t found that there are quite as many options for beginning German for early elementary-age students.
I’ve requested a few books and videos from the library, we’re trying out a couple of apps and our German speaking friends have some books and videos we can borrow. I’m still hoping a curriculum or at least something we can use in a more organized fashion will turn up. But until then, we’ll dabble (and maybe start saving up for Rosetta Stone software for the future!).
Let me know if you have any suggestions for learning German…especially if you have any suggestions appropriate for younger kids who aren’t yet strong readers in English.
I’m linking up with Blogging Through the Alphabet @ Ben and Me!
Here are some resources we use to learn German. I think the younger a language is learned the better the retention even if the kids aren’t immersed. Starting now is a good idea.