This is a post from a few years back when our children were all little, and we were getting started in learning German. These practical tips can be applied to learning ANY foreign language.
Families who follow the Charlotte Mason Methodology will really enjoy these ideas as well.
Keep it Short
This week, we’ll focus on a few SHORT ways to include your foreign language study without bogging down the family with too many high expectations. Think of little five minute explorations using word you already know.
Today we played CandyLand. As the kids called out their colors for their next turn, I called them out in German. Within a few turns, they were using German only, and any visitors could begin picking it up as well!
Keep it Real
As we were setting the table, we named plates, cups, and napkins in German. Each child got a chance to say their words, and before I knew it, they were counting them out in German, linking two or more words together.
Keep it Fun
Maybe most importantly, be sure your children are smiling while they practice. If you see frowns or hear sighs, something is wrong. Remember: this is not the time to pile on lots of lessons or practice. Lessons in persistence and endurance can wait until the temperature drops! Just remind them that yes, they DO know Spanish, or German, or French, no matter how little. At one point they knew less, and in another month or few weeks, they will begin to know more.
How can you get them to smile? Surprise them! My children wanted to color on their legs with markers. I really despise that. But I DO have washable markers, and a bathroom with a bathtub… so why not? I can take advantage by saying YES, and let them be a little silly, and draw animals on their legs… all while practicing German!
Buena Suerte – Good Luck!