Since day one of parenting, I've desired for my children to have an appreciation of languages. When my oldest was a baby, I’d read to him each evening in English and a storybook in French. As he grew, we discovered French kids music that taught us both new vocabulary and purchased Little Pim to dive in further.
Now, I have 4 kids and nothing is as clear cut and intentional as when I started out. But even the chaotic... well... chaos... can be productive for kids to learn language skills if you're intentional about a few things:
Children under the age of 5 tend to be able to listen and grasp foreign language sounds with greater ease than older children and adults. For this reason, when my children are small and want to watch tv- what kid doesn't? I allow them to watch short shows in French. Some of our favorites are Masha et Mishka, Shaun le Train, Bob le Train, and Monde de Petite Fr.
We have a large collection of French storybooks. Many of them are books that we also have in English. My older children enjoy "treasure hunting" to see if they can accurately read and translate the text by looking at the English and French version side by side. Of course, we also read the books too :)
As with other subjects, being able to read, write and explore a topic is important to fun learning. That's where Mon Premier Workbooks come in. They offer French practice that feels like having fun with a coloring book. I've been instrumental in the design process at Esther's House Publishing and tried to craft them in a way that's simple, fun, and engaging.
Meet kids where they're at:
Learning languages when your little should be a fun experience. I've had to accept where my kids are at. Despite my own love for French, one if my kids enjoy a learning Spanish and my older ones love kione greek... so we have fun and explore! Remember, the goal is the inspire the love of learning languages more than mastering particular material.
What are your tips for teaching kids second languages, or third??
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is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.