One of the advantages of not having internet at home is coming in to lots of wonderful replies! I'm so glad so many of you have piped in. Renai, I had not realized you were still following these boards, otherwise I would have included you in the list up there (along with Joan, who hasn't been around much lately either ). Nan - I've lurked off and on this forum since Ladybug was a baby and I've actually followed your son's career with interest. Your story is one of the ones that gave me great hope from the beginning because if you were able to do as much for your son with French, not being a native speaker, surely I as a TCK could pass down my language and heritage to my children.
I am sorry.
For us it is difficult in a different way: we are the only ones who are in the US. All our extended families, our old friends, everybody is back home. So, we try to go home every year because that is where our parents are. It is difficult to be so far away as they age and seeing them only once a year.
I really envy your rootedness, fwiw. DH can trace his family tree on both sides in this state (actually even a particular county in this state) all the way back to the early 1800s and I'm glad that my kids will have that sort of rootedness at least from one side. But, I can see your perspective too, my father has not seen his mother in over 20 years.
I think I am going to make more of an effort to visit my parents more often and let the kids play with their cousins. And get on my mom's case to not speak with them in English!!!
As I said on the other thread, we don't really do "bilingual education", and we are quite unschooly. As such, the school day can be long or short depending on what the kids decide, after the basics are covered. We incorporate the languages we speak in daily life. Language is used all day long, after all, and not just while we're sitting down with books in front of us. We do this "multilingual education thing", if you want to call it that, by talking about things, including academic things.
In your situation, I would not do Miquon and your Russian program on the same day, but would alternate. Or alternatively, do not do a whole lesson in a day but stretch a lesson over several days, and then throw Miquon in on the same day. The same goes for composition: do it in one language one day, and in another the next.
I don't class independent reading as part of the school day. I do make sure that books are available in multiple languages. In the case of history and science, I make sure that books covering the exact same material are available in various languages. Sometimes they actually end up being the exact same book (encyclopedias translated from English into other languages), and sometimes they are different books. This helps ensure that the same vocabulary is developed in multiple languages.
Dialectica, I always love your posts. I think despite having very different world views in some things, there is something about being raised in the Soviet bloc that bonds people . I think it's amazing what you are doing with your kids and I wish I had a bit more of your laid back personality.
Right now for science and history I'm not doing a thing. Like you, we've got tons of audio and physical books in both languages on these subjects. So far Ladybug loves reading and listening to a variety of topics on her own during her "free time" so I'm not going to interfere. The exception is state history which we'll be doing fairly in depth with a textbook as a spine but with lots of field trips - that will be in English. I've been doing a lot more reading in content subjects so I'm hoping that I'll get to the point of discussing content as easily in Russian as in English (that multi-lingualism thread was a kick in the rear). In 5th grade (if I can get their language skills up to that point ) we'll use a standard Russian physics text I have. If I didn't have this text, which I find excellent, I'd just go with a straight living books approach even in the logic stage.
Now that I think about it, DH is so involved in their education that if I had the discipline to exclusively school in Russian they'd get enough in English simply from his discussions that there would be built in symmetry there. But, that's a big if on the discipline part, lol.
Mostly, I wanted to back up some things that Regentrude said. I think you can safely forget about English grammar. If you expose your child to plenty of correct English, she will automatically speak and write almost 100% correctly. There will be a few sticky spots, like lay/lie (because these are commonly confused now) and the tendency of children to say "Molly and me went to the store" or "She gave it to Molly and I", which you can fix easily without spending time on English grammar every day. She probably will only need English grammar when she is writing more sophisticated compositions in high school and you are trying to explain to her how to simplify overly complicated sentences. For that purpose, Latin grammar terminology (or for that matter, your Russian terminology) will work fine. It did for us. And Regentrude. English is not particularly easy to spell, so most 6yo's do not spell well. They haven't yet seen enough English words for their visual memory to help and they haven't yet learned the common spelling rules and their exceptions. You don't need to do a spelling program next year. You can work on spelling with her informally until she is older and has a longer school day. Many, many homeschoolers do this. Her Russian and Latin will give her the ability to spell phonetically, and you can help with the more difficult words by correcting a word or two every time she writes something for school in English and having her copy the word a few times. Keep working on a few words until she is spelling them correctly, ignoring the rest of the mistakes, then pick another few. When she is older, you can "fix" her spelling by having her work on this set of spelling rules: http://www.dyslexia....ing_rules.shtml. Or you can work through a spelling book when she is older and has time. Are you doing anything during your school day which involves writing in English? If not, you could add English dictation a few times a week. For a 7yo, you would start by having her copy a single short sentence correctly, erasing and fixing any errors that you find. When she can do that, you can start reading her a short sentence, perhaps one that involves one of the spelling rules on the list. If you stick to one short sentence, the process should take about fifteen minutes. There is no need to do it every day. You can make up silly sentences to make it more fun. Dictation is a super powerful tool that covers many skills very efficiently - punctuation, spelling, listening skills, handwriting, ...
Nan, thanks for your words of wisdom. And Renai, too. Y'all have convinced me. This does seem a lot easier than doubling up on the language arts. Copywork, narrations and dictations were a big part of my elementary education so those are fairly natural for me. I had planned on doing Spalding spelling with her next year, but maybe once she knows her phonograms well enough we'll just use a spelling journal. The only writing in English that she is doing now is copy work for handwriting.
DH is doing the Latin with her, so she'll actually have grammar terminology in Russian and English, I don't know why I didn't think of that before .
Your literature class is brilliant. I honestly expected to spend double the time on lit and composition, but what you did is so much simpler! She's been doing some informal narrations about what she reads to DH, I'm going to start formalizing them next year and start requiring some narrations in Russian as well.
I homeschooled my oldest bilingually from the beginning and agree with a lot that is said above. I did not do English grammar until around 4th grade. In fact, I didn't even concentrate on English reading until 3rd. We dabbled in English reading, but it was not my focus. We did everything reading and math in Spanish, science in both depending on resources available, and history with English spine and Spanish supps if available. She was diagnosed with dyslexia in 3rd (I suspected it from 1st), we started English spelling in 4th.
Renai - did you drop the bilingual homeschooling after your first? I'm fairly certain that I can do this with my first, because she is so easy and eager to please. But her little sister is the polar opposite and really resents the Russian. ETA: Never mind, I just realized your second is a toddler, I don't know how I missed that part.
lovelearnandlive - thanks for sharing your experience. DH has already started Latin with her, but your experience with Chinese will certainly help me when we add in Greek and French a few years down the road.
Okay, so how does this look for first grade:
Memory work and religion: 15 min/day x 5 days/week
Math: 30 min/day x 5 days/week (Russian math M-R, Miquon on F)
Russian: 40 min/day broken up into two sessions x 5 days per week (this will be all aspects of Russian language arts except for independent reading, so: handwriting, grammar, spelling, narrations, and reading out loud to me).
English: 15 min/ day x 2 days/week (I still want her to read aloud to me in English fairly regularly and copywork/handwriting)
Latin: 15 min/day x 3 days/week
Independent reading in Russian: 30 min/day (will cover science and history)
I'm not going to schedule any independent reading in English because she does plenty on her own - we have a mandatory 2 hrs of quiet time each day when she usually listens to audiobooks or reads). And of course, DH and I read aloud, but we'd do that anyway even is she as in school. Fridays she also does an art project via Home Art Studio and she does ballet and plays outside for PE - but I'm not counting those hours. That comes out to a little over 2 hours per day of focused academics for a 7 year old. Much better than what I had before.