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Those of you who speak another language but no one else in your house does, how do you do it? How do you teach your kids?

 

I'm so super frustrated right now. Ugh. I speak to my kids in German on a daily basis, but not all day (except for the baby). My DH doesn't speak it.

 

I'm using German curricula with the boys. We do it mostly everyday. Yet, they just do NOT move forward. For three years we've been going over the basic conversation when you meet someone. You know, "Hello, what is your name? How are you? How old are you?" and so forth. Both of them sit and stare at me with blank looks EVERY SINGLE TIME I ask then what their name is.

 

:banghead: I feel like I'm wasting my time. It's NOT that hard! My oldest will do an assignment correctly and then the next day act like he's never seen any of it before.

 

I wish I could send them to a boarding school in Germany for a year or so!

 

I need encouragement.

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Well, I'm not the bilingual expert that Cleo is, and hopefully she'll come along with some good advice soon, but for now just let me say you're doing the right thing to speak to them daily. Input, input, input. It's key.

 

I'm sure it's hard being the only one to speak to them. Do you go to German playgroups sometimes? Do your parents speak German to them? (I'm assuming you and they are German natives.) Cleo mentioned once that kids will speak a language if other kids are speaking it to them, or if they really have a need to speak that language to adults. I think she also said that if it's only one person who speaks the language, and the kids know she understands English, they'll likely refuse to speak the language.

 

I wouldn't be put off by the kids' not being very communicative. Since they don't see a practical need for German in their daily lives, they probably just don't think they need to say their names or ages or how they are. It would be great if you could go to Germany with them. With all the input they've gotten over the years, plus the need to speak, I bet they would take off. Ds5 just spoke a few words of French before he went to France in April, and now, after two months there, he will break into French after starting a sentence in English. It's amazing how much that immersion experience did for him.

 

You're doing the right thing. I know it takes patience and commitment, and it can be hard when you're all alone, but comfort yourself with the knowledge that you are doing the right thing. Your children will thank you someday. And I think many parents would love to have the knowledge you have. You are very lucky and you are passing your advantage on to your children! You should be proud!:)

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This is what made me decide to speak French all the time to my son. I was so frustrated. I stopped teaching and started refusing to speak anything else. I also was obviously so much more cooperative when they spoke to me in French that they tried when they wanted something. I remember that frustration. Sigh.

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I was so annoyed today that I refused to speak English the rest of the day. :glare:

 

I don't know anyone else around here that speaks German. My mom is German but not my dad. My mom does not speak German to the kids. I've asked her to, but two things happen. First, she always slips into English and second, her German is simply awful that I end up correcting her all the time. Her English grammar is so much better even though German is her mother tongue. She truely does not know how to speak German correctly. I'd rather not have to unteach improper language to my kids. I've heard that even if it's not perfectly spoken that it's still better than nothing. I agree to an extent.....my mother's speaking simply does not qualify. It's that bad. It's gutter German.

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:bigear: My husband is bilingual -- Arabic and English -- but both his parents spoke (and still speak) Arabic. Also, he lived for three years in Egypt, and lived with his cousin for six years after that, so there were opportunities to pick up even more Arabic vocabulary and syntax.

 

I keep urging him to teach our girls Arabic, but he says that since I don't speak it (at all), he doesn't know how to teach it. I have a friend who says that is hogwash -- she speaks German (native speaker), but her husband doesn't. And, while their children (6, 8, 10) don't speak much German, they do understand a lot of it! She gives them instructions in German, and they just get up and do whatever she says! Every now and then, I've heard them speak in German, when they know their mother is in "German-mode." ;) I really don't know how she's done it, other than just sticking with it.

 

This is a good question!

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I don't have much too add, except words of encouragement.

We managed bilingualism because we live in a bilingual community. I have it easy. Even then, the kids balked at English at first. They didn't want to do activities in English. But slowly, they got the language anyway :)

 

Because of my geographical situation, I never had the need to speak English with my kids. I have never addressed them in English, unless we're with other people who don't understand French (and where we are, that's rare!)

 

However, based on what I've seen in immigrant families, if you speak a language that no one else speaks, the kids don't see the value to it. Neighbours are trying to keep their family language (one of the Slovac languages), and it's really hard. It will only work if you can find some kid-based activities. Since I live in a city with a lot of immigrants, we have a lot of "Saturday school", be it Polish, Arabic, Italian, some days I think we have all languages available at our doorstep!

 

When languages are concerned, it's true that you need a village to raise a child. The child needs to feel the need to communicate in that language. Outsiders (to the family) will make a huge difference.

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I've taken a break from speaking German with my kids because my son developed a *terrible terrible horrible awful* stutter, BUT it was going really well until the stutter came.

 

Here are some things we did:

 

German play group - only once a month, but it SHOCKED them to see KIDS speaking German.

 

Multi-lingual club - where it is "cool" to speak a second language, even though my kids were the only ones speaking German!

 

Eating at a German restaurant. I called beforehand to make sure we could order in German and of COURSE they got to order dessert.

 

Glomming onto Germans wherever I could find them!

 

Showing pictures of Germany and saying, "Everyone there speaks German all the time." (Goofy, but shocking to them! When I moved to Germany the first time I was stunned to head toddlers speaking the language that had taken so much work to learn.)

 

My son has always had a speech delay, so I used a technique from speech with him: rephrasing what my children said into German.

 

As time went on (I started when my son was 4.5) I stopped translating everything I said and began only translating the "newer" vocab. In a sentence like, "Go get the toys and put them in the basement" I would only translate "basement" after a while.

 

It is fun to give "clues" in the target language like, "anyone who understands this can go to the kitchen and get a cookie from behind the plates". Good motivation to "get it!"

 

Good luck! We're planning to restart German in August; hopefully my son will be out of the "stutter-sensitive" phase by then.

 

Emily

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German play group - only once a month, but it SHOCKED them to see KIDS speaking German

 

 

My 12yo son was SHOCKED to hear Spanish when we were in the States. Wow! Spanish is a real language?? Funnily he has no problem learning Latin, but is not motivated for Spanish...

 

 

It is fun to give "clues" in the target language like, "anyone who understands this can go to the kitchen and get a cookie from behind the plates". Good motivation to "get it!"

 

 

 

LOL! That's the best one I've heard so far!

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I've taken a break from speaking German with my kids because my son developed a *terrible terrible horrible awful* stutter, BUT it was going really well until the stutter came.

 

Here are some things we did:

 

German play group - only once a month, but it SHOCKED them to see KIDS speaking German.

 

Multi-lingual club - where it is "cool" to speak a second language, even though my kids were the only ones speaking German!

 

Eating at a German restaurant. I called beforehand to make sure we could order in German and of COURSE they got to order dessert.

 

Glomming onto Germans wherever I could find them!

 

Showing pictures of Germany and saying, "Everyone there speaks German all the time." (Goofy, but shocking to them! When I moved to Germany the first time I was stunned to head toddlers speaking the language that had taken so much work to learn.)

 

My son has always had a speech delay, so I used a technique from speech with him: rephrasing what my children said into German.

 

As time went on (I started when my son was 4.5) I stopped translating everything I said and began only translating the "newer" vocab. In a sentence like, "Go get the toys and put them in the basement" I would only translate "basement" after a while.

 

It is fun to give "clues" in the target language like, "anyone who understands this can go to the kitchen and get a cookie from behind the plates". Good motivation to "get it!"

 

Good luck! We're planning to restart German in August; hopefully my son will be out of the "stutter-sensitive" phase by then.

 

Emily

 

How would I go about trying to find other German speaking families? I live in a pretty small rural town. There's plenty of Spanish but no German.

 

I like your idea of getting a prize for the first one to figure out what I'm saying. My middle ds resists more than the older. He throws a fit when I refuse to speak English to him.

 

They both want to go back to visit Germany. I've told them they need to speak it to do that. My older ds remembers Germany, but my middle ds was only one at that time.

 

I've thought of getting movies they like in German, and only letting them watch TV using the German movies. What do you think?

 

My aunt and grandmother are coming for a few weeks in September. I've told them I don't want them to try and speak English with the boys. German only, which shouldn't be too difficult as neither of them speak more than a few words English.

 

I really would love to take them to Germany for a few months! However, DH is not keen on the idea. He doesn't want to be separated from us for so long. Also, my uncle is being treat for active TB right now. So, I'd rather not stay there at this time!

 

When I was growing up I would spend the whole summer in Germany. I even remember going to a German school for a day with my mom's best friend's dd when we were both 12.

 

Ok, I need to find other German speaking families. Throw me some ideas on how to find them!

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How would I go about trying to find other German speaking families? I live in a pretty small rural town. There's plenty of Spanish but no German.

 

When my kids were little, I posted a flyer in local library for a German playgroup - I was surprised at how many people I found! I also "glommed onto Germans" as someone else said - I'd hear German being spoken and just brazenly introduce myself.

 

I also drove almost an hour to the big city to a large, organized German playgroup.

 

When my kids were school-age, I put them in Sat. School - I'm guessing you don't have one of those nearby? :tongue_smilie:

 

It helps soooo much to have them hear other kids speaking the language! Other adults are very good to... like Cleo said, somehow if it's just mom speaking it, it's not a "real" langauge, just some odd code you've made up to torture them.

 

They both want to go back to visit Germany. I've told them they need to speak it to do that. My older ds remembers Germany, but my middle ds was only one at that time.

 

This was the single best thing we did that turned the attitude around. It's amazing how much they picked up in 6 weeks, too!

 

I've thought of getting movies they like in German, and only letting them watch TV using the German movies. What do you think?

 

That's been standing policy at our house for years. Cartoons only come in German (or Spanish as well here). We have a large collection of movies in German now, including a huge Astrid Lindgren section. :-) My youngest is currently on a big Michel kick. You'll need a region-free DVD player, but they're not even that expensive anymore.

 

My aunt and grandmother are coming for a few weeks in September. I've told them I don't want them to try and speak English with the boys. German only, which shouldn't be too difficult as neither of them speak more than a few words English.

 

That will be great. Take advantage of this and have them bring you a large selection of DVDs, CDs and children's books! The Rolf Zukowski song CDs are great. Remind me how old your kids are; I'll make suggestions.

 

I really would love to take them to Germany for a few months! However, DH is not keen on the idea. He doesn't want to be separated from us for so long. Also, my uncle is being treat for active TB right now. So, I'd rather not stay there at this time!

 

When I was growing up I would spend the whole summer in Germany. I even remember going to a German school for a day with my mom's best friend's dd when we were both 12.

 

Do it!!! I brought the three girls to Germany for 6 weeks by myself when they were 8 and 6. Then one of my dds went again for 6 weeks last year, and went to school for 4 of them.

 

Good luck!!

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I have some of the Detlev Joecker (Menschenkinder) CDs and activity books. I like them a lot, find them singable, not too annoying.

 

Something I've found in foreign languages is that it is important to not let the desire for the perfect kill the good. It would be "best" to go to Germany for three months with kids who already speak German. However, it might be "good" to go for two weeks to "light the fire", if you know what I mean (and you can afford it).

 

I used to look at things based on "how much will they learn" and found many things to be too expensive. Then I realized that my kids have *all* the ability they need to learn the language; what I need to work on is the desire. Do they learn a lot by ordering dessert? Not really. Do they grow in desire? Definitely.

 

I might look into the Musikgarten materials (the german ones on the german websites).

 

I really like Erich Kaestner books. He has easy and harder ones. I find them fun. Your 9 yos would love Emil und die Detektive, of course! But there are also easier books (Der gestiefelte Kater).

 

Alles Gute,

Emily

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My boys are 9, 6, and 1. :)

 

I would love suggestions for movies, CDs, and books.

 

Well, anything Astrid Lindgen... I know they're translated from the Swedish, but they're still great in German. :tongue_smilie: There are the books, and almost everything is also available on DVD, and I've loved all the ones I've seen so far - really well done. Besides the obvious Pippi (& 4 movies - the ones from the 70s of course), our favorites are:

 

Ronia Räubertochter (& movie - preview movie, though)

Michel bringt die Welt in Ordnung (& TV series)

Wir Kinder aus Bullerbü (& movie)

 

The Felix books are great, and there is also an animated TV series and I think 3 movies.

 

Also for DVDs - Petersson und Findus and Benjamin Blümchen.

 

For the younger ones, Little Bear TV series is available dubbed in German on DVD - my kids never saw it in English!

 

And I already mentioned the Rolf Zukowski song CDs - they're all good. Liederkalendar and Vogelhochzeit were some of our favorites.

 

The beginning readers are also great, but expensive -all hardcover. There's a number of series, Leselöwen, Leserabe, Lesemaus - the latter includes the Conni books, which are quite nice.

 

Any other favorite US books/movies translated into German can sometimes work (for example, we've gotten a lot of mileage out of the Harry Potter books and movies in German) - they're often much more willing to read/watch if they already know the story. Actually, this is also true of Magic Tree House books - Magische Baumhaus has been a big hit here (or at least, less foot-dragging than other books!) I have to put in that I find Disney in German unwatchable - don't know why. :tongue_smilie:

 

I also got Gombrich's Little History of the World in the original German and am having my older two (12yo) outline it as party of history.

 

One thing I've done when we have relatives visiting or my mom goes over is I order a bunch from Amazon.de and ship it to relative's home so they don't have to worry about figure out what to order or pay for it - then they just bring it in their suitcase. Free shipping within Germany, too.

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  • 3 weeks later...
How would I go about trying to find other German speaking families? I live in a pretty small rural town. There's plenty of Spanish but no German.

 

I like your idea of getting a prize for the first one to figure out what I'm saying. My middle ds resists more than the older. He throws a fit when I refuse to speak English to him.

 

They both want to go back to visit Germany. I've told them they need to speak it to do that. My older ds remembers Germany, but my middle ds was only one at that time.

 

I've thought of getting movies they like in German, and only letting them watch TV using the German movies. What do you think?

 

My aunt and grandmother are coming for a few weeks in September. I've told them I don't want them to try and speak English with the boys. German only, which shouldn't be too difficult as neither of them speak more than a few words English.

 

I really would love to take them to Germany for a few months! However, DH is not keen on the idea. He doesn't want to be separated from us for so long. Also, my uncle is being treat for active TB right now. So, I'd rather not stay there at this time!

 

When I was growing up I would spend the whole summer in Germany. I even remember going to a German school for a day with my mom's best friend's dd when we were both 12.

 

Ok, I need to find other German speaking families. Throw me some ideas on how to find them!

 

We have "hacked" our dvd player so that it will play dvds from other regions. We have a pretty large cache of movies from our years in Germany. Our rule for a long time was first time in English and then repeats only in German. I'm also much more likely to watch a movie if they ask to watch in German (they get to watch a lot of Harry Potter and Star Wars this way).

 

There are some German movies in Netflix, but I can't think of many that I'd have the kids watch. Even some of the movies that were TV miniseries on German TV have scenes that I'd have to edit for the kids.

 

However, there is a lot available on the internet. I've found many shows in full or partial episodes through iTunes (start looking at Wissen Macht Ah and follow the suggestions). Loewenzahn is a kids show that is playable online. I have found segments from Die Sendung mit der Maus (both online and iTunes). Sesamstrasse can be harder to find, but I did just find at least one episode on the NDR site.

 

Ask your aunt and uncle to bring kids' books or tapes or magazines. We have lots that we picked up at German flea markets. Your kids won't really care that the box of Donald Duck comics or Playmobil adventures on tape weren't brand new.

 

Maybe part of the problem is that introductions seem boring. What else can you do to make German rewarding? We started with something we called Nachtischdeutsch. First they had to learn Nachtisch, bitte. Then we gradually made it more complicated with adding the name of what they wanted or usind moechte.

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I agree with the boring part. Can you just forget about the normal introductions/colours/numbers bit and read interesting books to them, let them watch interesting movies, and keep speaking as much German as possible to them? I don't think my son yet can do introductions, but he can have a conversation about other things. At least people have told me he can. Sigh.

-Nan

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My husband speaks no Spanish, and I am raising my two boys (6 and 3) to be bilingual. I very rarely speak English with them at all. My husband is very supportive of this. If we have guests, or there is a situation where it might seem rude, I will speak Eng with my boys, but otherwise, Spanish only.

 

If my son asks me a question or wants to tell me something in English, I tell him (in Span) to please ask/tell me again in Spanish.

 

So far so good! It's hard sometimes, but it's such a gift. Don't give up!

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My husband speaks no Spanish, and I am raising my two boys (6 and 3) to be bilingual. I very rarely speak English with them at all. My husband is very supportive of this. If we have guests, or there is a situation where it might seem rude, I will speak Eng with my boys, but otherwise, Spanish only.

 

If my son asks me a question or wants to tell me something in English, I tell him (in Span) to please ask/tell me again in Spanish.

 

So far so good! It's hard sometimes, but it's such a gift. Don't give up!

 

Just out of curiosity, and sorry for hijacking this thread: I assume you are homeschooling your kids--so do you do all of your homeschooling in SPanish?

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I'm using German curricula with the boys. We do it mostly everyday. Yet, they just do NOT move forward. For three years we've been going over the basic conversation when you meet someone. You know, "Hello, what is your name? How are you? How old are you?" and so forth. Both of them sit and stare at me with blank looks EVERY SINGLE TIME I ask then what their name is.

 

 

I am wondering what exactly you mean by German curricula--textbooks? I would think if you speak German to them at home, they don't really need that kind of thing. I would just try and use the language--exclusively, except when you homeschool in other subjects where you need English. But for all other everyday things, German only. ANd lots and lots of reading (reading aloud). TV/movies only in German, German audio books. At some point you could intrduce more formal study of German grammar, but I would always try to do that in the form of games as much as possible and if you feel like they are resisting too much, move on to something else. The point is to make German as enjoyable as possible rather than frustrating (for both you and the kids)! I think the main thing would be to be adamant about not speaking anything to them other than German, when you are not doing schoolwork.

 

 

 

I wish I could send them to a boarding school in Germany for a year or so!

 

Have they been to Germany at all? Do you have any relatives or friends there? Perhaps you could at least visit for some time, or maybe even let them stay with someone for a couple of months. Or you could consider a German au-pair, but that may not work for your situation.

 

Viel Glueck!!!

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I must agree with DM. If you make German the language of the home, then your children will learn to speak German. I also agree that songs, games and fun activities are the way to go with direct instruction.....avoid the tedium. That's one of the joys of being able to teach at home. Reading aloud helps a lot, music, movies......

I was writing to some one else, that since I'm the only real model for Spanish, I read aloud to my children often. This allows them to pick up on the rich language of stories and hear vocabulary and phrases that don't come up in every day conversation.

I don't remember how old your children are, but if they are still young, then putting on puppet shows can be a great teaching tool. I don't know why, but some kids are more willing to talk to a puppet in another language than they are to their mom!

Good luck!

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I was writing to some one else, that since I'm the only real model for Spanish, I read aloud to my children often. This allows them to pick up on the rich language of stories and hear vocabulary and phrases that don't come up in every day conversation.

 

Yes, excellent point, reading aloud is probably the single best language acquisition factor there is. It's amazing how much children pick up from reading to them. I'm always amazed at the things my 3 year old "quotes" to me even after just one or two readings--and he soon tries to use those words and sentences in his own situations (not always applying them quite correctly, but that's part of hte learning process). If you don't own that many German books, what I have often done is translate English stories "on the go", as I read, but of course that doesn't work when the stories get too long and complicated (in that case I just kind of summarize the story or tell the story based on teh pictures).

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If you use your computer, you can play Region 2 DVDs by using software that overrides the region code. The most popular is called VLC. It is freeware that is available for both PC and Mac. If you search on VLC, you could quickly find the website. The first time you play a DVD, it may take a while for the computer to break the code (don't give up too soon), but the computer will remember the next time it plays that disc and quickly load it.

 

We buy lots of DVDs and CDs from Amazon.de. Get on their e-mail lists so that you are notified about sales. I recently bought a several things that had been remaindered. My daughter loves "Die Pfefferkoerner," and I will probably buy more episodes of this TV series.

 

Keep in mind that Amazon.de does not charge value added tax on books, CDs, and DVDs that are exported to the U.S., and there is a flat 14 Euro delivery fee, regardless of how much you order. So when you order about 100 Euro, the delivery fee is paid for by your tax savings. So there is no recent to wait for a trip to Germany to buy things.

 

On our trips to Germany, I buy lots of CDs from the remaindered bins in the bookstores and department stores (Karstadt is great). If it is cheap, I buy it. We have had several good hits this way, including the Playmo stories and Nick Nase (a translation of an English early reader book, Nate the Great). Because we spend lots of time driving, we turn car time into German story/song time with CDs. Perhaps your relatives can ship you things. To save postage, have them send the disks in a paper envelope instead of the plastic case.

 

I will try to post some of our CD and DVD titles in the near future.

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Keep in mind that Amazon.de does not charge value added tax on books, CDs, and DVDs that are exported to the U.S., and there is a flat 14 Euro delivery fee, regardless of how much you order. So when you order about 100 Euro, the delivery fee is paid for by your tax savings. So there is no recent to wait for a trip to Germany to buy things.

 

 

 

I had no idea that shipping is a flat rate regardless of amount!! That's awesome! I always have my mom bring an extra suitcase full of stuff, but since she has to pay for that it's probably not really worth it. I think she pays like 24 Euro or more per extra suitcase. Danke fuer den guten TIpp!!

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I am new here , just signed up today. I am homeschooling my 11 y/o son and 13 y/o daughter. We are bilingual, too (but have it a bit easier since DH speaks German as well). I speak only German to the kids and taught them to read simultaneously to when they learned to read English. However, we do almost no formal German schoolwork.

We have no German speaking friends here, but the kids hear me talk, we have lots and lots of audiobooks and a few movies. They are fluent, but did have phases when they would refuse to talk in German, especially around age 6 or so. Also, mostly when I address them in German, they reply in English- but they understand everything. It is frustrating at times, but persistence helps their passive vocabulary. If the have to (like with grandparents), they speak German.

 

I did not start teaching spelling till 4th grade (son) and 6th grade (Daughter) when we prepared to spend a semester in Germany where the kids had to attend school. They did surprisingly well there.

 

Could it be that your kids are bored with the curriculum you are using? Are you doing things in German that are FUN? I would think that they are able to understand you since you are talking to them on a daily basis, so they CAN speak - just don't want to say the answers to your questions. I would suggest you simply keep talking in German and German ONLY- it has been shown that this is the best way for a child to acquire the language.

Good luck - it is doable. My kids are accent free; DD writes fairly well, DS makes the occasional grammar mistake. You just need to be patient and persistent.

Can you try to go to germany occasionally? Those visits always give a huge boost to my kids' speaking abilities.

Agnes.

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Can you try to go to germany occasionally? Those visits always give a huge boost to my kids' speaking abilities.

Agnes.

 

 

Sure. When we don't have to buy a new car, the roof doesn't need to be fixed, our home insurance doesn't double in one year, etc etc.

 

Something *always* happens that makes money too tight to go to Germany.

 

Thanks for the encouragement. I get frustrated even more because DH doesn't speak it and makes no effort to. It's like he's working against me. :glare: I know that he doesn't even try because he feels incompetent when trying to speak German. I guess he doesn't want to look dumb in front of the kids.

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Sure. When we don't have to buy a new car, the roof doesn't need to be fixed, our home insurance doesn't double in one year, etc etc.

 

Something *always* happens that makes money too tight to go to Germany.

 

Thanks for the encouragement. I get frustrated even more because DH doesn't speak it and makes no effort to. It's like he's working against me. :glare: I know that he doesn't even try because he feels incompetent when trying to speak German. I guess he doesn't want to look dumb in front of the kids.

 

I understand. I am the only Spanish model for our children. My dh can follow the gist of conversations in Spanish but not well enough that we can converse in Spanish without him feeling somewhat out of the action. Our home finances right now are tight so no extras, travelling to Spain to visit family as I would wish to do is out of the question for the time being. Our children do understand Spanish very well and can speak it too but they don't do so often. I speak Spanish with them as much as I can when we are on our own. They go to public school so they are immersed in English there, during homework time, and when my dh is home. I read to them in Spanish as much as possible, and that really helps. This summer we are listening to audio stories during lunch time, watching children's shows in Spanish, dedicating extra reading time to Spanish etc and I can see some improvement in how often my children are initiating conversations and responding in Spanish.

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Funny, I actually don't want my husband to speak Spanish with the children. I worry that he may be a poor model, because he makes lots of errors and has poor pronunciation. Instead, I encourage him to be the English model, and I speak only in Spanish to my boys. What I would love is to go abroad as a family to a Spanish speaking country, but that seems unlikely.

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In my dreams my dh would be the English model but I would be able to adress him and the children in Spanish so that both English and Spanish were our family languages, even though my dh would respond in English. In real life, English is our family language and Spanish is my language that I happen to share with/inflict upon our children, lol!

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I know that he doesn't even try because he feels incompetent when trying to speak German. I guess he doesn't want to look dumb in front of the kids.

 

You do not NEED your DH to speak German at home - one parent speaking the language should be quite enough to get the kids fluent. (Also, I guess since you homeschool, you probably spend more time with the kids than dad anyway?)

My friends' kids are trilingual: they live in the US, mom is German, dad is Italian. Mom speaks German with the kids, dad speaks Italian, the kids can speak and read all three languages without problem.

 

Don't give up.

Agnes

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I guess I shouldn't get frustrated.

 

For example I only speak German to the baby. He's just now speaking a few words. The other day he pointed to a bird and said, "Bir." That made me want to throw my hands up and scream. It seems I'm saying vogel all day long and yet he says bird. :glare:

 

We have a dog and I've always always said hund when speaking to him. Yet, he says "da" for dog and does not say hund.

 

Makes me feel like I'm wasting my time. Yet, I remind myself (daily!) that he understands me. If I ask him,"Wo ist der Hund?" he will point to the dog. I'm holding on to that so I don't give up.

 

I gave up with my older two and it's my deepest regret because now I'm trying to play catch up with them. If I hadn't given up I'd have two other German speakers in the house right now to speak to the baby.

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Hang in there, Kleine Hexe. You're doing a great job and giving a valuable gift to all your children.

 

Understanding is key. It is the foundation. You are in a great place with the baby; hang on to that. :)

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KH, it's so hard. I stopped speaking only German to my twins a few years back, just before my last baby was born because I was so tired. Some days I feel bad for giving up, but we still do some German and I know that I can only do what I can do, KWIM?

 

:grouphug:

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