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Gil
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Does anyone do two foreign languages long term? We are thinking about adding a 2nd foreign language next year in 6th grade, with the idea being that they'd continue it until graduation. We're having trouble deciding on which language to learn--but The Boys are really pushing talk about doing a 3rd language.

We dabbled in Spanish during the toddler days, but started and have been fairly consistent and systematic with it since 1st grade.

This year we're hoping to solidify some things and just build their Spanish outward for a while and use it for communication and entertainment as much as possible.

What is the time commitment like to do 2 languages well long term?

Edited by Gil
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Well, for us, we have 3 going on. However, it's more like one tends to dominte at any given time (either Latin or French). We swap those out depending on what we have going on. We always give Chinese some degree effort to keep it running along most of the time and active. I'm looking at increasing Chinese effort though it's a band width issue since we have a lot of other stuff going on right now. 
 

It is something I do think about as we plug along how to make this actually work once we start thinking about high school credits so I have already resolved that unless my son expresses a strong desire to pursue a Latin studies, I am okay with bowing out of Latin after middle school. On our current pace, he will complete Latin Alive within his middle school years. We are committed to keeping Chinese for heritage reasons. French is easy enough for me to teach him with right now because it's what I learned back in the day. Though I think Spanish might be useful given we are in CA.

Edited by calbear
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What language are you thinking of adding?

We haven't decided on a language. They are interested in Japanese because they like Anime and think that they might like to live/work in Japanese Animation when grown, but that's more of a "wouldn't it be cool if" scenario.

 

We've also floated ideas of Hindi, German, Arabic or Russian.

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On 2/3/2018 at 11:13 PM, calbear said:

Well, for us, we have 3 going on. However, it's more like one tends to dominte at any given time (either Latin or French). We swap those out depending on what we have going on. We always give Chinese some degree effort to keep it running along most of the time and active. I'm looking at increasing Chinese effort though it's a band width issue since we have a lot of other stuff going on right now.

How do you schedule and balance the schedule so that one language does not get short changed in the long-term?

How do you get a wide range of resources in your languages and how do you organize them so that they are accessible?

If this year goes well, we may be able to do a content subject in Spanish moving forward, which allows us to get double-duty out of that time block.

For us, language and math are both subjects that we like to give constant attention and effort too. Daily is ideal, but every other day is the most I'm willing to space them out--especially for a budding language. For the first year or two, I really like to do some of the newest language every day, even if it's just several minutes of review.

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My local private german k-12th school has this listing just to give you an idea, too bad I can’t find their timetable for middle school. The subjects they do in German, you could do in Spanish. They start the 2nd foreign language in 6th grade.

 

“German, Language and Literature (Grades 5–12)

English, Language and Literature (Grades 5–12)

Math (Grades 5–12) – German

2nd foreign language French or Spanish (Grades 6–12)

3rd foreign language French or Spanish (optional Grades 10–12)

Biology (Grades 5–12) – bilingual, German and English

Chemistry (Grades 7–12) – bilingual, German and English

Physics (Grades 6–12) – German

Erdkunde/Geography (Grades 5–9) – bilingual, German and English

Geschichte/History (Grades 5–10) – bilingual, German and English

Geschichte/History (Grades 11 & 12) – German

American History/Social Science (Grades 7–12) – English

Economics (Grades 9–12) – English

Ethics (Grades 5–9) – German

Arts (Grades 5–12) – German

Music (Grades 5–9) – German

PE (Grades 5–12) – German

IT (Grade 5) – Germanâ€

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On 2/3/2018 at 11:47 PM, Arcadia said:

My local private german k-12th school has this listing just to give you an idea, too bad I can’t find their timetable for middle school. The subjects they do in German, you could do in Spanish. They start the 2nd foreign language in 6th grade.

What a cool list! Thanks.

I've been kinda nudging them towards being able to learn via Spanish, but I don't know if they really could. Personally I feel that I can't truly learn something new in Spanish.

For the last couple of years I have been having them learn to speak on math in Spanish, so that they can discuss and demonstrate various bits of mathematics bilingually. I've had them work some Spanish language arithmetic based word problems, but it was more for language exposure than math, because I wanted them to be able to discuss mathematics via Spanish.

For the several months or so, they've been learning to discuss and express their hobbies in Spanish, so they read and watch videos related to their interests but in Spanish.

And finally starting this summer year we're trying our hand at Spanish language unit studies in content areas this year and will see how they retain, but I'm worried that they might not be able to take multiple subjects in Spanish and really learn/retain the info.

We will have to see, but I don't feel like they are good enough yet to study/learn multiple subjects in Spanish without an immersion environment or fluent teachers for these subjects, you know?

That's where I wonder how other HS families develop that sort of ability in the secondary languages.

I guess once we are HSing again, we'll have the time it takes to make that jump up in ability.

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Gil, I hesitate to make suggestions because when you do something you have thought it all the way through and you do it RIGHT.

 

Doing a content subject in one of the languages is great if you can pull it off. Nan in Mass taught her ds high school history using a French middle school text.

 

Mine are in 7th. We started the year with Spanish, German and Latin. We finished the Latin in the fall and let it go. The time demand of three daily languages was causing problems with other subjects and free time. Two languages is more manageable, but I think of Spanish as our "main" language and German as the second language. So Spanish gets priority, at least an hour a day, and usually a block of time on the weekend. We did Spanish at home somewhat casually from K to 5, then they needed a more knowledgeable teacher. So, Spanish is outsourced for us which keeps us focused on completing the assigned tasks on schedule. Occasionally I assign additionally reading related to science or history during the science or history part of our day. It has been tricky to find those resources IN Spanish and at an appropriate level.

 

We started German 2 years ago by request. That has been a steady daily dose between ½ hour and an hour. It is not a fast pace! However, I think they would be able to study it as their high school language without any issues if they want to switch.

 

Studying multiple languages has been surprisingly interesting and easier than I imagined. As my older two approach high school, however, I'm feeling pressure to reign in the time spent on foreign language. At this point neither has shown much independent passion in languages.

 

Edited to follow

Edited by SusanC
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Gil, I hesitate to make suggestions because when you do something you have thought it all the way through and you do it RIGHT.

Aaw, :blush: thanks. I try, but don't always succeed. Trust me, we've had some DOOZIES. However, The Boys  have asked that I refrain from sharing so many things about them so I can't cite many explicit examples, however, rest assured I don't always get it right.

 

But please do make suggestions, as that is what I currently need. We are in the process of thinking it through and out side thoughts and suggestions are very valuable to us for this project. We need "reality checks" and insiders scoop. If we started a new language, it'd be with the intention of becoming conversant ~ fluent.

Doing a content subject in one of the languages is great if you can pull it off. Nan in Mass taught her ds high school history using a French middle school text.

....Occasionally I assign additionally reading related to science or history during the science or history part of our day. It has been tricky to find those resources IN Spanish and at an appropriate level.

See, this has been a problem for us too and I can only imagine it being as bad or worse with the third language. We have had good luck using public school scraps (when we can find them) and the library, All of the home school Spanish stuff that I've found has been unusable.

We started German 2 years ago by request. That has been a steady daily dose between ½ hour and an hour. It is not a fast pace! However, I think they would be able to study it as their high school language without any issues if they want to switch.

What do you use for introductory German? We don't need a fast pace, we need a sustainable pace through a course that teaches functional language.

Studying multiple languages has been surprisingly interesting and easier than I imagined. As my older two approach high school, however, I'm feeling pressure to reign in the time spent on foreign language. At this point neither has shown much independent passion in languages.

That's good to hear at least. Mine aren't really passionate about languages either--I chose Spanish for practical reasons and 'required' it of them the first couple of years, but we never slogged through materials without any pay off.

 

I think that getting some genuine use out of the language via media immersion and interactions in the real world is a positive enough experience to help them be "neutral" about it on the worst days rather than just "hate it."

 

Thought you have me curious about why you feel that you need to reign in the time spent on foreign language. Care to explain? We're only a year or two behind you (5th) and were planning to add in the language in 6th grade.

 

What percent of your day/week do you think currently goes to Forieng language? I'm thinking that I'd like to keep secondary languages around 40-45% of their academic workload, but I'm still formulating these things and am not yet committed to any particular thing. 

 

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On 2/4/2018 at 9:52 AM, SusanC said:

Occasionally I assign additionally reading related to science or history during the science or history part of our day. It has been tricky to find those resources IN Spanish and at an appropriate level.

Oh, and don't be afraid to use the internet or do unconventional things.

Mostly the boys do their recreational media in Spanish but for nonfiction we read articles from Vikidia en espanol a lot. We also use Wikipedia in Spanish, and for media usually tv shows/ video games we use the Spanish version of Wikia,

Yours are older so maybe you can just show your kids how to use the word processor to copy-paste Spanish language articles that are interesting to them then change the formatting--bigger font, 1.5x or 2x spacing between lines, then print them out in BW to read and re-read them.

We use Wikia to get more out of our recreational entertainment. I know that it sounds crazy, but if it's something yours would go for, then give it a trial run for a couple of things and see how it works.

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Eldest loves foreign language (and insists that math is one), but I have average kids, so learning takes time for us (them).

 

I started her with Latin and she worked through Latin 2 level. She started Spanish around 4th grade as a 30 minutes three times per week thing. She's a junior in Spanish 4 (outsourced since 8th grade as I say everything Zspanish with a French pronunciation). Latin 2 corresponded to nineth and part of tenth grade because she ran into a wall and didn't want to take an online class, so she limped through and then we dropped it. She added German this year - outsourced - because I know no German.

 

It is really hard to consistently fit in learning of two foreign languages every day. This is especially true in high school because that second language becomes a long term set of electives - severely cutting down on taking other interest classes as electives. For us, there are only so many hours in the day and history, math, science, and English lit./writing must also be done.

 

In fact, she only had time for German this year because I let her have a year off science.

 

She wants to take up a third language (Russian, Arabic?), but I don't know if she will have time next year or even in college. The time commitment to do it right is large, but obviously doable. We are inky now approaching the possibility of studying another subject in Spanish and I agree that could save time.

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Gil, I hesitate to make suggestions because when you do something you have thought it all the way through and you do it RIGHT.

Aaw, :blush: thanks. I try, but don't always succeed. Trust me, we've had some DOOZIES. However, The Boys  have asked that I refrain from sharing so many things about them so I can't cite many explicit examples, however, rest assured I don't always get it right.

 

But please do make suggestions, as that is what I currently need. We are in the process of thinking it through and out side thoughts and suggestions are very valuable to us for this project. We need "reality checks" and insiders scoop. If we started a new language, it'd be with the intention of becoming conversant ~ fluent.

Doing a content subject in one of the languages is great if you can pull it off. Nan in Mass taught her ds high school history using a French middle school text.

....Occasionally I assign additionally reading related to science or history during the science or history part of our day. It has been tricky to find those resources IN Spanish and at an appropriate level.

See, this has been a problem for us too and I can only imagine it being as bad or worse with the third language. We have had good luck using public school scraps (when we can find them) and the library, All of the home school Spanish stuff that I've found has been unusable.

We started German 2 years ago by request. That has been a steady daily dose between ½ hour and an hour. It is not a fast pace! However, I think they would be able to study it as their high school language without any issues if they want to switch.

What do you use for introductory German? We don't need a fast pace, we need a sustainable pace through a course that teaches functional language.

Studying multiple languages has been surprisingly interesting and easier than I imagined. As my older two approach high school, however, I'm feeling pressure to reign in the time spent on foreign language. At this point neither has shown much independent passion in languages.

That's good to hear at least. Mine aren't really passionate about languages either--I chose Spanish for practical reasons and 'required' it of them the first couple of years, but we never slogged through materials without any pay off.

 

I think that getting some genuine use out of the language via media immersion and interactions in the real world is a positive enough experience to help them be "neutral" about it on the worst days rather than just "hate it."

 

Thought you have me curious about why you feel that you need to reign in the time spent on foreign language. Care to explain? We're only a year or two behind you (5th) and were planning to add in the language in 6th grade.

 

What percent of your day/week do you think currently goes to Forieng language? I'm thinking that I'd like to keep secondary languages around 40-45% of their academic workload, but I'm still formulating these things and am not yet committed to any particular thing. 

 

 

I couldn't find any satisfactory Spanish-language resources that matched the level they were at when they were ready to use them. I used high school and college texts to remind me of scope and sequence but the library and the internet for day-to-day use. For assigning additional reading I've been able to find books in Spanish covering the history of Mexico or Spain or simple science encyclopedias. Some from the library, some from Amazon, and the occasional book sale find. I agree that finding these resources in another language will be harder. I'm happy to give specific titles if you are interested.

 

For German we have a tutor come who uses Planetino. She occasionally leaves us some work to do, but never a week's worth. I supplement with Anki (electronic flashcards) and the pronunciation videos and word lists from the Fluent Forever website. We watch YouTube videos occasionally, kids' stuff like people reading beginner books out loud or cartoons. Two days a week we work on lessons from the Essential German website. This works in part because the lessons often precede or closely follow work we've done with the tutor.  Unlike Spanish, since I don't speak any German I really need a lot of hand holding.

 

Thought you have me curious about why you feel that you need to reign in the time spent on foreign language. Care to explain?

 

With three languages we were spending at least two hours a day on foreign language. That was just taking up a lot of our working time. Fitting in everything else was getting tricky. It made me wish we had started earlier with additional languages, but I had always assumed we would focus more on math and science in a homeschool that I was in charge of and hadn't given much thought to languages.

I penciled out an initial pass at time allowances for next year:

Math 1.5 hrs/day

Science 1.25 hrs/day

English 1.25 hrs/day

History 1 hr/day

Foreign Language(s?) 1.5 hrs/day

Elective .5 hrs/day

Total : 7 hrs/day

With extra curriculars and downtime we are out of waking hours.  I (clearly) tried to pad those numbers to counter my penchant for overscheduling and to allow for transition time and other odds and ends, but I feel like 8th grade will be too close to high school to let foreign language take up more of the day.  It is another reason I wish we had started an additional language earlier!  In your position (6th grade) 40-45% sounds cool! Maybe cut back on science and history for a year or two to really set a firm foundation.

 

Currently we spend about 8 hours a week on Spanish and German. Mostly Spanish. We probably do school for 35 hours out of the week. (I assume you can fill in the caveats on all the numbers in my post)

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Studying multiple languages has been surprisingly interesting and easier than I imagined. As my older two approach high school, however, I'm feeling pressure to reign in the time spent on foreign language. At this point neither has shown much independent passion in languages.

Chinese is our heritage language so we aren’t actually doing it as a high school elective. If they pass the SAT Chinese subject test, that’s a bonus. They have a tutor to keep them on task for reading and writing while conversation practice is easy as both my husband and I can switch to Chinese only except when explaining math and science.

 

German is my husband and my 3rd language but we aren’t proficient enough to teach so kids go to german class weekly. Load is as high as we want it to be because there is an advanced track and normal track, our kids are at the normal track so the workload isn’t much. I do see workload going up next year for DS13 as he would be in 9th grade and their german school would prepare high school students to eventually take the SAT subject test, AP and DSM if they want to.

 

Time hog for DS13 (8th grade) has been the sciences. Labs and lab reports takes up time and they need a block of time while other academic work can be broken up into smaller chunks of time. DS13 wants to knock of the minimum two lab science requirements with physics and chemistry which he would be able to if he does well on the AP exams in May. Then he could do astronomy and some other science to make up 3 to 4 years of science.

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Okay, so lets see. Just brain dumping here.

We'll be continuing media immersion in Spanish. This is not a part of academics/school. Almost all the "fun" stuff that they like to do at home is available in Spanish only, so they do this stuff in Spanish. We also try and do as much ML@H as possible, and this is also not a part of academics/school.

For middle school we wanted to do Gil-directed school 4hrs a day, 6 days a week and have a 1hr review block on Saturday. So that gives us 24 hours a week to work with. They do have an external Spanish activity each week, but we will be dropping it this summer or next year, as the returns diminish or our needs change.

For 6th we're planning to focus on content do natural sciences, social sciences and IT skills. We'll continue our weekly presentations. Haven't figured out the specifics of those 3 subjects (that's a whole other thread) but if we can do 45 minutes of Natural and Social sciences in Spanish each day, that should get us there...

But it leaves no time for a 3rd language. We would need to add a separate block for that 3rd language.

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I’m just following along here. My daughter is 7 years old, and we’re looking at a language-heavy homeschool because it is her interest and strength. We started with Spanish at age 4, and focused pretty heavily on it for the three years. A year ago, during an immersion trip, she was able to comfortably play with kids in the park, converse with the local kid in our homestay, and participate in a local gymnastics class, so I consider *my* goal of basic conversational fluency to be met. She definitely does not talk like it’s her native language and would likely struggle in content subjects. It took a lot of outsourcing to get to the point she is at, though, because she learned in about 1/3 the time it was taking me and I couldn’t stay ahead of her.

 

This year, we cut the Spanish to one half hour session per week for maintenance and started French as the primary foreign language. DH is fluent in French, so he’s teaching this. The goal is, again, conversational fluency in three years. Immersion travel is much less of an option because of the higher cost of travel to French-speaking areas of the world coupled with a move to a much more expensive part of the country. Media isn’t much of an option because it doesn’t hold DD’s attention (she doesn’t choose to watch tv or play video games in any language the vast majority of days, and it would be extremely painful for everyone if we tried to switch her pleasure reading to the target language).

 

If we meet that goal, she wants to take on another language starting at age 10, while maintaining Spanish and French. She wants Arabic or Mandarin, and I’m not sure how we’re going to manage those. Neither DH nor I have much (any?) interest in learning them, and outsourcing is expensive.

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On 2/4/2018 at 2:01 PM, Jackie said:

I’m just following along here. My daughter is 7 years old, and we’re looking at a language-heavy homeschool because it is her interest and strength.

 

....A year ago, during an immersion trip, she was able to comfortably play with kids in the park, converse with the local kid in our homestay, and participate in a local gymnastics class, so I consider *my* goal of basic conversational fluency to be met....

 

This year, we cut the Spanish to one half hour session per week for maintenance and started French as the primary foreign language. DH is fluent in French, so he’s teaching this....

Wait...are you genuinely hoping to maintain conversational fluency in Spanish (attained from years of study and practice) with just 30 minutes a week for maintenance? What are you guys doing during that 30 minutes a week?

Edited by Gil
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I agree that finding these resources in another language will be harder. I'm happy to give specific titles if you are interested.

I'm interested.

 

For German we have a tutor come who uses Planetino.Can you tell me more about Planetino? I read that it requires a fluent teacher (Which we won't have)

 

With three languages we were spending at least two hours a day on foreign language. ...I penciled out an initial pass at time allowances for next year:

Math 1.5 hrs/day

Science 1.25 hrs/day

English 1.25 hrs/day

History 1 hr/day

Foreign Language(s?) 1.5 hrs/day

Elective .5 hrs/day

Total : 7 hrs/day

 

Yes, so I'm roughing out some mock-schedules and I definitely need to be realistic about what sort of time we want to spend and what sort of outcomes we want to get out of our studies. What I'm NOT willing to do is forfeit Spanish. We would need resources and a genuine plan for this 3rd language to get off the ground.

 

....In your position (6th grade) 40-45% sounds cool! Maybe cut back on science and history for a year or two to really set a firm foundation.

 

Currently we spend about 8 hours a week on Spanish and German. Mostly Spanish. We probably do school for 35 hours out of the week. (I assume you can fill in the caveats on all the numbers in my post) Our ideal situation is 24 hrs a week of academics with 10 of them in Spanish.

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I agree that finding these resources in another language will be harder. I'm happy to give specific titles if you are interested.

I'm interested.

 

For German we have a tutor come who uses Planetino.Can you tell me more about Planetino? I read that it requires a fluent teacher (Which we won't have)

 

With three languages we were spending at least two hours a day on foreign language. ...I penciled out an initial pass at time allowances for next year:

Math 1.5 hrs/day

Science 1.25 hrs/day

English 1.25 hrs/day

History 1 hr/day

Foreign Language(s?) 1.5 hrs/day

Elective .5 hrs/day

Total : 7 hrs/day

 

Yes, so I'm roughing out some mock-schedules and I definitely need to be realistic about what sort of time we want to spend and what sort of outcomes we want to get out of our studies. What I'm NOT willing to do is forfeit Spanish. We would need resources and a genuine plan for this 3rd language to get off the ground.

 

....In your position (6th grade) 40-45% sounds cool! Maybe cut back on science and history for a year or two to really set a firm foundation.

 

Currently we spend about 8 hours a week on Spanish and German. Mostly Spanish. We probably do school for 35 hours out of the week. (I assume you can fill in the caveats on all the numbers in my post) Our ideal situation is 24 hrs a week of academics with 10 of them in Spanish.

 

 

Planetino - Good fit for us but only because it is facilitated by our tutor who is fluent. I'm learning alongside my 7th graders and my 3rd grader. It can be repetitive, and some of the activities are too easy for the older dc but that is good for my younger.The fact that we do outside study with the website I linked earlier helps keep us moving smoothly.

 

Spanish titles - I hope your expectations are not wildly high, and please share any gems you come across as you go.  Finding specific titles has been more successful than any general search I have ever tried.

 

History: Historia De Mexico, Grandes Personajes de Mexico , both by Fernando Orozco. They are both books with topical chapters, very wordy, minimal pictures. I assign reading occasionally when they coincide with world history.

Arma La Historia, Secundaria is a state publication from Mexico which is probably the most accessible, but I've used it the least because I sometimes can't juggle all the resources well, especially for a subject (History) that I just want to be open and go. Anyway, looks like this might be available as a free .pdf I also have Viaje Por La Historia de Mexico from the same series. It is entirely very short (2-3 paragraphs) bios of important people in different epochs of Mexican history.

Historia de Espana by Ricardo de la Cierva is large and intimidating, but I can assign short passages.

Julio Cesar y la guerra de las Galias by Anne Marie Zarka. This book was perfect.  We read a chapter at a time and did the reading comprehension questions out loud. I need this to come in a boxed set.

 

Science: Nothing too exciting, but we have done a bit from Ciencias de Glencoe Nivel Azul. Looks like Glencoe has a selection of Spanish text books.  Many of the things I don't like about text books feel like an asset when I am trying to use them in Spanish - bright graphics, choppy text, worked problems.

I also have a translated Janice Cleave science book (Ensena la Ciencia de Forma Divertida.)

 

General reinforcement:

El espanol con juegos y actividades (three levels) These are reviews of basic vocabulary with short exercises and a brief grammar review. Eli is the publisher.

 

More Fun:

If we have time this summer, I want to read La Ciudad de las Bestias by Isabel Allende.

We used to read Frog and Toad, Geronimo Stilton and the Time Warp Trio books in Spanish from the library. Not great literature, but the vocabulary boost was helpful.

Oh! and Asterix and Obelisk books are available in Spanish. Those were very popular here.

 

Retroactively I have realized that for us, spending a year (or more if it doesn't cost me anything) easing into basic vocabulary and rudimentary grammar has let us keep language learning enjoyable. Our best experiences have come from easing into the basics on our own and then increasing the difficulty with outside providers. At first I felt guilty saying we were studying a language when one day a week that meant watching a kid-oriented language learning video, another day reading a board book and a third day studying a two page spread from a picture dictionary. But with regular, daily practice our fluency level has increased despite a dearth of opportunities for regular immersion.

 

 

Edited by SusanC
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I'll look into those Glencoe texts. I found a Spanish book to help prep Spanish speakers for the citizenship exam, I'm thinking that might be a good spine to use to build out a social studies text on, you know? But I've never seen the book so I could be off by a mile. Kind of uncertain how to handle a content subject en espanol.

I am not sure if I should do a little of both in Spanish, or if I should do one in Spanish and one in English, you know? If e-books work for you and your kids, there are several subjects and several grade levels of a Mexican school curriculum--lenguaje, matematicas, sciencias, historia de mexico, arte, etc--available as PDFS online.

At GEAR we can't really use e-books and printing them is cumbersome so we don't really get much use out of them, so I'm about ready to invest the $$$ and get a hardcopy textbook--not sure if I'll wind up paying to print the Mexican series or if I'd just purchase PS textbooks...

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Wait...are you genuinely hoping to maintain conversational fluency in Spanish (attained from years of study and practice) with just 30 minutes a week for maintenance? What are you guys doing during that 30 minutes a week?

We can be flexible with this as needed or as she wants; the goal of fluency in multiple languages is her goal. She does online tutoring sessions from Homeschool Spanish Academy once per week. At this point, she’s been at the once-a-week level for the last 6-7 months; her rate of gaining skills has slowed to a crawl but she hasn’t lost any ground. She does have quite the knack for languages; I lose quickly if I don’t use my Spanish, but she doesn’t seem to.

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So, question for you SusanC, do you notice any difference between how your kids learn/retain content material in Spanish vs English?

 

I find that my kids need many more repetitions in Spanish than they do English as they have to sort of sift through the language and let things settle. If I give them instructions in Spanish, they'll understand them, but are more likely to forget than in English...

 

So IF we do a subject in Spanish, it's going to be at quarter speed and we'll have to do all the extras like interactive booking and who knows what else to make sure that they are learning all the material, yeah?

 

Science: Nothing too exciting, but we have done a bit from Ciencias de Glencoe Nivel Azul. Looks like Glencoe has a selection of Spanish text books.  Many of the things I don't like about text books feel like an asset when I am trying to use them in Spanish - bright graphics, choppy text, worked problems.

I also have a translated Janice Cleave science book (Ensena la Ciencia de Forma Divertida.)

 

So, I did a bit of digging and it seems that Ciencias de Glencoe is an integrated science series for 6th-8th grade.

I think the series is Red(6th) - Blue(7th) - Green (8th), but I'm not sure. Is there any indication in the text itself what the sequence is supposed to be?

 

I found the used copies Nivel Rojo y Nivel Azul used online...they're kinda expensive but...maybe I should purchase them?

 

I have NOT done this yet..but I came accross some Spanish language test prep books for GED and Citizenship? I think that they'd be too boring to use as a primary text, but I'm playing with the idea of getting some of those test prep books to sort of guide our studies in the content areas for social and natural sciences. Maybe...

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So, we've started thinking more seriously about doing a content subject in Spanish long term. I was looking on Amazon at the product description and I noticed that these Red/Blue/Green Glencoe texts are 800+ pages. That's not going to work for us because an 800 page Spanish book will probably be too intimidating to begin with.

 

However, I noticed that Glencoe has a topical series of middle school science texts that are around 200 pages a text, which is far more doable.

 

Naturally, I could only find some of them in Spanish :( (full list anyone else is interested)

 

Glencoe Science Middle School Flex Series (as best as Gil can tell)

A. Life's structure and function
B. From bacteria to plants
C. Animal diversity
D. Human body systems
E. Ecology
F. Earth materials and processes
G. The changing surface of the earth
H. The water planet
I. The air around you
J. Astronomy
K. The nature of matter
L. Chemistry
M. Motion, forces and energy
N. Electricity and magnetism
O. Waves, sound and light

 

If anyone can find the others texts in this series in Spanish, please let me know.

 

Provided that I can find and acquire enough resources, I think that we're going to ease into studying science en español for (last half of) 5th and if it works out, I'm going to play each quarter by ear as we try and continue science en español through 8th grade.

 

Don't know if we've got what it takes to pull this learning in a minority language bit off, BUT we are interested in finding out.

 

Anyway, back to the point--who has worked 2 secondary languages long term?

 

With this proposed plan we have Spanish maintained and nurtured via

  • media immersion,
  • biliteracy,
  • minority language at home
  • ciencia en espanol
  • manufactured socialization

 

So, if it lasts/works out, then I feel good about reaching the goal of them arriving to 9th grade "fluent" in Spanish.

 

BUT there is still the question of adding in and balancing that other language, you know? Most likely the 3rd language will be picked based on resources available to sustain and nurture the language because we 100% need resources since we don't have a fluent teacher.

 

So... if you've studied one of them in your home school, whats out there for Russian? What's out there for German? Japanese? Arabic?

 

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I think it is amazing you are doing language at this deep of a level and want to. My kiddo is so STEM pointy that languages take more background role. I keep it alive and active, but it's not more than that right now or ever has been. It's all about pursuing science and math.

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I didn't have the time this morning to read through the entire thread, but here is our experience with a language loving dd who studied 3 languages to a high level.  She started French in 3rd grade and graduated high school fluent.  She started Latin in 6th and dropped it in 11th b/c she was spending about 4 hrs a day just on languages and something had to give.  So Latin was the one to go.  She started Russian in 9th and graduated high school around a B1+ level (she scored high enough on the equivalent of the TORFL to be able to enroll in Russian universities).  Even the 2 languages consumed about 3 hrs per day.  She read French history in French, watched the daily news in French, etc, so there was some overlap timewise, but she is a serious kid and she pushed herself to high levels of mastery.

 

She will tell you that you have to put time into a language to maintain it.  She feels like she has lost a ton of Latin.  She can get it back if she spends time reviewing, but it isn't just automatic recall.  She is currently a college freshman.  She placed into 400 level Russian at her university and b/c of her other course requirements, the language-speaking class conflicted timewise and so she couldn't take it last semester.  She took a Russian lit class instead that had a language lab and she read One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich in Russian and wrote Russian essays for that lab.  But she says her conversational/listening skills are slipping and it is really concerning her.  She is making a concerted effort this semester to watch movies in Russian or listen to Russian audiobooks.  But, she is really disappointed in her current speaking abilities.  

 

TLDR: According to my dd, the motto "use it or lose it" is a valid concern.  It takes commitment to maintain long term.

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The book I have doesn't talk about being part of a series, can't help you there. The topical ones look cool.

 

Our approach was a bit different than what you are doing for. Most of the science topics at this age are not especially novel, just a deepening of understanding. When we had a lesson on a topic that was in the Glencoe book we would read that and discuss in Spanish and English what it was about. I was mostly looking for vocabulary expansion and conversational skills. I'm not terribly concerned about middle school science retention in any language. Haha.

 

We have a "main" foreign language and one or two "minor" languages. They could be switched around, but unless someone develops an independent passion we can't afford the time to become fluent in multiple languages.

 

Does the "So You Really Want To Learn (language)" series come in one of your languages? I've seen lots of positive reviews. Is an online tutor a possibility?

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We haven't decided on a language. They are interested in Japanese because they like Anime and think that they might like to live/work in Japanese Animation when grown, but that's more of a "wouldn't it be cool if" scenario.

 

We've also floated ideas of Hindi, German, Arabic or Russian.

I might be the odd man out on this but as far as languages are concerned, I find Japanese to be a very easy language to learn. Kanji aside, the rest of the Japanese alphabets are easy enough to learn. The language is so phonetic since it is syllable based and their sentence structures make so much sense! Pronunciation can be slightly challenging because we tend to like to accent/stress a syllable in English when a word is longer but in Japanese, for the most part, pronounce all syllables with the same emphasis. All that aside it is a lovely first language.

 

My oldest took it in late elementary through high school and loved it. I learned along with him. Compared to French and Spanish which I took in high school, it was much easier.

 

Sometimes the best language to study is the one that the child wants to study. Plus you can get anime, J dramas and Manga in Japanese for practice. A totally fun way to learn a language ;)

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I might be the odd man out on this but as far as languages are concerned, I find Japanese to be a very easy language to learn. Kanji aside, the rest of the Japanese alphabets are easy enough to learn. The language is so phonetic since it is syllable based and their sentence structures make so much sense! Pronunciation can be slightly challenging because we tend to like to accent/stress a syllable in English when a word is longer but in Japanese, for the most part, pronounce all syllables with the same emphasis. All that aside it is a lovely first language.

 

My oldest took it in late elementary through high school and loved it. I learned along with him. Compared to French and Spanish which I took in high school, it was much easier.

 

Sometimes the best language to study is the one that the child wants to study. Plus you can get anime, J dramas and Manga in Japanese for practice. A totally fun way to learn a language ;)

Your experience is definitely unusual!

 

The Foreign Service places Japanese in the most difficult language category for an English speaker to learn; I believe that Spanish and French are in the easiest.

 

Japanese grammar is quite complex and has nothing in common with English grammar.

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Your experience is definitely unusual!

 

The Foreign Service places Japanese in the most difficult language category for an English speaker to learn; I believe that Spanish and French are in the easiest.

 

Japanese grammar is quite complex and has nothing in common with English grammar.

That makes sense, I knew we were a bunch of weirdos over here ;)

 

I think what makes Japanese challenging is just navigating 3 different alphabets. It probably depends on how well someone can toggle between their phonetic alphabet, their foreign words alphabet and the mother of all beasts...kanji.

 

Although, when we started doing Korean it was waaaayyyyyy easier to learn their alphabet but so much harder to get pronunciation.

 

I struggled in French with all of the silent letters and vowel chunks that felt random to me. For whatever reason it just wouldn't stay in my head. :)

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That makes sense, I knew we were a bunch of weirdos over here ;)

 

I think what makes Japanese challenging is just navigating 3 different alphabets. It probably depends on how well someone can toggle between their phonetic alphabet, their foreign words alphabet and the mother of all beasts...kanji.

 

Although, when we started doing Korean it was waaaayyyyyy easier to learn their alphabet but so much harder to get pronunciation.

 

I struggled in French with all of the silent letters and vowel chunks that felt random to me. For whatever reason it just wouldn't stay in my head. :)

I think that French is very difficult to learn primarily from/through writing. Lots of oral exposure is critical.

 

French kids study grammatical spelling through middle school, so that part doesn't even come easily to native speakers :)

 

Kanji sure are their own kind of complicated with the multiple readings for each character.

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I don't know if this is any help but I learned 3 languages when I was in school in the UK and did O level exams in all 3. I learned French, German and Spanish. I took 8 subjects in 9th and 10th grade and those languages were 3 of them. We had 2 - 3 classes ( I think 90 min classes)  a week in each language. I already spoke Portuguese as I lived in Brazil for 10 years as a young child, so Spanish was very similar to that and I think I more adapted Portuguese rather than really learned Spanish.

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TLDR: According to my dd, the motto "use it or lose it" is a valid concern.  It takes commitment to maintain long term.

We are definitely in the camp of people who use it.

 

I like to focus on functional language first and foremost. Knowing ABCs, greetings and colors are the most useless things to know about a language, which is why my kids still don't know all their colors in Spanish, but can watch and discuss cartoons, read books, converse about what they want or need and tell about their day in Spanish.

 

I think it is amazing you are doing language at this deep of a level and want to. My kiddo is so STEM pointy that languages take more background role. I keep it alive and active, but it's not more than that right now or ever has been. It's all about pursuing science and math.

 

Frankly, I can't think of any major (STEM or commercial) company that doesn't have an multinational presence. Most of the major companies need people who can function in 2+ languages. In my opinion, the idea that everyone else is learning English (to proficiency) is misguided at best.

 

Studying and speaking a language are two very different things. It was never my intention for The Boys to study a langauge, I have always wanted them to speak the language and we're nearly there with Spanish. So it'd be foolish and a waste to drop it now or let up, you know?

 

The book I have doesn't talk about being part of a series, can't help you there. Bummer. The topical ones look cool. I know, right?! I'll be keeping an eye on them for when the price drops to the ~5-7 dollar mark because I'm not dropping $20+ on a used book.

 

Our approach was a bit different than what you are doing for. Most of the science topics at this age are not especially novel, just a deepening of understanding. When we had a lesson on a topic that was in the Glencoe book we would read that and discuss in Spanish and English what it was about. I was mostly looking for vocabulary expansion and conversational skills. I'm not terribly concerned about middle school science retention in any language. Haha.

My thinking--and this is purely my thoughts, I don't have any science to back it up--is that being able to learn via a language is a hallmark of truly speaking it. This isn't about the content as much as it is about breaking through the language barrier that keeps them from being truly proficient in Spanish, you know? I want them to develop the brain-matter or whatever it's called to be able to work a professional grade job in Spanish if they need/want to. It's my hope that once their brain learns to do it in a second language, that skill will transfer.

 

I want them to be able to truly use their languages in their lives for whatever. To use an analogy, they could probably go to a Spanish country and work as say...cashiers with their current Spanish abilities, but they couldn't work as administrators and certainly not as engineers. My goal for them studying in Spanish is to develop the ability to learn in Spanish. Learning the science content is secondary.

 

We have a "main" foreign language and one or two "minor" languages. They could be switched around, but unless someone develops an independent passion we can't afford the time to become fluent in multiple languages.

I know what you mean! I wish they had the independence to do more on their own. Wanting something and working for that something are two separate things. We'll get there eventually. I hope. :|

Does the "So You Really Want To Learn (language)" series come in one of your languages? I've seen lots of positive reviews. Is an online tutor a possibility?

Online tutors won't work for us. I saw an answer key for So You Really Want to Learn German, but I didn't see the book itself and know nothing about the series. I'll look into it.

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I didn't have the time this morning to read through the entire thread, but here is our experience with a language loving dd who studied 3 languages to a high level.  She started French in 3rd grade and graduated high school fluent.  She started Latin in 6th and dropped it in 11th b/c she was spending about 4 hrs a day just on languages and something had to give.  So Latin was the one to go.  She started Russian in 9th and graduated high school around a B1+ level (she scored high enough on the equivalent of the TORFL to be able to enroll in Russian universities).  Even the 2 languages consumed about 3 hrs per day.  She read French history in French, watched the daily news in French, etc, so there was some overlap timewise, but she is a serious kid and she pushed herself to high levels of mastery.

Did she ever consider studying "regular" content subjects in French or Russian and if so, why didn't she go that route?

 

If she did study content in a secondary language, did she have to approach studying the subjects differently?

What materials did you use for Russian?

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Did she find that she had to study History a little differently than she normally studied other subjects in order to grasp and retain the material?

We're (probably) going to be doing text-book science in Spanish for 6th-8th grade, and social studies bilingually.

Because they're in elementary school I have never really required that they "study", but I have been planning to teach study-skills more explicitly in the middle years in the hopes that they'll be able to transition to being able to study more on their own during high school and beyond.

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I require 2 years in one language before beginning another. My son developed a love for Japanese and while I'm helping with the beginning it will be more of an independent thing because we have a Spanish bilingually growing household, he's studying Greek and will soon be studying Latin. We save time by using a more direct math (Ray's + interest led MM Blue) and using literature based content subjects. Our Latin and Greek will cover our English grammar until I see fit.

 

I’m just following along here. My daughter is 7 years old, and we’re looking at a language-heavy homeschool because it is her interest and strength. We started with Spanish at age 4, and focused pretty heavily on it for the three years. A year ago, during an immersion trip, she was able to comfortably play with kids in the park, converse with the local kid in our homestay, and participate in a local gymnastics class, so I consider *my* goal of basic conversational fluency to be met. She definitely does not talk like it’s her native language and would likely struggle in content subjects. It took a lot of outsourcing to get to the point she is at, though, because she learned in about 1/3 the time it was taking me and I couldn’t stay ahead of her.

This year, we cut the Spanish to one half hour session per week for maintenance and started French as the primary foreign language. DH is fluent in French, so he’s teaching this. The goal is, again, conversational fluency in three years. Immersion travel is much less of an option because of the higher cost of travel to French-speaking areas of the world coupled with a move to a much more expensive part of the country. Media isn’t much of an option because it doesn’t hold DD’s attention (she doesn’t choose to watch tv or play video games in any language the vast majority of days, and it would be extremely painful for everyone if we tried to switch her pleasure reading to the target language).

If we meet that goal, she wants to take on another language starting at age 10, while maintaining Spanish and French. She wants Arabic or Mandarin, and I’m not sure how we’re going to manage those. Neither DH nor I have much (any?) interest in learning them, and outsourcing is expensive.

Get her reading in Spanish as often as possible. Interest led content subjects will have many options at the library if you have a decent library and Spanish literature is abundant.

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Did she find that she had to study History a little differently than she normally studied other subjects in order to grasp and retain the material?

 

We're (probably) going to be doing text-book science in Spanish for 6th-8th grade, and social studies bilingually.

 

Because they're in elementary school I have never really required that they "study", but I have been planning to teach study-skills more explicitly in the middle years in the hopes that they'll be able to transition to being able to study more on their own during high school and beyond.

For history, no, bc she was already fluent enough that she could just read like reading Enlglish. For the fairytales, bc the language was more archaic, she had the read with access to a dictionary and it was much slower going. (But it did a ton for her vocabulary.)

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I require 2 years in one language before beginning another. My son developed a love for Japanese and while I'm helping with the beginning it will be more of an independent thing because...

What do you use for Japanese so far? What are you planning to have him use for Japanese independent of you?

 

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What do you use for Japanese so far? What are you planning to have him use for Japanese independent of you?

 

Don't ask me anything because I have no idea what I'm doing. I truly don't. We have been mastering Hiragana with perfect stroke order and sound and will do the same with Katakana next. I don't know when I'll let him go. I've attached a list of resources I'm considering using. Level does NOT mean grade level. Each level should take at least 2 years. I think. I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.

Thoughts on Japanese Progression.pdf

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On 2/16/2018 at 11:43 PM, Slache said:

Don't ask me anything because I have no idea what I'm doing. I truly don't. We have been mastering Hiragana with perfect stroke order and sound and will do the same with Katakana next. I don't know when I'll let him go. I've attached a list of resources I'm considering using. Level does NOT mean grade level. Each level should take at least 2 years. I think. I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.

:laugh: I feel you on the bolded.

Since I'm about 90% sure that we're going with Japanese, I have to glean all I can from everyone that I can.

The boys've been saying that they want to learn it since they were little, and they have some words/phrases in Japanese, but want to learn the language. They have been in the "light dabbling" phase for a while now and I'll encourage that for the next few months. Maybe we'll start the "beginning to learn" phases this summer or next January.

I think that 2-2.5 years is about how long we'll need to get through the "beginning to learn" phase. I don't have a nice table or anything, but here are the Japanese language resources that I am leaning towards using for the early stage:

Core - Irasshai (GPB series)

    textbook, workbook, videos and worksheets

Audio Lab - for accent

    Pimsleur and whatever podcast meets our criteria.

Supplements - to build their communication skills

    Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication

Literacy - Remembering the Kanji (Heisig)

    to learn Kanji. They've dabbled in/out of Kana, but I'm not planning to tackle Kana head on.

I've chosen materials that will allow me to avoid having to really learn any of the scripts since I'll be over seeing their studying, monitoring their progress and kinda-almost coaching them through the lessons, but I won't be teaching Japanese because I don't know Japanese (and honestly, my motivation to learn it is a good bit low. Plus I have no interest in learning to read in Japanese 3x over)

I've purposefully selected series that are audio based or that use Romaji all the way through, and by incorporating the Heisig Kanji book, they get to gradually build their Kanji knowledge base independently of oral/aural skills and the supplement is to build their conversational skills as fast as possible.

When (if?) they finish the materials (I'm guessing it'll take between 2 and 2.5 years for most of what) I've listed then I'll come back around, but I'm thinking that we'll do about a year of heavy oral/aural work--at this point I may have to bring in an online teacher, then I'd have them switch and jump into the Genki texts?

I don't know. "Beginning to learn stage" is about as far as I've gotten here.

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:laugh: I feel you on the bolded.

 

Since I'm about 90% sure that we're going with Japanese, I have to glean all I can from everyone that I can.

 

The boys've been saying that they want to learn it since they were little, and they have some words/phrases in Japanese, but want to learn the language. They have been in the "light dabbling" phase for a while now and I'll encourage that for the next few months. Maybe we'll start the "beginning to learn" phases this summer or next January.

 

I think that 2-2.5 years is about how long we'll need to get through the "beginning to learn" phase. I don't have a nice table or anything, but here are the Japanese language resources that I am leaning towards using for the early stage:

Core - Irasshai (GPB series)

textbook, workbook, videos and worksheets

Audio Lab - for accent

Pimsleur and whatever podcast meets our criteria.

Supplements - to build their communication skills

Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication

Literacy - Remembering the Kanji (Heisig)

to learn Kanji. They've dabbled in/out of Kana, but I'm not planning to tackle Kana head on.

 

I've chosen materials that will allow me to avoid having to really learn any of the scripts since I'll be over seeing their studying, monitoring their progress and kinda-almost coaching them through the lessons, but I won't be teaching Japanese because I don't know Japanese (and honestly, my motivation to learn it is a good bit low. Plus I have no interest in learning to read in Japanese 3x over)

 

I've purposefully selected series that are audio based or that use Romaji all the way through, and by incorporating the Heisig Kanji book, they get to gradually build their Kanji knowledge base independently of oral/aural skills and the supplement is to build their conversational skills as fast as possible.

 

When (if?) they finish the materials (I'm guessing it'll take between 2 and 2.5 years for most of what) I've listed then I'll come back around, but I'm thinking that we'll do about a year of heavy oral/aural work--at this point I may have to bring in an online teacher, then I'd have them switch and jump into the Genki texts?

 

I don't know. "Beginning to learn stage" is about as far as I've gotten here.

Sounds like a plan Gil!

Romaji is fine. The kanas are not hard to learn so a program that teaches those early on and uses them extensively would also work well.

 

Kanji is definitely a long term project. I think I'm permanently stuck at a first grade level.

 

Maybe some day I'll find time to study again.

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Sounds like a plan Gil!

Romaji is fine. The kanas are not hard to learn so a program that teaches those early on and uses them extensively would also work well.

Actually, no, it wouldn't. That's my point in choosing the materials that I"ve chosen. I, Gil, have no real interest in learning to read Japanese and certainly no interest in learning to read Japanese three times over. My learning to read in Japanese isn't close to being a high enough priority for me to make time for it, since making time for that, means taking time from something else.

 

The nice thing about Irasshai is it was designed to be a distance learning program and used by a facilitator as opposed to a teacher.

By no stretch of the most imaginative mind can I teach Japanese, but I can facilitate the bejeezus out of any thing once I've got the resources.

 

And, the only way that Japanese (or anything else for that matter)  is going to get done, is if we have resources that are do-able for ME and a schedule that is workable for US. Besides, my Home school Commandments 3 and 4 do say:

 

 

03) Thou shalt  do the most doable thing each day. For surely if a thing is doable, it is likely to be done with great regularity.

04) Thou shalt not stress about the non-doable thing which thou doth not do (regularly or at all)

and those are words that I live by.

 

Kanji is definitely a long term project. I think I'm permanently stuck at a first grade level.

The Japanese learning community has a lot of good things to say about the Heisig books Remembering the Kanji so that might be a book to get a hold of and see if it helps you break the Kanji barrier. We've dabbled in it in the past the boys enjoyed it and we thought it was really good.

 

Maybe some day I'll find time to study again.

A few years ago I reached the point where something is either worth expending the effort and making the time for it, or it isn't. There is a long-list of things that do not make that cut, and Gil reading Japanese is not one of them.

 

 

However, Maize, if Japanese is something that you want to do, fight for the time to do it. Life is lived mostly on auto-pilot and very short. So consciously look for ways that you can carve out 20 minutes a day to study something of personal interest to you. Get some books and when your kids are sitting and studying, you study too. When the kids are eating or napping or doing yard work, or at a practice, or whatever they do where you get some uninterupted time, jump on it.

 

Invest the money and get some readers and read Japanese books to your youngest kid(s), instead of English books. Download MP3s in Japanese and listen to them while you're cooking, or during the babies nap time, etc. Institute a daily 20 minutes of Quiet Reading Time and make all the kids (or all the kids under age X) sit in same the room and read/draw quietly, and you use that time to study. If you genuinely want to learn or improve your Japanese force the issue and defend the line.

 

 

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I require 2 years in one language before beginning another. My son developed a love for Japanese and while I'm helping with the beginning it will be more of an independent thing because we have a Spanish bilingually growing household, he's studying Greek and will soon be studying Latin. We save time by using a more direct math (Ray's + interest led MM Blue) and using literature based content subjects. Our Latin and Greek will cover our English grammar until I see fit.

Do you HS bilingually?

I'm in buying mode and in search of good (used) Spanish language books for content areas so if you want to make a recommendation or two, I'm :bigear:.

 

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"Thou shalt do the most doable thing every day."

 

I like that philosophy!

 

Yeah, kanji is not going to be a priority here in the new future. My kids are studying Chinese with simplified characters, I am making some effort to learn along with them but realistically my time is stretched so thin I'm just trying to get by every day.

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"Thou shalt do the most doable thing each day."

 

I like that philosophy!

Me too, and in all my years parenting and teaching my kids, it's never failed me.

 

I have found that a "good enough" program done well in small, regular doses damn near always produces superior results to every "better than" program that I can't conduct properly or access regularly.

Yeah, kanji is not going to be a priority here in the new future. My kids are studying Chinese with simplified characters, I am making some effort to learn along with them but realistically my time is stretched so thin I'm just trying to get by every day.

Well, Heisig does have a book on Hanzi as well, though I don't know if it's Simplified or Traditional.

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