Our proposal to homeschool my 10th grader for French II was formally approved today. I must admit I was shocked at how easy it was to get it set up. I don’t know if the teacher knows yet – not sure how she’ll feel. I would like to talk to her so she understands why we’re doing this.
Classroom foreign language learning relies heavily on rote memorization and detail. I’ve long known my daughter didn’t excel at these, and it was proven in her first term of French this year. Oddly, she did quite well last year, but this year was more focus on the details of grammar and spelling, as well as significantly more vocabulary words to memorize.
My daughter struggled as she watched other friends easily pickup the vocabulary, remember the accents and master the passe compose and other grammatical structures. She was so frustrated, it was no longer engaging or interesting.
In the last month, my daughter was diagnosed with moderate language learning disabilities – in English. According to the psychologist, the disabilities are strong enough that she will have serious difficulty in a classroom foreign language setting.
She does have remarkably strong auditory memory, and they psychologist felt that in an immersion setting, she’d learn aural/oral language very quickly. But that isn’t possible in a traditional high school setting.
So, instead, we’ll work at home. We’ll do a significant amount of speaking and listening, watching videos, reading children’s books together, and working through tests – together. We’ll write – together, with support for her weaknesses. While not ignoring the weaknesses, we’ll focus on her strengths. We’ll analyze music and lyrics, we’ll make videos. We’ll read children’s books (that’s how we learn language as kids, right?) and use French in everyday situations.
Now, how to we convince colleges that this is legitimate learning? And isn’t learning from French speaking cats more fun?