Homeschool: Week 1

I’m starting to put together the activities for my daughter’s French II homeschool. It’s been quite fun, even though I admit I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing.

I do have access to the online textbook. I’m not sure how she’ll access it when she’s at school, because I know it won’t work on an iPhone (one clear argument against BYOD. These online texts don’t function at all on phones, or at least not well.)

This lets me have a general idea about vocabulary and grammar that the regular class is doing. I have to figure out how much time to spend here, figure out how my daughter will learn it best, and how to assess.

I do know that she has an excellent auditory memory, so I’m looking up as many YouTube videos and podcasts that I can find. She can listen to these over and over while at school (they will work on an iPhone). Even if she doesn’t understand every word, it gets her used to the cadence of the language. Someday, it’ll get easier to understand.

The first chapter of the text focuses on Paris! This couldn’t be better, as I’ve lived there twice. I know the city, and we can certainly use the few things I have here, as well as online sources, to explore. We’ll look at the Louvre and other art museums, find historical resources (hmmmm – what era would be most fun? 18th century? 1920s?), and track down some literature (in translation) and movies (subtitled in English.)

Here’s a fun video we’re going to watch:

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Homeschool: Onward!

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?

 

 

Homeschool

My daughter asked if we could homeschool for French. Long story short – we are!

I’ll be dong the second half of French 2 with her at home. In school, there was tremendous focus n memorization, spelling, and tests. I didn’t teach French that way 20 years ago when I taught and I’m not going to do it now.

Ran across a great blog from a French teacher! http://www.frenchappsforkids.blogspot.ca/

Other ideas:
– have her create an RSA Animate video
– search out more ebooks in French
– seek out more French games

I’ll keep adding ideas and I’ll write about it as we go along.