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  1. #1
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    Question French Curriculum

    My husband speaks passable French. He could get around and have slow conversation. He is teaching French to our 4 & 6 year olds. Does anyone have any French curriculum suggestions? His fly by the seat of his pants approach to Kindergarten did not go well.

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  3. #2

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    Welcome!
    With any foreign language, start with the free and conversational stuff! DH leading the kiddos through Duolingo, Babel, Rosetta Stone, and the similar will probably suffice.
    Also, “conversational french for kids” brings up a bunch of results on Amazon. (Let me google that for you: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=conversat...ref=nb_sb_noss )

    If he is doing the teaching, let him pick out what he thinks will work. And it may not, not just because you feel hes not doing it right.

    Learning to homeschool takes some time, and what seems to you like “flying by the seat of his pants didnt work out so well”, please be comforted that if your kids are still happy to interact with Dad, it was indeed a success. It was kindergarten, not the year they need to prep for college SATs.

    If youd like to take over homeschooling duties to get it done right, I suggest you have the following conversation with him:
    “Dear Hubby, I know homeschooling is a lot of work, especially with all the other ways you make my life wonderful. I was wondering if I could try teaching them (Insert subject) this year, to give me more time with the kids, and to give you some well-deserved self care time each week.”
    We would be happy to add to his suggestions on curriculum to meet your needs!
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3
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    The seat of his pants comment was actually made by him. He works a lot and only does the one class with the kids, so he asked if I could get him a few options to look at. We're really just looking to exploit that language sponge phase.

  5. #4

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    My daughter learned Spanish from age 18 months. I have no background in it. She went to immersion classes until she was about 4.5 years old. Then we moved back to NZ and she did regular classes with instruction in English to learn Spanish, and then moved on to using online resources like DuoLingo etc.

    Having never learned a language, I found I picked up a decent amount in her immersion classes (started with mommy and me ones), and she definitely learned more than the traditional style classes with instruction in English.

    So to transfer that to French, what she did in class was a lot of music action songs, games with objects to learn nouns and numbers, coloring in pictures to learn colors etc. The tying in the words with something concrete really seemed to work. They typically started off each day with a welcome song and finished with a goodbye song to learn greetings etc. After the welcome song they would do the calendar for the day so that they learned the dates and talk about the weather and the time. There were also songs for the months, weather, etc. Then, they would go through each child say their name (learning how to introduce themselves and ask others name) and talk about how they felt (learning words for feeling emotions). They also had songs for the asking/saying names and feelings. After that it would be the action songs/games/coloring for topic of the day and then finish off with the goodbye song.

    So if you were wanting to try something like that, I would structure it welcome song, calendar and weather, introducing/asking names and feelings, action songs/games/coloring on focus topic, goodbye song. You could organize in advance a list of focus topics that you want to do but the other stuff would stay much the same each day and allow for learning through repetition.

    Obviously all the resources I have experience with are Spanish ones, but I know one of them also does French, and that is Whistlefritz (https://www.whistlefritz.com/french-programs/).

    Otherwise, I would search online, Amazon, iTunes for French learning songs or something similar and build up a collection of songs to use. We have songs for everything from the ones mentioned above to the alphabet, farm animals, ones about speed and movement (running fast, walking slow etc.), etc. Most are specific teaching songs but some are traditional songs or rhymes in the language of choice, which are nice to learn too.

    Other resources I have built up over time are:
    – Flash cards with pictures. It is good to have more than one set of these because then you can pick our cards of the same thing from two or more sets and use them to play matching or find the...games (with all instructions spoken in the chosen language).
    – Activity books in the chosen language.
    – Basic first reader books the chosen language.

    I just recently a book off Amazon called 52 Weeks of Family Spanish but have not started it yet so cannot give a review. They have an equivalent in French:
    https://www.amazon.com/Weeks-Family-...5629933&sr=8-2

    I also found a book at the library called Teaching Your Child Spanish Through Play that has a good guide of topics to teach. Maybe you could find something similar at your library for French.

    Edited to add: we also have the Spanish equivalent of this one and it is good:
    https://www.amazon.com/Play-Learn-Fr...5630946&sr=8-1

    There is Little Pim as well. That comes in French. We have the app on the iPad but I don't think my kids get a lot out of it. There are videos you can get online too.
    Last edited by NZ_Mama; 07-24-2020 at 06:53 PM.
    NZ homeschoolers (school year runs start Feb to mid Dec).
    DD 12 (year 7) and DD 7 (year 2).
    Fourth year homeschooling.
    Part-time freelance science copyeditor.

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    Wow! Thanks so much for all the links! I will show this to him.

  7. #6

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    There is also Gus on the Go. I have not used it much though, so am not sure what it is like. Link to French version details: https://www.gusonthego.com/gus-on-th...the-go-french/

    The benefit of doing a curriculum that is based around songs and/or videos is that outside of the one lesson your DH teaches a week, it is easy for you to pop things on for them to listen to.

    You can also watch stuff in the chosen language. We saw a cool animated film in French last year, Dilili in Paris, but I would only recommend it for when your kids are older as its a bit dark at the end. My then 6 year old loved most of it but found the dark bit a little scary.

    Do you have Alliance Francaise (https://afusa.org/) in your area? The one in our city runs kids classes for both children that are bilingual/fluent and those that are not. Though I expect that would be a post-Covid thing for you.
    NZ homeschoolers (school year runs start Feb to mid Dec).
    DD 12 (year 7) and DD 7 (year 2).
    Fourth year homeschooling.
    Part-time freelance science copyeditor.

  8. #7

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    That's really good advice.

    As far as FSL goes- I'm not really current... We learned French in school, but that was like 35 years ago, I'm not sure any of the material exists anymore.

    It really depends on how far you are willing to go with the learning. Will this just be a conversational French, or reading and writing as well?

    I ask because French is notorious for being complex to read and write in- much more so than English (have to hide that from my wife- dangerous territory I'm straying into here...). It also changes the material selection.

  9. #8

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    Here are a few resources we used for lanaguage learning at home. While we have focused on other langauges (Spanish & Italian), the resources are very simular. Some that have already been mentioned that we have used is 52 weeks of Family and Gus on the Go.

    At that age we went for familiarity instead of fluency, so we focused on using many resources that are not curriculum for langauge learning.

    Long Bridge Publishing. They publish more for Italian learners, but they do have books & posters for French.

    Dover Publications has some fun books for kids. Stickers and coloring books are always fun for little kids.

    5, Rue Sésame. Sesame Street in French. You can find videos on YouTube.

    Magnetic Poetry - Kids' French Kit. It is fun to create poems and sentences on the fridge.

    Watch favorite Disney/animated films in French. Most DVDs have a French option.

    Internatnial Childrens Digtal Library has free digital books.

    Putumayo is a music producer and they have wonderful cds in multiple langauges. Right now they have French Playground cd. Sometimes you can find their cds at the public library.

    I have purchased the cheap, dollar store flashcards and taped over with the word in the target langauge.

    Children's books in French. I frequently check out the children's book section at Powell's Books to see what used books they have in the target langauge. I will also look at Better World Books for their collection. They are all used, but I can frequently find some good books. Also Amazon has a huge selection of dual-langague books.

    Get a French Picture Dictionary. There are some for adults and kids.

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