Wednesday, October 30, 2013

French for Kids

I have been away from my blog for quite a few days.  The whole family got sick with a cold and baby hardly slept, crying the night away because she was unwell.  But we are all back on our feet now!  I had to postpone work on my projects but finally this week I was able to start on many of them and I am so glad I can be busy again and not idle and sick in bed! 
One of the project that is dear to me is teaching French to my child.  Since my family and most of my relatives speak French, I didn't want him to miss out on learning this fantastic language!  Also, it would make things easier when we have reunions on my side of the family as he is the only one who can't understand what the others are saying (like it happened when we went to see my family a few years ago).   My husband can't understand either (despite living in France for 2 years O_o) but he does not want to learn so that's that.
Since my son's school does not teach French, I have decided to do it myself.  I must admit I feel quite guilty for not having taught him earlier.  I was too busy teaching him his mother tongue on top of English so I thought it would be too much for him to handle.  But children learn quickly and learning a 3rd language could have been done. 
My boy had always resisted learning French because nobody speaks it here.  It was a challenge to make him sit down to learn anything to be honest.  I have finally convinced him to study French with me with the reward of getting the Goldorak DVD that he has been wanting to watch!  It's a Japanese anime that was quite popular back in the 80s but it has been released in French and Japanese only.   So if he can learn well enough to understand the movie, I'll shell the $140 to get the DVD.
I have started teaching French to my boy and his 3 cousins this week.  I teach for four days a week (Monday is their art class) and I give them a recap test on Friday.  His cousins all wanted to learn when they heard I was going to teach him.  It's a good thing since they will be able to practice together and my son won't feel too lonely learning by himself.
I am using Catherine Bruzzone's book French for Children which comes with an Audio CD.  I am using others books as well which I will review in the future.

Photo Credit: Amazon

Another challenge was to get a time when everybody would be available.  In between their extra curricular activities, snack time, homework time etc, it was difficult to set a time that would suit all families.   We finally settled for 5pm each day.

This new schedule is working so far.  It may seem like a small addition but I was already super busy with my usual chores!  After coming home from the office, my waltz between cooking, cleaning, and babysitting has been rushed so I can be free at exactly 5pm!

The children have been very eager to learn and I hope I will be able to maintain their enthusiasm!  Each lesson lasts about 30 minutes because that's the maximum time I could get husband to babysit our baby girl so I can have the complete 30 minutes of uninterrupted peace for the class.
More than 30 minutes would have been too long anyway because some of them have a hard time sitting still.   Hopefully it will be a fun experience for all the children and I!   I will keep you posted about our experience!


  1. Hi Jane Cherie, Sounds like you have worked things out well. After your son knows more, you can speak to him mostly in French. It will help him to really feel the language. It sounds like you have your hands full. I have a hard time imagining when you find time to blog and play with your dolls. Hang in there. I'm so glad you are well again and having fun. xo Jennifer

    1. I have tried in the past to incorporate French more often but he was so reluctant to cooperate. I regret not having stuck to French only at home and let him learn English at school. But oh well, I hope he will like learning more now that he is older!