I stumbled across the website for A La Vanille, a French-language day care in San Francisco, and fell in love with their summer programs for kids. It sure sounds better than any of the summer day camps I ever went to! Too bad nothing like this exists here in the Boulder area.
Maybe I'll have to start my own French-language day care for Northern Colorado! Seriously, I do think about some day offering French classes for children at my home (once we finish the basement and have space for kids to move around safely and room to store all the materials and supplies that such an enterprise would require). But it had never occurred to me to organize week-long themed programs like A La Vanille's French garden and others. Brillant!
Does anyone know of other foreign language preschools or daycares or camps? Share the link or tell us what they do!
(Of course, if your children are old enough for sleep-away camp, send them to Concordia Language Villages for remarkable language immersion experiences. I can't praise these programs enough! Located throughout Minnesota, the villages are amazing: they are summer immersion camps for 14 different languages for kids through 12th grade. In high school, I attended Sjolunden, the Swedish village, for two weeks, and Lac du Bois, the French village, for a month (and then got credit for a year of high school French because it's so intensive). They recreate the country where the language is spoken, right down to exchanging your money for the other country's currency, feeding you food typical of that place, and taking away reading material in English when you go through "customs." All the activities, from sports and meals, are centered on exposing the campers to the target language and teaching them about the target culture(s), and there are formal language classes several times a day as well. It's all extremely interactive and high energy with great communicative activities. (Plus I can still sing songs from both camps 15+ years later!) I would recommend these camps to any child learning any language they offer (from Spanish to Arabic and Korean), even if the child is a complete beginner. Oh, and last year, one of my former students worked as a counselor at Lac du Bois! I was thrilled.)