Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Where to "commencer"?

commencer = to begin

In recent weeks, two vastly different moms have approached me for suggestions on helping their kids learn French. One is Adriana over at My Bilingual Boys, an experienced Spanish teacher whose two young sons already speak English and Spanish fluently. The other is the mother of a large home-schooled family, two of whose teenagers want to learn French.

The former has a multitude of resources available to her online and through her colleagues, plus the knowledge and experience that comes from already having raised her children with two languages, while the latter's resources consist exclusively of what she can access in the public library (no Internet at home and no possibility of buying books or materials for the kids to use at home) plus her memories of learning German when she was younger. And unfortunately, our library does not have extensive French learning materials--Muzzy, yes (for little kids), but Rosetta Stone, no.

My challenge for myself will be to go back through my previous posts and the French materials for kids that I have accumulated to figure out what I might recommend to both of these families (even though what works for two teenagers may have little in common with what appeals to younger children). This means that I will (probably) finally get around to posting reviews of the more of the books, games, and videos that I've used with Carl and now Griffin!


  1. So excited to hear what you recommend! I have been checking out a ton of stuff from the library--some good, some not-so-good. I also ordered a little Pim video from Amazon. I will put up some of my reviews soon too. Merci!!!

  2. Here's my good deed for the day: I gave four French textbooks and accompanying materials to the homeschool family. They were left over from when I was teaching and liked to have a few other books available to compare how different grammar and vocabulary were presented. But I don't need them now, and this family definitely does. So now the girls have some textbooks they can keep and write in! And it didn't cost me anything. (Publishers send teachers--college teachers, at least--samples for free.)

    @Adriana--Yeah, there's a lot of the "not-so-good" stuff out there, isn't it? Or maybe just "not-good-enough." Griffin likes the panda from the Little Pim videos, but they don't seem to keep his attention otherwise.