We did it!
When we started homeschooling, we said we wanted to go on a trip before the kids graduated and left home; the location was to be from the country which the kid’s studied the language. We started with German, as husband speaks German and we have family & friends there. However, the homeschool program we were involved with had a really lousy German teacher. She was flipping through the dictionary to find words as she taught!
We ended up switching to French. A lovely lady that adored teaching and was retired from 20 years of teaching French at the local high school. She was so thrilled that all these students WANTED to learn French that she gave it everything she had.
Fast forward 10 years, son has been taking French at the college and daughter will be taking her second year of middle school french with a different homeschool group.
This past month we left the U.S. and spent two weeks in France, traveling between the large cities and small villages, viewing country and historical monuments.
|Everyone reading Asterix in French
at the Château in St. Pierre, France
Through the years we were not very minimalist in our approach with languages. Dear Son has a love of languages and every two years he wanted to try out a new language (first it was German, on to French, then 2 years of Latin, 18 months of Russian, back to 2 year of German, a smattering of Japanese and a recent interest in Spanish). On the other hand, we had a “minimalist” belief, we wanted him at the bare minimum, to be fluent in one language and he needed to stick with it through all the experimentations.
Daughter on the other hand, well she loves to dance, and unless the language has something to do with dancing, it probably has no point in being learned. Luckily ballet is grounded in the French language, or we would have a battle for studying any language.
Our travels were wonderful. We had a translator at our side, ready to correct our stumblings, and everyone was blessed at being accepted by so many native speakers encouraging us in attempting to use our second language in conversation.