My daughter has her second-ever school trip coming up in less than two weeks. Two years ago, when she was in first grade, I didn't think too much about the language issue, I was mainly focused on the separation (which being the first, wasn't going well on my side - until she was gone, then I enjoyed the reduced pressure and spare time).
Last weekend, I was away for two days, and when I came home she would speak ML with me a number of times, a problem I didn't have before. So now I'm worried what five days will do. I want to keep her mind on the ml a little bit every day at least, but I have no idea how to do that. I thought of giving her an ml book she's really keen on, or secret messages she is to open and read one per day, but given the program they have, I doubt they'll have much time for this. So the best I can do is write the letter the teacher asked us to write for the first morning, send a second one by mail and of course tell her to write a letter to her ml grandma (they do have letter-writing time at one point). But I wonder if there is anything else I can do with these limitations. (Also, I have no ml book she's really keen on.)
Does anyone have ideas for me or has maybe encountered this situation already (though I know there aren't many people around here with older kids)?
You already have many more ideas than I could come up, Mayken! I just wanted to say that these effects are temporary. Your daughter may be affected by it afterwards, but once you go back to your regular routine, everything will fall back into place, ml included.
I imagine they'll be too busy doing stuff to have much free time, so all I can think of is... Don't they have a certain time for parents to call? I know these calls are rather short, but they're better than nothing.
Thanks for the encouragement, Raquel ! No calls, but they are supposed to write a short letter home, and I'll make sure she writes one to grandma too. (After all, several kids have divorced parents and live in joint custody, so I assume they'll write two letters as well.)
How about some German music and storybooks to listen to on the journey or in the evening? If you can get her a little player, maybe this could get her excited and want to listen to ml audio you'll have put on it?
How about asking her to keep a little diary where you'd like her to write daily the three things she liked most about her day?
Yay! She already has a ml holiday diary, the same notebook as my own holiday diary, but we only do that during summer vacation - but it's very much an ml diary, that if she takes that notebook, she won't write in ML in there.
We haven't had the school camp issue yet, BUT when my daughter started school, my husband and I decided to send my daughter for a week to her ML-speaking grandparents' most school holidays (as you know, there are rather a lot of them!). So, so far she has spent a week with them about 5 times. It is a pure ML environment - and rural to boot, so there is no chance of even hearing other languages on the street! In addition, even if we call/skype, the situation means that my daughter is far more likely to communicate in ML because she is with her ML grandparents and the skype is 'set up' by my husband (who is therefore always present).
Basically, my sense is that yes, there always will be a 'dip', and no, you can't do much about it, but as Raquel said it is temporary. Last time, I tried to send my daughter with a few ml books - not to read, but just so that if she looks at them and narrates them to herself, it will be in ml. Other than that, I try to plan for some extra ml time before she leaves and after she returns. A sort of solid inoculation before, with a top-off afterwards.
Last time she went, my daughter took the train by herself (with a group of unaccompanied minors). When I went to pick her up at the station, the moment she came out she burst into ml1 with me (which led to some inquisitive/interested looks from the other parents!). The challenge was to keep that up over the next day or so, so I really ramped up the reading and so on.
Maybe if there are other ml kids in the class (which presumably there are?) you could see with the teachers if they could have them do some group work in ml at some point?
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Amy: Awww bless her, Marisa!!! That was so cute!! <3
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