I had such good news at my daughter's first parent-teacher meeting that I had to write it down somewhere. My daughter goes to ML school and although the teacher knows my daughter's first language is not the ML, she was genuinely surprised that the only place my daughter speaks ML is at school because her German is so good. She also said she could tell my daughter is already a good reader...we've only been reading in ml and not in ML and they haven't really started reading much in her class yet. So happy ML school is off to such a good start.
My daughter has been off for Fall holidays these past few weeks and so of course we haven't been as consistent with reading our books, but we will be back to our routine next week. I was very impressed with her this week however when she announced to me that she wanted to write her own story. She has written the draft and is now copying it into a notebook and drawing illustrations.
We forgot to read our book yesterday. I am sick with the cold that both children had last week so I was resting and it slipped my mind. The previous day we read an older book that we have had for a while but haven't been reading because it seemed too long for my daughter and she struggled with it. I know that she is much more advanced now so I pulled the book out and said "let's read as fast as we can" (we were short on time as we needed to go pick up her younger sister from kindergarten). She was quite proud of herself for reading fluidly and was happy that this book is now "easy".
Thank you Amy and Nellie. Since we are just starting this journey in ML school, I'm hoping that the teacher will let me know if she thinks my daughter needs more help. Her language and school readiness was assessed twice before starting school (once by the school and once by the health department, as is the case with every child starting ML school here) and both times it was determined that her ML language skills were adequate (although not perfect). I know that the school will offer extra reading assistance if they think it is necessary: my older neighbors that live above me are both volunteers with a program that pairs them with children who need extra help with reading. I'm not worried about her pronunciation at all...since she has attended ML kindergarten for 3 years starting at age 3, her pronunciation is very good and better than mine will ever be. It's more her vocabulary that I wonder about.
I tried spontaneously putting on a ML audiobook today but that was rejected strongly by both children. I think if I do utilize them, we will have to lay down some guidelines about it first: setting aside a certain time during the week for it.
I'm still pretty happy with my daughter's reading progression. She is starting to try to read the words that she sees in daily life...on the cereal box, etc. and is doing well with it. Today is Friday and she never has ML homework Friday-Sunday so we haven't been as consistent with sitting down to read our English books, but I am going to try to implement a "read 1 book before we can watch a video" rule for the weekends.
This post is worrying me...but better to be worried now than surprised by a problem later I suppose. Our family is ml@h for necessity...neither my husband nor myself speak the ML very well. I have been taking classes, but am not fluent and any further improvements I make at this point are going to be very gradual. My oldest has not started learning to read in ML school yet, but will be very soon. I can read to the children in ML at a very basic level, but am worried about making mistakes. I think I was fooling myself into thinking that learning ML at school would be enough. I do have some of the audiobooks that Marta mentioned, but don't know when we would have time to listen to them. I buy them for when we go on long car trips, which is not very frequently. Sometimes we watch videos on YouTube of people reading books in English (the image on the screen is the book illustrations only). I wonder if I could find something like that in the ML.
Thanks Amy. I think we will try both magazines, although they will both want to read both of them...it will solve the argument of who does the activity pages. It will probably end up being their main Christmas gifts. Do you recall if you can you select the month they begin when you order/pay? I would like to ensure they have the first copies in December.
I've just come across the Bayard magazines on my own and came here to see if anyone had any reviews of them. How have you liked the Story Box? I'm thinking getting a subscription for Christmas and will have a 6.5 year old and a newly 4 year old. Trying to decide if they should each get their own and do one Story Box and one Adventure Box.
Happy to report we have a daily routine again! My daughter comes home with a quick 15 minutes or less of ML homework every day so we are eating lunch, doing the homework, and then having her read a book in English before she can watch a video or play in the afternoon.
Raquel: The books we have found to work for us are the Usborne Very First Reading series. The books start out with having the adult read one page and the child read the next page. This was helpful to move the stories along and have my daughter feel less intimidated I think. At the end of each book are a few puzzles about the story. She likes doing those, but often we'll save them for the next day because reading the book is sometimes enough for one sitting. What really helped her a lot though was the computer game that goes with the books: "Teach Your Monster to Read". The game is free when using a computer (apps for tablets or phones you have to pay for). My daughter loves playing it and it introduces the letter sounds and combinations in the order that the books introduce them.
It's been so long since I updated this! I am finally finished with my German course and have been spending a quiet summer at home with my 2 girls. Honestly, the homework never got back to being 'daily', but we've been making good progress in general.
My oldest is doing well learning to read. We found a "program" (a set of learning-to-read books with accompanying computer game) that we like and I think she's progressed pretty much on par with where she would be if she were in an English school. One big thing is we found out she is farsighted. This was probably a big source of her getting distracted and not being very keen on reading earlier on. She's happily wearing glasses now.
Another success is the program we are using has several levels and so my youngest daughter is also able to participate. She is learning her letter sounds now and always happy to be just like her big sister.
Although our 'daily' routine didn't work out so well, I know things will improve once we start ML school in 2 weeks time. My oldest will be finished with school and home with me by noon so we will get her ML homework finished and then our ml reading done in the afternoon before picking up her little sister from kindergarten.
Now that I have more time again, I hope to frequent this site more regularly!
Wow, wasn't I optimistic when I wrote that last update. I know why...it was written the week before I started my intensive German course which has sucked away all my time and energy. Here we are 1 month later and very little homework has been done. I'm exhausted when I get the kids home at the end of the day. But, I am adjusting to the new routine and things are feeling less overwhelming than the first weeks.
Ok, all I can do is try again. Crossing my fingers that this month is better!
Thanks for the link Adam, lots of excellent info in that post! I thought of a way to interact more with the ML public. I am going to start doing as much of my grocery shopping as I can at the local farmers market. I think I'll get a chance to try talking to the different vendors...if I can build my confidence up enough to do it. Interaction at my usual grocery store is limited to a brief 'hello, thank you and goodbye' at the checkout, so I think this will be better. The trouble is the market usually runs in the mornings while I'll be attending my language course, so I'll be limited to only Saturday visits...actually weekends are when I wanted more language exposure anyway so I guess it works out fine.
So nice to read about your daughter helping out your son. I'm still waiting to see my youngest start to speak German. I don't get to see her with her teachers in kindergarten but I suspect she is beginning to understand them a little, and she has been singing some German songs to herself. We were at a party over the holidays and the son of the hosts was a few years older than my daughters. He talked to them in German and my oldest spoke back without being shy at all...and then I watched her translate what he was saying to her younger sister. I'll have to tell her to start helping her sister with German rather than translating.
Well, we haven't been as consistent with the homework over the holidays, but I'm looking forward to a fresh start in 2018. My youngest just turned 3 and wants to join in on the homework action. I found our old dot-to-dot books that wipe clean with dry-erase markers and she is SO excited to have her very own 'work books'! I've also been working with her on learning the letters of the alphabet and she has made some good progress. So I am going to start scheduling 30 minutes into my daily calendar to do homework with the girls. 10 minutes of the workbooks that they both enjoy, and then 10 minutes reading with each of them separately: alphabet books with the youngest and phonics readers with my oldest. I'm hoping that scheduling it in will prioritize it more and give it more importance.
The time has come for me to invest in becoming bilingual myself! My oldest daughter is definitely ahead of me on this front and the youngest is off to a good start as well. I have lived amongst the ml community of my city for 4 years and have lost a lot of what I had learned in my first attempt at ML language lessons so I really speak very little of the ML here. I am dedicating myself this spring to learning the ML so that when my oldest starts ML school next year, I will be able to communicate with the school and understand all that she is learning at school.
I am enrolling in 'intensive' language lessons which will be 3.5 hours, 5 days a week. This level of exposure is okay, but I want to increase it by trying to get 3.5 hours in on each weekend day as well. At the same time, I'm also trying to cut down on shopping and spending money (to offset the cost of the lessons I'm taking) so getting out and interacting with the ML community seems like it will be challenging...everything I can think to do usually involves spending money at shops, cafes, etc. Two things I've decided to do is watch ML movies or TV programs on the weekends and start using the Duolingo app (I used it a bit when I first moved here, lost it when I switched to a new phone).
Does anyone have any other ideas to share or experience learning a language as an adult?
Amazon Prime was mentioned above. I just wanted to add that if your ml is English, Amazon Prime may be a decent option. You can search for shows that are "Original Version" or "OV" and since many popular kids shows are originally from the US or UK, they are available to watch in English. This is where my kids are able to watch one or two seasons of Paw Patrol, since it's not available to us on Netflix. The variety of content on Amazon has been improving, but still Netflix has many more options.
Yes, me! Although, since I'm not from the UK, I'm not exactly sure what exactly "Key Stage 1" includes. My oldest is 5 and will not be starting ML school until next fall when she is 6. So, we are taking advantage of her eagerness and readiness to learn this year and focusing on reading at the moment. I plan to continue working with her next year, as her ML school will only be in the mornings so we will have time in the afternoon to continue working in English. As I do live in Europe, UK teaching materials are most accessible to me, so I need to learn some of this 'education lingo'. I definitely have seen 'Key Stage 1' mentioned as I browse through resources.
Yes, I can see that the biggest challenge is just setting aside the time to do homework every night, and on that front I think we are succeeding. We both make the time to squeeze it in every evening now, even if it's right before we head upstairs to start bedtime. I haven't been successful in sticking to one particular time of day to do it. I think it would help us if it was always 'scheduled' at a certain time, but we do also need to stay flexible.
I'm happy to say that I am seeing some progress with her reading. I'm sure the biggest part of that success comes from the consistency of doing it daily. The phonics books we are working through are challenging for her, but she didn't struggle as much with the newest one that we read last night. I try to alternate one night of a new book in the set, and then one night of re-reading the older books because she breezes through the books on subsequent readings. This helps her keep her confidence up and not start to dread getting the books out each night.
Funny enough, the other day my daughter's kindergarten teacher told me that my daughter has now declared her name is pronounced the ML way. The teacher thinks it is amusing, but after nearly 2.5 years together, it is hard for her to remember to change her pronunciation. My daughter has said nothing about it to me, so I'm not sure what prompted her to want it changed.
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Adam Beck: WARNING: This is a humorous post, but the images are a bit scary! 10 Frightful Monsters Explain the Many Benefits of Being Bilingualbuff.ly/2qhimjO
Oct 29, 2018 18:38:13 GMT 9
Raquel: Happy Halloween, everyone!!
Oct 31, 2018 18:06:11 GMT 9
Amy: And to all other fellow zookeepers of course!
Nov 4, 2018 18:13:28 GMT 9
Wojtek: Yesterday my daughter used a Polish word in an English sentence. From time to time she does it (don't know if I should be happy about that), but anyway what was amusing about that, she said it with an English accent!
Nov 5, 2018 18:23:45 GMT 9
Wojtek: I feel the English accent in our monolingual family has seemed to be something unreachable but in that mixed sentence, I heard the difference. It surprised me slightly.
Nov 5, 2018 18:23:55 GMT 9
Amy: So cute Wojtek! And such a lovely piece of news!
Nov 7, 2018 6:29:36 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice Wojtek! Give that little girl a big hug from Uncle Adam!
Nov 7, 2018 10:16:33 GMT 9
Amy: Beautiful pictures Adam! The serenity of the place transpired in every pic. Thank you for sharing them
Nov 11, 2018 21:58:40 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam Beck, Amy, she got a lot of ml exposure but there's only so many times I can watch a Bibi & Tina DVD. Glad she's back at school today.
Nov 13, 2018 0:16:03 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter's school had the annual lantern pageant yesterday. It always moves me to tears when I see the kids stand and belt out the songs in our ml. This year, the ml kids also recited a short poem on St Martin.
Nov 25, 2018 3:34:49 GMT 9