Bonjour! Let’s Learn French

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Even if you cannot speak French, you could pick up Bonjour! Let’s Learn French (not an affiliate link) and stimulate your children’s neurons for a few good months. This relatively short book can function as your French curriculum for at least six weeks.

Bonjour! Let's Learn French

A new resource to learn French, for ages 6-10.

How is that possible? You have the free audio version online at PolyglotKidz.com. A native speaker of French pronounces all the French words and sentences in the book, so you don’t have to. A native speaker of English pronounces all the English words in the book, so you don’t have to. Continue reading »

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King Cake – A French Tradition

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In order to teach my children all about French culture, I decided to start a new tradition: bake a king cake for Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day, which is January 6th. Traditions vary from region to region. This year, I wanted to make a cake. Next year, I may opt for a galette (pastry) instead.

King Cake and breakfast

King Day Breakfast

We had a lot of fun with it. I hid a LEGO mini-figure in the cake and asked the youngest member of the family to sit under the table and decide who should get each slice.

King Day Traditions

The youngest sits under the table and decides the order of the slices.

The person who gets the slice with the mini-figure gets to wear a crown and be king or queen for a day. Continue reading »

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Petra Lingua Revisited

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Petra Lingua is our curriculum of choice for learning French. We read books in French and I talk to them in French in the afternoon, but we build vocabulary in a systematic way with Petra Lingua.

I have written before about this website: here and here. You can learn many languages, like German, Chinese, Spanish, Italian and even Swedish.

In the fall, when it became clear that my local homeschool community did not really have an interest in our French Play Group, I put Petra Lingua to the side and focused on reading to the kids in French. I also tried using French on a more consistent basis with them, in the afternoon.

Then life happened: the holidays in November and December; my father’s passing in January; the flu in February. While they lingered on the bed with no energy, I read to them a lot, but then I also put a laptop in front of them to see if they had any interest and energy for Petra Lingua French. They did!

Children studying with Petra Lingua

My children study French with Petra Lingua while having the flu

So much so, they fought over who to do the exercises. Continue reading »

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Middlebury Interactive Languages Review

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So glad to be reviewing one of the French Courses from Middlebury Interactive Languages. You know me, I love a good French curriculum for my kiddos. This came available to me through the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. It doesn’t get better than free, right?

Boy and girl watching Le Petit Chaperon Rouge

My kids watching Le Petit Chaperon Rouge

I was entrusted with Elementary French for grades 3-5, obviously, geared towards students in grades 3-5. You might say, “Wait just a minute, Adriana! I thought your kids were in first grade and PreKindergarten. How come you are putting this curriculum in front of them, when it’s for higher – albeit elementary – grades?”  Continue reading »

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French Friday, Petra Lingua Review

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We love French in our homeschool. I have started teaching my children French on a regular basis this spring. We joined the Alliance Française of Knoxville, signed up for Popi, and watched Caillou on youtube. However, I felt the need for a systematic approach to learning French. Enter Petra LinguaContinue reading »

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French Friday, Allons Danser! Review

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For a couple of months now, the kids and I have been listening to Allons Danser! – a CD with French music for kids, produced by Whistlefritz. It has been such a great tool for my French Play Group, not just for my children. We use the Bonjour, Les Amis song to start the meeting and Au Revoir to close.  Continue reading »

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L’Alliance Française de Knoxville

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About a month ago, I took a more intentional approach toward teaching my children French in our homeschool. I started gathering resources to teach my children French.

Books and language lessons lay the foundation of mastering another language. Immersion and interaction with other speakers of French continue the process and solidify the vocabulary.

So I joined L’Alliance Française of Knoxville.

We attended two get-togethers already:

(1) Picnic and petanque tournament (pique-nique et tournoi de pétanque) at the Cove at Concord Park

(2) Immersion meal (table française) at the French-Belgian restaurant called “Northshore Brasserie” in West Knoxville.

The window of Northshore Brasserie

The window of Northshore Brasserie

Through the Alliance Française, we met people from Québec, France, Iran, Switzerland and even the United States (ha!). The conversations cover a multitude of topics and we all enjoy the interaction in the language of Molière. We definitely plan to join them for Bastille Day, our next “réunion.”

Here are the details

During the first event, we met everybody and played pétanque. Then, we had a picnic. Most of the dialogue was in French, but some of our spouses spoke to each other in English because they do not speak French at all.

Pétanque is a game like its Italian cousin, bocce. The difference is that, in bocce, you run before tossing the ball. In pétanque, you don’t. You stand and toss your ball from the launching spot.

Even though the weather was cold and my children were not too sure about speaking French to any of our new friends, we had a good time.

To say that I was inspired by the fellowship in French would be an understatement. I went home and worked on some more resources for our homeschool, like subscribing to different TV5 Monde newsletters and reaching out via email to a French family living in Knoxville, who were recommended by the members of this group.

By the second meeting, the immersion table, my children had more courage to interact in French. I am surprised by how quickly they pick up a language, but I should not be. Children under 12 are biologically wired to pick up multiple languages.

Alliance Française of Knoxville members enjoying lunch and French conversations  at Northshore Brasserie

Alliance Française of Knoxville members enjoying lunch and French conversations at Northshore Brasserie

After one month of teaching them, they understand simple phrases (what is your name? how old are you? come here, look at me, please, thank you etc) and they can count to ten. My son already uses “Eh, voilà!” when he brings me something.

When asked how old he was during the immersion table, he answered he was six years old. He constructed his sentence half in English and half in French. Progress.

Here’s another observation: their third language, French, is pushing their mother tongue, Romanian, to the forefront.

I spoke Romanian with my children since birth, but they answer me in English 99% of the time.

Today, my son and I were watering the garden. My daughter came over and asked to help, too. We took turns. When she asked to go over her allotted time, my son said, “In nici un caz!” in Romanian, which means “No way!”

I had never heard my son say that phrase before. Ever.

I knew he knew what it meant when I said it, but I did not know he could pronounce it so well and use it in an appropriate context. So I am really, really encouraged to see a bit of the fruit of my labors.

À bientôt!

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