I homeschool my children mostly in English, but I have raised them to be bilingual (Romanian and English), with lots of exposure to French and Spanish. Today, I am excited to bring to you all a series of blog posts on Teaching Reading to Multilingual Children. It’s a blog carnival called “Raising Multilingual Children” and several great bloggers are participating.
By teaching their children several languages, these parents are homeschooling them on some level – and what a great advantage they are giving their children by helping them become multilingual.
Galina of Raising a Trilingual Child shares 7 Principles to Keep in Mind while Teaching Your Child to Read. While you may not agree with her strategy of teaching phonics to toddlers, keep reading her post. She does mention that the lessons are short, five minutes at first, and done only if the child shows interest.
Eugenia of The Loras English Network shares Once Upon A Time, There Were Treasures on Shelves! Her post talks about the importance of putting books in your children’s lives the way you would a ball, a doll or any other toy. Even if you think they may not be interested, try it and, over time, they will warm up to it. (Also, I would add, turn off or limit media!)
Lynn of Open Hearts, Open Minds shares Getting Ready for Reading (in two languages!). As a non-native speaker of Spanish, Lynn is trying to raise a bilingual child (English and Spanish). I can relate to the experience because I, too, am trying to teach my children languages which are not my mother tongue (French and Spanish in my case). Her four suggestions work.
I know because I have tried them. I like the fact that her son is four and she is not attempting to teach him to read. Nor is she worried about it. Too many parents rush their children into reading early on, when, in fact, research shows that school is better done late than early.
Nina of Bringing Up 8 Bilingual Babies shares Homeschooling Thoughts?? Me??. Of course, this subject is dear to my heart, as I am a homeschooling mom. The two reasons she mentions for toying with the idea of homeschooling are exactly what made me homeschool my children. American children spend way too much time at school (7-9 hours including bus commute and lunch) compared to German or Romanian kids (four hours, no lunch, no bus commute).
Then, she wants to homeschool them in German, which includes teaching them how to read, of course. Based on her experience with her older, graduated children, who speak German but did not learn much German writing or reading because they attended American public school, she feels homeschooling the younger ones in German would be the best use of her German teaching degrees. I say, go for it, Nina!
Annika of Be Bilingual shares Putting the Why Before the How in Reading – in One or More Languages. This post had me crying tears of joy – the story of an eight-year-old who falls in love with reading has that effect on me. Annika writes well and you will enjoy reading her submission. Her main idea? The mechanics will kick in once the child is motivated. Give the children books they enjoy. What exactly do they like? I like how intentional she became as a mom trying to help her child. And it worked!
Frances of Discovering the World through My Son’s Eyes shares Raising a Biliterate Child. Here, Frances shares several of her other posts on the subject, which give you a more complete idea of how she tackles teaching reading. Her Spanish text-rich home looks more and more like a school every day. It seems oh so normal to me, but I can see how some people would make comments to her about it – which they did. She also included a short video of her little one working on syllables. Cute!
Jeanne of SoulTravelers3 shares Reading in 3 Languages. Get ready for some intense stretching of your mind when you read her blog. Jeanne and her husband are digital nomads raising their daughter all over the world, in three languages. She says it can be done for $23 a day. Intrigued? I was. She shares great linguistic principles, like this one: teach your multilingual child to read and write in his strongest language first. The other languages will follow.
Michelle of Intentional Mama shares Teaching Reading in French: Our Homeschooling Plan. If you are looking for reasons, methods and resources to homeschool in French, – and who isn’t? – Michelle’s blog is a one-time stop and shop. She has put together a wonderful and compelling post on why even doing it. I have written down quite a few resources for my homeschool. Merci, Michelle!
Sarah of Bringing Up Baby Bilingual shares Homework from His Spanish Teacher: Practice Writing in French! What an inspirational post and so right on when it comes to methods. Keep it fun, keep it light, allow the child to develop skills before requiring perfection, and thank God for this child’s teacher. Even though she is his Spanish teacher, she gave him homework in French. You will have to read the post to understand why.
Well, that’s it for this month’s multilingual carnival. I hope you were deeply enriched and inspired by all these amazing parents. We hope to have you join us again next month, over at Multilingual Parenting.
So long, farewell, au revoir, Auf Wiedersehen…
For more multilingual children carnivals, please click the image below.