We are learning German!

Our parts of the body German lesson. Nicholas colored it as we named the parts of the body.

I’ve been a big slacker in our house when it comes to foreign language. My kids do know the word “no” in about 4 different languages. It seems that the more serious the need for a “No” the more languages it comes out in. They can also count to three in 3 different languages – much for the same reason they know the word “no” in so many languages.

But as helpful as the word “no” and the numbers 1, 2, and 3, are in raising children, they are not the best foundation to a real understanding of the language. So, we have chosen German to learn in our house. There were a few reasons for this. My husband is fluent in German and has no wish to learn a new language – so he can help out and read the books we have in German (we have some kids books in German and things like that). Second, I like to learn new languages

and have no problem learning with my kids. Lastly, Nicholas can learn and use German with his dad – it is important to have someone to practice with and his dad loves to have some way to help out.

So I looked around for resources to help me teach him German. Then I realized that many of the “teaching” resources were geared towards formal lessons and we are hoping for a more informal approach – kind of like how we teach children

Other visual aides we have created for our German lessons.

new words when we are teaching in our own languages.

I invested in 2 books – Teach Me German and More German, and a German phrasebook. Between these two things we are working hard at German. I go through the books the night before and pick a phrase or our lesson, and then we work on those things all day long. We even make our own visual aides. I make sure Nicholas is involved with making the visual aides. I have found that getting him involved – physically – in the lesson makes it stick better.

We are slowly working our way through, and so far I have about a 25% success rate in getting the lessons to stick. But I figure that it is okay – because we will cycle through the lessons we pick (about 20 of them) every 20 days until they stick with us and we can use them. I’m hoping that the lessons stick with Abby a little better since she’s younger.

I do know that our parts of the body lessons have stuck. Nicholas is a 4 year old boy – so he’s really into calling me a “poopyhead” right now (which results in a time out; and too many time outs result in bed time). But now he’s calling me a “poopy der Kopf” – not exactly the right form of the noun, but close enough. Regardless of how creative he’s getting, he still gets a time out.


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