30 May 2011

Passions

Happy Memorial Day!  The only reason I don't like holidays is because I don't get any mail, but it is awfully nice to have the mister around to make me some honey golden pancakes topped with fresh berries and homemade orange sauce.  He's all about breakfast being substantial.
Have you ever tried to find something, THE thing that your kids enjoy?  Their passion and delight in life?  Olive was easy.  It was always ballet.  Pearl was easy, too.  Horses.  Anything equine for that girl.  She gets books from the library and studies the different breeds.  I love it when my kids know more about something than I do.  That, I think, is passion.
We've had a hard time figuring out Divine, though.  We tried tennis.  We tried to convince her to join the swim team.  You should see that girl glide through the water.  Her teacher says she's better than most the kids on the swim team.  Another no. 
Then, this weekend, while we were at the library and I was looking up books, she sat down next to me and said she wanted to learn French.
We found a children's version of how to learn French cd and book included.  She went to bed reading it, made me put in the car on our drive to church, and has been teaching her sisters how to say "My name is" and how to count to 10.
She'll check with me every once in a while to make sure her pronunciation is Frenchie enough.
I'm hoping that this will stick.
I'm currently brainstorming ways to keep her excitement up--any ideas?
She's already on unit 7.
Maybe we'll promise her a trip to France ;)

45 comments:

  1. Impressive!! A trip to France would be amazing! How about a French themed party in the short term (here, I'm mostly thinking food and chocolates- probably b/c your breakfast sounds delicious and I'm hungry). :)

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  2. Yay for French and for passions! We just bought the Rosetta Stone French software for our family's French interest. It's supposed to be the best language software out there and it's on sale now. I don't if Divine enjoys working on the computer but I'm hoping it will feel like a special treat for our homeschoolers.

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  3. food. art. music. when I was in high school, this song came out and I used to dance around singing it. Maybe it'll help keep the momentum going:

    http://youtu.be/dRNvuD4iomA

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  4. Haha I totally agree, I hate not getting mail! =P Well to keep her excitement up I would possibly make her an outfit that looks french? or teach her how to make some french food. Promise her a trip to france but do it in your house instead, maybe re-create different things in France and for one day take a trip to the Eiffel Tower, or the Louve or take a boat ride down the river. Or maybe have her do it, she could make the Eiffel Tower out of popsicle sticks. =) Just a few ideas coming to mind. Hope this helps! I just recent found your blog and I love it! Very inspiring and amazing!

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  5. Short French poems she can memorize. French magazines and MUSIC!

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  6. oh that's awesome! I don't know if you've heard of Little Pim but they are language-learner videos (similar to Muzzy when I was a kid). I don't know how old your kiddos are (I'm a new subscriber!) but my 4 & 2 year old were mesmerized for awhile. They are quite long at 40 minutes a piece but teach a LOT of material and it's like a conversation. That, and we also will do Rosetta Stone and Usborne French flash cards. And a trip to France, that'd pretty much be the icing on the cake!!
    Sarah M

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  7. May I suggest you find her a French-speaking penpal her age? I learnt most of my English at age 11 by corresponding with girl from NZ. The site I used back then was interpals.net but I dunno if that's still up. You could always find something through an English language teacher in France or something like that. There's nothing like learning from a peer and the excitement of getting mail (whether e-mail or snail mail) will keep her interested!

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  8. I think Gin has a fantastic idea. I had a penpal, Amy, when I was young; such wonderful memories. Fancy Nancy stories also have a few French words/phrases, and they're fun to read, too!

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  9. That's so great! French... ooo~la~la! I think the trip to France is the way to go. Have you ever been? Abby is like Pearl, a horse girl all the way. I love it. I see Tom and I visiting her on her ranch out west some day. She envisions up living out there with her. No argument from me!

    Have a great day, Katy!

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  10. canard a l'orange! Can we go too?!

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  11. I have to second what Rachel recommended and go with Rosetta Stone. We are using it for Spanish and it does work! Another idea, if you can stand it, is to let her make sticky cards for all the items in you house that she can say in French. Once she knows it, she sticks a post-it to it. Not only does it help her,the other's learn too.

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  12. I love the fact that you are supporting your children's passions like that. I think it makes you a wonderful mom. Have fun with learning French!

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  13. I don't mean to turn this into a language forum, but since a couple of you have mentioned Rosetta Stone, can you let me know how effective is it? And is it something all family members are attracted to? We're considering it here at home for learning German...

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  14. Music, movies and tv in French. There are lots of European options as well as things from Quebec, and possibly even some American sources for fun unique French music and other media.

    Get a subscription to a French children's magazine.

    Do a "France" night with food, music, decor etc.

    Ask her to look into her favourite French celebrity.

    Talk to her about all the countries that speak French (not just France)

    See if there is a francophone community in your area and see if they have regular gatherings that you can attend.

    As her to start teaching you some words/phrases.

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  15. Gin's idea for a penpal is good. Rosetta Stone is exceptional. What I did to learn German was watch German kid shows, kids movies, and read children's books and primers.

    I know from experience that being able to read and understand an entire book or movie was such an accomplishment and ego booster that I'd learn a bit more vocabulary to level up in my books and movie genres.

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  16. I have a friend who learned French right along with her daughter, and for 3 years, they've only spoken in French to each other. You know, in your free time! I should mention that this friend has ONE child, and well...you have a "few" more! Me too...I wish I could devote a language to each child, but I already speak too much in English.

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  17. My family just moved to France for the summer, but most of the stuff we do is very family-oriented: we read familiar scriptures in French and then in English and see how much we recognized, we each ask one question in French at the dinner table, we look up French art, we make French food.
    If it's the language she loves, there are plenty of French nursery rhymes, tongue twisters, and children's songs that are absolutely wonderful. Culture is harder, but maybe more fun in the long run. You could experiment with art forms used by famous French artists, learn to make croissants-anything!

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  18. We might be twins separated at birth {although you obviously got the seamstress gene} ... I hate the lack of mail on holidays too.

    We are constantly on a quest to help our kids find their passions as well. It's so easy with some and much harder with others. I think the trip to France might help the motivation stay up! :)

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  19. I've taught bits of French to my pupils over the years, and the introductory lesson has always gone down a storm. I made 50 or so French flags from coloured paper and hung them around the room like bunting, put on some "French Cafe" style music (found some on youtube), and they entered the room to the smell of freshly brewed coffee (more for the sensory aspect!), fresh OJ and lightly warmed pains au chocolat. Something like that for breakfast one morning would be exciting for everyone!

    The BBC do several online French courses, including one for children, lots of flash games and cartoons, as well as printables. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryfrench/

    I second the idea of looking at French art. A wonderful book for introducing Van Gogh is Camille's Sunflowers, review here: http://lookingglassreview.com/books/camille-and-the-sunflowers-a-story-about-vincent-van-gogh it's a beautiful story. (The biography at the back mentions Van Gogh cutting his ear off, every kid I know have found this fact bizarrely fascinating!)

    Good luck, and have fun!

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  20. I love the idea of a french outfit! When I was studying french in high school we watched a french childrens television show from the 80s called Telefrancais. It was quite funny and helped a lot to hear real french accents. Maybe find an updated version of it? Also, I'm not sure where you live but my neighbors who are 6 and 7 attend a french elementary school! Good luck!

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  21. Find someone who speaks French for her to meet with! A tutor, or even just someone she could hear speaking it. I bet there are college French majors who would do it for cheap! Or a French movie with subtitles??

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  22. Well, If she really likes it she will stick with it, I think. I like alot of the suggestions on here. Have you tried her with a musical instrument? I found my passion was with the Cello and orchestra

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  23. So fun. I wonder if they have some great kids movies in french.

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  24. Sounds like Divine marches to the beat of her own drum. Some of us are destined to be the Jacks-and-Jills of all trades, with widely spread talents and interests. A bit different to parent these ones, as you note their interest, and throw some resources their way, to watch them achieve the level of mastery they sought, and then pronounce that interest "over". And the hunt begins again. Simple illustrated books are a lovely language tool, if you can get your hands on them.

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  25. My Emmie (she's 9) is a horse girl too, she can't get enough of all things equine!

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  26. an exchange student and a penpal are what helped my brothers with their japanese, then they all got to serve missions there :) :) :)

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  27. French music. Food. Movies. What about a pen pal?
    Jennifer
    www.bigdandme.com

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  28. rosetta stone for further language skills and I second the penpal idea for a more "cultural experienc. with email they could be writing back and forth a couple times a week instead of waiting a month or two like I had to do with my german penpal. I ended up going to germany as an exchange student in highschool though. maybe she would be interested in that some day down the road

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  29. I'm with Divine! We are waiting for our Rosetta Stone to come in the mail to begin learning French . . . I am concerned it will cut greatly into my sewing time, though. I think a penpal would be great motivation for a child. We're learning to be able to communicate when we travel to adopt our kids, and in the meantime my reward will be watching French films on netflix without being stuck to the subtitles!

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  30. C'est fantastique! What about a trip to Quebec? French podcasts? Be sure to watch La Tour de France on le tele this summer for some beautiful scenery and snippets of French in the background.

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  31. Babar! We had a few french picture books. Most of them were Babar. It would be a great little challenge to learn to read one of them.

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  32. We are taking a trip to Montreal in July. Want to come? And what about Poisson Rouge? Only in French, of course! This is so weird because lately I have wanted to brush up (ha,ha, ha,) on my French.

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  33. PS. Definitely coming with you to France.

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  34. Hi Katy!

    I'm French and have been babysitting little ones for years (and trying to pass on some French culture ;)

    I found these CDS to be very very good quality, and you can all listen to them everywhere (in the car, etc)
    There is the magic A tire d'aile CD:

    http://www.amazon.com/Tire-DAile-Bohy/dp/B000093U2V/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306850845&sr=1-1

    and the ever great Putumayo kids French playground:

    http://www.amazon.com/FRENCH-PLAYGROUND-PUTUMAYO-KIDS-PRESENTS/dp/B000B5UNH4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1306850859&sr=8-1

    Hope you can try them! x

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  35. We are American, but currently living in France, just outside Geneva, Switz. My two children (6 and 8) would love a pen pal to converse with in French. I've sent you an email with my details!

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  36. download 1,2,3, Soleil by Bruno Husar (available on iTunes) it is really cute (and catchy) French children's music that helps teach greetings, days of the week and counting, alphabet etc. My kids love it.

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  37. definitely food, music, movies, books. a penpal would be so wonderful. quebec is so much more accessible for the short term. think about history, too.

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  38. I think it's great that she's into French. If she's anything like my kids, they love to teach me things I don't know. Maybe, a meal of french foods and encourage her to label things in the house with the french word for the object. Like a sticky note on chair that says chaise, etc...
    Good on her. I always tell my kids to do everything with purpose. It helps when they're passionate. :)

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  39. You know Ben is fluent in french, right? Maybe he could talk to her on Sunday using some basic sentences? I bet that would be neat for her! Just say the word! :-D

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  40. Oh! Oh! Oh! Wouldn't it be so fun to try to get a hold of some children's movies in french? Like The Little Mermaid, or you know, Disney-type movies and watch them in French! She'll already know the plot, and so it will be more fun to pick out words while she watches it! I would do that for my students when I tutored in Spanish.

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  41. Ooh, fun! My brother got my kids a Hooked on French kit that has workbooks, and CD's for the computer. I think it was marketed for 4-6 year olds, but not sure. Good luck!

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  42. Learning languages is an amazing passion! Languages can take you anywhere. I learned both dutch and English in host families. Dutch here in Belgium during holidays and English as an exchange student. If I can be of any help, ask me... to suscribe to a French magazine for kids, or even to host her here a week or 2, later on...
    I admire how you help your girls grow with a passion and their own "world"

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  43. I love you are supporting what your children love...not pushing them to do what others enjoy but helping them embrace who they are individually...

    Also, loved the pics...looks like great memories are being created :)

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  44. You should check the web for a kid friendly pen-pal site. I have seen a few out there that will even let you pick what country they are from. Then your daughter could learn French from someone fluent and she could teach them a little English. It would be fun and fairly inexpensive to get her involved with the language. Either way she'll get mail and who doesn't love to get a little something from the postman!

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