Wednesday, October 13, 2010

German is in the House

Rixa inspired me to blog about one of our family's newest adventures.

Willem is going to preschool, and not just any preschool. Its a school for German immersion.

Given my educational and professional background, I had been opposed to sending Willem to a preschool when I am a fully qualified (and have make a hobby of purchasing all the supplies needed by a) preschool teacher. But I am not qualified in being bilingual.

My husband, however, is fluent in German, though he has not attained native fluency. So when we found out about the German preschool, I was willing to give Willem the exposure to a language that he could learn and then converse with his dad. The hope is then that Belle will be exposed to the language and learn it herself. I may never become fluent but I'll benefit from the exposure and learn some as well.

Willem has been in school for a month now. I wish I could say that he loves it but he hates waking up and getting ready to go to school in the mornings he attends each week. I hope its just a matter that he doesn't like the process of getting there, but I have heard other complaints like there are too many children there and that he only likes mamas who speak in English and not in German and that he doesn't like German.

We're not giving up yet though. So we try to explain to him the reasons for why its a good thing if he learns a new language and why its important to go to bed early to wake up in time. My husband tries to speak to the children in German more often than he has in the past.

We've tried to think of ways to bring the German language into the house more. And the preschool teacher in me says that the easiest and most effective way of doing that is through German language children's books, music and other media. Its really hard to access German language children's materials in the United States. His school does have a lending library, thankfully, which we will begin to make use of.

Yet, just today, Rixa has helped break through that barrier about blogging about her Stand and Deliver: Little Pim language DVD giveaway!

I'm entering and I hope I'll be able to win one of the German language DVDs and we'll give it a try with Willem and Belle. They really like the Singing Times videos and I hope that a German language video would be similarly popular in the house.

Wish me luck!


Rixa said...

Good luck. You just have to keep on doing it and ignore it when they say "I don't want to speak ___." The more comfortable they become with the other language, the more they'll enjoy interacting in that language. I catch Zari saying the funniest things in French, totally out of the blue.

BTW, I've had really good success using either local or university ILL to get the Little Pim DVDs.

Mama Ayla said...

Oh, I wish we had that here! They do have French at Nykki's homeschool co-op but since he learns German at home it can get confusing. LOL