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Learning Multiple Foreign Languages in a Homeschool Setting

Being able to converse in multiple languages is something that is important to our homeschool so we spend a bit of time working toward that goal.  For several years now we have been slowly learning 3-4 languages.  Right now we are working on Arabic, Mandarin, and ancient Greek.  French was in our line-up, but I decided to stop it last school year and resume it in 5th grade.  Currently, we are spending about 90-100 minutes per school day on everything related to foreign languages.  We would make much quicker progress in one language if we put all that time toward one so our progress may be a little slower.  I like to hit every language each school day.  Progress is quicker when we have short sessions every day than if we have longer periods of study less frequently.

I’ve outlined how our week typically looks for foreign language study.  My 8 and 10 year olds complete everything listed.  My 3 year old only does the exposure to Mandarin and Arabic through watching children’s programming.  I’ve color coded the different languages and bolded anything that requires me to be involved.

Monday

Arabic

Mandarin 

Greek 

Tuesday

Arabic

Mandarin 

Greek 

Wednesday

Arabic

Mandarin 

Greek 



Thursday


Arabic

Mandarin 

Greek 

  • Oldest son completes an assignment from Athenaze.
  • Younger son does a worksheet or pages from Hey, Andrew! 3
    .

Friday

Arabic

Mandarin 

Greek 

I must admit that sometimes it is difficult to be motivated to do all these languages everyday.  But then there comes the reward at seeing my children progress in each language.  I try to keep our foreign language study as important as our language arts and math studies so it isn’t likely to get dropped when our days get busy.  Next year I plan to add French to my oldest child’s studies.  His time for foreign languages each day will probably be closer to 2 hours including the time spent watching shows in different languages.

I don’t know any of these languages that we are studying and I am having to learn along with my children.  It isn’t unusual for my child to correct me when I get something wrong.  My kids want to continue on this foreign language journey.  They know it will require many years of study ahead.  I don’t know how far we will get in this journey, but we will try to go as far as we can.

4 Comments:

  1. This is so impressive. I’m just starting out homeschooling and we’d love to have foreign language as a big part of our kids’ learning too.

    Do you find that your younger kids get confused at all between the languages? At what age did you start, kindergarten?

    Thanks!

    • The languages are quite different so there hasn’t been any confusion. I did things a little differently with my oldest, but with my youngest I started formal lessons in Kindergarten with several years of exposure before that. I put off French until 5th grade with formal lessons for Greek, Mandarin, and Arabic starting in Kindergarten.

  2. Excellent! I’m so glad I’m not the only one doing this 🙂 We are learning modern Hebrew, French and Korean right now, everyday. The only one I’m fluent in is French. It’s been interesting trying to teach them to a kid who isn’t fluent in reading/writing English yet 🙂 You’ve given me some great ideas – I had totally forgotten about kids programs/videos to watch!

  3. Wow! I’m impressed with your ambitious schedule and diligence. I think ancient Greek would be fun to learn. I have dabbled with Spanish and French. My daughter works with Japanese off and on.

    Joyfully,
    Jackie–one homeschool Mom who cheats a little help when it comes to

    foreign language games
    .
    My Attempt at Blogging

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