Language for Little Learners


Archive for March, 2009

Teaching Numbers

March 31, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: numbers, practice french children teach

It’s important to do a various activies when you are teaching your children numbers in French. It’s very easy for them to count from 1 to 10 in French, but can they count backwards? Can they randomly say which number is which without counting up first? Look for ways to throughout the day to practice numbers. Here are a few ideas that I’ve used in the past with my kids and students.

When walking down stairs you can count backwards in French with each step you take with your child.

Play with a rocket and count down in French to take off.

Play with chalk on your driveway and draw various numbers and have them say the numbers in French.

Counting M&Ms

March 30, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

One of the favorite ways to love to teach French to younger children is by using M&Ms (skittles work well too). You can buy those fun sized ones if you don’t want your children eating too much candy. What we each open our little bag of M&Ms. We separate the M&Ms into different groups of colors and talk about the different colors all in French. Then we count the M&Ms in each group in French. For my older son who is 6 years old now, we also throw a little math into it by making a chart to show how many of each color each packet had. And of course at the end of the lesson, your kids get to eat the candy!

Some vocabulary to help you with this lesson:
J’ai – I have
Tu as – You have
Nous avons – We have
un(e) – one
deux – two
trois – three
quatre – four
cinq – five
six- six
sept – seven
huit – eight
neuf – nine
dix – ten

Why should I teach my child a foreign language?

March 29, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

Lots of people ask me “Why should I teach my child a foreign language?” I first respond with “Why not?” Then I go more into detail with my answer and explain how helpful it is to learn a foreign language at a young age. It’s a proven fact that children learn languages best if they start learning the language before the age of around 7. (The exact age varies depending on which articles and research you read, but generally it’s around 7 years old).

Also, studying a foreign language will help with their math skills now and when they are older. Language and math skills are highly linked, so studying 1 will help the other.

Another reason and perhaps my favorite is that through studying a language it opens the door to the world to your kids. When you teach them French or Spanish or any language you can teach some culture and geography too. This will really open their mind and help them to see the bigger picture of the world that they live in.

And if you are a homeschooling mom I think it’s important to have some ‘electives’ in your curriculum, so why not a foreign language.

The next question I usually hear is “Which language should I teach?” You can teach a language you are familiar with or you can choose a language that interests you and learn it with your child at the same time. As long as you and your children are having fun, then it is all worth it.

As for me, even though I’ve studied Spanish, Japanese, French, Latin and a few other languages, I chose French to teach my children because I’ve always loved the sound of the French language and I’ve always loved French culture.

Karaoke to teach your kids French

March 28, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

One thing I have learned since being a Home School mom is that kids need a change of pace. You can’t teach everything in the same format, especially language. I try to think out of the box and help them have fun when learning French.

There are some videos on You Tube that people have put together which have the French versions of Disney songs and the words on them. I like to watch them with my kids so they can practice their pronunciation and vocabulary.

These are all songs that I’m sure lots of kids and parents already know in English, so it’s fun to sing them in French since you know the melody. (A whole new world – Aladdin) (Can you feel the love tonight – Lion King) (Reflections – Mulan) (Hula Song – Lion King)

Tired Mommies

March 27, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

I try to teach my kids a little (or a lot of French) each day, but sometimes this mommy is just too tired or sick. As a homeschooling mother of 3 I sometimes need a break from school and teaching. So why not? Why not take a day off from learning French. You may just be surprised when your children ask YOU “Mama when is French class today?”

I think the moral of the story is it’s okay to take a break from teaching your kids French especially because maybe, just maybe your kids will actually want to do it more.

Then there is another tactic that I spoke about before. If you are truly tired/sick but still want to teach your children some French, why not pop a Disney DVD in and change the track to French? We really like to watch Lion King and Aladdin in French. It’s great for the kids to hear the accents of native speakers. Also, one thing that I like to do is find the lyrics of the Disney songs on the internet and we sing with the movies together. The kids love it.

French Teaching Tips for Preschoolers has moved

March 26, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

I have moved French Teaching Tips for Preschoolers to:

Sing a song to teach body parts in French

March 26, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

Alouette is a great song that will help you teach your children body parts in French. When you say each body part make sure you point to it and get your child to point too so they will remember exactly which word is that particular body part.

Here are the lyrics:

Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai
Je te plumerai la tête
Je te plumerai la tête
Et la tête, et la tête
Et la tête, et la tête
Alouette, gentille Alouette
Alouette je te plumerai

body parts you can use:
la tête – head (in the verse above)
le nez – nose
les yeux – eyes
le dos – back

Easter in France

March 25, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

Teaching culture and traditions is also important when you are teaching your children French. It enables them to live the French way of live without living in France or in a French speaking country. Here are a few websites that teach a little about Easter in France.

I really like the part about how the French children play games with raw eggs. Sounds very fun. Roll them down a slope and the one that isn’t broken is the winner!!! My kids will love that!

French Easter Egg Hunt

March 24, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

Since it’s Easter time, the kids have been wanting to have lots of Easter egg hunts in the backyard. Today I decided to make it a French learning Easter egg hunt. I took all of their little plastic animals and put 1 into each plastic egg and then I hid the eggs. After the kids found all of the eggs we sat on our patio swing and opened each one. I had them say the animal’s name in French. I think they really enjoyed the change for this Easter Egg hunt.

Here are some vocabulary words you can use for this activity with your toddlers.

J’ai… – I have…
une vache – a cow
un cochon – a pig
un mouton – a sheep
un chien – a dog
un chat – a cat
un poisson – a fish

You can do this activity with any little toys that will fit in eggs. You can put little toy cars in and practice their colors. Or what ever you can think of.

French Wall

March 23, 2009 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

Since I’m a homeschooling mom, we tend to do a lot of art projects at home and the kids never want to throw anything way. They want to see all of their work on display. My son Callum came up with the idea to put all of our French activities on its own wall. What we did was attach a few long pieces of yarn to the wall. Then we hang their French artwork and activities to the yarn with clothespins. This way the kids can put up their own artwork.

Once our French wall gets too crowded I take a picture of it and take all of the items down. Sometimes leaving their favorite ones.

I really like the idea of a French wall because if we ever need to review a specific topic we can quickly look at the wall to see what we’ve done in the past. Also, it’s really a great way to have your children be proud of themselves learning French. Whenever you have guests over I’m sure your kids will point out their French work like my kids do.

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