Thursday, December 6
Home Study Days
One of the challenges of raising bilingual kids is helping them to learn in both languages. For the most part we are more concerned with their childhood experience, encouraging exploration and acts of empathy/sympathy. We try to let them have as much free time as possible in the afternoons so they can play with friends or each other. For the most part, they determine how their time is spent, an element that is crucial as they step closer day by day toward adulthood.
I do want them to be scholastically well-equipped to support their journey through this world. So this year while I have been on maternity leave, we have started doing home study days. We sit down twice a week and do some formalized lessons, either with paper worksheets or more tactile materials. As you may remember, I try to incorporate Montessori methods in our home whenever possible. Colette is using the sandpaper letters and metal insets in preparation for writing. She is super alert to finding her "w's" as she refers to the alphabet whenever we are out and about. During the day I do more practical Montessori activities with her like pouring rice and dressing frames to learn how to use buttons and laces.
Nicolai is into Bob books, the movable alphabet, and math. Yep, math. He walks around counting by threes and fours and loves the hundreds board app on the iPad. The boy sits down and writes out addition problems, filling out the entire page with sums.
For Sebastian, I just try to supplement his school work to help him in what his teacher considers to be his weaker areas. I personally abide by the theories of multiple intelligences and various learning styles. I do not think Sebastian's weaker areas are truly weak but since the school wants well-rounded students, I try to help him to feel more confident in areas that he is not so interested in. I also work with him on his English reading which was really slow going until recently when we switched from phonics to sight words. And he is such a rabid reader in Japanese that I do not worry about his abilities.
We are still smoothing out some of the kinks of home study time (and by kinks I mean resolving disputes sparked by having three very determined and different learners at one table) but that is all part of the journey.