Homeschoolers united!

Ask specific questions about your target languages. Beginner questions welcome!
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Ani
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Re: Homeschoolers united!

Postby Ani » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:08 pm

Systematiker wrote:Can I stick around with "intent to homeschool"? We've got a 6mo and have different native languages, so we are doing OPOL; we share several other additional languages and are considering what we'll teach there, and we intend to homeschool in general (she currently works in a private school environment and I'm in higher ed, so we've got our share of theories).


Of course! Your comment about having your share of theories cracks me up. Ain't that the truth? We are all full of theories and then the real life children come along and it all goes to pot. :)
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Re: Homeschoolers united!

Postby IronMike » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:30 am

I'm good with the team idea....sad that half our kids are already beyond our grasp, homeschool-wise. (One joining the Coast Guard, the other starts at Virginia Tech this fall.) But we still have two who are being brain-washed homeschooled!
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Re: Homeschoolers united!

Postby IronMike » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:49 am

I answered a homeschool question from Ani on my language log, but thought I'd include it here. Maybe we can all write about our experiences homeschooling our kids language-wise and perhaps those who haven't started homeschooling yet could ask questions of those of us here who have.

For the record, we started homeschooling back in 2000 when our first hit 5 yrs old. We homeschooled all four exclusively except for two occasions (detailed below). And when I say we, I really mean the wife. All I do is make sure we are legal with whatever state we're living in. ;)

Since the wife has been the primary teacher for our kids, I'll tell you about what she/we did language-wise. Back around 2005-ish, we got German Rosetta Stone and the kids and mom went through that. Like, through all of it, to include the writing part. My wife has had experience with German before so it was quick and easy for her, and the kids took to it pretty easily. What really pushed them beyond RS was when we found out that their favorite online game (at the time), Runescape, had a "German" world, where everything in it was in German. My wife let the kids play Runescape for one hour per school day as long as they were in the German world.

This worked well as she and the kids ended up going to Germany and Switzerland to visit relatives about 12 months later (while I got to "enjoy" Iraq). The kids used their German there and got exposed to the language, which was great as they were 11, 10, 7 and 3 at the time. When I got back from Iraq, they had been back from Europe for a couple of months. I was enjoying some time off at home, relaxing on the couch, overhearing a conversation btwn my boys (the 11- and 10-yr olds) on the difference between axe and hatchet auf Deutsch! I was floored.

Fast forward to 2009-ish and we are on our way to Russia. Again Russian Rosetta Stone, but also Pimsleur, which mom and the kids preferred. Did a few months of that prior to arriving in Moscow, which helped the kids out a bit. We decided to not homeschool them there, instead enrolling them in the international school. Not enough Russian instruction for my taste (2-3 times per week, that is it). Our youngest at the time (6 to 9-yrs old) soaked up the most, to the point she could watch Russian cartoons and understand them. Our second oldest wasn't too bad at it when he'd go out with his friends to coffee shops. Our oldest did Spanish his last year, which ended up being the right move.

When we moved back to the states in 2012, homeschooling started up again. Oldest continue Spanish on his own and got a job at a local MacDonalds where all of the employees (except him) and most of the customers were L1 Spanish speakers. He'd speak Spanish daily for more than half of his work day. He continued working there the year after high school before we moved again, this time to Kyrgyzstan.

Kids entered private international school (again) here in Bishkek. More Russian, 5x per week, which was nice. Plus the kids are picking up some Kyrgyz words from their Kyrgyz friends. The girls' (the 2 youngest) Russian is getting better (probably A2+). The second oldest graduated here and did well in Russian and now has complete conversations with his Kyrgyz and Russian-speaking friends entirely in Russian. Granted, not advanced topics, but topics you'd imagine a bunch of 17-19-year old boys would have.

So, that is our experience with homeschooling/schooling and languages. The Esperanto teaching will begin when we arrive our next assignment, which is Moscow again. My now 16-year old daughter wants to learn it and Mom said that'll be my job. ;)
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Re: Homeschoolers united!

Postby Elenia » Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:35 am

IronMike wrote:So, that is our experience with homeschooling/schooling and languages. The Esperanto teaching will begin when we arrive our next assignment, which is Moscow again. My now 16-year old daughter wants to learn it and Mom said that'll be my job. ;)


Out of interest, how do your kids do with upkeep and maintenance?
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Re: Homeschoolers united!

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:48 am

IronMike wrote:So, that is our experience with homeschooling/schooling and languages. The Esperanto teaching will begin when we arrive our next assignment, which is Moscow again. My now 16-year old daughter wants to learn it and Mom said that'll be my job. ;)


Awesome overview (ie awesome adventures of one adventurous family). I am envious ;) So, sorry to ask (i don't want to be rude), how do u manage to facilitate this lifestyle. In other words, what do you do for a living? Feel free not to answer or to PM me instead. I don't mean this from a point of view of 'who the hell and how the hell are you doing this?' I coming from the angle of 'this is pretty awesome dude, I am genuinely happy for you, and i'd like to ask what can I do to equip myself as best as can be to increase my family's chances of doing something similar based on your experiences'?
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Re: Homeschoolers united!

Postby IronMike » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:01 am

Elenia wrote:
IronMike wrote:So, that is our experience with homeschooling/schooling and languages. The Esperanto teaching will begin when we arrive our next assignment, which is Moscow again. My now 16-year old daughter wants to learn it and Mom said that'll be my job. ;)


Out of interest, how do your kids do with upkeep and maintenance?


Only way to tell, to answer you, was when the kids came to Bishkek after 2 years in DC w/o doing any Russian. The school put them all in beginner Russian (12th grader, 9th grader and 6th grader). Within a week, the 12th and 6th graders were moved up.

The wife and I decided a long time ago (whether rightly or not, who knows) to NOT try and raise them in Russian, despite us both knowing Russian at varied B2-C1 throughout that time. We felt we weren't fluent enough to do the work justice.

Now our son who took up Spanish, he's managed to keep it up speaking with some folks here in the embassy who speak Spanish. I have no idea what level he is though. I do know that his former boss at that McDonalds absolutely loved him and raved about his Spanish (and she is an L1 Spanish speaker).
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IronMike
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Re: Homeschoolers united!

Postby IronMike » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:03 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:
IronMike wrote:So, that is our experience with homeschooling/schooling and languages. The Esperanto teaching will begin when we arrive our next assignment, which is Moscow again. My now 16-year old daughter wants to learn it and Mom said that'll be my job. ;)


Awesome overview (ie awesome adventures of one adventurous family). I am envious ;) So, sorry to ask (i don't want to be rude), how do u manage to facilitate this lifestyle. In other words, what do you do for a living? Feel free not to answer or to PM me instead. I don't mean this from a point of view of 'who the hell and how the hell are you doing this?' I coming from the angle of 'this is pretty awesome dude, I am genuinely happy for you, and i'd like to ask what can I do to equip myself as best as can be to increase my family's chances of doing something similar based on your experiences'?


No worries. I'm retired military and a current diplomat, which is the only way we afford this. In other words, Uncle Sam is paying for the kids' schooling overseas, and we did/do a pretty good job at saving, so we can afford to live overseas and still pay a mortgage on our over-priced home in northern Virginia. ;)
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Re: Homeschoolers united!

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:39 am

IronMike wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:
IronMike wrote:So, that is our experience with homeschooling/schooling and languages. The Esperanto teaching will begin when we arrive our next assignment, which is Moscow again. My now 16-year old daughter wants to learn it and Mom said that'll be my job. ;)


Awesome overview (ie awesome adventures of one adventurous family). I am envious ;) So, sorry to ask (i don't want to be rude), how do u manage to facilitate this lifestyle. In other words, what do you do for a living? Feel free not to answer or to PM me instead. I don't mean this from a point of view of 'who the hell and how the hell are you doing this?' I coming from the angle of 'this is pretty awesome dude, I am genuinely happy for you, and i'd like to ask what can I do to equip myself as best as can be to increase my family's chances of doing something similar based on your experiences'?


No worries. I'm retired military and a current diplomat, which is the only way we afford this. In other words, Uncle Sam is paying for the kids' schooling overseas, and we did/do a pretty good job at saving, so we can afford to live overseas and still pay a mortgage on our over-priced home in northern Virginia. ;)


Thank you for sharing :) Well, it sounds like a pretty cool lifestyle, but i'm sure there are downsides too. Nevertheless it's pretty cool you've given your kids are very open-minded education in which they have experienced different cultures from the vehicle of their respective languages even, and that they are not forever part of one one-dimensional educational indoctrination system ;)
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Re: Homeschoolers united!

Postby Elsa Maria » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:05 pm

Yay for a homeschooling thread!
One thing I will mention is that if you aspire to both the expat lifestyle and homeschooling, do some research about the laws in the various countries that interest you. Homeschooling ranges from illegal to easily fulfilled regulations.

A bit of background:
We are wrapping up our fourth year as homeschooling expats, and my son/student is finishing his first year of high school. His coursework is aligned with the college admission requirements of universities in the USA.

We are accidental homeschoolers. I never planned to homeschool, but my son had a disastrous first year here at the international school. I will not go into the problems that we encountered at the school, but suffice it to say that he was unhappy at the school and I was unhappy with the school.

We have two older children who were never homeschooled. They are now young adults. One lives in Europe and one lives in the USA. The fact that my three children live in three different countries still shocks me occasionally :)

And now to the languages

As soon as my son moved to Europe, it was evident that he liked foreign languages. When he was in middle school, it was easy to let him explore his interests. Now that he has a heavy course load and has to count credits, there is less room for dabbling unless he chooses to do it in his free time.

Of course he studies the local language. In 6th grade, he was also interested in Greek. We used Greek 123. I loved the curriculum, but we only did it one year. In 7th grade, I introduced him to Latin, and Greek fell to the wayside. We used Getting Started with Latin. He really took off with the Latin, and I started outsourcing Latin (online class) in 8th grade. He is now way ahead of me in Latin, and will enter Latin III in the fall.

http://www.greek123.com/
http://www.gettingstartedwithlatin.com/

For the local language, he has a private tutor once per week to help with speaking and she corrects his writing. But I still design the course. His work with the tutor is only about 50% of the weekly work that he has for that course. One of my main goals for high school is making sure that he learns how to learn. I introduce him to the various learning techniques that I find on the forums (scriptorium, Anki, extensive reading, etc.) and encourage him to figure out what works for him.

Even though I had never planned to homeschool, it is easily one of the most enjoyable, challenging, and rewarding things I have ever done. It is right up there with moving overseas :)
Last edited by Elsa Maria on Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Homeschoolers united!

Postby Finny » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:17 pm

Hi fellow homeschoolers! This is our plan with our kids, although they (2 and 1) aren't quite school-aged yet. Mom will be in charge, as she's the stay at home parent. Regarding language, we're OPOLing English (she) and Spanish (I). Our 2 year old speaks mostly English with me and fully English with mom, but understands everything in both languages. I'm planning on introducing French to the 2 of them and future kids down the line, although we want to make sure they have a firm footing in Spanish first.
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