Back to School – Where Does German Fit in?

Today was the first day of 2nd grade for Froggy. While homework won’t start coming home until next week, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to piggyback some German work onto it.

For school, he’ll be expected to do about 10 minutes of math and 20 minutes of reading (that includes bedtime books, thankfully!). So I don’t want to do more than 10 minutes of German, or I know I’ll lose him.

I want to get back to basics with both kids, so I’ll be working on letters with Hippo and reading with Froggy.

I plan to start our day in German. The kids have been having German breakfasts with our au pair, so we’ll continue that. And I’m going to try to do some fun letter work with them at breakfast, too. We’ll have a letter of the week and different objects that represent that letter.

After school, I want to start us off by playing some educational games. I found a number of alphabet and reading games while I was in Germany this summer. Things like the Clever Spielen series.

Clever spielen

I know I’ll keep their interest more if I can keep it fun!

The good news is that Froggy is taking an interest in learning more German. It always seems to happen when we are in Europe over the summer. Even being in the Netherlands seems to bring out his German – as if hearing another language activates his own second language, even though they are different! I just hope it lasts!

I also want to use up some of his homework reading time with German. The teachers were okay with that last year. So we’ll read some German books at bedtime, too.

Tonight we read a fun one by Erwin Moser called Das große Buch von Koko und Kiri. I just love his humor 🙂 Both boys needed help with comprehension here and there, but they got most of it!

I just stumbled on to a post about homework and bilingual children. For Emilia at Raising a Trilingual Child, it was more a question of which of the family’s three languages to speak when helping her children with their homework. It’s the kind of question most parents never think about. I know it would never occur to me to speak German while helping Froggy with his homework!

How do you work in lessons in your minority language when the kids go back to school? And what language do you speak with your children when helping them with their homework?

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