Upcoming Blog Topics & Free, Printable French Educational Worksheets

Bonjour, les amis! For me, blogging is a joy, enabling me to be more intentional as a parent and allowing me to promote French learning, but I'll admit that blogging often and consistently is becoming more of a struggle. Now that I'm in my third trimester of pregnancy, I just can't give up as much sleep as I used to in order to write. These days, I aim to write twice per week, but it may not happen as I'm hoping it will. Merci pour votre patience--I appreciate your staying with me through my less frequent times of writing.

Nonetheless, I have several upcoming posts I look forward to sharing over time: my reflections on Pamela Druckerman's Bringing Up Bébé (as I mentioned in this post), thoughts on spanking (so controversial!), my daughter's experience since starting violin lessons at age four, and a review of CNED, the French distance education subscription service (assuming I sign up for it soon).

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A Little Croissant In the Oven - Pregnancy Update

On the Fourth of July I shared that my husband and I are expecting our third child in January. That little one is now six months along in utero, and my two-year-old son likes to ask me with a hopeful grin, "Baby come out now?" I'm sure "after Christmas" must seem so far away to him!

This pregnancy has gone fairly well. I was fairly queasy the second month, but having my husband home for the summer was so restful for me! At the nineteen-week ultrasound, we chose not to find out baby's gender because we love the joy and surprise of finding out at birth. It's not that we don't want to know; we simply think that it's even more fun to discover whom God's given us when we first meet him or her. For us, a little patience makes the birth more exciting!

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Reusable French Chore Chart for Preschool & Early Childhood

Last June I made my children a simple reusable chore chart in French. With a baby on the way (due in January), I wanted my older two children to develop a habit of following morning and evening routines somewhat independently. I also planned to use the chart as the basis for a small monetary allowance. Here's how I created the chart and how it's worked in our family.

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Kindergarten Homeschool in French: Beginning Writing & Reading

We officially started homeschooling last week, though in a sense we've been homeschooling in a low-key way for years. My homeschooling style leans towards the philosophies of Charlotte Mason (emphasizing the outdoors & quality books), unschooling (seizing opportunities for learning from daily life & pursuing current interests), and Montessori (using natural materials and independent play for learning), but the Type A parent in me also needs a basic morning schedule and some simple learning goals each day.

My five-year-old daughter is active and social, yet she also loves workbooks and writing. When looking for handwriting curriculum for her, I was happy to find that the company Handwriting Without Tears publishes French versions of their handwriting workbooks (Spanish ones too!). The Kindergarten level book starts with capital letters, moves to digits (1-10), and ends with lowercase letters, with some simple French words to copy towards the end.

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No, No, No--Not in August!

"No, no, no--not in August!" This phrase is a French joke between my husband and me. It stems from a conversation we had with a French friend when we were visiting France to attend a wedding several years ago. Our friend stated that French teachers would never return to work in August. They'd choose to go on strike rather than work in August, which is essentially national vacation month in France. (The French receive a minimum of four weeks of paid leave annually, and the majority of the French take a month for vacation in either July or August--usually the latter.)

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When Americans' Ignorance of World Geography is Embarrassing

When my husband and I hosted high school exchange students, they told us about the repeated conversations they had with American students during the first few weeks of school:

American: "So you're an exchange student? That's awesome! Where are you from?" 

Exchange student: "I'm from Bolivia." [or Hungary, etc.]

American: "Really? That's awesome! So . . . where's Bolivia?" 

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How Children Learn to Entertain Themselves Without Screens

We were five days into a week-long family vacation at the Oregon Coast when it dawned on me that our hotel room did not have a TV and we had not missed it. At home we have cable programming, but my husband is the only family member who turns on the television, mainly for a few hours of sports programming each week. He also watches DVDs with our children, but they rarely watch movies during the day. Instead, our children habitually find ways to occupy themselves with creative pursuits. I don't credit myself for their activity choices, but here's what has helped them become skilled at independent play:

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Why Bringing Up Bébé Caught Americans' Attention

Do you remember the buzz surrounding Pamela Druckerman's 2012 book Bringing Up Bébé? The subtitle was One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. The book still ranks among the top twenty parenting sold books on Amazon, currently #2 in the motherhood subcategory. After the book's release, Time magazine included Druckerman on its list of the 100 most influential people of 2012. (Upon hearing this news, her husband dryly quipped, "You're not even the most influential person in our apartment building.")

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