Inspiration for Bilingual Parenting: Adam Beck's Thoughtful Guidebook

Early in my quest to raise a bilingual child, I frequently read non-fiction books on bilingualism to help me grasp the requirements ahead. Eight years later, however, I'm now a homeschooling parent of three children, and my reading on the topic has slowed quite a bit. Since late last fall, however, I've been slowly savoring each little chapter of Adam Beck's indie-published book, Maximize your Child's Bilingual Ability. His book is neither a daunting tome of scientific research nor a fluffy anecdotal jaunt through his own parenting experience, but instead, it's the ideal guidebook for parents who are sure of their commitment to bilingual parenting but in need of ideas and ongoing inspiration. That covers every bilingual parent, including me!

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French Summer Day Camps in Oregon: Our Experience

Oh là là--can you believe la rentrée (back to school) has arrived? My husband returns to teaching high school this week, and my children and I will officially continue our homeschooling journey. We would have loved to return to France to continue the incredible experience we had there last summer and fall, but since we needed to stay in Oregon this summer, my older two children were thrilled to attend a week of French day camp. Here in Portland, Oregon, there are two French schools offering French immersion summer day camps, and both programs are fantastique. Here's what we loved about them:

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Trying out Math by Hand, the Waldorf-Inspired Math Kits

This past spring I shared about a typical day in our French homeschooling life and a reader (merci, Shannon!) told me about Math By Hand, a Waldorf-inspired curriculum created by Marin Lipowitz here in the USA. I was intrigued by the idea of math learning kits that revolve around crafts and activities--aren't you? My children and I tried out the initial kit for first grade and here's what we found:

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A Day in Our French Homeschooling Life: Ages 1, 4, & 7

This is our second year of homeschooling if you consider that my oldest child is now seven, but our "education at home" lifestyle has been gaining momentum since that daughter was young and we first decided to take this path. This year we've found a definite rhythm, but that's not to say that we follow a set schedule. With my children's young ages and with my belief in the importance of play at this stage, certain days are far less orderly than others--but here's a typical homeschooling day for us:

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Joyeux Noël & A Podcast about Our Family Language Trip

Joyeux Noël, les amis! Yes, Feliz Navidad and Merry Christmas! I have a little gift for you if you listen to podcasts and are interested in traveling as a family to help you or your children improve your bilingual skills! You see, Marianna DuBosq at Bilingual Avenue has just released the 100th episode of the Bilingual Avenue podcast, and in this episode, Polish mama & translator Hanna Cheda and I share about how we took our families overseas for amazing language immersion experiences. I give details about how we saved money for the trip, how my children handled the experience, and how I enrolled my daughter in a French school. Hanna shares about locating affordable family housing and finding free immersion experiences for children. I hope you love what you learn!

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Responding to the November 13th Paris Attacks: What Syria's Got to Do with It

Oh it was a heartbreaking weekend, wasn’t it?! The news of the Paris attacks was just shocking and sickening; to learn of Parisians being targeted with such intentional cruelty brings us all to a standstill. During my time in Paris this last July, my husband, children and I stayed just blocks from the Bataclan—it’s in an area of Paris that has been gaining popularity with its up and coming restaurants, not far from the iconic Place de la République. On Friday night, Facebook’s safety check system was quick to show that my friends in and around Paris were safe, but the unraveling news stories still cut to my heart as it became apparent that young people were targeted and that French culture itself was attacked.

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A Family Visit to Cité du Chocolat in France

Bonjour les amis! We've just returned from an extended weekend spent visiting dear friends in la Drôme, a region in southeast France. Our friends took us to La Cité du Chocolat in Tain-l'Hermitage (near Valence) and even though none of us were true chocoholics beforehand, we left this place feeling like chocolate connoisseurs--and gourmands who enjoyed far too many of their abundant samples! Here's why it's such a deliciously informative place to visit, and why we'd enjoy visiting it again anytime:

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Visiting the Louvre & Jardin des Tuileries with Kids

Many people might not consider taking their children to France's museums but even young children can appreciate the Louvre's incredible treasures in its opulent palace setting. You can pique your child's interest with the Louvre's own interactive site for children or printing out their treasure hunts for families (select parcours-jeux on their family page).

On the first Sunday of the month, many museums in France offer free admission. We'd planned to take advantage of this offer to visit the Louvre (the world's most visited museum), but instead we went the following day, thinking that it would be less crowded if most people had come the day before. Perhaps this was true, but in summer there are such hoards of tourists that any dip in attendance was imperceptible! You can try to avoid the crowds by arriving early or when the Louvre is open very late on Wednesdays or Fridays. (Kids under 18 enter free everyday.) 


 
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