I'm a big advocate for exposing children to foreign language as early as possible. Homeschoolers are in a unique position to do just that. Older kids and adults can approach a foreign language analytically, of course. But young children have a knack for it. This was vividly demonstrated to me when I was in high school. A bit of background - my Russian class was a "one room schoolhouse" with first year, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year students all together in the same room at the same time. By my third year, I was well acquainted with beginning students! Third and fourth year students had the privilege of going to an elementary school and doing a half-hour presentation of the language to a classroom. The kindergartners were awesome - they caught on to things way faster than 14 year olds. In my fourth year, I was sent to a sixth-grade classroom. They caught on to things only about as well as first year students. I think their "attitude" was mostly to blame for that. Homeschoolers are in a unique position to nurture and protect curiosity and the love of learning. I'm learning French along with my 7th and 2nd graders, and we're just having tons of fun with it (learning how to conjugate verbs for imperatives and the practicing the formal mode of address with a queen doll was a riot). We're proceeding at a pace my calcified brain can deal with. We don't have any deadline we have to meet for college admission, and by the time we do, I have a feeling the foreign language "thing" will be well in hand.
The only problem with taking foreign language at a community college is that it goes much MUCH faster than a high school class. For that reason, it's not a fit for everyone. Here is a blog post I wrote about that kind of challenge:
For language un-inclined, it can sometimes help to look at Latin, too. It's a very mathematical language.
Hi Lee -
We had this conversation recently. A graduated homeschooler said take the foreign language dual enrollment at community college that way it counts for homeschool and college..especially for the language un-inclined. Makes sense. They also said it was easier to "get" face to face rather than through the computer with something like Rosetta Stone.
We are living in uncertain times - especially when it comes to homeschooling high school. There are public and private schools that are undecided about how to do school, which is