any homeschoolers in a multilingual home? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-23-2008, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm wondering about the practicalities of home schooling when English isn't your first language and you practice OPOL. Is it doable? Do you switch to English for schooling purposes?
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#2 of 7 Old 03-24-2008, 11:14 AM
 
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I'm on several groups where this is happening. It's basically the same as what I have to do as a bilingual homeschooler, although English is my first language. Language arts and math we do in Spanish. Science, read-alouds (and other books) are done in both languages. (basically a dual-language homeschool) For the first ~two years of her life, I spoke only English to her, and my dh Spanish, but as she got older, we found I needed to switch to my second language. It works fine for our family. Well, we'll see how I feel about teaching 5th grade math in Spanish in a couple of years, lol.

In the yahoo groups I belong to, there are many families where English is the second language and they homeschool in both. There is one family in particular (I've lost contact with her though) that live in Mexico (native) and she also homeschooled in both. She wanted her children to have a good speaking, reading, and writing knowledge of English- her second language.

So, yes it is doable. It becomes practical after a certain point in the multilingual journey to not use OPOL 100%, unless your spouse will be helping homeschool in the other language.

I hope this is helpful.

Renai

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#3 of 7 Old 03-24-2008, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Don't some states require that you send in your child's work? How would one do that if it was done in a different language?
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#4 of 7 Old 03-24-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Absinthia View Post
Don't some states require that yous end in your child's work? How would one do that if it was done in a different language?
No. There's not a single state that requires a family to send in a child's work. There are some states that want a portfolio -that's looked at by a teacher the family chooses- (or choice of that or testing). Our state requires nothing.

Anyway, a portfolio would simply show samples of a child's work through the year. Math is math is regardless of language. English would eventually need to be taught, and that would be added to the portfolio at the appropriate time. The portfolio is simply proof that certain subjects are being taught. However, since I'm not in a portfolio state, I'm not sure how a multilingual family handles it.

Dd 9/99 via csection. 6 lbs 10oz

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#5 of 7 Old 03-24-2008, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renai View Post
However, since I'm not in a portfolio state, I'm not sure how a multilingual family handles it.
That would be good to know
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#6 of 7 Old 03-26-2008, 09:05 AM
 
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I can't give you any legal info since we don't live in the United States, but you should research your state's requirements and find veteran homeschoolers in your state who can talk you through it (sometimes the state's official requirements sound more intimidating than they really are). I'm sure the main thing is that your child is also learning and speaking English. If the child learns to read first in the foreign language and in English later that shouldn't be a problem.

My DS is bilingual and we are homeschooling. My native language is English but where we live the native language is French (my DH's language). I don't do actual teaching, like at a blackboard with a desk. I read to my DS about all sorts of things, mostly in English but sometimes in French. He is gradually learning numbers in French that he has known in English for quite some time. He will likely learn to read in English first. The main thing is that he can speak and understand French and he will evenutally learn to read and write in French.

If we were still in France where they do a home visit with testing every year then we might have some problems but I think where we live now is more like the U.S. where the rules are made at a more local level and there is more freedom and flexibility. It's more about the end result than being at school level each year.

eta: Your state also might have an umbrella school you could join that would help with meeting the state requirements while still allowing you to homeschool exactly the way you want.
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#7 of 7 Old 03-26-2008, 09:18 AM
 
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Hmm...I have been thinking about this as well. I speak mostly Swiss-German with my son, and plan on homeschooling him. The problem is, Swiss-German is a dialect, so I think I will probably teach him reading and writing in German and English and then Math, History, Science probably only in English. We'll see how it goes.
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