Herzlich willkommen zurück! Here is the second in a series of methods to help you add German to your homeschool routine.
The ideas and things that are personal to you stick with you because they have emotional meaning to them. The same goes for foreign language learning--if it is meaningful to you, it will stick. If you love motorcycles, it's logical that you would remember "das Rad" (the tire) quickly, as the person who loves to cook will remember that "der Schneebesen" is a funny word that means "whisk." So...
Add German Equivalents
If you are learning something in English, it's a great idea to add the same concept in German--you can repeat the same material in a foreign language and acquire vocabulary and ideas in chunks. Plus, there are so many games to play to facilitate learning, I've added a few of them below. (I must confess, being able to use games often in German lessons is one of my favorite aspects of teaching it--there is no need to stick to only exercises when a game will achieve the same learning goal!)
English Grammar / deutsche Grammatik
If you and your children are working on the words and concepts of English grammar, you'll be working on the idea of noun, verb, adjective, etc. So why not add the German equivalent? das Nomen, das Verb, das Adjektiv. Oh, and look--all three of these nouns in German are neuter and have the article "das." How convenient!
Math / Mathematik
Numbers can easily be learned in a foreign language and if your children are learning beginning math, that's another wonderful way to add German to your learning time. If your kids can do "1 + 1 = 2," then add "eins plus eins ist gleich zwei."
Mein Tipp für Sie: the term "equals" in English is "ist gleich" in German.
There are also math game sites for kids like www.spielaffe.de with its adorable "Schmetterlings Mathe" game, each correctly answered math question helps a caterpillar mature into a butterfly. Levels can be set for beginners to advanced math learners. Here, be sure that your kids are reading the numbers aloud so they hone their active speaking skills.
Geography / Geographie (Erdkunde)
Step 1: Learn countries, capitals, rivers, oceans, and regions in English.
Step 2: Learn countries, capitals, rivers, oceans, and regions in German.
Step 3: Play "Stadt, Land, Fluss." Stadt, Land, Fluss is like Apples to Apples, although you can play it casually sitting around the dinner table, as a car game, or as a competitive game with pen & paper. (This would also make a fun "pop quiz!") In this game, someone chooses a letter and everyone has to name a city, a country, or a river that begins with that letter. You could also add a category for a career/job, a name, or an animal. A quick google search will yield templates to use for written games, otherwise you can collect your vocabulary sheets & flashcards and go for it!
Do you have other ideas for adding German to your learning time? Comment below with what you've discovered or resources you already use. And be sure to check back next Tuesday for more Methods for Homeschool German!
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