Herzlich willkommen zurück! Here is the third in a series of methods to help you add German to your homeschool routine.
This week's Homeschool German method involves travel and I've presented a couple of different ways to incorporate Germanic locations into your family vacation--at different budgetary sizes. Of course, it all begins with something the Germans in particular excell at--Geld sparen! (Saving money!) But wait until you get to the end, for something truly and uniquely German!
1. Sparen Sie Geld!
For small children, a Sparschweinchen (piggy bank) will be a great way to help your children begin the journey of saving for a vacation. For older kids, saving up for their vacation expenditures in an envelope or their bank account is a great way to combine this German habit with trip preparation.
2a. Take your family vacation...to a German settlement area like Milwaukee, WI or Fredericksburg, TX
There are so many wonderful cities and regions with German heritage in the US--there is probably one within driving distance for you! Why not make it a road trip and pack your own Brötchen for the trip? Have picnics with a thermos of coffee instead of stopping for fast food--that is some serious, old school German road tripping.
2b. Take your family vacation...to Germany, Austria, and/or Switzerland
This option could be done more or less intensely, so pick and choose what could work for you and your family. Since you are independent of a set school calendar, you can also take advantage of off-season flight prices.
For a lower-intensity trip, plan and take the trip and just have the experience. See how well your German works and perhaps pick up a few German language books at a local bookstore.
For a medium-intensity trip, plan a trip concentrated on one city or one region. (I’ll assume it’s one city for this example, however feel free to apply this same method to a region.) To prepare for the trip, use the city’s tourism website in English and in German and pre-book a couple of activities, like a city tour and a museum visit. For the city tour, you can prepare by learning and repeating sight-seeing vocabulary, like types of buildings and how to tell directions. See if you can get a map before you take the city tour and learn what you’ll be seeing ahead of time.
For a higher-intensity trip, plan a longer trip, rent an apartment for a month, and take a German course at a local language school.
3. Write and publish an Urlaubsbericht.
An Urlaubsbericht is a vacation-report, much like a book report, but with photos and stories about your vacation. I used to have some friends who wrote an 8-page summary, including pictures, and emailed it to their friends as a means to tell about their trip. This Urlaubsbericht was their form of the vacation slide show.
It's a great repetition of your German language experience as well as a fun way to create a family keepsake.
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