Tuesday, 29 March 2011

GERMAN ~ Language Lessons Wrap-Up Early

Alisdair and Eva
They say "all good things must come to an end" ~ and that seems to be the case with Alisdair's German lessons.

Early on this homeschooling journey, a lady from the community agreed to give Alisdair German lessons.  Eva is German born but has lived in Canada for many years.  She has homeschooled her own four children and had many interesting ideas for teaching the German language.  One day they made fruit salad so Alisdair could learn the names of the various fruits.  Another day they made a beaded bracelet and he learned the words for each colour of bead.  Alisdair learned how to count to ten and the words for many everyday objects ~ like a refrigerator, a bicycle, and even a cement mixer!

Recently Eva and her daughter had gone back to "the Old Country" so lessons had been on, what we thought, was a brief hiatus.  Unfortunately, upon her return, Eva decided she was too busy to continue with the weekly encounters.  Alisdair was very disappointed to get the news that this past week's lesson would be his last.  Of course we could purchase a curriculum package so he could continue learning on his own ~ or even find another tutor, but, at this point, the next "piece of the puzzle" has not yet been found.

For his last week, on Monday afternoon, Eva reviewed what they had learned with Alisdair.  Then, on Tuesday, March 22nd,  he and I went to visit Eva and her daughter, Rosemarie.  They had organized a short program so that I could see firsthand Alisdair's progress with the German language.

The Program
Alisdair and Eva began by singing "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes," in German, complete with the appropriate actions.  In an attempt to add more German words, they included a line at the end that said, "My     ???     hurts so much."  The blank was filled in with the words "belly," "butt," "leg" and "foot" - changing the body part on every verse.

Then they had a German conversation "at the door" that went like this:

Eva: Hello, Alisdair.
Alisdair:  Hello, Eva.
Eva:  How are you?
Alisdair:  Thank you, I'm fine.  How are you?
Eva:  I'm fine, too.
Alisdair:  Would you like to play?
Eva:  Yes, gladly.  Come on in.
Alisdair:  Thank you.

The third item on the short program was when Alisdair held up two sheets of paper with small sketches of various items.  They were indentified with the English word beneath each drawing.  Alisdair pointed to each one and told me the German name for them.

Then, Alisdair got up and began obeying Eva's instructions, given completely in German.  "Get the table cloth and put it on the table."  Or "bring four plates," "the milk" or the "hot chocolate."  Once the table was set, it was time for a bit of visiting and some refreshments.

It was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, and I was amazed at the amount of German Alisdair had actually learned.  We'll have to try to keep him fluent with these language skills as they have provided him a great foundation upon which to build, in the future.

The English Translations of Alisdair and Eva's 
German song and conversation 
Thank you, Eva, for your hard work teaching Alisdair the German language.  He really enjoyed it!

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