Big Ambitions - Trilingual Education

Ever start a new school year with great plans? Then have those plans whittled down into reality? Did you know that is okay? Great!

If you didn't know, I'm letting you know now, it is okay. 

We have been steadily plodding along with our bilingual homeschool in English and Spanish, while limping along in Chinese. Integrating the Chinese into our daily schedule helped a lot. So much so, I wrote a book about it! 28 Days to Family Language Learning has been a great help to me and others.

Then the pandemic hit. We still trucked along in our homeschool, but I was teaching more Spanish classes to students who were now not getting full immersion in their schools since they were home. This meant something had to give on our homeschooling, and that something was sometimes one or other of the languages. Thankfully, more classes went online, so she was able to maintain some exposure in Chinese.  We also tried to keep up with our Mandarin Mornings. We even found a STEM class out of a school in Mexico, and she enjoyed talking to other students in Spanish, as she's usually just communicating with family.

If that wasn't enough, we had to move out of our home in May for apartment renovations, and everything was thrown into upheaval. Most of her Mandarin classes stopped since there wasn't reliable internet, and school had to be cut down to the bare basics that we could get by with and not fill the hotel room with a lot of books. We have been living in a hotel room for over 2 months now.

Talk about ideals being whittled down into reality.

So, here we are with another year of ideals. I plan to keep up with the blog on how these plans pan out for my daughter's 5th grade year.

In Spanish (Rod & Staff)

  • Lectura  
  • Español 
  • Ciencia (2nd semester)
  • Ortografia 

In English

  • Math - Teaching Textbooks 
  • All About Spelling
  • Explorer’s Bible Study - Words of Wisdom (doubles as reading)
  • Geography and science with MFW ECC, with Spanish supplements (1st semester)

In Chinese

  • Math review class
  • 1-1 with LingoBus (using the referral link gets you free classes)
  • Group lessons (one social/conversation, one academic (math), and hopefully an extracurricular)
  • Continue Mandarin Morning daily
  • Art - The Great Courses, and/or How to Draw with Mark Kistler on YouTube
  • Violin
Of course, not all of these subjects will be done everyday, but I do have specific goals for this year. We are focusing on increasing Spanish academics, and on integrating more Mandarin. She hears English and Spanish daily as those are home languages (and already part of homeschool), so I have a goal of her hearing Mandarin at least 6 days a week.We don’t have Mandarin speakers around us, so it is also important for her to engage with others (kids, as well as the 1-1 tutoring) in the language. She is very social, so having a group of kids to socialize with (albeit online) in Mandarin was important to both of us. She told me she wants to be fluent in Mandarin.

This is the first year we are trying this particular schedule to include more Mandarin. You will note that I am not doing grammar in English or math in Spanish. There is no need to do both subjects in both languages at the same time. She is not getting a separate reading time in English other than Bible study, but is getting lectura in Spanish. It would be overkill to do otherwise. There is actually crossover in her lectura and her Bible study, so she will hear some things in both languages anyway, but it would be okay even if there were no crossover. She IS getting spelling in both languages as she is dyslexic like her older sister, and it is important to her as a writer.

So there are the ambitious ideals for 2021-2022. I always plan more than what gets done. We'll see how much of, or how, this gets done.


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