When you decide to homeschool and take control of your child’s education, there are many decisions before of you regarding curriculum, scheduling, extracurricular activities, and coop membership. The sheer scope of it all can be overwhelming. But as you whittle away at designing and building your homeschool program, you begin to narrow things down into workable portions. One decision to make is in regards to a foreign language. The earlier you start your kids, the better the chances they will develop fluency, so selecting a language and getting started can begin as early as you would like. Many homeschoolers choose French for its beauty and worldwide prevalence. There are great curriculum options out there, but there are also some great apps to get your child started on their linguistic journey. Here are three apps that are well designed for teaching beginning French.
For your younger students, the Montessori designed app French Words for Kids is a great place to start. This colorful app has a simple, user friendly layout that your child will have no trouble navigating. It teaches spelling and says the words in French so that your child can hear them, associate the sound with the picture, and learn the correct spelling. It is a great way to begin learning French vocabulary!
Learn French by MindSnacks is another great app for the younger learners (though any age can certainly find it useful!). This app utilizes play to teach vocabulary, verb conjugation, and learning word gender. It also has audio clips of native French speakers to demonstrate pronunciations. The first lesson can be dowloaded at no cost, and for $4.99 you can purchase 50 lessons, and is well worth the investment. Your child will have fun with the games while building the fundamental skills to excel in learning and speaking French.
Finally, for the older students and perhaps younger alike, there is Duolingo. This is a multi-award winning app, and is available totally free! This amazing app utilizes engaging games that are structured to build your reading, writing, and speaking skills in a new language. You can work to best your personal high scores, or even compete against friends. It is simple enough for younger learners, without appearing too child-like for an older audience. At no cost, it is an easy decision to add this program to your app arsenal, taking fun lessons with you wherever you go.
Whether you are homeschooling your family on a farm in an agricultural community, or living in a large city with cultural resources all around you, it is impossible in this day and age to escape the influence of increasing globalization. If we are to keep pace with European nations, where bilingualism and even multilingualism are commonplace, we must develop a proficiency in our students’ knowledge of world languages. French is not only beautiful, but has a strong global presence, and a good curriculum is a must when teaching it to your children. Language and learning are fluid, dynamic processes, and there are many ways to gain mastery over new skills. Let these apps support you in your effort to build well-rounded students.
Mimi Rothschild is a veteran homeschooling mother of 8, writer of a series of books called Cyberspace for Kids, and passionate advocate for children and education that is truly worthy of them. In 2001, Mimi and her late husband founded Learning By Grace, a leading provider of online Christian homeschooling Academies.