My daughter, Echo, is enrolled in the French International School’s kindergarten. She’ll be 4 in January and she’s already picking up the simple French that will make our eventual repatriation to Canada that much easier for her.
Still, while progressing in French school, some important English lessons are simply not happening for her. Of course, she’s already speaking English very well, but what about letter recognition and eventual reading? Her environment is Chinese-speaking – including all her extended family here – and the only English source is her mommy and her mommy’s social network.
Recently, I’ve been doing some private English teaching of some Chinese kids in the neighborhood. My youngest student is a little girl who is only four and a half years old. In the experience, I’ve discovered that if I treat her the way I treat my daughter (even though my daughter’s English is much more advanced), then the lessons progress smoothly. I play with her, I color with her, we do cut and paste crafts, we sing together, etc.
While teaching this little girl last week who is only a year older than Echo, it dawned on me that I’m already prepping the materials for some extra English learning that can happen in my own house. I never thought I’d have the energy for home schooling, but voilà! English extras for a pre-schooler are right at my fingertips! Now, I just print two copies: one for my student, one for my daughter.
Echo loved it. Her tongue out while concentrating is all the proof I needed.
Photos: Courtesy of Ember Swift