It has taken a long while, but I have finally figured out a way to teach our foreign language of choice, French, that keeps everybody happy - cooking classes. What could be more French than cooking classes, and why did I not think of this sooner? For some years I have been conducting occasional French classes along the lines of thoses I had at school - conversation, flashcards, puppets. None of which ever inspired any of the children at all really. We have fun little French soirees every few weeks with my French friend Em and her children, and they are much more successful, as she graciously puts up with us murdering her beautiful language. The Domestic Goddess always cooks something deliciously French for these occasions, and one day when pressed for time, we cooked and practised our French at the same time. Sudden interest! Children diving for the dictionary and our French recipe book to look up cooking terms. The four year old suddenly producing entire French phrases. We talk about the ingredients, and measurements, we ask for things politely, and count and sing as we stir. And nobody is whining at all!
Maybe the difference is changing from passive to active learning; maybe it is not having me as teacher, but all of us as fellow learners; maybe it is because cooking is fun and sitting still being told stuff is not. Whatever, it works, and we all know the definition of true happiness is a half hour with absolutely no whining.
2 hours ago