Bilingual Books, Inc.
October 23, 2013 Edition 

Do I Really Need To Teach a Foreign Language?         

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Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler Family

Foreign Language!? Foreign language is all Greek to me. Kind of scary territory for homeschoolers sometimes. Not because we are incapable of teaching it, but because there are so many choices, aren't there? That's where prayer and research comes in.


I did a search on The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for "foreign language" and over 130 results came up! As I looked through them, I got an overall view of several important reasons for teaching foreign language. Here are some of the subjects that were brought to light in the articles that came up:

  • Foreign missionaries (your child may someday be one)
  • Foreign exchange students (you may host one or your child may be one)
  • Military assignments in foreign countries (your family or your child may join the military)
  • Sign Language counts as a foreign language (My son began learning ASL at 9 years old and is now pursuing his BA in Deaf studies)
  • The importance of Hebrew and Greek (excellent for Biblical studies!)
  • The study of Latin (helps with root words, meanings, spelling, and all language learning)
  • As a requirement for high school (many states require two years of a foreign language)
  • Being bilingual is a plus for gaining employment worldwide
  • Babies and young children pick up languages easily
  • A child's brain gains great strides when learning a language
  • International adoption is a good reason to learn another language

There are a lot of curriculum choices to review and pray about. We have a product review section on foreign language products--found here to help with decision making.


There are multiple values to learning a foreign language in today's world. You just never know where God will lead you or your child. The possibilities are endless!


"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." Psalm 19:1-3 (NKJV)


Happy "Foreign Language" trails to you!




P.S. What does a day in the life your homeschool look like? We are looking for more families to highlight in our Show and Tell column in the magazine. Here is an example of what we are looking for. If you are interested in helping us, contact Heather at  


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The Familyman 

Maybe it's because I'm sweating my head off in a parking lot that I'm going to make my answer short regarding "do you need to teach your child a foreign language?" My answer--of course not. You homeschool and can do whatever you think is best for your child. If you want to teach them Swahili, go for it. If you don't . . . don't. And don't feel guilty. 


I'm moving on!!!


Be real,



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Raising Real Men    
No, you don't really need to teach a foreign language. Feel better? Yeah, we get that, but not so fast. You don't need to teach one, necessarily, but your children really ought to learn one.

Sure, it's nerve-wracking. Melanie so agrees. She has awful memories of high school French. Unfortunately those memories don't extend to anything more than, "Bonjour!" Whoops! That's not much to show for three years work, is it?  


The problem is that we're in a different world than we were even when we were kids. When we were children, it was a huge deal for someone to travel overseas and most people never did. In fact, we knew people that really had never traveled past the counties adjacent to theirs. Our children, though, have traveled on different continents, some of them even living in foreign countries for months at a time. We live in a global economy with far more day to day access to the rest of the world than seemed possible a few years ago.


Learning a foreign language helps your children see that it is possible to learn to communicate with people in their own language. It's an eye-opener. It's also required by many colleges for entrance. What can we do if we want to teach them but it seems impossible, though?


Get help! There are a ton of resources of all different kinds, so you don't have to go it alone! Here are some of the things we've done: use elementary picture-based programs, use software programs, hire a tutor, go to classes (many cities have language schools run by immigrant populations), use podcasts and writing programs online, go overseas for total immersion, use macaronic programs (that start out mostly in your language and introduce words and phrases bit by bit), and we're currently reviewing a Total Physical Response Storytelling program we like a lot (Excelerate Spanish). And, no, we aren't rich, rather the opposite, but it's amazing the opportunities that come up! Really, there is something for every learning style, situation, and budget. There's no need to panic.


Besides, maybe your children will be better at picking up languages than you are. It's been amazing to see our guys converse with someone in Mandarin Chinese. God really can do anything! LOL


Yours in the battle,


Hal & Melanie


It's not too late to sign up for this session of Boot Camp 9-12, our LIVE webinar series exclusively for parents of nine to twelve year old boys to help them get geared up for the teen years! We just started last night and the recording will be ready for you to watch once you register. Check it out here!  



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Contest Corner 

For the month of October, 2013   


The Verbal Math Lesson, Levels 1 and 2 


The Verbal Math Lesson is one of those books I wish I'd had earlier in the homeschooling process. As its name implies, it is a verbal program. Level One is addressed to ages 4-7, and Level Two is addressed to ages 7-8. In Level One the first lesson is titled "Working with Nothing" (the concept of zero). The last lesson (31 in all) is "Subtracting double-digit numbers ending in 0". The range between is implied and is pretty thorough. In Level Two, instruction begins with "Operations with numbers ending in 0" and wraps up with "Multiplication and division by 9." Level Two also does a good job of covering--in 29 lessons--the material between, including addition and subtraction of double-digit numbers. The website indicates that Level 1 can be used with elementary students and Level 2 with Middle School students. It seems that the material is therefore less targeted to grade-level or age than to skill sets.


The authors rightly state in their introduction, "Verbal math, also called mental math, is a practical and time-honored method of solving mathematical problems. Math done with worksheets often slows children down. Shortcuts and computational tricks learned by doing math mentally allow children to bypass much of the tediousness they experience with written math." (. . .)


(To read the rest of the review, click HERE.)


TO ENTER: Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Verbal Math" for a chance to win* the book for your homeschool!



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