Read along with Franklin
September 17, 2014 Edition 

Should I Teach a Foreign Language?             

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The Wuehler Family

My 19 year old (who graduated our high school at 17) recently wanted to learn Haitian/Creole so took it upon herself to learn it on her own. Because she was raised in an environment of independence, she knows how to be self-taught and do the research needed for any subject of interest from Foreign Language to fixing her car. She was homeschooled.  


My other children have learned Spanish, American Sign Language, Japanese, as well as a little bit of Latin, Greek & Hebrew. There were reasons for each language. My child who learned Spanish chose this language because we live in California with many Spanish speaking people and he felt it would benefit his future employment. American Sign Language was chosen by my son who is on his last year toward becoming a Deaf Interpreter. Two of my sons wanted to learn Japanese for possible future missionary opportunities. Two others would like to learn Russian because we have many Russian friends in our homeschool group. And we teach them all a little bit of Latin for English vocabulary help, and a little Greek and Hebrew for Biblical definitions.

There are multiple values to learning a foreign language in today's world:

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, and here's an article 

on free foreign language resources.  


You just never know where God will lead you or your child. Just take it one day at a time, one decision at a time, and know that God will give you all that you need for the journey.  


Even the heavens and earth speak a glorious language! Do you hear it? It is heard in every tongue and declares the glory of God--teach your children this language before you teach any others:


"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





Greek n Stuff
Home of ʺHey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek!ʺ & ʺLatin's Not So Tough!ʺ  Stop By Our Website and Visit Our FREE Educational Pages!

Raising Real Men    

Teaching a foreign language is pretty intimidating. Melanie remembers taking three years of French in high school, but "Bonjour!" is about all she remembers now. We've traveled a lot and have family overseas, so we wanted our children to not only study other languages, but remember them. You've got a lot of options, though. How do you decide?


No Foreign Language. This one is a non-starter if there's any chance your student will go on to college. Most colleges expect two to three years foreign language study.


Classical Languages like Latin or Greek. If you don't want to have to speak it, but you want something academically rigorous, these are a good choice. Some kids, like our first, just take to them, especially Latin, with its regular and logical grammar.


Traditional Foreign Languages like French or Spanish. That's pretty much what was available when we were in school and there are still a lot of resources out there for teaching these. If you decide to go with one of these, we'd tip toward Spanish, since that's the second most common language spoken in many states these days. That could eventually open up work as a translator.


Alternative Languages like Sign Language. Many colleges consider sign language to be an acceptable foreign language. Learning sign language opens up ministry and part time work opportunities.


Unusual Languages such as Dutch or Norwegian. These sound like a lot of fun, but you're going to have a hard time finding resources to use--or a place to use it.


Languages with a Non-Latin Alphabet such as Chinese, Arabic, or Russian. These definitely seem to be the hardest, but don't pass over them too lightly. Employment prospects for those who speak those languages are great--and some kids don't have the struggle with them you might expect. One of our sons who has dyslexia found Chinese script no more confusing than English! He's actually done very well with it.


So, yes, we'd say you ought to teach a foreign language. Don't worry about it, though. There are lots and lots of great, easy to use resources out there: software, recordings, web apps, phone apps, tutors, co-ops, language schools, podcasts, videos, DVDs, immersion, and more. Really, this is something you can do. What is surprising is how some of our children will just run with it! How fun to see (or hear!).


Your friends,

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The Familyman 

The question, "Should I teach my child a foreign language?" is often asked by homeschool moms. Many experts would answer, "Definitely," and have the statistics to strengthen their case.


I, on the other hand, am not an expert. I don't do statistics, in-depth research projects, or construct elaborate polls. I'm just a dad who encourages parents in what matters most. So, if a homeschooling mom or dad comes up to me and asks, "Should I teach my child a foreign language?" I respond back with the question, "Do you WANT your child to learn a foreign language?"


If the answer is yes, then I say, "Then you should do it."


If they answer no, then I say, "Then you shouldn't do it."


Some might accuse me of waffling, but to tell you the truth, it doesn't matter what I think. The important thing to remember is that God made you smart enough to teach your children. If you want to teach them a foreign language, then do it. If you don't like languages, and your children don't have a gift for learning languages (you know if they do or not), then don't do it. Don't let others guilt you into doing it and stop feeling like you're somehow letting your kids down. If they are meant to learn a foreign language, then they will learn one.


Have a great day doing and teaching what you think is best.


Be real,



PS - It's webinar month, and I'm speaking with Davis Carmen (president of Apologia) at a Homeschool Teacher Appreciation Event! It's an all-day event ... but I'll be speaking to the dads at 9 p.m. Seats are limited to just 100. Register here!


Bonus! Rachael Carman and my wife, Debbie, will be joining Davis and I for a roundtable discussion-taking your questions afterwards. Join us for a Q&A session, where you will have the opportunity to ask us any questions you have about homeschooling, family, or anything else. For more details and to register, click here.


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