Why Choose French for Your Homeschool

When I announced that we would be choosing French to study in our homeschool, the main responses were, “Why French?” and/or “Why not Spanish/Latin/Hebrew?”

Why Choose French for Your Homeschool

Unfortunately, the only answer I had was, “Well, because Ruth asked, and I know a bit of French.” Even as I said it, I knew this answer needed more Umph behind it. However, I believed we had one of the most important reasons pinned down already.

Desire 

It all began with one little song I sang to Ruth when she was 4 years old. You can find it on YouTube

Bonjour monsieur, bonjour madame, bonjour mademoiselle
Je me présente, je m’appelle
Helène Dupuis, je suis Helène Dupuis
Helène, c’est mon prenom, Dupuis en mon famille
Bonjour, salut.
Comment t’appelles tu?

“Sing it again, Mommy!” So, I did. “Sing me more in n’other language!” I didn’t have more to sing, but I did promise we could learn more French.

She wanted to learn French, and I wanted to relearn it with her. This was central to my decision to make French the foreign language in our homeschool. Desire to learn is important when choosing a foreign language.

It Is Beautiful

French is a beautiful language. I love the lilting, smooth sound of the vowels, the soft gentle consonants. I watch it roll of the tongue of fluent speakers and am mesmerized.

Just listen to this beautiful poem by Jean de la Fontaine.

La Cigale et la Fourmi – les Fables de La Fontaine en dessin animé – Hellokids.com

It is Useful

Yes, besides being beautiful, French is a very useful language. The Consulate General of France in Houston lists several good reasons to study French. I have summarized just a few.

  • Next to English, French is the only language that is taught in every country of the world. When abroad, if English should fail you, French is the best back up you can have. It may not be either person’s first language, but a common second will certainly get the job done.
  • 200 million people speak French on five continents. Many, many people speak French. You may be surprised to find that there are some French speakers in your own community.
  • French is one of the key languages of business around the world, an official language of the United Nations, the Olympic committee, the International Red Cross and other international organizations. Knowing French will never be a useless skill.
  • French literature, theater and movies are all better experienced in the original language. Imagine reading Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables or Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince in the original French. There are so many extras you can catch when you know the ins and outs of a language.
  • French is a good base language. French is an excellent bridge between English and the rest of the romance languages, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian. Fifty per cent of English vocabulary is derived from French making it easy to learn.

French is Easy and Fun to Learn

Once I decided to add French to our homeschool, I needed to find out HOW! Oh boy. I will not bore you with the overpriced, gimmicky, useless curriculum I tried in our first year, or the piecemeal curriculum I put together the second year.

No matter how hard I tried I could not find a good curriculum for teaching elementary French in my homeschool. Then one day, the Classical Academic Press Catalog, with the announcement that French for Children was soon to be available, appeared in my mailbox.

Why Choose French for Your Homeschool: French for Children

I was ecstatic!

After receiving our copy, I was not disappointed. French for Children has given our homeschool French program the boost it needed to get off of the ground.

French for Children is Easy

  • A helpful 5 or 7 day schedule means you can take this course at your own pace. We spread the seven-day schedule over two to three weeks. This allows for plenty of time for mastery of the vocabulary and grammar concepts.
  • Audio files with catchy chants have even my three-year-old marching around the house singing, “Parle!, Je parle, tu parles…” We love the chants!
  •  A Pronunciation Wizard with audio to help your child work out the sounds of the French language and feel more confident in speaking. This part can be tedious, but Ruth is always happy to practice her new vocabulary with correct pronunciation with Mrs. Josie, a native French speaker from our church.
  • The dialog that begins each chapter is a combination of new French words and English. I love this format! Right away, Ruth’s brain zones in on the meaning of French words based on context. This is also a great encouragement to her. She can speak the French words she knows and substitute English for those she doesn’t. As time goes by, slowly but surly, our confidence to speak increases.

Why Choose French for Your Homeschool: French for Children Skit

French for Children is Fun

  • Every lesson begins with a dialog between a mouse and a cow. My children love the characters in the continuing story.
  • Not only is the dialog between the mouse and the cow entertaining, but downright hilarious sometimes! My children now walk around calling each other “smarty-udders.”
  • HeadventureLand.com offers a free fast-paced vocabulary game called FlashDash. It is not yet available, but I know it will be a huge hit when it is ready. Look for it early next year.

Don’t know French? Not a problem, French for Children comes with a teacher DVD. This has been so helpful when I have a hard time explaining a concept or need to brush up on it myself.

Why Choose French for Your Homeschool: French for Children Book

I am so glad Classical Academic Press added French for Children to their line up of amazing language programs. It fills a gap in foreign language instruction for the older elementary student who is ready to begin and for the younger middle school student who may not be ready for a more intensive program.

The grade level recommendation is for 3-4th grade, but I would extend that to 3-6th or anyone wanting to learn French from the beginning.

I can’t wait to check out Primer B and C in the coming years!

Classical Academic Press is offering a generous 20% off French for Children for Ed Snapshots Readers. Use the code FFC20EDSNAP between now and November 22 to get your discount.

In addition they are giving away one full bundle of French For Children to one lucky Ed Snapshots reader. Enter below for your chance to win. Contest ends Thursday 11/19.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a copy of French For Children for review and evaluation. The opinions expressed here are my own.

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  • Sarah M says:

    ooooh, I am so hoping for this! To spare you a very long story, I am 3 credits shy of a French minor (and took French all four years in highschool) and knew I wanted to teach it to my kids from the time they were little, and I have, though because I don’t speak it everyday, it’s less successful than I’d originally had in mind!
    I had a great experience with French in highschool. I went to a large HS, and *everyone* opted to learn Spanish, except about 16 people in my grade who went on all 4 years together–and we had a blast! We even went to France together with our teacher for 2 1/2 weeks…when I was 16! I ended up marrying a Canadian, and now I live in Canada, where the second official language is French! It’s on everything, which makes it easier to relate it to our everyday life, too, obviously. 🙂 Our kids will have to learn it (mandatory in all schools) starting around gr. 6, I think, but they will be so far ahead of their peers since they have started so early. I hadn’t seen this curriculum but it looks great…I agree with the curriculum woes…even where it’s required, I haven’t found good curriculum, but all our libraries are stocked with French readers, picture books, board books, etc, so that is definitely a bonus.
    I’d also recommend the app Duolingo. It starts very basic and you build on your skills throughout. One level takes about 5-7 minutes a day, and you’d be amazed at how quickly you catch on!
    Sarah M

    • Jessica says:

      Yea! A kindred spirit! I took French in High School and college as well. I loved visiting Canada on our school trips. I hope you enjoy teaching your kids as much as I love teaching mine with Classical Academic Press. It really is an amazing program!

  • Lori says:

    Is the only way to enter by tweeting about the giveaway? I don’t have Twitter.

    • Jessica says:

      So sorry! We did not think of that! Check back a little later and we should have that fixed up. Thanks for asking!

  • Ruby says:

    Jessica, do you live in Houston? I am homeschooling my daughter and she is also learning French. Maybe we could meet?

    • Jessica says:

      Sadly no. It would be fun to have a group that gets together to practice though! Try out a local fb page to see if you can gather some French learners. Wish we were closer!

  • Alison says:

    I didn’t realize that CAP had a French program! That’s great! I was in French Immersion myself as from K-12, but I have such a hard time figuring out how to speak French with my children! I’ve been unsuccessful thus far in incorporating French learning into our homeschool.

    • Jessica says:

      It certainly isn’t easy, but CAP starts off with interesting words and begins with ways to speak right away. I love that the dialog is part English and part French. This makes it more acceptable to Ruth to talk in both; adding in French when she feels comfortable. In the past she has been an all or nothing sort of girl. I also like that the teacher on the DVD uses French words in normal conversation, with the English right after. All around, so many things to love about French for Children!

  • Jessica says:

    Maybe we should learn French so that I can understand the bits I come across in literature!

    • Jessica says:

      I will admit, remembering a little from high school and college does help in that regard. 🙂

  • Jenni says:

    We use and love Song School Latin and LFC– both just fantastic programs. When I realized they had a French program available, I immediately put it on our homeschool wishlist!

  • Robyn says:

    I am very excited about this program and can’t wait to use it with my children!

  • Leslie says:

    We’ve used and loved other programs from Classical Academic Press (Writing and Rhetoric, and Song School Latin.). We would love to try their French program!

  • Lauren Sobaje says:

    Any exposure to languages is a plus in my book. We already do some Spanish in my house, using the Georgia Public Proadcastings’s episodes of “Salsa” online. Thanks

  • Brittony says:

    French is a beautiful language! I’d love to teach my daughter the basics of French. (I loved the reasons listed above as well.)

  • MJ Lole says:

    My daughters have been asking to learn French! CAP products for the win! Thank you!

  • Susan says:

    We live in Toronto and I just started homeschooling this year. This week I was on a search for a french program and your post came up! Would love to try this program. Thanks!

  • Lynn Wilson says:

    We love their Latiin curriculum, and would love to get their French as well! @wearefamilyw

  • Emily says:

    We are learning French, since we are helping with missions in Haiti.

  • Tara M says:

    You might gave just convinced me to give French a try! My oldest has asked for years, but I have never tried it. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • katharine says:

    oh thanks for the chance. we use classical academic press for our latin study and LOVE it. I was planning on adding Spanish next year simply because is so practical. I was torn though because French is just, so French. Happy day — I found an article the other day arguing how French is really the language of the future. Count me in — beauty and practicality, you can’t beat that.

  • M Turro says:

    I have always wanted to learn French. When my oldest wanted to learn we tried a very popular language program and it was a flop My younger children would like to learn French, because a family very close to us has moved to a French speaking country. We would all like to be able to visit and learn as we would like to visit them in their new country.

  • Jennifer K says:

    Great review! Sounds like a fun idea to loop through our morning box time! I took French in high school and college, so would love to incorporate this with my elementary kids while brushing up on my skills. It is amazing how many French words are part of the English language too!

  • Helen M says:

    I have a daughter, gr 9, who wants to learn French, after 5 years of Latin. We are doing First Start French, but need to get it and Second Start French for a full credit….any other ideas to supplement, because it’s a fast pace (book 1 in 16 weeks) and she’s not really learning it or enjoying it as much as she thought…also, recommendations for a 2nd year of High School credit? I don’t know much French!

    • Jessica says:

      You could try slowing down just a bit. I’m not sure what your state requirements are, but could you work through the book slower? Get one credit over two years? There is a YouTube series that my kids love, although I suggest previewing for some of them, called Learn French with Alexa. She is fun and entertaining to watch and very encouraging. She has videos on almost any subject. It would be a great supplement to any French program! Especially for older learners. Hope this helps!

      • Helen M says:

        Thank you. We did decide to slow down- she needs 2 years of a forgetting lang according to the state- I think we decided one book a year AND online learning to get the “hours” in. Thanks for the idea of Learn French with Alexa–we’ll try that and I saw someone else say their husband uses Duolingo.

  • Jocelyn K says:

    Thank-you for this opportunity!! So exciting!! I’ve always enjoyed the French language, and always wanted to incorporate it in our homeschool. Speaking French will also greatly increase job prospects for our children in the future; it’s a huge asset here!

  • Lisa says:

    Thanks for posting this! I’m a homeschool mom as well as a French teacher. I’ve taught both French and Spanish, but believe French to be more valuable to our children especially in classical education. I teach at the high school level, but I’m so glad to see quality resources for the elementary level. Sadly, there are so many myths about studying Spanish. I love to see positive posts about French. Sometimes I wish I had the time to dispel the myths! 🙂 Again, thanks.

  • We have used a variety of Latin programs, including Song School Latin and Latin for Children. We have dabbled in Spanish but I would really rather French for many of the reasons you listed in your post. Thanks for the opportunity to enter to win the set!

  • Denise says:

    This looks great! My daughter recently asked if she could learn French. I was happy to read the reasons you posted for learning it.

  • Amy says:

    I do not speak French but I have always loved the language. When my first daughter was born (Genevieve–see how much I am a Francophile?!) I had decided to place her in a French immersion private school. Well, 4 children later that option is cost-prohibitive and homeschooling it is! This will be a welcome resource! Thank you for the discount code, too!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Thanks so much for posting the list of reasons to study French. My mother must have had a bad experience once with Parisians, because she can say nothing good about them or French at all! Every time foreign languages come up she just can’t understand why I don’t just teach my children Spanish, which is SO much more practical!! It’s a good language to learn in this country, but I think in general French is more useful for anyone who wants to travel outside the US. Thanks for giving me some information to back up my intuition!

    We’ve been doing Spanish with Rosetta Stone and Latin with CAP curriculum, and I think there’s really no comparison – CAP is far superior! I was planning to start them on French in a few years, so we will definitely give the CAP curriculum a try.

  • Belinda says:

    I used CAP’s Song School Latin. Both of my children enjoyed it. I’m very interested in their French for Children. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Heather says:

    I would love to teach my children French. The language is so beautiful!!!

  • Catherine says:

    I would love to use this curriculum to learn French!

  • Anne says:

    My husband is learning french through Duolingo and it’s amazing how often it’s come in handy! We would all love to join him. 🙂

  • Amy says:

    I loved learning French too! I am excited about checking out this new curriculum as I have not been impressed by what we have used so far. thanks!!!

  • Fran Edwards says:

    Wow this looks great! I’d love to try this!

  • Donna says:

    My son feel in love with everything French when we visited Epcot Center! I know he would love to learn to speak the language. This is the first I have heard of Academic Press – Thank you for the info!

  • Helen says:

    I’d love to teach my children French as we often have French backpackers to stay. If we could could communicate in there language that would be such a blessing for them. I love that it has a teaching DVD oh yes please, that would be a huge hit. My son has been using Duolingo but this would give a much better foundation.

  • Cheri says:

    This sounds like a wonderful curriculum for my 2 youngest kids. We would have a lot of fun – thanks!!

  • Darnetta says:

    I was just looking into a program like this. I would love for my kids to learn french!

  • Heather says:

    We started French in our home school this year. The kids are loving it. It’s amazing how fast they can learn language at this age. It was harder for me in my middle/high school and college years. Glad they can start earlier learning to love this beautiful language!

  • Erin says:

    I took Spanish in HS, but I really want to learn French with my kids. Looks like a great program.

  • Sage H. says:

    Desire is by far the biggest motivator for adding French to our school day! My daughter has been working on Latin and Spanish (Daddy is a native speaker), but she keeps BEGGING for French. Winning this would be awesome because we were planning on buying her this curriculum for Christmas:) It was great to read your thoughts!

  • Mel says:

    My son has been using Duolingo to learn French, and it has been great. But, now we are ready for another resource–we’ll definitely be looking into this!

  • Megan says:

    I studied French in high school and college, so it was a natural choice for our homeschool. My husband studied Spanish, but is learning French along with us. We are members of a wonderful French children’s library in Boston.

  • Cassie W. says:

    I took French in high school and it’s been my dream to relearn it with my boys . . . . . one wants to do Spanish and the other wants to do none. Perhaps I could talk them into it with a free coy or at least relearn it myself.

  • Congetta says:

    I learned French and Spanish. My son and I are learning Latin and I would like him to also learn French and Spanish.

  • Phoebe says:

    I would like to teach my daughter French because we love languages in our home. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Jen says:

    My oldest daughter is learning French (high school level). What fun it would be to have the younger ones learning too, and a great reinforcement for her as well!

  • Sarah R. says:

    Oh! What a fun opportunity to have our family learn French together. Looks like a wonderful curriculum.

  • Madeleine says:

    I have a French name, so do my children. Most of my husband’s family speaks French. Learning French seems a must! ?

  • Melissa Miller says:

    We would love to learn French and one day go to France!! This sounds like a lot of fun!

  • Mindy Taylor says:

    This would be so amazing! We’ve always wanted to do French, but didn’t know of a great curriculum!

  • Kim E says:

    Planning to teach French to my kids. I took French for 4 years in school and my girls love all things France.

  • Jacqueline Bond says:

    After i started Spanish with my son my daughter Erika informed me that she would like to go to college in Paris and so she had no interest in Spanish and wanted to learn french instead. I’ve always encouraged all my children to go after their dreams so i said OK i’ll see what we can do. I of course have no idea about anything remotely french beyond french fries but i started looking into it. However life has a way of throwing curve balls and it just so happened that a few months of “trying times” hit our family and i wasn’t able to get a curriculum or tutor that we had wanted to get for her. That being said i would love to have this curriculum since it would give us a wonderful starting point toward her goals and ultimately her dreams.

  • Megan L. says:

    I think it would be great fun to learn French together as a family. My son wants to learn as many languages as he can, so this would be great opportunity. Thanks!

  • Jenni Farr says:

    Oh, how I would love to receive this bundle! I took French all through HS and was a French minor in college. I have not been able to use my French in many years, but now that we have switched to homeschooling, I’ve felt a tug at my heart to introduce my children to this lovely language. I love Classical Academic Press materials, and I’m sure this resource will not disappoint!

  • Rachel says:

    My husband and I both spent time in France growing up, and we hope to all go back someday soon!

  • Susan says:

    Yay! We love the programs from Classical Academic Press!

  • Melissa Cedeno says:

    I’ve always wanted to learn French myself, and now my youngest is asking to learn it. This sounds like a great way for us both to learn and share the experience!

  • Jackie Vescio says:

    After reviewing the French for Children curriculum, it looks very promising. We are interested in accepting job opportunities in another country where French is a required second language in the school system. It would be fantastic for my children (7 & 9) to have exposure to the the French language prior to enrolling in the school system. I’ve been looking at other learning-French curriculum and so far, I am most impressed with French for Children. Thank you for posting the information about it.

  • Michelle says:

    my kids have been asking for French for the last two years, but I have always lack the confidence. This program sounds perfect. Thanks for posting.

  • Carmen Tucker says:

    I would love to win this. I took a year Of conversational French in college (definitely need more) and traveled to France and Switzerland, and my son has mentioned he would like to learn as well. Sounds like a great program!

  • Amy says:

    Oh, I would love to teach my kids French! I was one of those kids in high school who opted for Spanish, but I will forever wish that I’d taken French. It takes so long to become really proficient in a language, I think it’s important to choose one you are really drawn to. Now, after having just returned from my 8th trip to Paris, without speaking a lick of French, I feel more determined than ever.

  • Julie says:

    My first language was French. I am hoping my children will be able to learn it. We do learn French but use eclectic mix of things. It would be great to have just one curriculum to use.

  • As Fancy Nancy says, everything sounds fancier in French ;). Plus, it is a widely studied language and one I wanted them to learn.

  • I have been attempting to teach French to my two boys for a few years now, but it has been a very slow process. I feel French is the best language to start with as well, for many of the reasons stated by Jessica above. In addition, I think we are much more likely to encounter French phrases in the rich classic literature that we read, than any other language.

  • Beth Enfinger says:

    I took four years of French in high school and loved it (and would love to teach it to my kids). I always thought maybe it would have been more useful to have studied Spanish, but your list of reasons to study French make me feel better about my choice! 🙂

  • Mandy says:

    We just started studying French for the same reason this year! I had been trying Spanish (because so many around us speak it) and had Latin on my desk (haunting me to start), but she kept asking for French. Duh, go with desire! She is so motivated. But we have not picked a curriculum. We have just been learning conversationally so far.

  • Julie says:

    We have friends who are missionaries in DRCongo. I would love to learn French with the kids to be able to go and visit.

  • Beth says:

    I would love to try this curriculum. I took years of French in high school and I think the language is beautiful. We are trying to learn it in our homeschool, and I think French for Children would help us a ton!

  • Christina says:

    I loved learning French and would love to introduce it to the rest of my family, and relearn it myself!

  • Lauren says:

    We recently moved away from our French immersion program and started homeschooling. I’ve been searching for a French curriculum to use at home but haven’t found anything I’m very excited about yet. This looks promising and we are interested in trying it out!!

  • Andrea Doherty says:

    French was one of my favorite subjects in high school. I took it for 5 years and got a perfect score on my Regents exam. I wanted to continue to study it in college, but my coursework schedule did not allow for it. I haven’t studied it since high school. I would love to renew my passion for this language again by teaching it to my kids. It is truly a beautiful language.

  • Kelli says:

    My older girls are studying French as their high school foreign language and I’d love to get my younger girls learning French as well…maybe I could even give it a try?! Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Heather C says:

    I took two years of French in high school. My children and I have been learning French together for a little over a year now. I’d love to share this curriculum with them. It is so important to be able to communicate with others around the world. Learning a second language opens up so many possibilities for serving others around us. Thank you for the great giveaway!

  • Hannah S. says:

    My daughter has been wanting to learn Spanish but this just seems more practical.

  • Jason says:

    Language is a doorway to another culture. Learning a different language and the history that goes with it will put our children on a path that involves more than just learning a new language, but will also help them develop and broaden their understanding and appreciation of another culture. It would really mean a lot to win a wonderful gift like this. Thank you for the opportunity.

  • Hi. French is my first language. I now speak 5 including English, German and Italian. I concur that one must be interested and eager to learn best.
    One thing that works for me is to watch screen time almost primarily in the foreign language. If your kids can read add English subtitles. Most Disney DVDs come with the French soundtrack. You can find a lot on youtube (no subtitles) that is English and French so you can let them eatch in English once and then switch to French. Mouk is an excellent French cartoon (also in English on Netflix) that teaches about countries of the world.
    If I can help further let me know. Aloha! Sarah
    PS: in the song it should probably say Dupuis mon nom de famille (my last name). “En mon famille” is not correct French…

  • Stephanie says:

    Hello! My daughter just finished both Primers A and B. We were saddened to find there is no Primer C. I’m just curious if you come across a curriculum for this next level of French? If you have please be so kind as to share. Thanks

    • Jessica Lawton says:

      Hi Stephanie! We are still working on Primer B. I here there will eventually be a C, but not soon enough for either of us I am sure. For now, my daughter is using Duo-Lingo and also Talk Box Mom. These two resources are helping her to speak French more. I am also trying to integrate French into her normal schooling. For example, I have her look up the French word for her English spelling words. She writes them next to the English words in her spelling notebook. I am going to have her put a few of them into sentences as well. There may also be a French Meet-Up group in your area. We have one, although because they meet for wine we have yet to attend. 😉 Honestly, I loved my French book from when I was in Middle School and found a copy at a thrift store recently. I would think any middle school French Text would be a good next step as well. I hope you find somethings to help you all continue your study of this beautiful language!

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