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Old 21.05.2007, 17:50
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Homeschooling but for English only

I wonder whether there is anybody else out there who homeschools only for one subject, English, whilst the child also attends state school? I cannot afford to send my child to an international school, yet I do want him to be able to write in English as well, rather than just speak the language. Therefore I have decided to homeschool for just the one subject, with material sent from UK based WES. So far (he's 9 now) it seems to work well, but as he'll get more homework at school and wants to do more sport, meet with friends etc. it will become harder to find the time to do it. Has anybody else successfully managed to do this with older children?
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Old 01.07.2007, 23:02
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

Did you hear from anyone about this? With all the English families here, there must be a lot of people with the same problem. My oldest is about the same age as yours and so far I have been working with text books posted over by people in the UK.

Unfortunately, the work books I have been finding on Amazon and in bookshops are not particularly thorough and seem very weak on practice. I could do with something a bit more structured now, before I start to get out of my depth with the teaching. Any suggestions are welcome.
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Old 02.07.2007, 00:41
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

i would get an native english speaking nanny. there are actually many students that are willing to baby sit and teach english. just post a ad at any university.

good luck
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Old 02.07.2007, 06:13
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

Why do you feel the need to do this at home?

English is on the curriculum in Swiss schools (at least in the German speaking part). Most start in the last year of primary and the children have the opportiunity to take the Cambridge 1st certificate.
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Old 02.07.2007, 08:30
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

Hi everbody
I feel I need to do this at home because I was afraid my son would lose touch with the English language if I waited too long. He is now in second year of primary school, and we live in Thurgau, so he won't start with English at school until 5th or 6th year, and then that will be at beginner's level, so it would be too easy. Since he has an English father, I would like him to speak English better than the average Swiss kid.
I have subscribed to the English language subject from WES (World-Wide Education Service) in Cumbria, they send all the material for a year's teaching over, including lesson plans. You don't have to be a teacher to do this (I'm not). It's much better than working with textbooks, it is structured and has a logical progress. Progress is also monitored as you send in assignments to your tutor in England. This also helps the child to take it seriously!
My son has progressed to the stage now where he can ready easy books in English, which I'm quite pleased about. His spelling is not so good yet, but that will come.
I think I'll just try and carry on for another year, even though sometimes I have to say "no playing with friends until you have done your English lessson".
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Old 02.07.2007, 09:27
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

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Why do you feel the need to do this at home?

English is on the curriculum in Swiss schools (at least in the German speaking part). Most start in the last year of primary and the children have the opportiunity to take the Cambridge 1st certificate.
Actually, though I'm generally very sceptical of home schooling, especially for more advanced subjects where the parent may not have additional qualifications, I can fully see the point of home schooling just for this single subject.

The reason is that many (but I'm sure not all) teachers of English in the Swiss school system have a rather poor grasp of English themselves. If it were my kid, I'd have reservations about the ability of the teacher to do a better job than I could. Of course, speaking English and being able to teach it are two entirely separate matters...

The other thing to consider is what if your child already speaks English natively? Will they be able to get the same level of English study in the school system? Very unlikely, especially when in high school. If they were in an English-speaking country they would probably be studying more advanced texts to a deeper level, and in a case like this I'd definitely consider home schooling. The question for a level like this is - would the parent have the qualifications to teach say, A-level English (using the UK system as an example)?
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Old 02.07.2007, 11:03
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

A possible alternative to home schooling could be after-school classes taught by a certified English teacher. I have Swiss friends (aged 7 and 5) who lived in the US with their parents for two years and picked up English while they were over there. They now attend a state school in Lausanne, but one day a week they attend after-school English lessons that are geared towards kids who already speak the language. These lessons are taught by a native speaker, and they learn reading, writing and grammar, but in a fun context. (For example, the seven year old is currently learning knock-knock jokes and riddles in English). The kids seems to enjoy being in an environment with other English-speaking children, and their English skills are improving despite not speaking it at home or in their normal school, and it's been two years since they lived in the US. You might want to look into whether there is a similar program offered in your area.

HeatherM
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Old 02.07.2007, 13:37
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

I've looked into "English for Kids" courses in my area, but they are all for beginners rather than native or near-native speakers. As I said, so far it is going well with lessons at home, but I don't know what will happen when he is older and moves on to a higher level. I don't know whether he would still cooperate and take lessons seriously, and whether I would be able to teach the higher level.
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Old 02.07.2007, 13:42
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

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I've looked into "English for Kids" courses in my area, but they are all for beginners rather than native or near-native speakers. As I said, so far it is going well with lessons at home, but I don't know what will happen when he is older and moves on to a higher level. I don't know whether he would still cooperate and take lessons seriously, and whether I would be able to teach the higher level.
I remember in the later stages of my schooling that analysis of a particular piece of literature involved a lot of class discussion and the teacher throwing interesting questions around. I can imagine that would be much harder to do in a one-on-one situation. Of course, group interaction is important in many subjects, but I'm finding it hard to think of one where it is more useful than in this example.
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Old 02.07.2007, 13:46
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

Check with your local schools - our twins are in the Native English speakers group (when the rest are doing English).

I can only speak from personal experience but this is how it worked (is working) for us:

Twins started school with no German. Teachers asked that we only speak English at home. After 6 months they were speaking good German and local Swiss dialect. Now, 3 years down the line, they are fluent in German and dialect. For English they are taught seperately along with other native speakers (Australian, New Zealanders, etc). One has just taken the Cambridge 1st Certificate.
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Old 04.07.2007, 11:55
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

I've checked with the local school, but there aren't enough other native speakers of English. Our nearest large town is St. Gallen, so if anyone knows of English tuition there for children who are native speakers, please let me know.
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Old 04.07.2007, 12:13
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

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I've checked with the local school, but there aren't enough other native speakers of English. Our nearest large town is St. Gallen, so if anyone knows of English tuition there for children who are native speakers, please let me know.
That's strange - we are SG too. The policy must be more local .

I do know that in the secondary school native English speakers come in from a few other schools in the area for the class.
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Old 07.07.2007, 21:54
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

That is a coincidence, as I am in St. Gallen as well. My eldest has just finished at the city integration class where they were taught as a group of non-german speakers (including a few native english children), but now that we are being moved into mainstream schooling, we have been told there are no other native english speakers in the school.

The dilemma I have, is that with the best will in the world, if a child only communicates and learns english with a parent, their english will be become a little weird at best.

A method used by japanese parents overseas is to get together every couple of weeks to allow the children to socialise in their language and then also to study together in the same language with all the parents helping/supervising.

Kumon is a good study tool for this as it includes a distance learning teacher who checks the progress of each child. (If is available in English for native speakers). It requires a monthly subscription for unlimited worksheets - the more you do, the more you are given.
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Old 04.12.2007, 02:45
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

Another choice would be to check into scholars choice here in canada for workbooks. especially for english workbooks with practice sheets. i do not know what the website is for scholars choice.
but use the google search. if that does not work leave me a private message and i will look into it for you. and i can check the couple of stores that are in my city to see what they have and what the items cost in canadian funds.

Gerhard
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Old 04.12.2007, 09:58
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

Our children seem to be all of different ages, which makes it difficult. Otherwise we could have got together to form a sort of "self-help group" and meet once a month in St. Gallen, and exchange teaching materials, worksheets, CDs etc. I would be able to provide a classroom for this purpose on Saturdays in Weinfelden, but unfortunately don't know about any facilities in St. Gallen.
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Old 14.12.2007, 17:47
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

Hi

Here is a website for you to check into. It is www.hayespub.com. You will find at least 7 pages of information that you can use to order books to teach at home in regards to English.
Another website to check is www.centricurriculum.com. I have not checked them out for almost 4 years. So I do not know if they are still around or not. But it might be worth while to check anyways. They have a language arts curriculum for homeschooling. Good luck and Merry Christmas one and all.

Gerhard
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Old 14.12.2007, 18:14
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

I hope you don't mind me intruding on your post re. homeschooling, but I am a retired teacher having taught Primary school for 35 years.All my teaching experience is in Ireland not England, but I am sure the books you bought for your child are excellent. We used many publications used in English schools over the years .
Mothers are usually really good teachers as they know their children so well. You sound like you are doing everything right .
Well done and good luck with your home schooling

ps. If I lived near you I would offer help , the intention is good on my part!
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Old 05.02.2014, 12:18
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

I know this is an old post, but in case others are reading it ... there's a program called K12 International Academy that offers online, teacher-led English classes, following the US curriculum. Hope that helps.
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Old 18.03.2014, 14:44
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

Hello,

I also know this is an old post---I was just searching for homeschooling on the site and came across it.

We send our daughters (now 9 and 6) to English Speaking Playgroup/English Reading and Writing classes, in Bern. People come from quite far to visit them (great instructors, by the way).

We also struggle a bit with this issue--there really is not a lot of extra time (or desire, from the kids' end) to add English instruction to the day's schedule.

Just in case anyone else is looking for something similar

Last edited by 3Wishes; 31.03.2014 at 22:05.
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Old 25.03.2014, 13:27
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Re: Homeschooling but for English only

Hi, just came across this. I do English with my children once a week - aged 7 to 11. We get textbooks in Ireland, and just work our way through them. Funnily enough, I used to teach English, but I do not diverge much from the book. My kids are quite good at doing their work, but if I try to add extra things, they say, 'but that's not in the book!". I also buy a lot of English books, either when we are at home, or on Amazon, and I try to tailor books to their interest. Eg, my 10 year old daughter loves fiction about girls of her age, my 11 year old son prefers more factual books.

I do find they don't take me as seriously as they would a teacher, and I've thought about enrolling them on an online course, but they already have long hours at school (France) and a fair bit of homework, so I'm pretty happy with what they're doing now. It's not really enough, once a week, but it's better than nothing, and I don't think kids should be overloaded either. It's so important for them to learn some formal English. I have met a lot of people - grown ups included - who can speak a language they learnt from parents, but who can't read/write in it, and it's such a pity. One things my kids will seriously fall down on is spelling, as I really can't bring myself to give them spelling tests, in addition to their school homework. That's where I'm hoping lots of reading will make up for it somewhat!
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