30 Day Language Learning with Littles Challenge
Happy New Year! Buon anno! ¡Feliz año! Bonne année!
I am a pretty big fan of the New Year's Resolution... I know a lot of people think this is all hype and silliness, but I nerd out about resolutions and start thinking about them in early December and even try to practice one or two before the New Year hits to see if they'll be doable! love the fresh start to reflect and think about what I want to keep doing and what I'd like to do differently. That said, I also admittedly have a big history of failing at New Year's Resolutions. In the last few years, actually almost entirely thanks to the book Tiny Habits, I've started thinking about resolutions more as new tiny habits that I want to create for myself instead of big ambitious goals. For example, instead of and ambitious Learn French goal a few years ago I started the tiny habit of doing a single duolingo lesson each morning before getting out of bed. I'm now on a 959 day streak. I've definitely skipped some - thank you streak freeze! but for the most part, this is something I do each day. And even though I'm very far from fluent or even intermediate in French (despite taking classes in grad school), I still love that it's better than nothing!
For several years, I've wanted to introduce my kids to French and learn alongside them. But I've always approached it with an ambitious goal of French lessons every week which just weren't doable given our location, schedule, finances, etc... lots of excuses were easy to come up with! So this year, I'm going to take the tiny habit approach and spend a few minutes on easy activities everyday during or after dinner. We won't be speaking French by the end of the year, but maybe we'll all know a few hundred new words by the end of the year and maybe just maybe (fingers crossed), my kids will think it's fun to learn French. And if that's the case, I'll consider this a giant win!
A 30 Day Challange
I've put together a 30 day challenge in the hopes of making it easier to incorporate a tiny bit of French (or Spanish or Italian or any language you want to learn) into our everyday routine. I'd love for you to join us! I'll try to figure out a fun prize for motivation so stay tuned! Follow us on instagram @lufiandfriends for our daily updates!
Here's our plan for this week, and I'll share updates each week this month as we adjust and figure out what works!
Music Mondays: Listen to a song in the language you're learning
Learning French? This week, I just searched “L'araignée Gypsie” or the Itsy Bitsy Spider in French while in the car. It was easy peasy lemon squeezy, required zero effort, and it was a fun song that my kids were already familiar with so they easily guessed how to say spider and sun. Two words down!! Thousands to go, but hey, it's something!! Or of course you can use one of the songs in our French book that sings!
Learning Spanish? Just look up "La araña pequeñita" or the Itsy Bitsy Spider in Spanish on any music app you use. This song is also in Mis Primeras Canciones Infantiles en Español
Learning Italian? Itsy Bitsy Spider is called "Whiskey il ragnetto" and you can find it on any music app you use! Or of course check out one of the fun animal songs or lullabies in our Italian books that sing!
Tongue Twister Tuesday: Practice saying a tongue twister in your language of choice
Here are a few for those learning French, Spanish or Italian!
Learning French? Son chat chante sa chanson (this means her cat sings her song)... I had to go to google to practice pronunciation, but this is a fun one with easy words for the kids to learn.
Learning Spanish? Camarón, caramelo, caramelo, camarón (This means shrimp, candy, candy, shrimp). It's silly but super easy! And you learn 2 new words!
Learning Italian? Sette sassi smussati (This means seven rounded rocks). I had to revisit google for the pronunciation which is so lovely!
Word of the Day Wednesday: An easy one for the middle of the week - just look up any word you need to use that day!
By Wednesdays, I'm usually in some kind of panic mode about something at work or something I've forgotten related to the kids' school stuff. So I'm going to keep this easy! Just pick a word, any word! I'll do Wednesday!
Learning French? Mercredi
Learning Spanish? Miércoles
Learning Italian? Mercoledì
It's kind of fun to learn them all and see how similar the romance languages are in some words!
Tech Thursday: Play a game on a language learning app with your kids
My kids love Fun French with Study Cat so we'll give that a try! They also have Spanish, Chinese and German. For Italian, there's an app called "Learn Italian beginners" that has good reviews and looks kid friendly. Each kiddo can each just do a 5 minute activity. It's fun and pretty much zero parental effort required and free if you're just trying it out!
Fun Friday: Do a fun activity in the new language (we're going to do a drawing video this week)
My plan is to have us do a drawing video in French on Friday afternoon together. I love these drawing videos because I'm a terrible artist, but they're so fun and make me feel like I can actually draw.
Learning French? We're going to try this video to draw a puppy. We'll report back. Hopefully we at least learn the word for dog!
Learning Spanish? Check out our YouTube channel and draw with Adrian, Lu and Fi. My personal favorite easy drawing is the mariposa!
Learning Italian? This penguin video looks a little fast, but not too complicated if you don't mind watching it a couple of times and hopefully coming away for the word for penguin!
Showtime Saturday: Watch a kids' show or movie you're already familiar with but in a new language
It's going to be Bluey...easy peasy, put it on in a different language on Disney + and pour yourself a glass of wine ;) My kids may complain for a second when they realize it's not in English or Spanish, but when I remind them they're getting TV time, everyone will be happy!
Storytime Sunday: Listen to a story you're already familiar with but in a new language
This week, the plan is to try to listen to a fairytale that we're already pretty familiar with but to do it in French and see if we can pick out any of the words. The Fable Cottage is a great resource to get audio versions of traditional fairytales in Spanish, Italian, French, and German.