Friday, October 4, 2013

Cooking in French

This year we have a wonderful French teacher, Elhem, coming to our house once a week to speak French (only) with my children.

Tristan asked to have French lessons and I found a teacher who lives nearby.  Tristan has convinced Elhem to teach him how to bake French recipes.  Today they are baking financier. These are little almond and raspberry cakes.  He is having to measure everything in grams and all the wonderful things that baking involves.  Tristan has quite a list of all the things he wants to bake!  Next week they are making creme brûlée.  He doesn't realize he is learning French as he bakes; he just thinks that he is having fun.

Claire has started a 4 year French course with the Potter School online, which terminates with the French AP exam. The class includes all of the grammar and conversation but the teachers are not native speakers and Claire needs to be able to converse in French with her Grandparents about all of the things she is interested in.  Elhem challenges her to talk about herself and clarifies the grammar rules so that she can speak confidently.

The Potter School specializes in providing rigorous courses for homeschooled children.  They have a large selection of classes and I thought we would try some out this year (Adobe Photoshop and French). Her French class is well organized, live! and she has 12 other classmates.   There is a screen that serves as a blackboard.  The students can hear everything and contribute either through their microphones or through a text feature.  It doesn't feel like a classroom environment and is definitely not as social as a regular class.  Claire's feeling is that online classes are OK, but she wouldn't want to do all of her classes online (even if she can do them in her pajamas.)  We did however meet Claire's teacher when she recently visited Connecticut and Claire has met all of the other students learning French at the Potter School in our area. So far it has been working out well for us.