First, I want to thank everyone who entered to win the Chinook Book! The winner is reader and Facebook fan, Clare! Congratulations, Clare. I’ll be in touch with you!
If you didn’t win, Heather over at Queen Bee, has a great offer. She will sell you a book for just 20.00 and ship it to you For Free. Now, I will tell you that if you Just use the grocery and dairy coupons, it will pay for itself. If you make even a couple special trips to Seattle for sight seeing or shopping, it’s definitely a good value. If you’re on the fence, you can go to the Chinook Book site and see lists of the various coupons. Go to the tab for “in print,” and select the category you’re interested in.
You’ve probably heard that it’s easier to learn a second language when you’re younger. There is a lot of interesting science behind this, but it esentially comes down to the fact that young brains have more plasticity, whereas older brains have to process new information with a brain more rigidly attached to its native language.
A friend asked me about where children in our area can take langauge classes, so I was inspired to try to find the answer. I have to admit, this is one of those areas where a suburban mom could get some city envy, because there just aren’t a lot of langauge schools in our area. I’ll tell you what I’ve found, and then please let me know if you know of a resource I’ve missed!
The Tacoma German Language School is in Lakewood. Classes teach language and also emphasize cultural experiences for children of Swiss, German, and Austrian heritage. I don’t know anything about this school personally, but the pictures and activities look darling.
The Evergreen Chinese Academy is in Tacoma. Classes are offered in both Chinese language and culture (how cool would it be to learn Chinese brush painting)? They offer programs for preschoolers through adults. Again, I don’t know this school personally, and tuition is a bit on the spendy side, but their programs sound pretty great. I think if this is something your family decides to do, you’ll want to observe some classes and meet the teachers.
The South Puget Sound Chinese school is located in Des Moines and serves children from around the area. Again, I can’t vouch for this facility at all, but if any of you can, please let me know.
Both the Pierce County Library and the Puyallup Public Library offer bilingual story times where stories and games are presented in Spanish and English. While these are not formal classes, children learn through stories, games, and music-all methods that we know work well for little language learners. Story time is always Free, and I’ve never met anyone with either library who wasn’t super with kids.
A.C.E. world languages offers summer language camps in Lacey. They also offer school based classes. My son is learning Spanish through this program right now, and he is having a lot of fun. You might check to see whether schools in your distict already offer these classes. There are several in Gig Harbor and a couple in Tacoma. If your school doesn’t, it’s actually not that hard to start one up. The website lists a coordinator for each region, and each would be glad to get in touch with you. At Jack’s school the minimum to run the class was just ten children, and while not a bargain, I thought the tuition was reasonable. Children did have to be in at least first grade, though I don’t know how strict that policy is.
Another option is to find a private tutor. You might try looking asking language teachers at your local high school or community college to recommend a superior student interested in making a little spending money.
An online resource is the website Multilingual Living. Even if you’re strictly English speakers, it’s fascinating to read about this family.