SSi Forum

Kids learning welsh at home


#1

We are thinking of home schooling our wee girl. I would like her to become fluent in Welsh and am looking at the best way of teaching her. At home I do try but my welsh is dodgy and my hubby doesn’t try at all. We go to amser stori and singing in cymraeg, also books and S4C.
Does anyone have any experience/ideas? Diolch
(Have considered moving to Gwenydd for their 12 week immersion thingy before school!!)
I


#2

Play groups, Welsh play dates. Welsh church/chapel/Sunday school.

You need to work hard at your Welsh to become confident (which is not necessarily the same thing as correct!) A homeschooler came to one bootcamp I was at and gained that confidence.

And then speak only Welsh to your child. You haven’t ‘taught’ her English, she caught it off you.

I would also encourage you to encourage your husband to learn Welsh as she will learn pretty quickly that some people don’t think the language is important so why should she bother?


#3

Nothing particularly easy about this, but it should be possible for you to have some fun.

Starting from scratch, I’d recommend you map out the language for two or three of her favourite games, get it learnt to the point where you don’t need to think about it, and then make sure you play each of them at least once every day.

That will give you an initial base. If you can do the immersion 12 weeks, that will have a huge impact on her - but you’ll still have the challenge of building a ‘Welsh’ space at home for everything she’ll have learnt.

If the games get you going at first, I’d be inclined to think in terms of sets of behaviour you can turn into Welsh - anything routine, like breakfast, bath-time, etc - stuff where the patterns of language use are predictable enough for you to feel that you can master them.

As you gradually add areas of behaviour in Welsh to your time together, you’ll be making the core of the language very natural for her - but of course the extent to which you expand on that is always going to depend on how far you get yourself - so it might well be worth trying to identify a set time on a daily or weekly basis for you to push yourself on too…

Pob lwc! :sunny:


#4

Diolch - lots of ideas. I like the idea of doing particular routines in Welsh.
I worry a bit that I am teaching her rubbish as my welsh is dodgy to say the least!
We did chat to some lovely folk at lunch today in Narbeth :slight_smile:


#5

@jenny_white_378 if you are still on the forum I’d love to know how you got on/are getting on?

Are there any other parents with similar experience?

We aren’t in Wales. My son goes to full-time English medium Preschool (starting primary this September) so I am essentially homeschooling the Welsh bit of his education and it’s hard! We are able to come back to Wales once a month, sadly to the very English speaking Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr! I have a tutor visit for 1 hour in this time but it’s too early days to say if this is making any difference yet. I know I need to up his exposure to Welsh speakers but my plan for a Llangrannog family holiday hasn’t worked as holidays are now cancelled while they support refugees. So I need a new plan! We are visiting St Fagans next time, how would I get the most out of this visit do you think?


#6

Are you a Welsh speaker yourself, Ruth? What are you doing with the home-schooling for Welsh at the moment?


#7

I am level 3 SSiW so just a whisker ahead of my son in ability! I have the Fflic a Fflac dvds, Dino Lingo game (he cannot read to use Duolingo), a few other game apps that I don’t find brilliant, S4C when we can, if I know how to say everyday things in Welsh I try to use that as much as possible but I run out of language quickly sadly. I ask him about his day and what he will do today etc on the car rides to Preschool when it’s just us and I have his attention!


#8

Oh, that’s more than a whisker! :star2:

But also still a tough gig. I’d say Cyw, and Cyw videos, as much as possible - there’s a lot of really good stuff out there, and all that exposure will make everything much easier for him if he feels it’s important later on.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself with things like how to maximise a trip to Sain Ffagans - just focus on enjoying it - it’s very, very difficult to give a child an extra language when the social context doesn’t naturally support it - I didn’t manage to give either of mine French or Spanish - but the early exposure to videos has definitely given them a valuable head start with accent and a sense of familiarity.

And also maybe focus on yourself a bit - if you can arrange for you to spend some time in a Welsh-speaking environment, that will benefit him (particularly if he can come with you, but even if he can’t, subsequently).

And remember, he can also choose to acquire the language later on, there isn’t a window that just closes - so any extra exposure you give him now will have real value in terms of making it easier later on :slight_smile:


#9

Diolch Aran for your reply. Sound advice as always. I will try to relax a bit more but it’s difficult not to feel the pressure sadly as I really don’t want him to have to learn as an adult - it’s hard! I had Welsh as second language lessons in school and whilst it helps a bit it’s not been much! (possibly because my secondary school Welsh lessons were rubbish but that’s a different issue!)

All being well we have 2 Welsh family weekends booked for October so that should help. I’ll just keep plodding on.


#10

Yeah, I really sympathise with that - I think that avoiding thinking about fluency can be helpful - everything you give him now in terms of exposure will make any further acquisition later on much easier for him - so it’s all super valuable, and you don’t have to hit any externally defined targets - just keep on sharing the language with him, and every moment gives him extra layers of the language.

And then when he gets to about 8 or 9, you’ll be able to start playing through SSi stuff with him (which will be a fair bit better and more playful by then, as well)… :slight_smile:


#11

Thanks for the suggestion… I am new here and excited to be the part of this community:)