Sunday, September 22, 2013

Answering your questions: Teaching my own child

It's Sunday afternoon and the time has come! Lesson with Gianni!!!
And that reminded me of the question my dear friend an colleague Christina Markoulaki had asked me.
I had thought about it a lot,  before I decided to teach my own child.
First of all there was the financial issue - if my kid visited a language school, I would have to spend more than 1000 Euros a year for 2 foreign languages. And I would, if it didn't work as the way it is.
Teaching your own child has its advantages and disadvantages.
Lessons are flexible. We can work as long as we like. I have some material in mind, but it is free. We could start with a coursebook, in the middle of the lesson watch a movie or read a magazine, or even google something on the net. We can talk about anything he's interested in in the time being and we can stop whenever we want.
With my son I don't have a particular lesson plan. It is important for me, that he can communicate both in English and German and my lessons are not exam-oriented. Of course he will take some FL exams just to have a certificate (as it is important for people in Greece to actually show a paper with your skills), but the main thing is that he does communicate with ease.
Comparing him to kids his age and language level, I can see that there is a big difference. the other children do know all the forms the tenses and lots of vocabulary, but they cannot actually use the language.
Giannis on the other hand will answer in English or German if he is addressed to in that language, he will try to express himself and if he does not know a particular word or phrase, he will try to say it with other words. While reading, he tries to understand from the context.
Of course there are also disadvantages in teaching your own child. Firstly, we parents do not find the time to spend with our children, because we (or better I) do not see it as work. So I do devote Sundays to Gianni, but sometimes this is not enough.
Another thing is that we fight a lot. He feels really comfortable to be with his mum and when he doesn't like something he reacts very negatively.
I also get very angry sometimes, because I can see his potential and he doesn't, because he gets bored easily and he does not want to try harder.
All in all it's great to pass your knowledge to your own kid and I am really proud of his achievements so far!!
Keep asking me questions!!!!


evi said...

hi Theodora! I'm a follower of yours on Twitter and my main concern regarding your topic is whether the relationship of teacher-student affects the relationship mother-child. Or vice versa.

Theodora Pap said...

So far I haven't had any problems with discipline. My son has understood the difference of the roles. When we have a lesson he is the student and I am the teacher and when we don't he is the child and I am the mother. But this is not the same with all children. It depends on the personality I guess.

Christina Markoulaki said...

My future self will have to remember all those things! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the topic. :-)