Category Archives: Blog

Make Record Keeping Easy in Your Homeschool

reading togetherAs a homeschooling mom for 18 years, I was never much at record keeping. Each year I vowed I would dutifully keep track of every remotely educational thing my sweeties did every day. Each year I failed miserably at this!

Thankfully, I always made sure that my kids were working from a well laid-out curriculum. This ensured that however badly I had kept track of the daily activities, at the end of the year I could say we had completed such-and-such program and so covered all the necessary scholastic bases.

I always advise that homeschoolers, especially those who are new, work from established curricula to ensure that their children don’t have any confusing gaps in their education. That this makes record keeping easier is a great bonus!

As a French teacher at the middle school level, and even with primary students, I often had new students come into my class who were frustrated with French, and not experiencing the success they were capable of.

Often the source of this frustration was some kind of gap in their understanding. Perhaps this was some point of grammar they had never quite understood. Perhaps it was that they had not been taught French phonics and so were unsure about reading aloud.

Having a good curriculum not only makes record keeping a breeze, it also gives students a comprehensive, step by step introduction to each key concept at just the right time. A win-win situation in the homeschool and in the classroom!

Yes! You can teach French at home!

footsteps in the snowSometimes homeschooling parents can be a bit intimidated by the idea of teaching French at home. Teaching a second language is like teaching any other subject, though. You can get started even though you’re not an expert. You might just be pleasantly surprised to find yourself learning right alongside your children.

When I was homeschooling, I took it for granted that I didn’t know everything. The children and I traveled together on our adventure in home education. While they were impressed that Mom knew a whole lot of stuff about a whole lot of stuff, my children didn’t ever expect me to know everything there was to know about any giving topic. What I didn’t know, we found out together. What a great lesson for my kids to see that there is no age limit to learning!

Why should learning French as a second language be any different? With the right user-friendly curriculum, you can learn right along with your children as you progress though the material. Even though you might have little to no experience with French, you really can make French a part of your homeschool curriculum.

L’Art de lire was designed originally for homeschooling parents, keeping in mind that not everyone has a strong background in the French language. It starts out very gently and gradually, building understanding and confidence as a strong foundation for success.

Skating the Rideau Canal

skating on the Rideau Canal, Ottawa, Canada
Most of you know that I am proud to live in the beautiful country of Canada, where we not only learn both English and French, but also enjoy four varied seasons throughout the year. While winter can be a challenge, with its cold and snow, we Canadians have learned to celebrate it!

Winter is especially beautiful in the capital city of Ottawa. The National Capital Commission transforms the Rideau Canal into the world’s longest ice rink. There are 7.8 kilometres (5 miles) of ice to enjoy. Even if you don’t skate, it’s fun to watch the skaters on the Rideau Canal.

For pictures, videos, more information about the Rideau Canal and an update on current ice conditions, visit:

The Official Rideau Canal Website

Vive le vent d’hiver !

French Adjectives – Agreement in Number and Gender

Adjectives, words that describe people, places, things, or ideas, bring life and color to our writing and speech. They describe things so that the reader or listener can get a truer picture of what the author or speaker is talking about.

Which of these sounds more appealing? A glass of iced tea, or a tall, cool glass of sweet, refreshing, iced tea? Adjectives are essential to good communication.

In English, nouns don’t have gender so the adjective stays the same, no matter what we are describing. It makes no difference whether we are writing about a tall boy or a tall girl; we still use tall. Even when we are describing more than one thing, such as tall boys and tall girls, the adjective doesn’t change.

When it comes to adjectives in French, though, things are more complicated. Continue reading

L’Art de lire 1

Lire1-wb-cover

L’Art de lire combines beginning conversational French with an introduction to French phonics, enabling children to read simple stories in French from the first lesson. Includes verb conjugations, grammar, and conversational French.

L’Art de lire 1 is designed for beginning French students who are reading well in English. The grammar taught in this course corresponds to the Ontario, Canada expectations for Core French Curriculum for grade four (French as a second language).

The program is suitable, however, for older beginners. Even students who have had some French can benefit from the material taught in this first level of L’Art de lire. Many students who have struggled with French in the classroom, or using other French programs for homeschooling, have found that the beginning levels of L’Art de lire have filled in the gaps and enabled them to understand and enjoy learning French.

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Membership FAQ

How does The Curriculum Club at Nallenart benefit my school or homeschool?

Cost Savings

The most obvious benefit of The French Curriculum Club as a resource delivery system is its cost savings to your school or family. You pay for access to downloadable resources which you are then free to use for the duration of your subscription. You may reproduce work pages, listen to mp3 audio files, download slideshows and podcasts, and equip your students at a much lower cost than purchasing consumable workbooks every year. There are also no shipping and handling fees.

Instant Access

In addition to low cost, The Nallenart Curriculum Club offers you the convenience of instant access to your curriculum and teaching aids. Simply login and begin to prepare your lessons.

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The Challenge of Making Conversation in French

Many homeschooling parents find it a challenge making everyday conversation when teaching French as a Second Language. Not every homeschool teacher has the fluency required to speak comfortably in French. Don’t let this hold you back! Even beginners are up to the challenge of making conversation in French!

Children need to see you making the effort to speak too, even if your own French language skills are a bit rusty, or even non-existent! Practice with your children as much as possible, making the things you are learning part of your daily interactions whenever you can.

Using French in Everyday Life

As you go through your day, remember to review the vocabulary that you have learned so far. Continue reading

What is the Best Age to Begin Learning French as a Second Language?

Many parents are uncertain about the best time to begin second language studies. There is often a fear that it might be too late to begin past a certain age. While it is true that it is generally better to start younger, children, or even adults, can be successful starting language studies at any age. The key is understanding how this type of learning takes place.

It is true that there is an optimum window for learning language naturally. Children learn language so quickly from birth to age two or three! The incredible leap in vocabulary and the grasp of basic grammatical concepts during this period is mind-boggling. Continue reading

Learning Numbers in French

We use numbers every day as we shop, play games, discuss times and dates, and interact with each other. In order to be able to function in a second language, it is important to master using numbers.

While learning numbers in French is really just a matter of memorizing them, there are many ways to make the process fun and enjoyable. The secret to mastery is to make sure the numbers are practiced out of order. Let me explain why.

As a French teacher, I have encountered many students who can count like wildfire, but have no idea how to identify a number out of order. Attempts to do so usually involve rapid counting. This can take some time when the number is over fifty!

Practice Numbers Out of Order

The good news is that there are many fun ways to ensure that numbers are drilled randomly. Continue reading

Using a French-English Dictionary to Build Vocabulary

When you have access to a good quality, comprehensive, French-English dictionary, you open up a world of possibilities to your French as a Second Language students. Vocabulary building is an important part of language learning, and having a good dictionary makes it easy and fun.

What dictionary should you buy? I highly recommend investing in the biggest and best one you can afford. Small paperback and pocket dictionaries just don’t have all the information you will need. A larger version, on the other hand, will contain conjugations, grammar, word histories, examples of world usage, and even sample letters and phrases to help you in conversation and composition.

Themed Projects

Having a comprehensive dictionary allows you to build your French lessons based on other topics that you may be studying. Continue reading