French Summer Day Camps in Oregon: Our Experience

Oh là là--can you believe la rentrée (back to school) has arrived? My husband returns to teaching high school this week, and my children and I will officially continue our homeschooling journey. We would have loved to return to France to continue the incredible experience we had there last summer and fall, but since we needed to stay in Oregon this summer, my older two children were thrilled to attend a week of French day camp. Here in Portland, Oregon, there are two French schools offering French immersion summer day camps, and both programs are fantastique. Here's what we loved about them:

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Transforming Children's Lives: My Family's Simple Story of Compassion

When I was fourteen, my dad decided to sponsor a child through Compassion International, an organization that aims to release children from poverty and to enable them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults. Actually, my dad chose to sponsor three children so that my two sisters and I could each be paired with a child, writing letters to update and encourage each other every few months. My child--a girl from the Philippines--I and corresponded through my college years and into my early married years until she grew up. Now I sponsor another Filipina girl, Angielyn, and it's been a delight to watch her grow through annual photos and bi-monthly letters.

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Trying out Math by Hand, the Waldorf-Inspired Math Kits

This past spring I shared about a typical day in our French homeschooling life and a reader (merci, Shannon!) told me about Math By Hand, a Waldorf-inspired curriculum created by Marin Lipowitz here in the USA. I was intrigued by the idea of math learning kits that revolve around crafts and activities--aren't you? My children and I tried out the initial kit for first grade and here's what we found:

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A Day in Our French Homeschooling Life: Ages 1, 4, & 7

This is our second year of homeschooling if you consider that my oldest child is now seven, but our "education at home" lifestyle has been gaining momentum since that daughter was young and we first decided to take this path. This year we've found a definite rhythm, but that's not to say that we follow a set schedule. With my children's young ages and with my belief in the importance of play at this stage, certain days are far less orderly than others--but here's a typical homeschooling day for us:

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Joyeux Noël & A Podcast about Our Family Language Trip

Joyeux Noël, les amis! Yes, Feliz Navidad and Merry Christmas! I have a little gift for you if you listen to podcasts and are interested in traveling as a family to help you or your children improve your bilingual skills! You see, Marianna DuBosq at Bilingual Avenue has just released the 100th episode of the Bilingual Avenue podcast, and in this episode, Polish mama & translator Hanna Cheda and I share about how we took our families overseas for amazing language immersion experiences. I give details about how we saved money for the trip, how my children handled the experience, and how I enrolled my daughter in a French school. Hanna shares about locating affordable family housing and finding free immersion experiences for children. I hope you love what you learn!

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How I Enrolled My Child in Preschool in France (for one month)

Bonjour les amis! Je m'excuse--I've chosen to focus on homeschooling and homemaking lately, and I took an unforeseen break from blogging. Nonetheless, I missed writing and I definitely look forward to the times I get to reconnect with you. Today I want to answer a question posted on Intentional Mama's Facebook page about exactly how I managed to enroll my three-year-old son in public preschool while we lived in Lyon, France. We were only there until the end of September, but attending French school was an opportunity I didn't want my son to miss! I can't promise that you or your friend would be able to enroll your child based on these two steps, but honestly the process was far easier that I expected and it's worth trying!

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French Schools Follow-Up: Summarizing My Children's Immersion Experiences

This week marks the third week my children have attended school here in France, with my preschooler attending public school and my elementary-age child attending a private school. I'm extremely grateful that they've had this opportunity, and yet we're all glad that we will return to homeschooling (back in the U.S.) by next month. The flexibility and individualization allowed by homeschooling is wonderful, but we still feel that our time here in Lyon is wrapping up too quickly!


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La Rentrée: A Tale of Two Schools

 La rentrée has arrived: today marked the first day back to school for the vast majority of French students. My two oldest children went to school for the first time ever, since last year we homeschooled my daughter for kindergarten and my son was too young to attend. Here in France, however, I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity for my children to be immersed in French, make friends, and experience school in another country. Here's how I enrolled them for a month and how the first day went:

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