Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Yesterday, as I was languishing on the sofa after being taken down for the count for the last few days by a throat so sore and swollen that my entire head throbbed and I couldn't swallow my own spit without painkillers, I got an idea.

I know, I know. It surprised me, too.

Anyway, I had been thinking about our foreign language lessons, if you can call them lessons. This past Fall we had been singing songs and doing finger plays, but not much else. I was hoping to jump back into language lessons after our extensive break, but jumping back into the same songs, the same plays, all seemed stiff and forced and boring. If there's anything that has occurred to me since our big car crash experience, it's that there's no going back. Life is always changing. All of us are in a perpetual state of metamorphosis, and our homeschool needs to reflect that. We can use the old to create the new... but we can't go back to "exactly the way it was."

This afternoon I spent some time at the dining room table drawing with beeswax block crayons. Then I took my artwork and fed it through the copy machine onto cardstock, cut them out, and did some faux lamination with clear packing tape. Then I threw them on the floor.

The end result? Language + Twister = Langwister.

The girls and I played Langwister for about an hour. We played a very simple version. Just hopping from picture to picture this time, feeling out the experience.

First I called out the words in English, so they got the hang of it.
Mother, father, dog, cat, shoes, house.
We did it slow. Then fast. Then faster. This was fun enough they thought. Then, to switch it up a notch, I called them out in German.
Mutter, Vater, Hund, Katze, Schuhe, Haus.
That was better, they thought. It made them think a bit. Bonk into each other. Laugh. Then, I cranked it up again and called them out in Spanish.
Madre, padre, perro, gato, zapatos, casa.
Whew! Craziness. Chaos. And funny, too.

I just wanted to see. How does this work? Is this a viable language lesson? Is it fun?

They seemed to like it. I plan on adding new pictures to the mix over time, as we progress. We'll craft a spinner and throw in hands with the feet, and really get that Twister-effect going and see where that takes us. I'm hoping they will want to help make the pictures. They were so curious about what I was doing today that they finally brought their own paper to the table and started drawing right along side me.

Moonshine made this picture. It appears as if she has started experimenting with hairstyles, and I'm not surprised.

Sunburst got right to work on a new book, which she then narrated and presented to her father at dinnertime tonight.

And then Moonshine pulled out the Langwister cards and spent an hour matching them up and playing Memory with them... Even Kitty Bill got into the fun and grabbed at the mother card and cried out, "Mama! Mama!" The boy knows what he likes... of course he calls Einstein "mama" all the time, so what do I know.


  1. That game is a cool idea. Looks like youve been busy! I too have a cold. Its no fun.

  2. Anonymous8:55 PM

    Wow, creativity while being ill is not something I've ever been able to come up with. I hope your throat feels better. And I'm totally going to use that idea in our German lessons sometime, so thanks for sharing!


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