What effect has living through a pandemic had on our children?
We have all come through a hellish time for sure - not least our children. Every parent must be worrying about the effects the various lockdowns, restrictions, mask wearing and disruptions have had on their child’s well-being and education.
Let’s look at the positives though - something that we can take forward into the ‘new normal’ as a benefit and an enhancement to our lives.
What skills did parents learn through Covid-19?
Suddenly parents had to become more involved in their children’s education. This was mostly as a result of school closures - which in some parts of the world lasted for a year! This resulted in massive headaches as we tried to adapt our home computers to being used as educational tools, and to organise our home and time around working from home, full time childminding and being a support teacher! What a relief when the children could safely return to school and life started to return to normal. Many chose to continue the home education route but the result for everyone was that we are now more aware of online learning than we ever were before!
The backlash of all this screen time of course, was that we were pleased to see the back of it! Let the kids get out and enjoy socialising again; meeting friends and working and learning alongside others…. and with a real teacher in front of them. No more screens please unless it’s just for fun and relaxation!!
Let’s move past this though, and look at the new advantages we now have, that we can use to make life easier, more productive and more pleasurable for us and our children. Taking an online course has many advantages to travelling to an in person class - and there’s the first benefit on our list:
When you don’t have to travel to a class you can use the allotted time to learn! Plus you can dip in and out of the course whenever you want - the more often the better. Little and often is recommended. Which leads me on to….
The drip feed approach!
Language learning can’t be done overnight - and certainly not in one go. The more exposure we get to another language, the faster we will learn it. We recommend a one hour weekly session if possible, but backed up by little and often - for example just one or two short videos a day. Everyone can spare five minutes a day. We are hoping our course is so much fun that it won't be a chore at all!
Students taking private classes generally do better than those in a group.
This one is really important to me as I see language acquisition as becoming a social divide. The richer and better educated speak more languages, and it’s getting more prevalent I believe. Now all our students have the chance to concentrate without having other distractions around. It’s like having their own private lesson when they are only concentrating on the course and nothing else, even better if an adult is beside them, working through the course and even learning with them. It’s easier to hold your focus and for the information to sink in if there are no distractions.
The weather isn’t always conducive to getting to a Saturday morning club!
Definitely one for parents and carers - how much easier is it to sit next to your child and learn with them, watch the videos, complete the worksheets and build the project than sitting in traffic in the car, waiting endlessly for a bus as the minutes tick away, or pushing a buggy through pouring rain?
Pyjamas are the new weekend wear!
We are all for comfort whilst working! The brain is more receptive first thing in the morning too, so what better way to start the day than learning, singing and having a quick dance to your favourite Les Puces songs. We’ve made some of them like an exercise workout, specifically to get kids up and jumping whilst learning. Of course, if you fancy you can grab a croissant whilst you are absorbing all things French - you can make your lessons as formal or informal as you like.
An experienced tutor runs successful classes
Before we adapted to running online classes, children were dependent on having a Les Puces tutor in their area. Now you can be in Toledo or Timbuktu and you will have the same standard of tutor. As an addition to our online hybrid course, you can choose to have Zoom classes with one of our experienced tutors. We work as a team and help each other, so even when a tutor is new, they have the rest of us to help and guide them - we are all here for you!
It’s good to hear different voices and accents
We vary the tutors presenting our online courses. This means that you are not just hearing one voice and one accent. It’s good for our ears, and highlights the fact that languages vary even when spoken by different native speakers.
Language classes can be expensive - especially if you are having one to one sessions. With an online course you can get as much out of the course as you want. You can have the videos playing all day if you like! Each module in our online portal is open for two years from when you purchase. When you subscribe, you are sent a new module every other month; that’s six modules a year, and each module has at least 24 videos… so you will build up to a collection of 288 videos, with 12 different themes. Plus you will have the workbooks, stories and projects to keep you occupied. I hope you agree that it is great value!
Sickness doesn’t mean loss of learning
It’s inevitable that sometimes you just don’t feel up to going to a class, just like you sometimes need to take time off school or work. It’s always a worry that you might miss or not understand a vital topic. Of course, with an online class it doesn’t matter at all if you are not feeling your best. You can work through at your own pace, and whenever you are feeling the urge to learn!
Choose what to learn
As I said earlier, you will build a library of videos and workbooks. It’s good to work though the current one but equally important to go back and revisit earlier modules. You choose what and when. If you are learning about My Family at school, jump back into that Les Puces module to ensure you are fully prepared for your school lessons. If you are about to go on holiday, have another look at At the Table or Arty on Safari. We encourage you to jump between modules to match with what’s happening in your life and so to keep your learning relevant.
Mandie Davis is the founder and CEO of the Les Puces method of language learning. Mother of two girls - (trilingual and bilingual), Mandie developed her method through the experience of watching how her children learned multiple languages, plus running language clubs and working in schools in both France and England. She is now based in South West France and spends much of her time creating materials for the Les Puces online courses.
When developing the hybrid online courses Mandie was adamant that she did not want to encourage children being on screens all the time. The balance had to be taken with getting the information out to the children in a fun and personable manner and to still encourage them to do practical things with the language. Mandie works with a team of illustrators, musicians, singers, translators, teachers and creative developers to bring this unique system to the children. By ensuring that they have a real workbook in front of them, that they have to get up and dance, that they have projects to build, and stories to listen to, Mandie is ensuring that the learning process is relevant to all children and their preferred way of learning. It brings the language out from the screen and into the real world - where they will hopefully start to use it!
Les Puces provides French lessons for English speaking children and English lessons for French speakers! Licensed Les Puces tutors provide online Zoom classes either for groups or individuals; they also go into schools to provide after school clubs. If you are interested in subscribing to the hybrid course; having Zoom classes; an after school club in your school; or in becoming a tutor please email email@example.com
We are also happy to answer any questions about French clubs for kids, your child’s language journey, what’s the best way to learn a language, how can my child learn French, when should my child start to learn another language.
The Les Puces shop is stocked with bilingual books, MP3 stories in French and English, MP3 songs that you can download, one off hybrid modules and subscription gifts. If there is anything else you would like to see - just let us know! email firstname.lastname@example.org