Donuts for Spanish, or Getting your kids to learn another language through bribes and scaring the crap out of them

Yesterday, I bought Rosetta Stone for Latin American Spanish.  After the requisite 2.5 hours of downloading and tech assistance calls and starting over and setting up profiles, we had our first session when the kids got home from school.  In the intervening 24 hours, they’ve each done about 8 hours of Spanish lessons.  We had to set the timer for ten-minute turns, just to keep the peace.  It’s almost like they don’t realize they are learning.

photoThe kids decided to create sticker charts for themselves, and set up rewards for each time they study for five days in a row. I felt an absurd amount of parental pride that they co-opted a tactic that got them out of diapers (M&Ms and Hot Wheels cars) and to get along in those dark, early-sibling, “He’s touching my stuff!” days.

On their Spanish sticker chart, Jack wanted to know why he had to pay for his own donuts as reward; shouldn’t we be paying for them?  Which is adorable in a center-of-the-universe kind of way and exactly why he has to pay for his own damn donuts.  This is not what I said out loud, of course.  Instead, I asked if he wanted to be able to ask another kid to play soccer or where the bathroom is; if he did, he should motivate himself to study.  And that means paying for your own donuts.

So after 24 hours, we are all quite adept at announcing that the girls are swimming and the man runs and the woman eats and the boys are drinking coffee (really, Rosetta Stone?  Boys that age drink coffee in Latin America?).  I believe my children can also describe the color of an apple, a dog and a car.  So we’re pretty much ready, right?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: