So yes, informal language acquisition tasks in the home are limitless, especially when there siblings to partner with. What a relief.
But when I look at the formal language tasks I sort of have to shake my head. Every phonics program on the market banks on the fact that the student is already familiar with the language. Students should already know what aardvarks, avocados and antelope are so it's not a stretch to put them all together in the "A" category.
I'm going to bank on the fact that my son won't know what any of those things are, let alone that they have something in common.
Which means there has to be a lot of vocabulary acquisition before much phonics can be taught.
But my teacher brain revolts. PHONICS! Every student loves phonics! In some twisted way it doesn't feel like I'm teaching him anything if we don't start phonics training from the get go. So for months now I've been trying to find a handful of justifiable phonics activities that don't require any vocabulary. When I figure it out it's going to be worth millions. Because there's a huge market for non-vocabulary based ESL phonics programs for homeschoolers. I know.
So until that phonics revelation occurs to me, I'm stuck with vocabulary. I'm sort of making up vocabulary games that I can use to introduce strategic terms that he's going to need right away. Like everyone runs into the kitchen and shouts "kitchen!" then everyone runs to the shower and shouts "shower!"and so forth. I could see my 3 biological kids getting a huge kick out of such silliness. Perhaps we'll play a rousing game of "find the fork!" as well.