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03 March 2014

Six Months

Six months ago, I started teaching the kids Japanese. It's a huge project, learning a language. I have no idea how long it's going to take. A long time. Partly because I only speak a little. Though I'm getting better. I started a set of flash cards in Sticky Study, the world's most awesome flash card app, a list of words I use around the house talking to the kids. A lot of the original words on my list centered around the bath room, actually, because Dragon was potty training at the time, and the repetitive nature of the task was perfect for helping me practice the phrases and helping him get used to the sound of Japanese.

One of the reasons that Sticky Study is so great is that it keeps stats for me. Tells me stuff. Like that it's been 6 months, and that in that time, I've learned about 250 new words. The really cool thing, though, is that it seldom takes very long. I flip a few cards while I'm waiting, most often. I am amazed at how the little bits add up. The scriptures tell us that by small and simple things, great things can be accomplished. I've loved that for a long time-- that's why I call my blog "Baby Steps". But it's really quite remarkable to see it all graphed out. 

I just added a bunch more words again, which is why the graph falls off at the end there. The flash cards start out red, and progress through the colors to green as I answer correctly several times. So you can see pretty clearly on the graph where I've added big bunches of words. And I'm forever adding them onesy-twosy as well. 

I think the start of learning a language is probably the hardest part. My kids seem like they're doing pretty well with that. Dragon is probably nearly as comfortable counting in Japanese as he is in English. Hero has been doing the podcast lessons I prefer, and is making some progress. I can't tell what is going on behind Tigress's big blue eyes; she only has about 8 words, and they're all English so far, but I probably speak the most Japanese to her, so it will be interesting to see if any of her first words, here while I'm keeping track, are Japanese. 

It can be easy to feel like we're not making any progress, even though there is a lot of effort going into this. But that's not the case. I'm learning new words and phrases, and so are the kids. It's pretty exciting, really. 

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