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As I sit here typing my body is still steaming from spending the day chasing kids and laundry. One day of laundry a week is great on all the days I do not have to do it. Today, I was not feeling it. Luckily, it was hot and my one dozen loads dried quickly. I do have two still hanging in the washroom, but they will be done in the morning.

On Wednesday I have a neighbor girl coming over for free English lessons. I figured it is a good way for me to get experience teaching English to a foreigner and she gets free lessons. She is so pumped about it! Every day she tells me that she can’t wait until Wednesday. I’ve been teaching her while sitting outside together with my kids for about a month now. She is always asking me questions about the English language and America. About a week ago, I offered to give her real lessons since she is so interested to know and understand more.
I will be mean and start right off speaking only in English during our lessons. She is a really bright girl. I can’t see where speaking in French will help her anymore than it helped me when others spoke with me in English. Of course, if it is something important I will switch back to French. For the simple lessons I will keep to English.

If someone has experience teaching English to a girl about nine and has suggestions I am more than happy to listen to them. I have been going through my teacher books as well as surfing the Internet. The first day with her I will try to figure out her learning style(s) and interests. I believe individualised learning is best. So, I will try to tailor her lessons to her as much as possible.

I think I am as excited as she is to begin.

I really miss teaching.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • expatraveler August 28, 2007, 12:35 am

    I don’t mind laundry as much as I mind how much it costs us in our building to do it, along with not having a scheduled time to do laundry makes for craziness!

    As for the lessons – maybe teaching her a fun song would be a good way to start out. Maybe you want to write it out also. I guess first step is to start with the alphabet so she can hear and see the differences in how you pronounce the sounds. This is absolutely essential. I think of it this way, I have trouble with the french accent for JG and EI. She will probably too, but the opposite way..

    A very safe bet is to start with the alphabet and some numbers.
    Start with essentials and then tie it into fun songs. Pictures, coloring books, childrens books will also be a great start. I’m sure you have those resources. If not, try searching on the Internet for a few English Lessons.

    Did you say you wanted to teach Grade 1? Picture being a teacher in Grade one, speak in English and teach her that way.

    Hope those are open up your creativity.

  • roland August 28, 2007, 9:05 am

    in the past times the “sociologue” was considering that a “cellule familiale” was made around a fire (a fire place) without considering how many people was around this fire . In France one hundred year ago we use to say ” this village is a 10 or 20 fire place village”……but now it’s different! The “sociologue” count the washing machine!
    You realy have left your familly and live your own life when you have this appliance!…..So now you’ll look at this piece of metal with new eyes! It’s the center of you familly…mine is so called Miss Laundrette !

    for the lessons see this link my childs like it

  • Pumpkin August 28, 2007, 9:16 am


    Thank you for the link…it is exactly what I have been searching for without much luck. It is very simple and clear. Perfect!

    I have to say that living in this apartment building and sharing a laundry room is like living with a kind of family. Most of the fights are started over the laundry room. Currently, I am not happy with all the kids that run in and out of it. At least once every Monday someone stops one of my machines and I must start it all over again. For me…I was ok with it at first because I understand kids are kids and when parents don’t teach them better they do things like that and even sometimes when they are taught better. However, I have had it after at least five weeks of this…sometimes, the machine door has even been opened. It costs money. So, I am the one not happy right now and telling the kids to get out and stay out of the laundry room!!!!

    Some of the parents aren’t too happy with me because of course their kids aren’t the ones doing it. Actually, it is these particular kids I suspect the most. Like I said it is like a big family and we all have to learn to live together.

    So, I can really relate to this centering of the village or family. In my case, the laundry room is the center of our apartment building. :)

  • Pumpkin August 28, 2007, 12:49 pm


    I think I am going to do exactly what you said. I thought the alphabet would be a good place to start and I think a song would be nice. She could sing it for her parents and I think it would make her happy. She is a sweet girl. I like her spunk. She really wants to learn and as a teacher it makes me really want to teach her.

  • Cathy Y. August 29, 2007, 3:11 am

    Pumpkin, are you saying that this washing machine that is provided for you in your building you also have to pay money for, as in to put coins in??? I thought it was something provided by the owner for everyone to use, but it costs extra??? If that were the case, and I had a car (which I know you don’t), I’d be tempted to lug it all to a laundromat and do it all at once. Also this once-a-week schedule that you have really boggles my mind. I have a fair amount of clothes now, but for many years, I didn’t have enough changes of clothes to last a full week. I just can’t imagine how you handle it, what with a big family, with spill, stains, and what not with young children.

  • Pumpkin August 29, 2007, 7:50 am

    I do have enough clothes for the kids but on bad weeks when they are sick it is hard. They just don’t dress as cute at the end of those weeks. I did 12 loads of laundry this past Monday. However, I cleaned all of the bedding. I do this every other week. I wash our pillow cases every week but only wash the rest every other week because of the time. When I have my own washing machine I wash the bedding once a week. So, it is a way around. Normally, I have around 7 loads a week. We are very, very careful. I wear pants and shirts twice in a week if they don’t get dirty. The kids change every day because they are always dirty. Sometimes, more! :) Vilay does like me.

    On Wednesdays, I have a friend that lets me us her time if I need to. She has a small washing machine in her bathroom she uses. I would like to have one like her. The water can empty into the sink or bathtub. On Sundays, no one is scheduled and whoever needs to use the machines can…on a first come first serve basis.

    I am used to the once a week schedule now. But, in the begining it was hard.

  • Cathy Y. August 29, 2007, 2:33 pm

    I think I would have to wear stuff twice, too. I did that on our trip to France, but still ended up doing a lot of laundry. So how much do you have to pay for these loads? The idea that he is just providing you a coin laundry in your building is just over the top to me. I had really thought it was just machines that he provided for everyone to use.

  • Pumpkin August 29, 2007, 2:43 pm

    It is about 1 Swiss franc per 40 min load of wash and 2 Swiss francs for the dryer which holds two loads of wash.

    In the States, I had to pay more at the laundry rooms in our apartment building. The first apartment Vilay and I lived in together had a laundry room but it wasn’t free and when I went to college it was the same.

    It really isn’t much more than the cost of water, energy and care of the machines. It is more a matter of only having one day that was diffulcult for me.

  • Cathy Y. August 29, 2007, 4:44 pm

    Pumpkin, I do remember living in apartments in the U.S. and having coin laundry rooms provided for us, but I guess why I was thinking you didn’t have to pay for it was because he put a time restriction on it. Usually coin laundries are “first come, first serve,” but I guess that keeps people from fighting over it too much. :-) Also, I may have been thinking along the lines of gite rental in France (like the place where you visited us when we were in Alsace this spring), where, if there is a washer on the property, it comes with the price of the rental.

  • Pumpkin August 30, 2007, 8:39 am

    The time constraints are very Swiss from what I understand. I don’t know of another country that does that. It is to keep order and the Swiss are all about order…I don’t mean that in a bad way. Believe me…if we didn’t have our own times it would be a mad house here. There are lines to dry clothes on in the room with the machines and I know there would be clothes there all the time if we didn’t have our own days. I have a problem with the woman before me…she has the morning…and leaves her clothes up all day even after they have dried. It irritates the crap out of me because then on rainy days I have to use the drier which costs money. I would still rather do that than take down and fold her clothes for her. I think she is rude. I check my clothes all day long and take down what is dry. I never leave my clothes hanging there the next morning because someone will be washing their clothes and may need the space to hang them up to dry. I am always thinking of others but I know of two people in this building that do not and if we didn’t have our times it would be a war!!! I am not kidding about it.
    We have little problems all the time because of the laundry room. It is really childish. I think in the States people seem more mature in sharing laundry rooms than here…at least it is my experience.

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