Originally Posted by Fabienne
Are any of you raising children in several languages at once? Post anecdotes, tips, advice, etc.
I was raised bilingual. For the first several years of my life, I spoke exclusively afrikaans, then became bilingual. For an Ontarian, I'm quite competent in spoken French and unless I'm totally out of it, I never have to repeat myself. My french got a lot better just because of living in Quebec (going on my 4th year here), and have no trouble in communicating in academic situations (though obviously my language register is lower) at McGill with Quebecers. The biggest problem for most people is pronunciation. Because Afrikaans required a lot of different pronunciations than english, I'm able to say the different type of Rs and vowels that there are in other languages, which english people really struggle with. I still think that someone who knows all the words but sounds incredibly english while speaking is a bit of a waste of time. It sounds like your son will have that advantage.
To be totally honest, don't push to have a trilingual or whatever. If you don't speak on a daily basis with a native speaker, you are going to lose it. It's a whole lot of upkeep. Speaking multiple languages really helps on the SATs and making people think you're intelligent. Other than that, it can be a nuisance to maintain. Whatever french I speak
As for IB, that could be very good for your child. My friend is a native speaker in French and he told me that at his school (the top IB school in the world), even the native speakers had trouble with the advanced french credit. Another friend of mine who was a native speaker found it challenging. IB is great, but it also depends on the school. I did some IB at my public school (after leaving one of those overpriced prep schools) and they don't offer weaker students the support you need to get 7s on the exams. If you do the IB, it's probably the best to spend the 40 grand to send him to a boarding school where they do it right and virtually guarantee a spot in an ivy league university (if that's your thing).
As for social science vs math, that's not how it is in the rest of canada, GQ. Apparently the smart kids to the higher math/science, and the dumb kids do history etc... unfortunately for me, I'm horrible at math so I would have been part of the latter group. This is certainly not the best way to set up an education system. In Ontario there's University track and college then workplace track. You can do a fairly science/math free courseload in your last 2 (most important) years if you want. In fact, I hated math so much I did lower level grade 11 math, and the rest was all humanities.