Just before the holidays, we parted ways with our German tutor. We had begun to dread our twice-weekly sessions and didn't like the feelings of stress and anxiety that surrounded them. With the first six months behind us, we needed a break. It just didn't seem to be working out.
After a visit back home and the refreshed outlook of the new year, we can truly say that we are learning German. It will take a long time to become fluent in this language (and I'm not sure we'll stay long enough for that) but we are making progress.
At the moment we have decided not to pursue more formal lessons. We have the Rosetta Stone software and are working our way through that. It teaches with example- see a photo of a dog, see the word "der hund" and hear someone speak the word. Then, you say "der hund." If you don't get it right, try again. It is very repetitive, which is effective. And we like doing it so that's a big part of it!
Over the weekend, we bought two children's books. One is about life on a farm and the other is about trains and train stations. We will have some new vocabulary words to learn but I think we can actually read these books! I can't tell you how exciting it feels to realize I am beginning to learn to read in a new language!