The popular Gaelic4Parents website recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Launched at the Royal National Mod in Dunoon in 2006, the website provides key support for families involved in Gaelic Medium Education (GME) and is run by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta Na Gàidhlig.
Gaelic4Parents offers a wide range of resources and support to all children and parents with an interest or involvement in Gaelic education but offers vital help, in particular, to those parents who don’t have any Gaelic themselves.
Lewis mum Megan Macdonald is among those who decided to put her children into Gaelic Medium Education, despite having no Gaelic herself.
Megan, who lives just outside Stornoway and is originally from New Zealand, said: “I couldn’t put the girls in Gaelic if it wasn’t for this. It would be impossible because I have no words! It’s just brilliant, especially by the time they get to P3 because their words are a wee bit more difficult.”
Megan and husband Donald, who also has no Gaelic, thought seriously about whether they would be able to support Neeve, now seven, and Marley, six, in bilingual education. It wasn’t a decision we took lightly,” she said. “I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions. I thought, ‘Can I manage? Will I be able to do their homework?’”
Megan, who can speak Spanish, was impressed by the researched benefits of bilingual education and finally persuaded when she learned of the help available.
Now it is routine for Megan and the girls, plus one-year-old brother Samuel, to read their homework books at the computer and then play the Gaelic4Parents version. “I try and get the girls to read the stories themselves and then we listen to it properly.”
She added: “I find it interesting when I hear people say ‘I can’t put him into Gaelic because I can’t speak it’ because there’s a lot of support. I honestly couldn’t have done it without Gaelic4Parents.”
Pictured are Megan Macdonald and her children at homework time.