Learning a language with two kids – where do I get the time?


I love hearing people say..I don’t have the time when they have no wife or kids or complain about being tired. As you can imagine my life is pretty busy I have a full time job, a wife, two children and train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu too. There are many times I think why didn’t I use all the free time I had when I was young, single and nothing to do with my time. But hey, that’s life!

So, where do I get the time?

I make the time available for little tasks. I looked at my daily routine and think I don’t want to sacrifice any time with my family. A great time to have Arabic lessons is on a Friday at lunch as I get an hour lunch break and Friday is also a day off in the Middle East. An hour or so is a great amount of time for an Arabic lesson.

For small tasks like Anki flash cards… Well I use my bathroom breaks for that or if I have five minutes spare. It usually only takes seven minutes to blast through 60/70 cards. These flash cards are an integral part of my learning.

For immersion and listening to audio clips I use the drive to and from work. This is usually 30/40 minutes.

For language exchange I also use my lunch breaks and a small time after work for the smaller sessions around 15/20 minutes.

All of these little tasks make up a large amount of work. All the tasks add up to the bigger picture.

For Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we’ll that’s another story 🙂


Why??? Why am I putting myself through this misery???


Both of my language heroes Benny Lewis and Olly Richards have stated that it’s a good idea to state why you are learning a language. This helps with motivation and purpose as to why you’re doing all this work.

So why am I putting myself through all this misery? I am married with two kids with a full time job so I could do with the free time, less hassle and stress. So here are my reasons why I am studying Arabic and putting myself through this misery:

1. Arabic is part of me – although I’m not fluent in Arabic I am half Palestinian and I once was fluent in Arabic. I remember having full conversations in Arabic when I was a kid. So I want to get back what I lost.

2. I love Arabic – when I hear someone speaking Arabic on TV or walking past someone in the street I get excited and try and understand what they’re saying. I just love listening to people speaking Arabic and speaking it.

3. My family – some of my family can’t speak very good English so I need to learn Arabic. I would love to be able to hold a full conversation with my aunts in Arabic.

4. My children – I would love it if I could teach my children Arabic and give them the gift I lost when I was young.

5. I’m a Muslim – I am required to learn Arabic to read and understand the Quran. I would love to be able to read and understand the Quran fully one day.