A question that I frequently get asked about home schooling is “How will you teach your kids a foreign language?” We have been home schooling for about five years now, and so far,we have used these five tools.
This is a webiste that you can subsribe to for $7/month. It features songs, videos, and puppets that teach Spanish words for everyday situations such as the market, school, a party, the park, etc. The kids (especailly my younger ones) love this gentle introduction to Spanish.
2. Rosetta Stone
is the first year that we are using Rosetta Stone, a highly recommended language program. This is a wonderful computer program that allows each of my kids to work on their own, at their own pace. It keeps track of their progress and tests their skills. It uses the full immersion method, which is exactly the way that we all learned our first language. 🙂 The student speaks into a microphone, and Rosetta Stone won’t allow them to pass the question until their pronunciation is correct. I love this aspect because even though I took three years of Spanish in high school, I am not confident that I could correct their pronunciation.
My older kids love this so much that they are asking to do this each day. Perfect!
3. Spanish Club
Last summer, a mother from our home school group offered to host a twice-a-week Spanish club in her home. What a blessing this was! Twice a week for about two hours, my girls went to her house where they played games, sang songs, and had conversation only in Spanish. She even prepared a Latin American snack for them each time such as tres leches cakes.
You may be thinking, “But I don’t know anyone who would do this!” I would recommend checking on Craiglist or on your local hom eschool site. I know that currently there is a former college professor in our area who is offering a weekly Spanish class in her home. She advertises on Craigslist and has had great success.
4. Spanish Tutor
Our neighbors recently moved here from Argentina. This summer, their twelve year old daughter came over twice a week for one hour and spoke to the kids in ONLY Spanish. We paid her a small price, and being a twelve year old girl, she was happy for the summer job and to spend time with our kids.
If you don’t have a friendly neighbor who speaks a foreign language, you could contact a local university and ask if any exchange students would be willing to do this for your family.
In closing, lately our Spanish efforts have gotten a chance to be tested. A family in our home school group adopted a lovely girl from Columbia. My oldest daughter was able to speak to her in Spanish, and I felt so happy that we have been able to gain some skills in this area.