Anthony Vaughn, December 18, 2012
If you home school your children, you might want to consider teaching them Spanish. There are many excellent reasons for them to learn Spanish. The Spanish speaking population is large and growing in the US. It’s one of the easier languages to learn and can be a springboard for learning other languages, too. Knowing a second language will help your kids get into college and open a whole world of business opportunities open to them.
But teaching your kids can be challenging, especially if you don’t speak it yourself! Even if you speak little or no Spanish, here are some ways to make homeschooling Spanish interesting, fun, and easy for both you and your kids.
Anyone learns better and faster if they feel there is a real live reason for their learning. Brainstorm what experiences you could use to introduce them to Hispanic culture. Do you live in an area where there is a Hispanic population? Does your city have a “little Cuba” area you could visit? Do you have a relative or friend who speaks Spanish? Make visiting a Mexican or Spanish restaurant or grocery store a fun field trip. In my hometown even a trip to the big box hardware store can be a Spanish lesson – all the signs are bilingual. Many cities have a variety of ethnic festivals you could visit, too.
Use music and TV to help you homeschool Spanish. Find a Spanish radio station or get some Spanish CDs and sing along. Find some educational programs on TV that have beginner’s Spanish lessons geared for children.
Besides these fun ways to teach Spanish, you also need a curriculum or lessons plan. There are many excellent Spanish courses in many formats. You can buy Spanish courses on CD, DVD, and online. One program, Visual Link Spanish, is accepted by NARSH (North Atlantic Regional High Schools) for 2 years of high school credit. Their site offers a free Spanish homeschool curriculum and lots of other resources. This course is very popular with parents who homeschool.
Homeschooling Spanish can be easy and fun, and it will benefit your children in so many ways. If you don’t already speak Spanish, why not learn it alongside your kids? Learning together can be a great deal of family fun. They likely will learn it faster than you, which will be a great self-esteem booster for them as they help you learn!