Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. The blogger received product and compensation in exchange for her time writing this honest review of this homeschool Spanish curriculum.
One of my big, scary, hairy, main goals as a mom is to take our family from speaking a single language to fluency in both Spanish and English. It’s a giant goal, and it can be really hard to get there. We are learning though, and can definitely find a bathroom or glass of water if we need it.
We are working as a family to reach our goal. Sometimes though, practicing the words and concepts we need to learn can be so boring! When it’s time for us to practice growing our language skills, we make it fun, interesting, and as silly as we can. We’ve found 5 ways to enrich our language studies to share with you.
1. We bring home audio books to study Spanish
We look through the children’s Foreign Languages section for hang-up bags with a copy of the both the book and audio book. Many times we’re able to find classic children’s books on disc in Spanish that we can listen to together. We follow the words along with the speaker, and we are able to grow our understanding of pronunciation and vocabulary.
To extend our learning, we check out the book in both languages and compare the wording. We don’t always understand everything. However, part of growing in a language is simply understanding more of the pattern of the language. Audio books are very helpful when it comes to understanding the pattern of Spanish speech for us.
2. We label the items in our home
I’ve taken an afternoon and labeled the nouns in our home with the correct vocabulary words in Spanish. When I or my family members refer to the item, we make sure to use the Spanish word for the item.
My plan is to change things up as we move forward. Once we know the vocabulary, we’ll label the items with verbs or adjectives. Then, we will practice making sentences when we discuss the items to gain practice. We will continue and extend the idea and make a game out of practicing making sentences.
3. We watch as much TV and video as possible in Spanish
One of the hardest parts of learning a new language is to be able to understand the new sound patterns of the language. A language learner simply has to take the time to train his or her brain to recognize the speech patterns and one of the best ways to do so is through simply observing native speakers of the target language.
We’ve enjoyed practicing our language skills with Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids®. The video based curriculum has short videos with multiple visual and auditory cues. These cues help learners understand the actions and grow their comprehension of the concepts covered in each level. The best part is learners with this program quickly pick up on daily, conversational language, simply through watching the video.
4. We listen to songs in Spanish
Nothing makes you feel like you’re really getting a hang of your target language like singing your heart out to a great song and understanding it! I download songs in Spanish, print out the lyrics, translate the words I don’t recognize, and then practice singing when the music is on. As time goes on, I’m recognizing more and more words in the songs I’m singing. I’m also able to use the words I’ve learned just from singing them.
This has been a fun experiment with our kids. They have heard my Spanish music for three years now. They all will sing along with our Spanish music, and have great accents. However, they don’t know what a lot of the words mean. After this amount of time, we have had several times when we are learning a new vocabulary list and one of my kids will say, “Oh, I know what that word is now, it’s in that song we sing!”
5. We make using Spanish fun and silly in our home
When I know the words, and I’m pretty sure about the grammar, I’ll use Spanish with our kids. It’s become a competition to see who can figure out what I’m saying or asking. It’s like we now live life with a full-time code game!
We are learning to make mistakes and not be scared of using our language skills through silliness and fun. Every time one of my children figures out what we are talking about, it’s a moment of accomplishment for that child. They are finding joy through their second language, and that’s what learning a language should be all about.
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