Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Spanish

© Michael Flippo - Fotolia.com
Once upon a time I lived in the Southwest.  I became well aware of how increasingly important it is for us to learn a second language. Introducing Spanish into our homeschool was a pretty natural choice for us.  After all, we could hear it all around us.  Yet, even with one year of college Spanish under my belt and several other years trying to learn on the fly, I still can't recall off the top of my head how to conjugate verbs or even some of the most basic everyday words.  I guess linguistics isn't my gift.

So, when I try to expose my kids to Spanish I try my best to get it right.  I really do.  But, trying hasn't made me any better of a teacher of a language that I don't know.  Frustrating.  So, I really am thankful for those who have made quality Spanish language videos and curriculum for homeschools to follow.  Here are a couple or resources that I found particularly helpful.

We dabbled in Spanish for a couple of years, learning a word here and there, until I finally broke down and bought La Clase Divertida.We used Level 1.  Lessons are presented as the teacher teaches to a small group of kids.  Through the year we learned the alphabet, counting, days of the week, a few helpful phrases, and more.  At the end of the class I thought, "Gee, we really didn't learn much this year in Spanish."  But, it turns out, we had learned a lot.  It was just presented in such a way that we didn't realize how much we had learned.  I appreciated that I didn't have to know the language to present this curriculum to my kids.  We all sat down and watched the video or listened to the CD and learned together.

No, I didn't continue on with this course.  But, I am seriously considering going back and using level two.  We have been using something different the last year and its not been a great fit for us like La Clase Divertida was.

Recently, I learned about a site, Senor Jordan's Spanish Videos.  Wonderful!!  On a few lessons that I / the kids have struggled with, I was able to find a teaching video at Senor Jordan's site to give us an extra lesson or review.  Videos are short and sweet and very informative without being overwhelming.  The topics range from beginning videos all the way to very advanced helps.  Plus, he has a whole list of helpful links under the "Mas Ayuda" category (that's "More Help" for those of you even less knowledgeable in Spanish than I am.)

Considering that most colleges now require learning at least two years of a foreign language for acceptance, we thought we would give the kids a hand by exposing them to a foreign language while young.  In the process, we're all having fun and learning together.

-A

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