Home School Spanish
& other foreign language curriculum

No! So, how on earth am I going to teach it?
Or any other foreign language for that matter!

by Linda Wakefield Kelley

Home School Spanish is one of those subjects that many parents wonder how to tackle when they have little (or no) knowledge about the topic. 

We definitely faced this dilemma. Sean was beginning tenth grade and wanted to take a foreign language. I successfully passed two years of Spanish in high school, my husband French and Latin. Unfortunately all memory of anything learned has also passed.

Never-the-less, I’m a big believer in the motto “No task is too large if you’ve got the right tools.” 

Therefore I began to research home school Spanish curriculum, videos, audio tapes, online tutorials, books, and other products designed to foster foreign language learning. I also asked other home school parents what worked for them. I’ve listed the most helpful resources as well as some tips for enhancing your student’s foreign language experience.

Learning is most effective when teachers (parents) can find unique ways to make the home school Spanish curriculum meaningful.

Here are some fun ideas to stimulate your child’s foreign language skills:

  • Find a local restaurant where the workers speak the foreign language you’re studying. Speak to them in their native tongue. We have a favorite Mexican restaurant near us. It’s very authentic and the waiters/owners love helping customers speak Spanish.
  • Sponsor a child from a country that speaks the language your child is learning. Study the country through books and videos. When you get letters/cards from the child, translate foreign phrases into English.

  • Find a pen pal in a country that speaks the language your child is learning (missionaries are great resources and they love getting mail). Your pen pal can teach you about the country where they live as well as the language spoken there.
  • Take your family on a mission trip to a country where they can practice their foreign language. Mexico or Haiti are common mission trip destinations for many youth groups and are great places to practice Spanish.
  • How about trying a Sunday morning service in another language? Many churches now offer Spanish services. Go and practice your Spanish. (Latin services are still held at some churches as well)
  • Find someone at your church or neighborhood who speaks the foreign language you want to learn. America is truly a melting pot and people of different cultures are usually easy to find. Ask them to help your child practice speaking the language.
  • Get audio books in the foreign language your child is learning so they can hear the language spoken by native speakers.
  • Rent a movie and select the foreign language option!

So What Home School Spanish Curriculum Should I Use?

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This is a difficult question to answer. What worked for our family may not be as effective for yours. Every child learns differently. Some are visual. For others an auditory approach will be more effective. All I can do is pass along our experience, giving you the pros and cons of each of the programs we tried.

One of our first home school Spanish choices was Power Glide Spanish. I liked that this edition would work for even the youngest child, Pre-K through grade 6, although there is a program for older students as well.

The children really enjoyed the lessons which are filled with games and stories. This was a great fit for our family, especially during the early elementary grades.

One of our favorite Power Glide accessories werethe audio flash cards These are seriously the cutest flashcards ever! One side has a bold, colorful picture. The other side translates the scene into six different languages. The pack also includes audio CD's so correct pronunciation can be achieved.

In fact, we still own these fun cards as you can tell from the pictures below. Just for fun, we sometimes flip through the set to see what words are still in the old memory bank.

We quickly realized that Power Glide alone was not sufficient for learning Spanish.

Therefore, we added Rosetta Stone Homeschool Spanish (Latin America), the homeschool edition, which we used successfully in combination with the Power Glide flashcards, for the early elementary school years.

I was pleased with the foundation this program laid. Eventually, though, the children ready to be stretched more in their Spanish curriculum.

Once the children grew older, we decided to change things up and try something new. Discovering Switched on Schoolhouse Spanish was a life-saver for our family. The kids loved the fun quizzes, puzzles, and videos. I loved the program's built-in grading system which lightened my work-load. Because this is a Christian curriculum, I also felt like our family values were being reinforced with each lesson as well.

The elementary edition is for grades 3-6, but SOS (Switched on Schoolhouse) Spanish is also available for grades 7-9, and 9-12 as well.

Here are some more resources for learning

home school Spanish or another foreign language. 

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