Showing posts with label spanish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spanish. Show all posts

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Learning Spanish in Homeschool

While I seemed to excel in other subjects throughout my schooling, learning languages was difficult.  I learned a small amount of French in elementary school, Latin in high school, and Spanish in college.  Little if any of it stuck in those traditional environments.  My husband was a little more successful with Spanish, but not enough where he can claim to be bilingual and do better in the job market or anything.

We hope that with the extra flexibility of homeschooling that our kids can spend more time on Spanish while learning at their own pace.  Of course, even though we are trying to learn with them, it isn't the same as speaking to native speakers or even going to a well run class in Spanish.  At some appropriate point, we are going to need to find some sort of class or environment to help with this, but in the meantime, we are working on exposure to the language.

So far, until they can read and do a more sophisticated online course or go to a real class with native speakers (maybe in a couple of years), we play Spanish Bingo or have them watch Kids Love Spanish.  We have had them watch many different sets, but this seems to be the favorite.

Spanish is important for several reasons.  First of all, in an urban environment it is clearly an important language.  When we ride the bus, many of the signs are in English and Spanish indicating the prevalence of people speaking Spanish.  Also, the hispanic population is growing at a faster rate than other groups in the United States so that Spanish will continue to be of value in the job market.

That said, I am not sure the need to speak Spanish will proportionately boom even though it will be pretty important.  Hispanics are one of the newest immigrant groups and are likely in another generation or two to blend in more language wise.  Just as my great-grandparents spoke fluent Italian (Sicilian dialect with one great-grandmother refusing to learn English only going to Italian stores in her neighborhood), my Dad, just two generations later, doesn't speak any Italian.  Ironically, my sister now is learning it to travel to Italy where my brother-in-law has dual citizenship.  Funny how things end up.  Anyway, we are going to try to emphasize learning Spanish as much as we can.  Any suggestions would be helpful!