spanish lessons at home

October 27, 2014

spanish lessonsspanish lessonsspanish lessonsIt’s always been our desire for the girls to be bilingual. When the girls were babies Ben would speak a bit of Spanish to them, but as they have gotten older (and since I don’t speak it), English has just been easier. True and Brave have been taking Spanish classes one day a week for a few years now, but since it’s just one day a week, it’s more vocabulary than actual conversational Spanish.

We’ve looked at the possibility of sending them to a dual-immersion school, and had we found a good one, we might have opted for that over homeschooling. Unfortunately, the one near us has a class ratio of 30:1 and we didn’t like that. You would have to start from kinder on, so we thought about possibly putting Soul in. We also tossed around the idea of hiring a tutor to get True and Brave up to par, so they can take a test to get in, but in the end, the program didn’t seem right for us.

Then one day, the girls were FaceTiming with Ben’s mom and I think she was saying something in Spanish to them, and that’s when a light bulb went off. I whispered to Ben that maybe his mom could teach them Spanish and he instantly thought that was a brilliant idea too! Ben’s mom used to teach high school Spanish, so she was the perfect person for this. I don’t know why we never thought of it before! We mentioned to her our idea, and what she thought, and she was totally on board. That night I started researching Spanish curriculum and sent her a few sample pages of one I liked. Later that week, we got everything ordered for the girls, and ordered the same books and sent them to her in Texas.

spanish lessonsspanish lessonsspanish lessonsWe originally planned their lessons via FaceTime to happen twice a week, about 15-30 minutes a lesson, but the girls love it so much that they end up going for about two hours! Sometimes, three! And lately, they’ve been able to get three or four FaceTime sessions in with her. We also do Latin in our homeschooling, so they are able to make connections to between the two languages, and there are so many similar words too.

Ben’s mom has her own white board at her home, and she uses that when she’s teaching them online. She gives them homework (like labeling things around the house), and I review with them during the week for extra reinforcement. Not only is that good for them, but good for me too because it’s been recalling all the Spanish I learned in high school. There are also some similarities between Spanish and Tagalog (language from the Philippines), so I’m able to pick up some. I’ve been trying to practice saying small phrases throughout the day, and Ben’s been better at trying to use Spanish too. I understand Tagalog completely, but since I haven’t used it in a long time, I butcher the language when it comes out of my mouth. Ben used to be much more fluent in Spanish (he studied in Guadalajara for a several months in college), but since he doesn’t use it often, it isn’t as natural to him. We are all working on it though!

The girls seem to really be thriving in this online class of theirs. Plus, we think it’s really special that they are able to spend time with their Grandmama like this. They are creating such wonderful memories together! She even got a fish for a class pet, so they had to come up with names for it. The verdict is Diamante Lily Bratcher.  HA!

We use Spanish for Children Primer A (it’s a student and teacher book in one), the DVD & Chant Set that accompany it, and this answer key for checking their answers. They do their lesson on their iPad, and this is the iPad cover we use. We’ve found that our Spanish program goes really nicely with Song School Latin, which is our Latin curriculum. I love when I hear them using Latin and Spanish phrases throughout the day. Knowing more than one language is important to us, and since the girls are a quarter Mexican, it’s extra special because it’s part of their heritage. I wish they understood Tagalog, but maybe one day, with their knowledge of Latin and Spanish, they will be able to pick up other languages quicker.


19 comments on “spanish lessons at home”

  • I enjoyed reading your blog. Being bilingual is such a plus nowadays! Keep up the good work mom!

  • Tanie says:

    What a good idea!

  • nikki says:

    what an amazing idea!! you are so lucky to have her, even from afar!

    xx nikki

  • That’s so awesome!! My kids’ school started a dual language program when my youngest started Kindergarten, so we got to enroll. He has his science and social studies lessons in Spanish (he’s in first grade now). He fusses sometimes, but I really want him to be more comfortable with speaking it than I am. I used to speak with my grandma in Spanish all the time, but kind of put it all away when she died. I was in the 7th grade and took it pretty hard, so I didn’t see a point to speaking Spanish to anyone else. NOW, we live in a neighborhood with many Spanish speaking families, so I have to bust out my rusty skills and it’s HARD.

  • kelli says:

    this is amazing!

  • irene says:

    it’s so important to learn new languages or at least to be in contact with a different language than our mother tongue! I plan on raising our kids (in the future) bilingual in French & Spanish.

  • Cait says:

    This is so neat! How special for them to do it with their grandma too 🙂

  • Inés G. says:

    What a wonderful post! I’m Spanish, and it’s so nice to read that your kids are learning it. By the way, if you are interested in a Spanish au pair at your house during summer, I’ll be so kind to do it 😀 Your children are amazing, and you’re a great family!

  • That is awesome! We live in Shanghai, China and after three years of homeschooling and not making much or any progress in our sons learning Mandarin, we just this year put them in a local Chinese school that has a bilingual track. Several of their subjects are taught only in Mandarin. So they’ve gone from knowing almost no Chinese to being able to joke in the language with the guard to our building in just a few months. The amount of time put into it has made such an incredible difference! Glad you found an option to have the girls have an immersion program of their own!

  • Janet says:

    This is so beautiful!! What a special thing to do with grandma! Such an amazing solution. I’ll confess it made me cry!

  • Mave says:

    Super buena Idea!!!.. Felicitaciones, nuestro idioma es muy lindo jeje, Un saludo desde Chile!!!
    Super Good Idea !!! .. Congrats, our language is very cute JeJe.. Greetings from Chile !!!

  • ana banana says:

    Amo mi idioma natal. Vivo en Guadalajara <3 Les enviaré unas postales en español a tus princesas, para que sea un reto el querer saber lo que dicen. Un abrazo Ruby

  • Vanessa says:

    This is awesome, way to go mama! I bet their abuela just loves it! I speak fluent spanish (born and raised in Honduras) and married a filipino man from LA. His grandma only speaks tagalog so I speak spanish to her and she speaks tagalog to me and we make do just fine. She loves it!

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