Friday, March 2, 2012

Teaching Spanish

Wyatt has a PE teacher who speaks Spanish, I believe, as his native language. Last year, he'd give the kids a mini vocab lesson before they went out to do whatever was on the schedule that day. Wyatt loved this, and would come home excitedly sharing whatever word he'd picked up that day. Oscar picked up on it, and will now walk around the house proclaiming "doce" whenever he feels like it. Both the boys will often ask me what something means in Spanish, forcing me to search my atrophied Spanish background to try to remember what that is.

Now that I'm working on a study plan for the boys, it struck me that I could probably introduce them to Spanish in a more formal way. I started looking for a program geared toward young kids, and found it far more painful than I had hoped it would be. I have zeroed in on one, though, although I'm going to wait a bit to order it in case I happen across something else. I found a bunch of exceptionally cheap Spanish early readers on Ebay to supplement it. I figure I'll go with that, and see how it is.

The main issue, though, is that I don't think I can really expect them to actually learn the language if we don't use it at home. This means I need to be able to speak to them. So, I bought a book to review my own Spanish, and have been listening to the Notes in Spanish podcasts to help me regain some of my ability (which are an absolutely amazing conversational resource, by the way. They have worksheets, too, and I very much want them, but since they are sold by a couple in Spain, they are going to be far too pricey with the exchange rates between the Euro and dollar right now) . I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I still remember, and I'm hopeful I'll be able to keep us all talking in Spanish at home, even outside of lessons.

I do, though, worry about making sure they can hear the correct accent, which is why I'm going to be using a lot of listening and video activities. My accent was decent when I was learning, so that's a good thing now, but was kind of bad for my confidence when I was studying it because people thought I could speak the language far better than I actually could. They'd start speaking a mile a minute and I'd freak out. The best thing about teaching my own kids is that I don't at all feel the same pressure to speak well that I crippled me before. I'm just going to give it my best and see how it goes.

I was happy to find out there are quite a few websites now where you can hire a tutor to either give you lessons or practive conversational Spanish over Skype. The ones coming out of South America are pretty cheap, only about ten bucks an hour. When we move back to the States and have a decent internet connection again, I think I'm going to sign myself up for tutoring.

Oliver made me rather happy the other day, too, by saying he's thinking about studying Spanish a bit, too, so he can jump in. He speaks Portuguese, and lived in Brazil for a couple years, so it shouldn't be all that difficult. The two languages are VERY close. I can often understand him when he throws a phrase at me and vice versa. Our ultimate goal at this point is to take a family trip to Spain in a couple years.

2 sonar pings:

Jen said...

ok. so i have a second to comment! first- where the heck are you moving to?!?!? i am dying to know.
second- i'm seriously considering homeschool. really. i'm about done with k's formal education at school at this point and frustrated. but i'm so lost in terms of where to look for homeschool ideas and what resources i can find!
and third- espanol!!! woo hoo! i feel ya on the atrophied brain. every now and then i run into a native speaker who finds out i "know" spanish...and then we habla. kinda. :)

Jen said...

ps- dude, are you on fb?