I took Spanish in high school for two years, and then I took it for another two years in college. While I was never fluent, I loved understanding what others around me said. I remember when I was 15, and we went to New York city. Suddenly, this small town girl from Michigan heard (and understood) Spanish all around me. It was so much fun!
In graduate school, I studied Japanese for a year and then did it again for another year when my husband and I first got married. Again, I only knew the rudimentary basics of the language, but I could understand the gist of the conversations my husband was having with his family, and I could communicate in a very basic way.
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My husband and I plan for our children to learn two languages throughout their academic career–Spanish and Japanese. They’re both important–Spanish because it’s spoken everywhere, and Japanese because my husband’s family speaks ONLY Japanese.
To that end, this year we’ve started studying Spanish. The kids and I have been using Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids. I love this program!
The program is an immersion program. You simply watch the videos and learn the words in context. Both my girls, who are only in early elementary, and Bookworm, who is in 6th grade, have learned a great deal from this program. I went ahead and bought the workbooks for Bookworm so he would learn even more.
While Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids is an excellent program, I also wanted the kids to have the ability to learn Spanish with others. This semester, all three kids will be taking Spanish at our co-op. The girls will be in the basic level, mainly learning vocabulary and learning songs and games. Bookworm will be in the more advanced level, learning not just vocabulary, but also grammar, verbs, conjugation, the whole caboodle.
We plan to reinforce what the kids are learning in co-op with lessons at home and through Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids.
Japanese will come later, likely in 7th or 8th grade. Japanese can be a very difficult language to learn, so I want to make sure Bookworm is mature enough to handle it. However, he’s found a program that teaches Japanese for free at our local library’s website, so he’s been using that in his free time.
Is a foreign language part of your homeschool curriculum? If so, what language(s) do you teach?