Teaching A Foreign Language in Your Homeschool
*I received the Whistlefritz curriculum in exchange for an honest review- all opinions are my own.*
I am by no means a Homeschooling expert. But, heading into our 3rd year, I wouldn’t call myself a novice either? Last year was the first year we added a foreign language to our homeschool lesson plan. I was nervous adding it in- but having taken Spanish for 5 1/2 years myself, I at least knew enough of the language to get us started. For 1st grade we decided to jump in with a Spanish curriculum so that I would have some help with actually teaching a foreign language- and we chose Whistlefritz.
Whistlefritz offers Spanish and French for Educators. Whether you homeschool or not. They have lots of different products to help you teach your children- including a workbook that you can reproduce for however many children you’re teaching, DVD’s, and CD’s, as well as online content. You can check out my post talking all about how we used Whistlefritz for 1st grade.
But, I also wanted to include some tips and tricks for teaching a foreign language in general in your homeschool classroom.
1.) Get hands on– choose activities that get your kids in on the action. Not just reciting or copying words. Whistlefritz had all sorts of fun activities- we made puppets, did an entire book full of things around the house, played games, colored pictures. These sort of activities really help what you’re teaching stick.
2.) Visuals. That’s where the DVD’s came in. They included fun songs that get stuck in your head and lots of smiling faces helping your littles to see other kids speaking the language. I really think that’s important. Hearing it spoken by native speakers. They’ll pick it up SO much faster that way! We also checked out a lot of Spanish books from the library or grabbed them from Goodwill.
3.) Take it on the go. I loved that Whistlefritz also had CD’s that we could listen to in the car. With all sorts of songs helping to remember numbers, colors, body parts, etc. As well as children’s classics sang in Spanish. You can also head to your library and find music CD’s and audiobooks in the language that you’re teaching for long car rides.
4.) Incorporate the language into every day life. When we were learning the words for objects around the house, we put post it notes on everything with the Spanish word. The kitchen table, couches, lamps, everything had a post it with the word. It seems silly, but seeing it over and over again helped us to remember the words.
5.) Don’t overdo it! We decided that we were only going to do foreign language one day a week. That way neither one of us would get overwhelmed. If you don’t finish the whole book, no one is going to judge you. It’s all about making it fun. At such a young age kids are like sponges, but don’t put too much on their shoulders. Make it fun and they’ll be more likely to want to continue.
Honestly I wish we would’ve started Whistlefritz in Kindergarten because I think it would be especially beneficial for even younger children. We’re using something a little different now that my son is a little older- but we’ll still be using the CD’s and DVD’s as supplements. Which totally makes getting the Educator’s Collection worth it! Foreign Language curriculum can be so pricey, and this was a great, affordable one to get us started.
What are some tips that you can share to help others teaching a foreign language in their Homeschool?