Are you wondering what the best Spanish homeschool curriculum might be? When it comes to teaching foreign languages, even the most experienced homeschool parent may feel inadequate.
What to Consider
The truth is that what is best for one family may not be best for another, so there are many things you need to take into consideration before making a choice.
The first thing to consider when choosing a Spanish curriculum are your children's ages and learning styles. Younger children learn languages as well or better than high school students, but they need different techniques.
- If your children are young, or you have a mixed group that includes young children, consider a program where music and movement are part of the teaching program. This will get children involved in the language much easier.
- If your child is a visual learner, it may be difficult for him to learn by just listening to the speaker. Make sure that you choose a language program that has DVDs and other visual helps.
- Older children that are junior high and high school age can use a computer program that allows them to move ahead at their paces.
There are many different programs available in a variety of price ranges. You can even find free Spanish curriculum on the Internet. Check your budget before you decide which program to use.
Like most homeschooling classes and activities, Spanish language curriculums usually require some parental involvement. Each program is different, and the amount of time required by you will vary. Learning a language is a great activity to do together as a family.
Finding the Best Spanish Homeschool Curriculum
The top rated Spanish programs can be pricey. Some of the less expensive programs can work just as well but may be more difficult to implement or take more parental time and involvement.
This is an expensive program but also on the list of Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks for homeschoolers. It is an immersion philosophy, a way of learning languages that was developed by military intelligence to allow soldiers to learn a language very quickly.
The program is computer-based and allows you to keep track of several students at once. One of the weaknesses of this program is that it does not seem to teach grammar thoroughly; consequently, your student may have difficulty writing sentences. However, a used Spanish textbook should help with that. You can expect to pay $250.00 and up for each level of this program.
Power Glide comes in three levels:
- Middle School
- High School
It is also a computer-based program but has more activities than Rosetta Stone. The instruction incorporates games and stories to allow students to interact in various ways. This helps them remember the information more easily.
The biggest negative of Power Glide is that they mix Spanish words into the English sentences to help children get used to using Spanish very early. This may interfere with the child learning to think in the language and keep him from becoming fluent.
You can expect to pay about $100.00 for two semesters of Power Glide.
Learnables is an inexpensive program that is based on CDs and books. It can be used with children as young as seven.
Children look at pictures and hear the word that describes the picture and then repeat it. There are two books per level and each costs about $55.00. This program will not be the all-inclusive type of program that is needed for the college-bound student, but it is a great introduction to the language.
Visual Link allows your student to learn independently because the lessons are interactive and computer based. The program concentrates on sentence building and communication to allow your child to progress quickly in conversational Spanish. There are even additional resources to help your child learn faster or more thoroughly.
You should expect to pay $199.00 for this program. You can get eleven free Spanish lessons on the website.
Switched On Schoolhouse Spanish
This is a computer-based program from Alpha Omega. It's designed for grades nine through twelve and allows your student to build skills through plenty of practice and dialogue. The curriculum includes multimedia rich lessons to reinforce concepts. These include:
- Learning games
Your teen progresses through the lessons at a rate that is most comfortable for him. You can expect to pay around $80.00.
If you want to introduce younger students to Spanish, you can use Spanish Town for free. This online curriculum allows your first through fourth grade child to learn colors, numbers and other basic Spanish words, and you don't have to pay a dime.
Consistency Is the Key
Consistency is the key to learning a language. Try to get your child to work on it at least a half hour a day, seven days a week. By spending more time using the language he will learn to think in it and become more fluent.
The best Spanish homeschool curriculum is the one that works best for your individual family.