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#1 texasmom33

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 12:51 PM

X-posted on General Ed board: 

 

I want my younger kids to learn Spanish. I can read it, but I can't speak it fluently and despite having lived here my whole life, I can't understand it at a normal spoken pace. The. speaker. must. speak. very. slowly.   :blush:  Oldest learned some in private school, but we didn't reinforce at home,  it so it disappeared shortly upon entering public school in elementary. 

 

What I need is a book for parents on ways to encourage, motivate, and work with rather young children who are learning a foreign language while simultaneously learning to read/write in English as well. If there is such a book that deals with doing this in a homeschooling environment that would be even better.  I don't care if it's Spanish specific- any language where I can borrow from the working examples will work. But I definitely work best off examples, and some regarding how to accomplish this would be great. Neither child is a solid reader yet and that has been part of the struggle- most material is either aimed higher, at kids who are good readers, or far too low where it's so babyish they don't want to do it, particularly my ds. 

 

They have both started two lessons a week through Homeschool Spanish Academy, then we do YouTube videos, the suggested homework, etc. daily as well. The six year old thinks it's awesome- I think he might be a language nut- although he's still wiggling everywhere during the online live lesson. The five year old wants to think it's awesome, but has zero motivation to actually sit and participate so I need to be sneakier with her. That's pretty much the story of her life at the moment. "I want to do what brother is studying too!!!"  (Insert piano, Spanish, or other lesson) Then we sign her up and she turns into the resistant limp rag at said lesson. I might transfer her remaining lessons to her brother, or I'm going to need to start drinking during their Spanish classes. 

 

This is why I need some real life examples of how to help make this work before I lose my mind like I almost did with early piano lessons for these two. It is a lot dealing with two emerging readers, piano lessons, and now Spanish on top of other homeschool subjects, but I know it can be done. I don't want to burn out doing it though. Suggestions of extra reading for me with tips to sanely implement? Is there a Well Trained Mind for Grammar Stage Foreign Language Learners? 



#2 Monica_in_Switzerland

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 01:02 PM

I feel like I should *write* the book on bilingual homeschooling, lol.  It's been such a series of ups and downs and round and rounds so far, and we're far from done!!!

 

I don't know of any pre-made resources.  I might suggest you do some research on what materials are used in bilingual schools or language immersion schools for primary grades.  You may find classroom material that is adaptable to home use.  

 

What it comes down to:  Language learning, when you don't have an immersion option (child care, hours of tutoring, living in a Spanish-speaking area, parent's native language), is really, really difficult.  Because there are so few materials adapted to serious learners in the elementary age range, you risk being stuck just like you've said- too babyish or too adult.  You can consider delaying language learning until middle school... nothing bad will happen and you'll have a lot more text options to choose from.  Personally, this would be my approach if you don't have a burning reason to start language learning now.  

 

Another possibility:  We had good luck finding a German text that was "serious" but age appropriate by searching GERMAN publishers who are developing materials for non-native German speakers who need to be brought up to speed quickly in German (immigrant populations, etc.).  You might check to see what Spanish schools are using to get students up to speed from non-native backgrounds.  Probably more luck checking publishers in Spain than Mexico, but since I don't speak Spanish, I don't have a good trail to send you down for that!  


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#3 texasmom33

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 02:12 PM

I feel like I should *write* the book on bilingual homeschooling, lol.  It's been such a series of ups and downs and round and rounds so far, and we're far from done!!!

 

I don't know of any pre-made resources.  I might suggest you do some research on what materials are used in bilingual schools or language immersion schools for primary grades.  You may find classroom material that is adaptable to home use.  

 

What it comes down to:  Language learning, when you don't have an immersion option (child care, hours of tutoring, living in a Spanish-speaking area, parent's native language), is really, really difficult.  Because there are so few materials adapted to serious learners in the elementary age range, you risk being stuck just like you've said- too babyish or too adult.  You can consider delaying language learning until middle school... nothing bad will happen and you'll have a lot more text options to choose from.  Personally, this would be my approach if you don't have a burning reason to start language learning now.  

 

Another possibility:  We had good luck finding a German text that was "serious" but age appropriate by searching GERMAN publishers who are developing materials for non-native German speakers who need to be brought up to speed quickly in German (immigrant populations, etc.).  You might check to see what Spanish schools are using to get students up to speed from non-native backgrounds.  Probably more luck checking publishers in Spain than Mexico, but since I don't speak Spanish, I don't have a good trail to send you down for that!  

 

Please write the book!! :) 

 

 

And thank you for the tip on books for non-native speakers- I will try looking and see if I can find anything. 

 

I hadn't planned to start early, but my ds6 seems to love all things language, which is ironic because he was an extremely late talker. But he's started picking things up just from our errands and what not and trying to mimic already so I feel remiss not to keep going as he really wants to. He wants to learn ALL the languages at once. :laugh: But maybe I will wait with the 5 year old as she doesn't really have a burning desire about it at the moment. My oldest has had a really difficult time learning foreign languages as an older child, so part of what is fueling it is regret for not continuing on with her when we had the chance. That's made me more keen on taking what he wants and running with it......Although I do think part of it is some people are naturally more predisposed to picking things up easier than others maybe. Anyway, I guess that's the only burning reason. He really wants to. 

 

In the area we live it is very easy to see Spanish billboards, street signs, radio, all of it everyday. And if we go to restaurants or venture very far out there is Spanish spoken everywhere. It's just a matter of getting him in the right places and him taking notice. But we are definitely in the right area for immersion- outside of the home at least! 

 

I have ordered some Spanish versions of the Dr. Suess books he can already read himself to see if that is of interest to him. I do worry about confusing them though on some of the phonics books both as they're really very early readers. Ds6 is far from fluent and Dd5 is still C-V-C and can't do blends yet. Everything I've been able to find says it sorts itself out, but I feel I'm in uncharted territory. The only foreign language any of my friends' kids this age have done is maybe 5 minutes of vocab in a daycare class, so they've been no help. 


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#4 Slache

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 09:19 PM

I want my younger kids to learn Spanish. I can read it, but I can't speak it fluently and despite having lived here my whole life, I can't understand it at a normal spoken pace. The. speaker. must. speak. very. slowly. :blush: Oldest learned some in private school, but we didn't reinforce at home, it so it disappeared shortly upon entering public school in elementary.

What I need is a book for parents on ways to encourage, motivate, and work with rather young children who are learning a foreign language while simultaneously learning to read/write in English as well. If there is such a book that deals with doing this in a homeschooling environment that would be even better. I don't care if it's Spanish specific- any language where I can borrow from the working examples will work. But I definitely work best off examples, and some regarding how to accomplish this would be great. Neither child is a solid reader yet and that has been part of the struggle- most material is either aimed higher, at kids who are good readers, or far too low where it's so babyish they don't want to do it, particularly my ds.


They have both started two lessons a week through Homeschool Spanish Academy, then we do YouTube videos, the suggested homework, etc. daily as well. The six year old thinks it's awesome- I think he might be a language nut- although he's still wiggling everywhere during the online live lesson. The five year old wants to think it's awesome, but has zero motivation to actually sit and participate so I need to be sneakier with her. That's pretty much the story of her life at the moment. "I want to do what brother is studying too!!!" (Insert piano, Spanish, or other lesson) Then we sign her up and she turns into the resistant limp rag at said lesson. I might transfer her remaining lessons to her brother, or I'm going to need to start drinking during their Spanish classes.


This is why I need some real life examples of how to help make this work before I lose my mind like I almost did with early piano lessons for these two. It is a lot dealing with two emerging readers, piano lessons, and now Spanish on top of other homeschool subjects, but I know it can be done. I don't want to burn out doing it though. Suggestions of extra reading for me with tips to sanely implement? Is there a Well Trained Mind for Grammar Stage Foreign Language Learners?


This series begins slowly and speeds up. I've heard Pimslur does the same.

https://www.youtube....h?v=zkoWofyo3cY

A board member recently released a series that sounds right up your alley called Family Time Spanish. I use Brave Writer bilingually and intend to use IEW the same way. Getting Started With Spanish has helped to fill some gaps in grammar painlessly. I suggest La Pata Pita for reading in Spanish followed by Reading Lessons Through Literature or All About Spelling for Spelling in English. Spanish is easy, English is insane so why not begin with the easy?

I feel like I should *write* the book on bilingual homeschooling, lol.


Yes, please!

Edited by Slache, 31 January 2018 - 09:22 PM.

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#5 Slache

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 10:01 PM

By the way, that La Pata Pita recommendation came from Renai, the Family Time Spanish maestra. She's raising her kids bilingual and knows way more about this stuff than I do. She's helped me a lot.

Edited by Slache, 31 January 2018 - 10:02 PM.

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#6 Slache

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 10:22 PM

Hi. Me again.

I teach Spanish and English vocabulary simultaneously. We use ANKI here. Examples:

Side 1: Spring

Side 2: Primavera, March 20th to June 21st

Side 1: Coral Reef

Side 2: Arrecife de Coral, a ridge of rock in the sea formed by the growth and deposit of coral


Our math fact drills are bicolored. Black is English, red is Spanish. If it says 5 - 3 in red I say cinco menos tres. Every language has a color. English is black, Spanish is red, Japanese is Green, Greek is blue. Now I need a color for Latin. :svengo:
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#7 texasmom33

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 10:51 PM

Hi. Me again.

I teach Spanish and English vocabulary simultaneously. We use ANKI here. Examples:

Side 1: Spring

Side 2: Primavera, March 20th to June 21st

Side 1: Coral Reef

Side 2: Arrecife de Coral, a ridge of rock in the sea formed by the growth and deposit of coral


Our math fact drills are bicolored. Black is English, red is Spanish. If it says 5 - 3 in red I say cinco menos tres. Every language has a color. English is black, Spanish is red, Japanese is Green, Greek is blue. Now I need a color for Latin. :svengo:

 

Can I just drop my kids off with you? :) 


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#8 Slache

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 11:15 PM

Can I just drop my kids off with you? :)


I'm so much cooler online. :coolgleamA:
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#9 wintermom

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 08:30 PM

I think the strategies of teaching or supporting the learning of a foreign language as a parent with our children is similar to the Suzuki method in music education, where the parent is a partner in their child's education, children start at an early age, and parents try to "immerse" their child in music on a daily basis.

 

I wish I could have had both a music teacher and a language tutor for my dc all these formative years. Dh and I chose consistent private and group music lessons over language lessons and it has worked out well, but it did mean a sacrifice on the dc learning a foreign language well. I think I just had to go with the easiest option for me to support over the long-term, and that was music. There is only so much time and energy and money to spread around, and it's impossible to do everything. 

 

It's definitely possible to learn a foreign language later in life, just as it's possible to learn to play a musical instrument well as an adult. The human brain function is different in children under a certain age, though, and their language and music acquisition is better than in adulthood. 


Edited by wintermom, 02 February 2018 - 08:35 PM.


#10 texasmom33

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 09:24 PM

I think the strategies of teaching or supporting the learning of a foreign language as a parent with our children is similar to the Suzuki method in music education, where the parent is a partner in their child's education, children start at an early age, and parents try to "immerse" their child in music on a daily basis.

 

I wish I could have had both a music teacher and a language tutor for my dc all these formative years. Dh and I chose consistent private and group music lessons over language lessons and it has worked out well, but it did mean a sacrifice on the dc learning a foreign language well. I think I just had to go with the easiest option for me to support over the long-term, and that was music. There is only so much time and energy and money to spread around, and it's impossible to do everything. 

 

It's definitely possible to learn a foreign language later in life, just as it's possible to learn to play a musical instrument well as an adult. The human brain function is different in children under a certain age, though, and their language and music acquisition is better than in adulthood. 

 

It's funny you mention the Suzuki angle because reading Suzuki's book is what actually has me heading in this direction. 

 

I'd also give a good deal to find a Suzuki music instructor in our area to switch the kids to for music lessons, but that's a whole other thread. :) 


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#11 Renai

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 11:59 PM

Hi. Me again.

I teach Spanish and English vocabulary simultaneously. We use ANKI here. Examples:

Side 1: Spring

Side 2: Primavera, March 20th to June 21st

Side 1: Coral Reef

Side 2: Arrecife de Coral, a ridge of rock in the sea formed by the growth and deposit of coral


Our math fact drills are bicolored. Black is English, red is Spanish. If it says 5 - 3 in red I say cinco menos tres. Every language has a color. English is black, Spanish is red, Japanese is Green, Greek is blue. Now I need a color for Latin. :svengo:

 

Latin is orange because it's across from blue on the color wheel. Chinese is purple. Just in case you wanted to know.

 

 

Texasmama, when your children learn to read both Spanish and English simultaneously, just be on the lookout for the mix up with I and E. It happens to both language groups, coming from their language to the other. I know this happens in Spanish; I don't know about other languages. My 7yo is dealing with this right now, but she is doing a lot better than when my oldest daughter was learning (oldest went from Spanish to English, youngest is going from English to Spanish). My older seems to have been a smidgeon more dyslexic than my younger is, however. If you want, I have a Spanish vowel bookmark I can send you that is just a quick reminder of the sounds.

 

Most language teachers will tell you to have the child reading fluently in their first language before tackling a second. The reason for this is because reading ability transfers from one language to another. The reader Slash mentions, La Pata Pita, is written for native Spanish speakers and starts with the vowels, then adds one consonant at a time. I've used it since my now-senior was 4 years old. You know, the whole, "if it ain't broke..."

 

I don't know how crazy it is to try to do all the things. We are a bilingual English/Spanish family. Both languages are a priority in our home. However, my youngest seems to be like me and has caught the language bug. I have her in Chinese classes (learning simplified), switching from Outschool to Lingobus, or vice versa. She also likes ASL and German. I've put off German, because I feel learning three languages is enough for now, especially when it come to reading another Roman-letter based alphabet. She has also started music lessons. And started back gymnastics. So, maybe a little crazy, but while she has the opportunity, I figure she can take advantage of it. My oldest didn't have these opportunities, and I feel a little bad about that. If either of us gets burnt out, we'll scale back. Easy. But, while she's in learning mode, willing, and I currently have the means to do it, I'll take advantage of it.

 

Spanish books... anything by Alma Flor Ada. She can be found in most libraries, or on Amazon and such cheap. She is a native Spanish-speaking author who has been in the US for over 40 years, publishing about the entire time (individual books as well as for school publishing houses). I love her stuff.

 

Trillas publishing is a Mexican publishing house. SantillanaUSA is natively Spanish, but have a US office. They mostly sell to schools, but they do sell some things to individuals. You'll have better luck with Del Sol Books, though. They sell all things Alma Flor Ada and others. Her sometimes-coauthor Isabel Campoy is sold on there too. You can also find them on Amazon though. (I've actually met Ms. Campoy and she's very nice!) You can find Mexican school textbooks for free...Ok, so it's not so easy to find because it seems they (the government) change the site address every freaking year! But, here it is: http://www.librosdetexto.sep.gob.mx/

 

I'm pretty sure I'm missing something - information, a question, whatever - but if I think of anything else, I'll stop by again.

 

Oh! I don't have a book suggestion. I read on different blogs of bilingual families, or other sites that were really good with keeping up with current information. Unlike myself. There is Mommy Maestra, Spanish Playground (.net), and others. Check out my pin: https://www.pinteres...nish-resources/

 

Ok, if I think of anything else, or if you have any other questions, let me know. I remember being around with my first and having the then-old-timers being so helpful. I hope I am as helpful.


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#12 texasmom33

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 06:04 PM

Latin is orange because it's across from blue on the color wheel. Chinese is purple. Just in case you wanted to know.

 

 

Texasmama, when your children learn to read both Spanish and English simultaneously, just be on the lookout for the mix up with I and E. It happens to both language groups, coming from their language to the other. I know this happens in Spanish; I don't know about other languages. My 7yo is dealing with this right now, but she is doing a lot better than when my oldest daughter was learning (oldest went from Spanish to English, youngest is going from English to Spanish). My older seems to have been a smidgeon more dyslexic than my younger is, however. If you want, I have a Spanish vowel bookmark I can send you that is just a quick reminder of the sounds.

 

Most language teachers will tell you to have the child reading fluently in their first language before tackling a second. The reason for this is because reading ability transfers from one language to another. The reader Slash mentions, La Pata Pita, is written for native Spanish speakers and starts with the vowels, then adds one consonant at a time. I've used it since my now-senior was 4 years old. You know, the whole, "if it ain't broke..."

 

I don't know how crazy it is to try to do all the things. We are a bilingual English/Spanish family. Both languages are a priority in our home. However, my youngest seems to be like me and has caught the language bug. I have her in Chinese classes (learning simplified), switching from Outschool to Lingobus, or vice versa. She also likes ASL and German. I've put off German, because I feel learning three languages is enough for now, especially when it come to reading another Roman-letter based alphabet. She has also started music lessons. And started back gymnastics. So, maybe a little crazy, but while she has the opportunity, I figure she can take advantage of it. My oldest didn't have these opportunities, and I feel a little bad about that. If either of us gets burnt out, we'll scale back. Easy. But, while she's in learning mode, willing, and I currently have the means to do it, I'll take advantage of it.

 

Spanish books... anything by Alma Flor Ada. She can be found in most libraries, or on Amazon and such cheap. She is a native Spanish-speaking author who has been in the US for over 40 years, publishing about the entire time (individual books as well as for school publishing houses). I love her stuff.

 

Trillas publishing is a Mexican publishing house. SantillanaUSA is natively Spanish, but have a US office. They mostly sell to schools, but they do sell some things to individuals. You'll have better luck with Del Sol Books, though. They sell all things Alma Flor Ada and others. Her sometimes-coauthor Isabel Campoy is sold on there too. You can also find them on Amazon though. (I've actually met Ms. Campoy and she's very nice!) You can find Mexican school textbooks for free...Ok, so it's not so easy to find because it seems they (the government) change the site address every freaking year! But, here it is: http://www.librosdetexto.sep.gob.mx/

 

I'm pretty sure I'm missing something - information, a question, whatever - but if I think of anything else, I'll stop by again.

 

Oh! I don't have a book suggestion. I read on different blogs of bilingual families, or other sites that were really good with keeping up with current information. Unlike myself. There is Mommy Maestra, Spanish Playground (.net), and others. Check out my pin: https://www.pinteres...nish-resources/

 

Ok, if I think of anything else, or if you have any other questions, let me know. I remember being around with my first and having the then-old-timers being so helpful. I hope I am as helpful.

 

Thank you, this is all very helpful!!! Let me go more slowly through all the info and I'm sure I'll be back with more questions! :) 


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#13 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 04:55 PM

Have you seen this series? https://www.knowital...subject/spanish My 2nd grader has been listening to the French version and learning.

I agree with the post that they can learn and master at older ages, too. It isn't all now or nothing. Internal motivation goes a very long way.

Using it or losing it is also very true. Our oldest was completely fluent in Brazilian Portuguese bc we lived there. He even slept walked in Portuguese. Now as an adult he can't speak it. (He was elementary age when we lived there) That is part of the internal motivation factor. He didn't care. I am sure his sister would have done whatever she could have to have maintained it.