How We Bring Native Spanish Home with Homeschool Spanish Academy
Homeschooling was never part of our plan. But, we all know what they say about plans. Over the last seven years of homeschooling my son and daughter, now in fifth grade and second grade, I’ve learned that flexibility is a critical part of the plan. Homeschooling is so much more than just educating your children at home, it’s truly a way of life and life is anything but predictable.
Learning About Homeschooling
When you start researching “homeschool” you’ll quickly learn that there’s A LOT of information on the subject. You’ll also learn that there are different methodologies, all with very fervent supporters.
Early on in our journey, when my son was still in preschool, the best thing I did was spend some time learning about the different styles of homeschooling. I took the time to figure out my son’s learning style and my teaching style. Discovering those was a pivotal moment for our homeschool. I quickly learned that our tendencies fall into the Charlotte Mason philosophy, but we have a bit of a footing in several methods, so I suppose technically that makes us eclectic homeschoolers.
Foreign Language Studies
One of the core tenets of the Charlotte Mason style of education is foreign language studies, beginning at six years old. That had always been one of my goals. However, as life would have it, I found myself consumed with making sure we fit in all of the “other” subjects and foreign language fell to the wayside. I was not intentionally ignoring instructing my children in a foreign language, I just didn’t have the time or tools to add it into our daily rhythms. It also felt overwhelming to me to decide on a foreign language.
Most typically, French is selected because that is what Ms. Mason favored. However, because of where we live (the southern United States), it felt more practical for my children to learn Spanish. My foreign language lessons were four years of Spanish crammed into three in high school, and six years of Latin (even into college). While Latin made it easy to learn Spanish and came in helpful in my career field (biology) it did not have any practical day-to-day use so it lapsed from my memory.
I find it fascinating that in the United States, foreign language education is often delayed until high school for most students. I believe this is in part due to the geography of the United States and how most of the country has a fairly low probability of coming in contact with someone who speaks something other than English. However, I think there is huge value in introducing a foreign language much sooner, as early as elementary school. I wish I would have had the opportunity to learn a foreign language sooner.
After finally settling on Spanish as our language option, I floundered around at instructing my children. We practiced the Spanish alphabet, I struggled through reading dual-language picture books to them. I especially struggled to make it stick. My own Spanish language knowledge had wilted from non-use and I felt inept at teaching my children. So, I started searching for options. One of the really amazing things about modern homeschool is the incredible amount of resources that are available thanks to technology. Eventually, I found Homeschool Spanish Academy. I was intrigued by their platform and that the lessons were done virtually, and as a bonus, class times were offered during the weekday hours!
Our Experience with HSA
We decided to sign up for a series of twenty lessons. One of the many things that I love about Homeschool Spanish Academy is the ability to have my children in the same class. My son is three years older than my daughter, but since they are starting their Spanish lessons from the same point, they can share the class. This is so helpful for planning purposes and it is super efficient, taking up only a small portion of our day!
Flexible Scheduling (and Rescheduling!)
Homeschool Spanish Academy has its own website and scheduler for parents. It is so easy to navigate and I really appreciate being able to schedule our classes well in advance. But, they still have room for you to change a class once you’ve scheduled it, because they also know, life happens. First, you select your teacher then you can see what they have for class availability.
I can also look at my children’s schedules, check their progress, and note any homework assignments from their teacher. For older students, there can be more homework or extra assignments, and even credits for high school students. The classes are conducted via a Google Meet Up on a desktop or laptop computer, utilizing the webcam and speaker.
Native Spanish-speaking Teachers Foster Strong Relationships
My kids absolutely love their teacher! One of the things that really sets Homeschool Spanish Academy apart is that all of their instructors are native Spanish speakers. My children are quickly learning proper pronunciation and how to say the proper Spanish sounds for each letter of the alphabet. It makes me so happy to see how quickly they race to their seats for their Spanish class each week. They also practice each week between their lessons because they want to impress their teacher the next week. It’s so precious. My children were speaking Spanish after the very first lesson! Now they can speak several Spanish greetings, know the vocabulary for familial terms, and are learning so much, so quickly, with every lesson.
HSA Adapts to Your Homeschooling Needs
As a homeschool parent, I see a huge value in embracing the technology available to help bring in resources for my children’s education. I do not feel bad about admitting if there are areas that I need to improve. It’s about recognizing the ebb and flow of life and that homeschooling is a part of your life.
This is where flexibility comes back in. You have to be willing to bend and not hold too tightly to any specific plan. By all means, have a plan. But it’s also important to recognize when a plan isn’t working and be willing to change it. Homeschool Spanish Academy is an excellent resource for homeschool families or for anyone wanting to get a jump on teaching their children a foreign language.
I believe that it’s incredibly valuable to know a foreign language because it helps our children realize just how big and amazing our world is. And who knows, maybe someday their ability to speak two languages will help bridge an important gap. I am so grateful for in-home, virtual Spanish lessons from Homeschool Spanish Academy, and I know that my children would say the same!
Why I Love HSA
My favorite things about Homeschool Spanish Academy are:
- You can select your teacher from the online portal
- Classes are so easy to schedule
- The classes are virtual and can be done at home, at a time that I choose
- My children can do the classes together
- They offer Spanish for all levels, elementary through high school
- My children were speaking Spanish after the very first class
- My children love it and look forward to class each week
Bring Native Spanish to Life in Your Child’s Education
Learning a foreign language is an incredible asset, and I am so glad to have the means to give that to my children. By starting now, in elementary school, they will be able to grow their knowledge over the next ten years of their education. And, as an added bonus, I’m learning again too so that I can keep up with them! Thank you to Homeschool Spanish Academy for being such a valuable resource, for homeschoolers and for parents!
Want to learn more about HSA and homeschooling? Check these out!
- Learning Español: Tailored Classes for Schools
- 10 Websites Offering Short Stories in Spanish for Beginners
- Can Homeschoolers Participate in Sports?
- 10 Tips for When Homeschool Isn’t Working
- Is There Homeschooling in Latin America?
- 10 Productive Back-to-School Activities for Your Spanish Class
- Foreign Language Credits 101: How to Earn Credits for College
- Tips and Tricks for Homeschooling Your Kids While Working Full-Time
- How We Bring Native Spanish Home with Homeschool Spanish Academy - August 26, 2021