The Perfect Spanish Curriculum for Your Child
Unless you’re homeschooling your child, you don’t have much say in what types of curricula teachers use in your kid’s classes. Are they effective in their design to help your young one succeed? Are they teaching what your child actually needs to learn?
If you homeschool, you do get to choose what program and books you use to instruct your child. However, how do you know which curriculum is the best?
There are so many questions that come up about curricula, especially when you are looking to have your child learn a foreign language. Most parents don’t speak the language their child wants to learn, and even if they do, they might not know how to best teach it. So, if you are feeling overwhelmed with all the curricula options, we are here to help take one subject off your plate—Spanish.
Still on the fence about whether Spanish is the best language for your child? Learn why Spanish is crucial in our increasingly connected world.
Remember, Language is a Process
Before we move on to discuss the perfect Spanish curriculum, let’s talk about how you learn a language.
It’s not just memorizing words and phrases; learning a language is learning a new way to think, express yourself, and look at the world. To accomplish this, exposure and repetition. If you have kids, think about how they learned to talk—did you teach them a list of words and have them memorize it? Did you expect them to be fluent in a year? Were they able to speak immediately?
The Elements of a Perfect Spanish Curriculum
The truth is, the best way to learn a language is as close as possible to the way we naturally learned our native tongue. How do you do that?
1. It Doesn’t Prioritize Memorization
The most important aspects of language learning are exposure and relating vocabulary to images or objects. It’s not helpeful to relate new words to English words.
Think of it this way, if you always relate a new Spanish word to its English equivalent, you will only be training yourself to translate everything in your head instead of learning to speak Spanish naturally. You would be better off creating new relationships between the Spanish words and the objects or ideas. One easy way to do this is by labeling things in your house with the Spanish word.
How Does HSA Do It?
At Homeschool Spanish Academy, we have developed our own curricula that our native-speaking teachers use in each class. The curriculum uses images to relate each new vocabulary word and phrase to a real-life situation. Many of our teachers also use physical objects in class and encourage their students to as well. This combination of images in the curriculum and physical objects in the virtual classroom helps the students avoid translation as it directly creates a relationship between the Spanish word and the object.
2. It Builds Upon Levels of Fluency
When your child first started learning their native tongue, did they immediately start talking? No, of course not. Multiple areas of language learning and fluency exist. A child first learns to understand a language before learning to respond. As we said before, we want to teach Spanish in a similar way to how we naturally learn a language. Therefore, the first step towards fluency is exposure and auditory comprehension.
How Does HSA Do It?
All our teachers are native Spanish speakers, and they make conversation a priority in each class. While your student may not be able to reproduce the teacher’s questions and comments or respond to them right away, they are developing auditory comprehension, just as they did as a baby learning their first language.
If your student is able to read and write, our curricula also combine this auditory comprehension with written practice, so your student grows in all areas of language learning—reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
R more about how our RAMMA teaching method can get your student to fluency faster.
3. It Boosts Memory through Regular Review
How many times did you have to teach your child the colors before they could remember them all? Did they remember everything the first time? Of course not. When learning a new language, we are actually building new pathways in our brain, which takes time and dedication, or repetition. A lot of other curricula, especially the ones used in school settings, move too fast and don’t take the time to reinforce learned vocabulary.
How Does HSA Do It?
Homeschool Spanish Academy curricula apply learned vocabulary in your online classes to make sure your student remembers what they learned and can actually use it. Furthermore, the teacher always starts the class with some quick conversation and pointed questions to review and reinforce previous lessons. Instead of learning one topic and moving on, our curricula builds upon itself, deepening those pathways in your brain until speaking Spanish becomes second nature. Read more about what it’s like to take a class with HSA.
4. It Tailors Itself to Each Learner
While finding pieces of clothing that are “one size fits all” is usually convenient, it doesn’t apply very well to learning a language. As a child grows up, they learn differently, and their Spanish curriculum must reflect that. That is why we have all the following programs:
- Preschool Curriculum
- Elementary Curriculum
- Middle School Curriculum
- High School Curriculum
- Adult Curriculum
Each program is specifically designed with the student’s age in mind. For example, the middle school years are a time of preparation and transition, and our curriculum takes that into mind. While addressing Spanish grammar topics head-on like the high school curriculum, it still goes at a slower pace to make sure they are truly learning. It’s like an introduction to a high school level course, which is what those middle school years are all about.
HSA Creates the Perfect Curriculum for Your Child
While we offer different courses for each age level, every child is unique and may need something tailored specifically to their learning needs. You don’t usually get the opportunity to adjust courses in many classroom settings, but our curriculum can be altered as needed.
If your student needs to just review certain parts of a curriculum because they have already mastered some topics, our teachers can start them right at the appropriate lesson, so they aren’t bored with the classes. On the other hand, if your student needs more time to review a tricky topic, our teachers take the time to get extra review materials and make sure they master each lesson.
HSA Gives You Assessment Options
All of our Spanish curricula have homework, quizzes, and tests built into the programs, but you can opt out of those and do a freestyle course of study. Keep in mind that if you are looking for high school credit, your student will need to comply with all parts of the curriculum. For any other course, however, the assessments can be optional.
Some students would like to focus more on conversational Spanish, while others already speak fluently but need help with their written Spanish. Either way, our teachers can accommodate and adjust the curriculum for your student’s needs.
Additionally, we have worked with numerous students that have learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and ADHD. Just let your teacher know and they will accommodate accordingly. We are here to make learning Spanish easy for your child!
HSA Provides High School Courses
So many world language courses don’t offer options for high schoolers—they focus more on younger kids and avoid high school classes because of the strict standards required for high school Spanish. However, the Spanish Academy offers Spanish I, Spanish II, Spanish III, and Spanish IV for the high schoolers. The classes include graded homework (10%), quizzes (40%), and tests (50%), and we can provide a transcript for each completed semester.
These classes are perfect for if your student needs high school credit for Spanish, if they struggled in school and need reinforcement, or if they are looking to get a head start on their high school credits. We have received numerous testimonials about how our unique high school curriculum has helped students succeed in high school and be well-prepared for college classes. Download a sample here!
HSA Is Constantly Growing and Improving
Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection.”– Kim Collins
Here at Homeschool Spanish Academy, we want to be constantly improving our classes. For that reason, we are making some exciting changes to our curriculum. The flexibility and teaching methods will be the same, but we will be bringing you a lot more content, with some extra special products for all you parents!
One important change will be our alignment with the ACTFL standards and level system. You will be able to see what fluency level your student is at and what they need to work on at each level. This will give you a better idea of how soon they will reach their Spanish fluency goal and how you can help get them there.
Stay tuned for the coming changes and sign up for a FREE class in the meantime!