Sonrisas Spanish Blog

homeschool spanish curriculumWith the availability of educational technology, homeschooled students now have a wide range of learning opportunities. And this includes learning a second language. As a homeschool parent, you may have been hesitating to have your child learn Spanish since you are an English speaker. Fortunately, this worry does not need to hold you or your kids back. By taking the following steps, you can help your child take advantage of this critical learning period. Who knows, you may even learn a second language together.

Step 1: Start a homeschool Spanish curriculum.
This is the first and most important step in helping your child begin their Spanish education. A childrens homeschool Spanish curriculum will guide your child through the learning process and provide you with supplemental activities to reinforce the lessons. This will take much of the lesson planning burden off of you as well.

Step 2: Learn along with your child.
While you won’t be planning out your child’s Spanish curriculum lessons, you will still need to provide educational support. This may be the incentive you need to learn vocabulary and grammar with your child. Then, you can assist them and even converse with them in Spanish.

Strong 3: Find other homeschool families to learn with.
You likely know other parents who homeschool their children. Before you begin your child’s Spanish curriculum, consider inviting other families to join. By forming this group, your child will have classmates to converse and practice the language with.

Strong 4: Supplement their Spanish curriculum with activities.
Purchase Spanish story book sets, games, movies, TV shows, and other materials to help your child expand their knowledge. With these resources, you can sneak Spanish practice into other times of the day.

Strong 5: Find cultural immersion opportunities.
Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the world, with more than 387 million native speakers. While your child might be too young to travel to a foreign country, you likely can find native speakers or cultural events in your own community. Taking your child to these events can help put their language learning in context.

Just as your child can learn math and science through their homeschool curriculum, they can do the same with Spanish. With some extra effort and the right resources, your young student can be on the path to language mastery.

spanish curriculum for kidsThe holidays are an exciting time in elementary and preschool classrooms. This time of year is full of cultural learning and activities, making it a perfect supplement to your Spanish curriculum for kids. By incorporating some of these ideas into your classroom language learning, you can make the upcoming holiday season as fun and productive as possible.

Holiday Songs
While your students likely know some popular holiday songs in English, this is a perfect opportunity to teach them songs in Spanish! Incorporate movements to get your students up and out of their seats. They may even want to share these tunes with their families at home.

Plays And Acting
This may be better suited for elementary-age children. Have your students turn a holiday story into a play, incorporating Spanish vocabulary words. Your students will be thrilled to show off their creation to their classmates.

Spanish Story Books
Spanish story book sets are excellent learning tools. Find a set of holiday stories to share with your class. Encourage a discussion about the story and any new vocabulary that they may have learned. The story you choose may even set a theme for the rest of your activities.

Cultural Days
Spanish is the official language of 21 countries around the world, all with their own unique holiday traditions. Learn about the food, decorations, and customs involved in different countries. Then host a cultural day in the classroom. You might even assign each student a different country and encourage them to give a short presentation about its culture.

Guest Speakers
What better way to learn about a cultural holiday practice than to invite a guest to your classroom. Whether this person is a friend, coworker, or community member, they can teach your students about the holiday traditions of their culture. They can also help your students improve their language and vocabulary skills.

By taking advantage of the holidays in your classroom, you can find endless opportunities to supplement your Spanish curriculum for kids. This method can improve elementary Spanish learning learning and help your students understand the different Spanish-speaking cultures around the world. Your students will leave these lessons with a greater appreciation for world celebrations.

heart4One of the things I love about the first part of the school year is getting to know my students. With each new class, I get to meet a whole new group of individual children with their individual and interesting personalities. This is truly one of the rewards of teaching. Along with getting to know my students, I also always try and spend some time at the beginning of the school year making connections with each of them. Depending on the size of my classes this can be a challenge, but it is one well-worth undertaking as it can reap valuable rewards. Here are some of the ways I make connections with my students:

  • I look them in the eye when I talk to them.
  • I smile when I talk to them.
  • I take the time for humor in class, and I laugh with my students.
  • I listen to them. I can especially glean important insights about my students by listening to the things they say to each other—this can tell you a lot about a child’s personality.
  • Occasionally, I like to allow for unstructured time in class and then pay attention to the roles that students take and the things they do and say.
  • I ask them about their families, their pets, and what they like to do.

Some of this can be done within the context of your Spanish lesson. Some of it can only be done before and after class and during transition times. When you make connections with your students, you form a relationship with them. When you do that, you are on better footing for addressing their learning styles, their needs, and their challenges. You also put yourself in a good position for parent communication. The rewards you get are better outcomes in student learning and better outcomes in classroom management. Take time to make connections with your students—it’s well worth it.

beginning spanish curriculumWhen launching a beginning Spanish curriculum in your classroom, getting your students to focus can be the most difficult part. This is especially true when it comes to conversation practice. Elementary Spanish instruction can feel like a constant battle of refocusing the students on the target language, but there are ways to do so. When planning an activity, take the following steps to establish conversation focus and keep it strong.

Step 1: Warm them up.
Before you launch into your kids Spanish curriculum for the day, it’s always best to switch their brains over to the target language. Children are naturally built to acquire language skills, and this is especially true through songs, games, repetition, and imitation. And these are perfect warm-up activities before starting speaking practice.

Step 2: Choose activities that require conversation.
Remember that children might not readily launch into speaking unless the activity warrants it. This is why it’s important to scatter conversation-specific activities throughout your lessons. When they
explicitly know that they are meant to be speaking Spanish, they will do so more readily.

Step 3: Explain the activity within a time frame.
If the students know how long they will be spending on a certain activity, they may be more likely to focus. Otherwise, they might think it will drag on, and they could start to speak in English or do something else halfway through. Managing expectations is key.

Step 4: Give gentle reminders.
It’s inevitable that some students will get off track. During the activity, move around the room and refocus certain students when necessary. This way, you can keep the room on topic as much as possible.

Step 5: Make the lesson dynamic.
Once the students complete the conversation activity, move on to something that uses a completely different language skill. This could be listening to a Spanish storybook or making a craft. By using different senses throughout the beginning Spanish curriculum, you can keep their attentions sharp.

As with teaching any new skill, teaching a language takes patience. With time, your students will get more comfortable with conversation practice. By coming up with encouraging and creative ways to foster these skills, you will help your students learn at an efficient pace.

spanish curriculum lessonsMuch of the time, learning is multi sensory experience. With the right tools and lesson plans, you can engage all five of the senses in your elementary or preschool classroom. And language instruction in no exception. While teaching and supplementing your Spanish curriculum lessons, there are plenty of creative ways to engage the senses.

The eyes are some of the most important tools in a children’s Spanish curriculum. Learning how to read and write is key to language learning, but it’s important to find engaging ways to do this. Consider asking children to conjugate verbs on the board, play vocabulary “eye spy,” read aloud to a friend, or draw pictures to keep their visual learning sharp.

One of the main goals of learning a language is to be able to speak and understand it. This is why it’s important to actively engage your students’ auditory learning abilities. Encourage conversations between peers, sing songs, watch video clips, and do call-and-response activities to sharpen students’ speaking and listening skills.

Taste and Smell
Out of all the ways to supplement your Spanish curriculum for children, this might be the most fun. Plan food activities with your class to learn about the cuisine of Spanish-speaking countries. This will foster an appreciation for different cultures and spike interest in the actual application of the language.

Engaging this sense is all about getting your students active and hands-on. The best way to use touch and kinesthetic techniques in your instruction is often to plan games. Memory games, crafts, outdoor activities, and charades are just some examples of these activities. Games are also a great way to combine all of the senses together, creating a complete learning experience.

Research shows that the earlier you teach a foreign language to a child the better. While before the age of 10 is ideal, before five is also beneficial if possible. To keep these young children engaged in their preschool or elementary Spanish curriculum lessons, it’s essential to engage all of the senses. While you experiment with these techniques, pay attention to what is and is not working. You can craft the perfect multi-sensory lesson plan as you go.

preschool spanish curriculumTeaching a second language to young children has a higher risk for success than teaching older children. This is because a child’s ability to pronounce new sounds and learn grammar rules is enhanced before age six. With the right techniques, you can successfully implement elementary and preschool Spanish curriculum lessons in your classroom, setting your students up for a bilingual future.

The only challenge? Kids don’t like to sit still.

While attention span varies by age, the average five to six year old can hold their attention on one thing for about 10-15 minutes. So, how can you combat this in your classroom’s language learning? Kinesthetic learning.

What Is Kinesthetic Learning?
This particular learning style is characterized by absorbing new concepts through physical activity. You may notice that some of your students in particular are kinesthetic learners. These students likely enjoy making crafts and working with their hands, use their hands to speak, need to take breaks to move around, and explain concepts with touch and movement. Fortunately, you can cater to these learners while also engaging your other students.

Kinesthetic Learning Techniques For Language Curriculums

  • Song And Dance: Preschool and elementary-aged students often love to sing, and song is a great way to practice a language. Take Spanish language songs to the next level by adding movement that corresponds with vocabulary words.
  • Action Games: Help your students learn vocabulary and grammar through highly active games. This can include the flyswatter game, throwing a ball around the room, and any game that lets students move around the room.
  • Crafts: Making something with their hands will allow your students to zero in on one learning concept. This can be especially appropriate during holidays. No matter when you do them, crafts are a welcome break from general learning.
  • Charades: The ultimate movement learning game, charades is appropriate for any age group. Encourage students to act out vocabulary words. The other students can guess the word in Spanish.

Implementing successful elementary and preschool Spanish curriculum lessons is all about following the lesson plan closely and then supplementing with external learning techniques. You know your classroom better than anyone, so craft your learning modules to match your student’s abilities and needs. You can then adjust as they learn and grow.

childrens homeschool spanish curriculumsAs a parent or educator, it’s your job to get children ready for the future. And for many students, the future may be multilingual. The United States has long been known as a mix of cultures and backgrounds, and the Hispanic population has long been a prevalent part of this mix. By teaching elementary Spanish lessons or implementing a childrens homeschool Spanish curriculum, you are prepping students for both the future and immediate present.

How Prevalent Is Spanish In The United States?
Spanish is the official language of 21 countries around the world, many of which are popular travel destinations. However, your child does not need to travel far to hear this language spoken. According to recent population data, there are about 41 million Spanish speakers in the United States and another 11.6 million who are bilingual. This means that the U.S. is home to more Spanish speakers than Spain.

What Is The Official Language Of The United States?
While the U.S. is a large English-speaking country, there is actually no official language. Some states have English listed as the official language, but there is no national doctrine that dictates that. Some representatives have attempted to introduce bills to establish an official language, but none have passed so far.

Now Is The Time For Children To Learn
Knowing the prevalence of Spanish in the U.S., and the possibility that the language will grow, it is critical that today’s children learn to be bilingual. If more teachers and parents implemented in-school Spanish lessons or childrens homeschool Spanish curriculums, more children would have access to interactive learning. And by learning Spanish, the children of today can prepare for a more diverse future.

Depending on where you live in the U.S., you may already see signage, political ads, and newspapers in Spanish. We are living in a multilingual country, and this means that the present population needs to adapt. If you are a parent or teacher, consider how a beginning Spanish curriculum may be useful for your students or children. These lessons can jump start their role as a well-rounded citizen.

spanish for preschoolersOur country’s cultural makeup is always changing, which means that being bilingual is an invaluable skill for your students to have. As an educator, you can prepare your classroom for the future with a childrens Spanish curriculum. Whether you are interested in teaching Spanish for preschoolers or starting a curriculum in your elementary school classroom, there are plenty of reasons why your students should learn to speak this language.

  1. The U.S. is the second largest Spanish speaking country in the world. Second only to Mexico, the U.S. is home to an estimated 50 million Spanish speaking people. And this number will only get bigger. By teaching Spanish to your students, you are allowing them to communicate with this growing sector of the population.
  2. Speaking Spanish will open job opportunities in the future. By speaking Spanish, your students will be more attractive job candidates when they’re older, since they are able to communicate with Spanish speaking individuals. They may also allow them to make more money. Studies show that bilingual employees earn 20% more per hour on average than monolingual employees.
  3. Language can open up your community. By being able to speak with their neighbors in multiple languages, your students will be more involved and responsible citizens. They can gain empathy for the immigrants in their community and can integrate themselves into various events and groups.
  4. Travel will be a more enriching experience. There are 21 countries that speak Spanish as an official language. By speaking Spanish, children can have a more enriching travel experience in these countries as adults. They may even be able to work abroad and live in a Spanish-speaking country long term.
  5. Learning a second language benefits the brain. Incorporating Spanish for preschoolers and elementary students in the classroom won’t allow them to learn a second language. Your classroom Spanish curriculum lessons can also boost memory, multitasking skills, and reading abilities. You may notice that your students are excelling in various other areas as well.

By purchasing a Spanish curriculum for your students, you are opening the world to them in many different ways. Now is the time for your students to learn a second language. Their young minds can absorb it more readily, and they will surely thank you in the future.

spanish curriculum for elementary schoolYour elementary-aged students are in a prime opportunity to learn a second language. Between the ages of eight and 12, they begin to lose the ability to learn and produce foreign sounds, making it much more difficult following this critical period. But this does not mean that their learning will be without challenges. As with learning any new skill, completing a Spanish curriculum for elementary school students comes with bumps in the road. Use this guide to help your student traverse those bumps and surge forward with their learning.

The Challenge: Embarrassment

The Solution: Breakout Groups

Language anxiety happens, especially when it comes to speaking out loud. But there are ways to help your students get over the fear of being wrong. Try getting them warmed up by practicing their pronunciation in small groups or reading a Spanish storybook in pairs. If they are comfortable talking to each other, they may feel more comfortable talking to the class.

The Challenge: Language Plateau

The Solution: Find A Different Angle

This can be a challenge in any subject. A child will be showing progress retaining the subject matter when they suddenly hit a wall. Remember that this may not be due to lack of effort. You may just need to find a slightly different instruction angle and practice technique for the child.

The Challenge: Memorization

The Solution: Games And Songs

Remember that memorizing vocabulary does not always come natural to every student. Some children may need a slightly more engaging technique. In the case of younger students, they often benefit from songs, games, and rhymes rather than straight flash cards.

The Challenge: Learning Loss

The Solution: Home Resources

Even the more effective beginning Spanish curriculum can fly out the window during the summer or even a long weekend. To combat this, send your students home with a Spanish storybook set and other resources. This way, they can practice at home with their families.

By implementing a Spanish curriculum for elementary school, you are giving your students the early gift of language. This will prepare them for a more diverse world and even boost their job prospects down the line. So, by helping them cope with learning challenges, you can help problem solve their struggles later on. This effort combined will make them a more well-rounded and independent individual.

spanish curriculum lessons for preschoolAs you begin your Spanish curriculum lessons for preschool or elementary school students, it’s important to encourage learning outside of the classroom as well. While children younger than eight years old, their brains are naturally wired to acquire language skills. This happens primarily through imitation, repetition, songs, and games. But to get the most out of this critical period, your students need to be learning at home. This starts with their parents. Follow these tips for getting your students’ parents involved in their language learning as much as possible.

  • Send out a classroom newsletter. Start by letting your classroom’s parents know what their children are learning in school. List the language skills the kids are practicing and a list of vocabulary words. Consider adding some basic ways that families can practice together.
  • Provide Spanish storybook sets. Especially if your students have learned to read, send books home that they can read to their parents. This will help them practice pronunciation and fluency while sticking to their reading routines.
  • Keep a running list of cultural events. Encourage the parents to take their students to cultural events in your community. There they can learn about Hispanic cultures and maybe even practice some of their new language skills.
  • Encourage the parents to learn with their child. The best way that parents can help their children is to learn the language along with them. Consider some online resources, books, and community classes where parents can speak Spanish. Some of the families may already speak Spanish at home, so ask if they are willing to teach other families.
  • Hold family workshops. Your students are likely practicing their language skills through songs and games. By holding occasional workshops for interested families, you can teach parents the activities you are doing in the classroom. This way, they can repeat them accurately at home.

Remember that not every parent will show the same interest in helping their child learn Spanish. Fortunately, by sticking with your Spanish curriculum lessons for preschool or elementary school, you can give every child the same opportunity to acquire a second language. This will make them well-rounded citizens who are prepared to interact with a more diverse world.