Year 12: Home School Spanish

As a teen, I remember making flash cards to memorize Spanish vocabulary. That was a lot of work, but learning verb conjugations was even harder. I swore if I had children, I’d introduce them to the language and spare them some drudgery. I’m happy to say that I have. I began speaking Spanish to our child at birth and I have used Castellano with them part of the day every day since then. An important component of my program for them lies in the rich and beautiful musical traditions of Spain and the Americas. Whenever we drive together, I have the local Spanish radio station on or music in Spanish playing. With its huge variety; salsa, meringue, rumba, tango and flamenco to name a few, what’s not to love? I love that our child asks me to turn on the music if I forget.

Sing It!

Flamenco in the car

Spanish where’er we are

Castellano seeds I sow

Passing on what I know

Humming along to the tune

As the Roma singers croon

Song 10 is my child’s request

Four part harmony their behest

Vibrant music we both adore

Language practice not a bore

Play the CD Mamá por favor

Lesson hid in gitano lore

We practice again today

The Fake Flamenco Mamá way.

–Rebecca Cuningham 19 August, 2021

Do you speak a second language? How do you practice?

¡Olé! –Rebecca

Purple Cone Flower Photo: Rebecca Cuningham
Rebecca Cuningham

27 thoughts on “Year 12: Home School Spanish

    1. Thanks for your comments, Suzette! An early age is key. I am happy to see that more US schools are offering dual language immersion to start the kids learning a second language in elementary school. Do you use your Spanish more than your French?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Smart you for making it fun! Although she has my husbands Latin looks, our daughter did not want to be different from her friends by admitting she spoke another language. It wasn’t until we all moved to South Florida that she began taking her heritage seriously and now she’s engaged to an Ecuadorian American. Ole!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rebecca, I love that you’ve taught your child Spanish from birth! My mother had been a high school French and English teacher before she stopped teaching to be a full-time mother. Except for teaching me to sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” in French, she didn’t teach me any French. As an adult, I’ve wished many times that she’d taught me French when it would have been easier to learn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your personal story, Janet. For a long time educators in the US mistakenly thought that a bilingual child would get confused and not be able to separate the languages. So, they recommended that bilingual parents speak only English at home. For that reason, speaking two languages from birth is rare here. Studies have since proven that children can learn two or more languages fluently. There can be a slight lag in language development in the middle of elementary school, but after that it is an advantage and makes kids more flexible thinkers. Being bilingual can help combat Alzheimers, I’ve heard. Sorry your mom may have been misled by the thinking of the day. I appreciate your compliment!

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    1. Welcome, Rawatshashi! Thank you for your comments. How great you’re learning Spanish. You’re even writing poetry en español, congratulations! Immersion is the method in which we learn our first language and it is excellent if we are able to implement it for our second as well. Buena suerte!

      Liked by 1 person

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