For many homeschooling moms foreign language is elusive. Sometimes this is due to not knowing where or how to start. Other times it’s because language programs are expensive and not affordable to one-income families. And for some, it’s a matter of not figuring out how to incorporate the time needed to successfully teach foreign language in homeschool when they are already overwhelmed teaching the basics.
Which is why we wanted to bring you these foreign language tips and resources to make it easier for you to know how to successfully incorporate language learning into your homeschooling.
Benefits of Teaching Foreign Language in Homeschool
Learning a second language offers many benefits to students. While it does look good on a high school transcript to have a foreign language credit the reality is it’s more about helping students to develop a global perspective.
- Teaching your child a foreign language can lay a foundation for interest in other cultures.
- Being able to speak two or more languages may offer your child a leg-up on future career opportunities.
- Does you child show an interest in government/political work?
- Perhaps they want to work in the medical field.
- Or, it could be they have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, knowing how to communicate globally can help them to be even more successful.
- If your family enjoys travel, being able to speak a foreign language opens up more possibilities for locations to travel to.
- If you have ever considered working in the mission field knowing and ensuring your children know the language of the location where you’d like to go lays the foundation to integrate well into the culture.
- Learning one foreign language makes it easier to learn another, and another.
- It helps to improve memory and concentration skills.
- And, of course it looks good to college recruiters.
But learning mere words isn’t really how we want our children to learn a foreign language. It would be better for them to become conversational in their skills.
How to Choose a Foreign Language
The first thing to consider when choosing a foreign language for your child is asking yourself which one might they need to learn. It’s as simple as thinking through possible scenarios based upon your own family and those who are near your home. But it can be more than that. It can be based upon the interests of the child, or their goals for the future.
- Does your child have family members or friends who speak another language fluently?
- Is your community filled with immigrants? Would it be beneficial to your family and child to speak the language of your neighbors?
- Do you travel frequently to a foreign country or area that is fluent in another language?
- What topics are you currently studying in homeschool? Could a foreign language be incorporated into a topical unit study?
- Is your teen considering a study abroad program during college? Lay foundations now to help them have an easier transition into another culture.
Get even more tips for how to choose a foreign language from Jimmie at Jimmie’s Collage.
Foreign Language Resources You Should Know About
As homeschoolers we understand that it’s difficult to decide on a curriculum. And no one wants to purchase something expensive only to discover it’s not going to work. Which is why we’re sharing real-life scenarios and how these homeschool moms are utilizing foreign language curriculum to meet the needs of their families.
Amy at Rock Your Homeschool has kids spanning many ages and she knew she needed something that would work with multiple children. She shares how Rosetta Stone Homeschool French did just that.
“With five boys (ages 2, 5, 7, 11, and 13), I knew that I would need a homeschool foreign language curriculum that could be easily implemented and shared. I wanted a trusted resource that is known for effective foreign language study. Honestly, I do not have time or money to waste on trying different homeschool curricula.”
Meghan at Education Possible son was doing a history study of Russia and she explains how she’s using Rosetta Stone to enhance his understanding even further by allowing him to experience the culture from within the language.
“The Rosetta Stone Language Learning for Homeschool programs include different learning levels that students can progress through. My son really enjoys studying history and has been focusing on Russian history for the past year. He wasn’t looking for a full credit foreign language course, rather just an introduction to the language, so working through Level 1 was a nice way to explore the topic.”
Even in multi-cultural families learning a foreign language can get lost in the shuffle of day-to-day life. Jen at Forever, For Always, shares why Mango Languages works for her large, multi-cultural family.
“I like being able to add some on-line learning to our schedule, it’s a bit of a break from workbooks and other traditional tasks. Plus, my kids enjoy being on the computer, it’s extra motivation for them.”
As our world continues to become more diverse we need to expand our idea of what languages are needful in society at large. Heather at Blog, She Wrote discusses how her family came be learn Arabic and how using a secure online program italki helped them to practice their skills.
” italki allows You to Homeschool a Foreign Language Online Safely with a Native Speaker. Lessons are one on one and italki suggests that parents listen in on the first lesson to help facilitate the kids on getting used to talking with a new person especially in an online format.”
Tiffany from Homeschool Hideout was stunned when her 9 y.o. daughter told her she wanted to learn all the languages. So Tiffany had her start with one, and they chose Spanish. After not finding a local resource she was thrilled to discover PandaTree.com.
“It’s simple to use: Simply decide which tutor would be the best fit for you. Then you can easily schedule your session on a date and time that works for you. With so many high quality tutors available, you’re going to have plenty to choose from!”
Alisha’s family has a history of traveling extensively throughout Asia. Over time they’ve developed a love for the country of China and have many close friends who speak the Chinese language. So it made sense when her son asked to learn Chinese but she herself didn’t speak it. She shares how Middlebury Interactive’s online immersion course allowed her to meet his desire.
“… he was thrown in headfirst to Mandarin Chinese, but he soon got the hang of it and was speaking and understanding.”
Sometimes knowing that we NEED to teach a foreign language we start something just to say we’ve done it, but soon we let it fizzle out. This hit or miss approach doesn’t teach good foundations for language development. Cindy from Our Journey Westward understood that her 9th grader needed something better. She shares how Mango Languages immersive approach has helped her son truly begin to understand Spanish in a conversational way.
“…because Mango Languages uses a real-life, conversational approach to teaching that is highly auditory and visual, his learning is sticking.”
What about you? Are you teaching or outsourcing a foreign language in your own homeschool? Or are you sitting on the fence waiting for someone to tell you what is the exact right curriculum for your family? We hope these options will give you excellent insight!
Foreign Languages for your Homeschool
- Foreign Language Curriculum Reviews for Homeschool by Tricia
- American Sign Language for Homeschoolers by Selena
- How to Find Native Language Tutors for Homeschool by Jimmie
- Our Road to Fluency: Mandarin Chinese for Homeschoolers by Eva
- Salvete! How we teach Latin in our homeschool by Dianna
- Teaching Spanish with Music by Heidi