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5 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Child’s Spanish Curriculum

If you want your children to learn a foreign language for school, right now isn’t too soon to start. The earlier you start your children learning a second language, the better. While it’s never too late to learn a new language, it’s ideal if kids start learning before they turn 10, or even before they turn five.

As with any other subject you might choose to introduce your children to, you need the right resource for the job. The following are five questions you should answer when looking for the most effective elementary Spanish curriculum for children.

Is it age-appropriate for your children?

In this case, “age appropriate” doesn’t have anything to do with the maturity level of the content. This question actually goes back to what was said at the beginning of this article. While it’s never too late to start learning a new language, the ideal age for learning is five years or younger.

That being said, children learn in ways that are very different from the ways teens and adults learn. A teenager might learn best from a computer-based program with speech recognition, while an adult may prefer textbooks and a native language coach on Skype. But young children need an approach that’s interactive and fairly hands-on. This is something you must take into consideration when you’re looking for an effective Spanish curriculum.

How old is your child? How do they learn best? Based on your previous experience with them, can you predict that this program will keep them engaged?

Does it introduce the language’s culture in a way that’s engaging, accurate, and respectful?

One of the best things about teaching children a second language is the new world it opens up to them. The best Spanish curriculum lessons don’t just teach the words; they teach about the culture that the language came from.

This is especially important for children with short attention spans. If the student can easily grasp that what they’re learning isn’t mere gibberish for school, but is actually used every day by people in far-away places, it will help to hold their interest.

How does the Spanish curriculum you’re considering represent the people who speak the language? Is this representation accurate and respectful? Are other cultures represented in the curriculum at all?

How many students can use it at the same time?

If you only have one child who will be using the curriculum, this question may not matter right now. But if you have several children who need to learn Spanish, this is something you’ll want to think about. If you can find a curriculum that works for multiple students at the same time, it could save you time and money.

Can you use the same curriculum for all of your children, or will you have to buy a new copy for each child to learn?

Does it teach all aspects of communicating in a new language?

This is where many textbook programs fall short for accurate language-learning. To get the most out of your homeschool Spanish curriculum, you want to make sure it covers all the bases for using a new language: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

Of course, not every program you use has to involve each of these factors equally. Some programs are stronger in areas of speaking and listening, while others are better for learning to read and write. That doesn’t make them bad. But you should think about your goals for your children and whether the curriculum you’re considering will be worth your time investment compared to other options.

How much parental involvement is required?

Some programs can be used effectively by children without any adult involvement at all, while others rely totally on having a teacher present. Maybe you’re fluent in Spanish already and you want to be involved in your children’s learning process. Or maybe you need your kids to be as autonomous as possible. Either way, think about this when you’re considering different Spanish curriculums to use.

Do you want to be involved in your children’s language-learning? If so, how much involvement are you comfortable with? How much does this program you’re considering require?

By thoughtfully answering these questions, you’ll find the ideal Spanish curriculum for your children.

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