3. Have a plan. Planning out your Spanish time will help you organize all the resources you have around your topic for the week, and it will help keep your family’s Spanish learning on track for the long-term.
Your plan should have a list of common topics or concepts you’d like your child to learn (ie. shapes, colors, greetings) and a collection of Spanish-learning games, activities, and projects for those topics.
4. Enlist the help of other Spanish-speaking friends or relatives and send your child to a Spanish music or immersion program. This step is extremely helpful, but not a necessary part of your child’s Spanish-learning mission. My husband and I don’t have Spanish-speaking relatives to send our kids to in the summer, and he only has a couple of Spanish-speaking friends. When we only had our daughter, we were able to enroll her in Spanish programs. Now that our family has grown to 4 children, doing so is not a viable option for right now.
So the best that we can at the moment is expose our children to as much Spanish as possible at home and have fun learning Spanish with them.
5. Invest in your own Spanish learning. Studying a Spanish program geared toward adults and covering pronunciation, grammar and sentence building, will bolster your confidence in reading and interacting in Spanish with your child. Furthermore, we don’t want to end up like the singer Madonna and her husband. Their kids attend a French immersion school and when their kids are home, they have these “secret” conversations because Madonna and her husband don’t understand French.
Teaching your child Spanish is a commendable goal. It requires preparation and dedication, and the 15 minutes or so a day you spend teaching your child Spanish will reap bountiful rewards that will last a lifetime.