Best retelling of "Little Red Hen" ever.
We’re about 6 weeks into the school year with the usual hits in rotation: language arts, science, math, history, character/social development, and a foreign language. Although we studied a bit of French during a trip last spring, we opted to focus on Spanish this year. Given our location (San Antonio, Texas), it was a more natural fit.
This means of course that I can no longer say that we’re following a traditional “classical curriculum,” something that I set out to do initially. Although ancient history is a big part of our studies–and we are dabbling in the Greek alphabet, this teacher felt that her pupil needed to learn a more practical second language. We will pick up Latin later. No rush. We’ve got 13 years.
Like a lot of new homeschool educators, I spent a lot of time over several months trying to figure out curriculum options. There are loads of them, some free and some pricey. Ultimately, I decided to cobble together most of our curriculum using primary sources. Yet Spanish, a language that I read much better than I speak, intimidated me. (Math did, too, but that’s another post.)
For Spanish, I figured that we could go with an inexpensive workbook purchased at a teacher supply store. I grabbed one in July and we picked it up in August. Within a week, I knew things weren’t going so well. So I bought three more–all in color–at Target. (The first one was black-and-white.) We tried again. Blech. We were both bored and drowning in a sea of flashcards, something that I’d sworn that we wouldn’t do. Back to the teacher supply store for another book. It wasn’t much better, but it did contain four little, all-color books and a CD.
The CD was a bust. But those little books were golden.
After we read two–and the kid was happy and giggling about Spanish at last–I saw that I needed to change up my game plan. Occasional use of flashcards and workbook pages is fine for review and assessment. What we really need to keep our foreign language mojo going is easy access to a lot of bilingual story books. ¡Hola, San Antonio Public Library! (@mysapl) Like out other subject areas, library books have proven to be our path to enthusiastic exploration of Spanish. Through them, we pick up the vocabulary with minimal effort. Continue reading