Bilingualism has always been important to us: one or the both of us has been speaking Spanish to the boys since they were born. But Monkey in particular has been resistant to speaking Spanish himself, often identifying as an English speaker “who speaks a little Spanish.” Though we have come up with creative ways to make language learning fun for him, this year I decided to take a bit of a different approach.
As I was creating our homeschool curriculum for the fall, I decided to include Spanish as a subject. Up til now we have done our Spanish learning through conversation, media, and immersion trips, but we’ve been more casual than didactic. Monkey responds well to classroom instruction – especially when they include games and activities – so I thought this could be fun for him, and so far it has been! And after all, we teach English as a subject even though we speak it everyday, so why not give the same attention to his second language?
Here are some great resources we have been using. What are your favorite resources to teach Spanish?
This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. I was provided with a complimentary copy of Sofía en una Aventura por la Selva for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.
Top Homeschool Resources for Teaching Spanish
Something that is working really well for us right now is incorporating Spanish into our circle time. I had a hard time finding a display I could use, but I am quite happy with the Spanish calendar set that I found, which lets us talk about the days of the week, months of the year, holidays, seasons, and the weather in a very interactive way that both boys enjoy.
Finding quality children’s in Spanish can be a challenge, though thankfully much less so than in the past. Here are some of our favorites, plus don’t miss my tips for finding books in Spanish for your kids:
Sofia en una Aventura por la Selvaence (Spanish Edition) is a great book to use in homeschooling because – as with all the books from Kids Yoga Stories – it encourages very active learning. Kids will really engage with the story and the language as they do the yoga poses throughout the book. What better way to learn the words for snake and jaguar then by acting like snakes and jaguars? Beginning learners can focus on these basic words, while more advanced students can discuss the story. Kids, most of whom are natural environmentalists, will also really respond to the book’s theme of conservation. It also includes a Parent-Teacher guide!
I love integrating subjects, so I was thrilled to come across ArteKids bilingual art books, which are a wonderful way to introduce basic vocabulary to beginning learners through art! They are perfect for younger children who are just learning shapes and colors, but they work for older students, since each book contains more detailed information (in English) at the back of the book on the featured works of art, which include ancient and modern art from Latin America. For more, you can read my full review of ArteKids books.
Music and videos can be a terrific way to encourage language learning, especially for reluctant learners. I keep several Spanish language music CDs in the car, which we listen to frequently.
One of these is from Whistlefritz. My kids really love the music, which is fun and upbeat. Homeschoolers will also love the full Spanish for Kids collection, which is a tremendous resource for parents and teachers. For more information, you can read my full review of Whistlefritz.
Another CD in constant rotation in our car is Spanish Songs for Kids (Bienvenidos) from Rockalingua. Little Monkey especially requests this CD almost every time I strap him into his car seat. The rock’ n ‘roll songs are really fun, and the lyrics are all based around themes, such as the days of the week or travel – yet somehow it manages not to feel educational (though of course you as the parent/teacher know that it is!)
Educational videos are also a great way to reinforce Spanish for kids. I really recommend Little Pim DVDs for young children. The segments are fairly short and teach related groups of words (such as food vocabulary in Little Pim: Let’s Eat), with a review at the end of each segment. Little Pim is one of the most well-known language programs for kids, and with good reason. For more, you can read my full review, included in this article on bilingual parenting.
As a blogger myself, I’m very oriented towards blogs as a resource, plus as a member of Multicultural Kid Blogs, I’m lucky enough to know a number of amazing bloggers who focus on teaching languages to children. They have such creative ideas!
One of my absolute favorites is Spanish Playground. It is very focused on learning through play and has materials and resources that can be adapted to all different situations and levels of Spanish. I can also attest personally to how thoughtful she is in everything she presents to her readers. You can trust that anything on her site is absolute top quality! You’ll find lots of language activities and printables, as well as product reviews. For example, I love this post on Spanish at the beach, which shows that you can incorporate language learning in all you do!
Another of my favorite resources is Mommy Maestra. As a homeschooler herself, she has a real understanding for what materials will be useful to other homeschoolers. She has a lot of great activities and freebies on her blog, but her TpT store is also amazing. And don’t miss her an amazing list of Spanish curricula!
Another great resource with high quality materials is Mundo de Pepita. The printables are wonderful, plus you can also find fun crafts and activities, in addition to tips for classroom learning.
I also adore For the Love of Spanish, which has a wonderful series focused on Learning Spanish Through Play. Her activities are all well-suited to active learners and are easy to put together, so you can take learning wherever you go.
Learning in Two Languages is a fantastic blog from a teacher in a dual language classroom. You’ll find all kinds of teaching tips, plus great materials you can use with your kids.
For even more resources, be sure to check out these Pinterest boards: