Homeschooling is a worthwhile but sometimes daunting feat. The responsibility of choosing your child's curriculum can seem overwhelming. Choosing the right materials for your child's Spanish learning can be particular difficult if you have no experience in foreign language learning.
Over the past 5 years or so there has been a boom in language learning sites and apps. With the help of these online resources It is now possible to learn a language from the comfort of home in ways that simply weren't possible before.
Homeschool families can now receive a foreign language education on par, if not better, than those with children in traditional educational environments.
In this article we point out 3 of the most effective and popular alternatives for homeschool Spanish curriculum.
1) Online Teachers
$12+ per hour for a professtional teacher
Course structure will vary between teachers
If teacher is a right fit, one on one lessons are one of the most effective options for learning Spanish
One on one live video lessons are an effective and affordable way for your child to learn Spanish. Teachers can interact with their students in real time and share documents, videos, and other media all within a Skype or Google hangout chat.
There are a lot of online Spanish lesson sites, but over the years a few have stood the test of time and make it easy and safe to book online lessons with a language teacher.
Online teachers are an effective and affordable way to incorporate Spanish learning into your homeschool regimen. Sites like Verbling and Itaki have 100's of teachers from around the world. Many are full time professionals who supply their own curriculum and learning materials.
The wide selection of teachers means that marketplace competition helps keep the price affordable too. It's quite possible to find a solid professional teacher for around $15 an hour, and sometimes even less.
Italki is the largest online market place for language teachers. There are 700 Spanish tutors and professional teachers on Italki. Italki also has several community features that allow you to post questions and have discussions with other native speakers.
Verbling is also a popular site for booking language lessons with teachers from around the world. Their selection of teachers is also pretty large (though not as big as Itaki). Verbling also has a great video lesson interface that makes it easy to share materials between students and teachers.
Another perk is that these sites offer trail lessons so that you can talk with the teacher and see if you think they are a right fit for your child.
Duolingo is free
Duolingo teaches languages step by step using a game-like format
Research has shown Duolingo to be comparable to a semester of college Spanish
Duolingo is by far the most popular and well known language learning app. The app is setup as a game to help make language learning fun and engaging. But don't let Duolingo's game-like interface fool you, a study found that 34 hours spent on Duolingo roughly equates to a full semester of college Spanish.
The app is kid friendly, easy to use, and tracks daily progress (not to mention it's free). Duolingo is effective enough to be a full Spanish course on it's own. Even if you don't use it as a course it makes a great supplement to other learning materials.
3) Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone costs up to $130+ for a single level
Rosetta Stone is highly structured and teaches langauges step by step
Rosetta Stone gives you a foundational knowledge of a foreign language, but doesn't require you to speak the language
Rosetta Stone is one of the most well known brands in the language learning market. Their courses are specifically designed for beginners who have little to no experience with foreign languages. Rosetta Stone's approach to language learning has received mixed reviews from language learners over the years.
Some learners (mostly beginners) love the Rosetta Stone's soft step by step approach to language acquisition. Others criticize the Rosetta method for moving too slow and being unable to teach adequate conversation skills.
If you are looking for a structured and engaging introduction to the Spanish language than Rosetta Stone is a solid option. However if your child has a higher level of proficiency or wants to develop speaking skills then Rosetta Stone may not be the best option.
Teaching a foreign language while homeschooling doesn't have to be an overwhelming task. There are many resources and courses out there that can help you to incorporate language learning into your curriculum even if you have no experience in foreign languages yourself!