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How to Teach Spanish When You Don’t Speak It?!? 3 Options!

Your child wants to learn a foreign language, but you don’t know how to teach Spanish!!! Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered with three great options for non-Spanish speakers that want to homeschool a foreign language. Read on, teach on!

How to teach Spanish - even when you don't speak it! 3 tips for parents who don't speak Spanish. You CAN do it!!!

 

Homeschooling has it’s challenges. One question that comes up all the time is: How are you going to teach every subject when you don’t know everything?!? What do you do when you run into a subject that you don’t know?

For people who don’t understand homeschooling, it’s a valid question. No one person is an expert in every area. 

But homeschoolers aren’t going it alone. I might be my child’s main teacher, but I have plenty of help!

Help! How Do I Teach Spanish?!?

As a former elementary teacher, I went into homeschooling with a bit of confidence. The first real challenge I ran into was teaching Spanish.

We were working through our around-the-world kindergarten studies, and my son was very interested in learning a foreign language. My problem: I only speak English.

Even in high school, I had no aptitude for foreign languages.

But here’s the thing, mama – you can teach your child anything. You can even teach a foreign language you’ve never spoken before. So don’t lose that confidence.

How to Teach Spanish

Three options for parents who don’t speak Spanish!


1. You can teach anything with a Teacher’s Guide

It’s true. Let me tell you, learning new material as an adult is a lot easier than learning as a child. So let go of that old-dog-new-tricks attitude right now!

I find that it is much easier to read and retain the information as the teacherYou will likely find that you don’t have to go over the material as many times as your child to commit it to memory.

You’ll be learning side-by-side as you teach, but you’ll be doing it much faster with a Teacher’s Guide. You will literally have all the answers in front of you. Some guides even have a script for you to follow. It really doesn’t get easier than that.

If you are going to be the main teacher, find a killer foreign language curriculum with a teacher’s guide that helps you teach step-by-step.


2. Use an Online Spanish Curriculum

Let’s be real here, online curricula really takes the pressure off. You don’t have to be in charge of every subject every day. If you are already teaching the biggies- reading, math, science, history… Let go of one and hand it over to a computer program.

I love using online curriculum and so do my kids.

  • It’s designed to be engaging
  • Programs make learning feel like a game
  • Designed to be thorough so you don’t miss anything
  • Gives you time to work with other kids (or go to the bathroom by yourself)

The best thing about using online materials to teach a foreign language is that your child will be exposed to correct pronunciation from the very start.

I’m not kidding when I say my Spanish pronunciation is pretty poor. My kids benefit from shows, apps, and curriculum with an online component where they can hear a native Spanish speaker.

You can find online Spanish curriculum for all ages. A few to check out:

Muzzy Online You might remember the Muzzy VHS videos from back-in-the-day. Well, Muzzy is alive and well and offers an award winning online curriculum.

Rosetta Stone Rosetta Stone is really a unique program that can be used for any age. Your child will learn vocabulary, conversational phrases, and work on their pronunciation with the voice recognition tools. I used to use Rosetta Stone in English for my non-native English speaking students in 2nd grade. It really is a fantastic and thorough program.

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids This homeschool curriculum offers a variety of options including online curricula with video courses. We used it this year, and my son loved it. Read our full review here.


3. Outsource

The secret trick of homeschoolers everywhere? We don’t really teach every. single. subject. Shhhh don’t tell!

The final way we can teach as homeschoolers is to outsource. Find another person to do the teaching for you. 

How and if we can outsource subjects depends on several factors:

Are resources available in your area?
How much can you afford to pay for classes?
Is your child interested in learning in a group setting?
Do you know people who speak Spanish (or any foreign language you’re learning)?

There are many ways we can outsource. Some ideas that you might be able to find in your area and online:

  • Find a Spanish class at  your co-op or charter school
  • Investigate foreign language instruction at your library
  • Sign your child up to tutor a Spanish-speaking person in English and learn from each other
  • Sign up for a group class or start one with other families
  • Ask a Spanish-speaking friend to tutor your child
  • Hire a an older student to tutor your child
  • Hire a local tutor
  • Try online Spanish tutoring with a native Spanish speaker

Here’s the take-away I want you to hear: you can do this. If your child is interested in learning Spanish, you can teach them. Reach out, find the resources you need, and get them going!

More Spanish ideas from the Resource Room:

 

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