When Should You Teach Foreign Language and Why?
October 25, 2023
Foreign Language Is for Larger Service
“Yo soy una enfermera!” (I am a nurse!) I shouted in a migrant camp in southern California. I was searching for a teen diagnosed with type one diabetes that needed follow-up care. However, the family was skeptical of officials and had dispersed. I wrote a note in Spanish explaining the need for additional care.
Learning a foreign language is more than just a nice thing to have in your back pocket or to tick off a box that gets you the green light for college. It’s about connecting with another human, made in the image of God.
I can tell you about all the benefits of learning a foreign language that will help your student and why you should include it in your curriculum.:
It can . . .
grow your brain—literally.
increase your attention span.
open doors of opportunity.
improve your own English.
widen your understanding of people around the world.
However, the motivation to learn a foreign language should be to connect, understand, help, or serve another. The language is the bridge to do that.
I took three years of Spanish in high school and learned little. It wasn’t until I had a purpose that I learned the language. As a home health nurse, I wanted to help my Spanish-speaking patients.
So, I say . . .
yes, learn a foreign language.
yes, buy the curriculum.
yes, use the app.
But most importantly, find and immerse your student in a cultural experience with the language. Is there a church nearby that worships in Russian? Or a public library story hour in Spanish? Is there a Korean music festival? Maybe there’s an Arabic neighbor or foreign exchange student. We live in a beautiful melting pot, and there are many opportunities.
When is the best time to learn a second language? Now.
Mathew 28:19 says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (CEB)
I’m not a Biblical scholar, but I’m pretty sure all means all. A foreign language prepares you and your student for larger service.
About the author
Beth Mora is creator/teacher-on-camera for Here to Help Learning’s Homeschool Writing Program (grades 1–6) and homeschool conference and women’s events speaker. She loves to blog at Home to Home. She serves up HTHL’s Writing Tip of the Week for those teaching their kiddos to write. Everything she does, whether laughable or heart-gripping, is done to honor One. God’s grace is the salve that has healed her own life and is what she offers liberally to others.
I’m going for the record of the world’s shortest article.
Questions: When should you teach a foreign language and why?
Answer: Teach one only if you or your child wants to learn one and it doesn’t add any stress. Otherwise . . . don’t.
P.S. I should be hearing from the Guinness Book of World Records any day now.
About the author
Todd Wilson is a husband, dad, grandpa, writer, homeschool conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and down to earth realness have made him a favorite speaker all across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family. As founder of The Familyman and The Smiling Homeschooler, his passion and mission are to remind moms and dads of what’s most important through weekly emails, podcasts, seminars, and books that encourage parents. Todd, and his wife Debbie, homeschool four of their eight children (the other four are homeschool graduates) in northern Indiana and travel America in the Familyman Mobile. You can read more at www.familymanweb.com.
Start Foreign Language Learning Early
As homeschooling parents, we wear many hats in our children’s education journey. One important question that often arises is, “When should we teach foreign languages, and why?” The answer is both simple and profound: start early, and here’s why!
Early Exposure, Lifelong Benefits
Introducing a foreign language to your child’s curriculum at a young age offers them numerous advantages. Young minds are like sponges, ready to soak up new knowledge effortlessly. Language acquisition is no exception. When kids are exposed to a foreign language early, they tend to pick it up more naturally and with greater fluency. Learning a second language also enhances cognitive abilities such as problem-solving, multitasking, and critical thinking.
Cultural Awareness and Empathy
Learning a new language is a window into another culture. When your child learns a foreign language, they gain insight into the customs, traditions, and the values of the people who speak it. This fosters cultural awareness and empathy, helping them become more open-minded global citizens.
Enhanced Career Opportunities
In an increasingly globalized world, proficiency in a foreign language can open doors to exciting career opportunities. Being bilingual or multilingual can make your child more competitive in the job market and broaden their horizons.
So, when should you teach foreign language? The answer is clear: start as early as possible. The benefits are lifelong, and the journey is a delightful one. Embrace the adventure of language learning with your homeschoolers and watch them flourish as they become citizens of the world!
About the author
Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, is a speaker and author of more than 30 books about homeschooling high school. An expert on homeschool transcripts and getting scholarships, Lee’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to homeschool through high school. Grab some of the complimentary homeschool resources from Lee and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.
Pillar of Future
Adam and Dianne Riveiro
Teaching Foreign Languages in Your Homeschool
¿Dónde está mi diccionario de español?
After spending three years toiling in Spanish classes at my Christian high school, I’m ashamed to admit that I know very little Spanish. Sure, I can order food at a Cuban restaurant, and I could find a bathroom in Mexico, but otherwise I’m pretty lost. Ironically, I got “A’s” in all three years of Spanish, but it never translated (see what I did there?) into a functional ability to speak the language.
What should you do when it comes to foreign languages? And why? Here are a few quick thoughts.
- Start ‘em young! Who decreed that foreign languages were just for high schoolers? The younger a child becomes acclimated to a language, the easier it is for them to assimilate it into their conversation.
- Start ‘em with confidence. If you don’t know the language you’re teaching, it’s ok! I firmly believe that the best teacher of a foreign language is someone who’s a good teacher, not a person who has the grasp of the language. Is every person who speaks English a competent English teacher? Hardly! Mom and Dad, you know your kids, and you’ll do just fine if you simply commit yourself to the material.
- Start ‘em prayerfully! Why teach a foreign language? That’s honestly between you and the Lord. Prayerfully seek His guidance. You never know how He will use your child’s language abilities for the cause of foreign missions (among many other uses).
Pastor Adam and Dianne Riveiro live in Easton, Massachusetts, where Adam leads Liberty Baptist Church. They’re the authors of several books, including Hope from Our Heart to Yours: A 30-Day Devotional Journey for Special Needs Families, available from their family’s publishing label at www.readyscribepublications.com. They have four children: Bethany, Kaylee, AJ, and Peyton. They’re passionate about helping their fellow special needs families find joy and contentment in Christ.
LAST CALL. Don’t miss out on THE annual opportunity for homeschooled students to put their college knowledge to the test on a national level. Take the NAHC, brought to you by The Old Schoolhouse® and College Options Foundation. Thanks to our sponsors: CTCMath and Colorado Christian University. All SchoolhouseTeachers.com members receive a 50% discount on the $110 registration fee for the NAHC, so SchoolhouseTeachers.com members pay only $55. Obtain the code from your SchoolhouseTeachers.com Member Dashboard. Registration covers NAHC access, Total College Success software, and Zero Hour Threat—an interactive game that preps students for the SAT and ACT. Register your 12–18-year-old by November 7 for the National Academic Homeschool Competition: NAHCRegistration.com.
SchoolhouseTeachers.com kids are full of talent! Come showcase your art and photography skills in the Virtual Art and Photography Fair! This event is open to all PreK–12 ST kids. Visit the Activities/Events tab in your Member Dashboard to learn how to submit your child’s artwork. Projects may be original paintings, drawings, sketches, photography, sculptures, etc., submitted via clear digital photo for website display. Award certificates will be presented for first, second, and third places! Not a member? Join today!
Student submissions are being accepted from September 11 through October 27, 2023.
Did you know?
Every class is INCLUDED for ultimate members!
Did you know that ASL is one of the most commonly used languages in the United States? With the ASL Adventures course on SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you can teach your student 350 signs, the manual alphabet, numbers, grammar, facial expressions, and a basic understanding of the Deaf Community and culture!
Expand your child’s horizons without stepping out of your front door! Introducing a foreign language into your homeschool opens up a new world of opportunity. In Episode 39 of the Hey, Mama! Homeschool Show: When Should You Teach Foreign Language and Why? Christine and Stephanie explain how you can get started today.
Public schools usually start teaching a foreign language in middle school, but homeschoolers don’t have to follow this pattern. Why not start while the kids are young like this mom did? (Find all the articles with HomeschoolApp.com.)
Hello, autumn, and hello to the TOS App. That’s where you’ll find the Fall issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, along with dozens of timeless, searchable back issues. Put it in your pocket for quick reads on the go. Topics this fall: teaching writing, grammar, and spelling; growing and canning food; homeschool dads; science; heritage; and college. More for your homeschool: HomeschoolApp.com. Or, if you’re on your computer, go to our Digital Magazine Library. It’s one more place to find the latest issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, and it’s free here too. New issues every quarter. Scroll all fall for all things homeschool!
for the month of October
Studio Art: Inspired by Art History
The Master and His Apprentices
Providing art curriculum from a Christian perspective, The Master and His Apprentices offers a unique learning experience. Between its two courses, Studio Art: Inspired by Art History is the core curriculum. Studio Art: Inspired by Art History is a self-paced, independent course that begins with ten foundational principles of art and concludes with thirty period specific projects.
Students learn value, lighting, texture, composition, perspective, proportions & grids, transferring, color, and sculpture before diving into exploring the people, places, world events, and incredible art that has been left behind throughout time. Students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of mediums and artistic styles as well as develop their art technique and creative approach. The students will create sea-inspired vases reminiscent of Aegean art and manuscript illuminations from the Proto-Renaissance Art Period. These are just two examples of the period projects students will complete.
Guidance is also provided to parents. There is a critique form in The Master and His Apprentices in Studio Art: Inspired by Art History with ten questions for the parent to answer. A question on the form asks, “Do the medium and style fit the chosen subject matter, period inspiration, and/or theme? If not, why?” Due to the subjective nature of art, grading will also be subjective. Grading tips are provided in the section “Instructions for Classroom Teachers and Homeschool Parents.” Project length is also discussed. The project length will vary because this curriculum is self-paced, and each student has their own ability. Typically, projects take four to five hours to complete. Some projects take much less time while others take much longer. In addition to this information, all necessary supplies, modifications, etc. are thoroughly outlined in the book.
This is part of a review of the course Studio Art: Inspired by Art History. Read the full review on our site which includes more details about the content.
Go to the contest page of our site where you can ENTER TO WIN the digital version of the course Studio Art: Inspired by Art History.
Fall Harvest: Where’s the Fruit?
Is your cornucopia empty? Why doesn’t your family exhibit the kind of fruit you’d expect to see? What kind of seeds are you sowing?
These are questions that Deborah asked herself. She tells us: “Seasons change in our lives, the weather changes in our circumstances, and what grows in each season is different too—not only for us, but for our children as well.”
Gain new insight regarding the seasons of your lives and the developing harvest that’s possible in each of us as you read the WeE-book™. . .
Fall Harvest: Where’s the Fruit? By Deborah Wuehler Where is the fall harvest of God’s goodness and righteousness in your heart and in your house? Go through each season/stage of development with the author as she shares her wisdom and experiences of what she has learned, and you’ll see a pattern of things to be doing (or not doing) to ensure a good harvest in your children’s lives and in your own heart. She promises to show you something optimistic and hopefully even beautiful.
In the pages of this WeE-book™, you’ll find an abundance of wisdom, inspiration, and support:
- Where’s the Fruit in the Very Young?—We’ve sown into them day in and day out; when will we reap or even see any bounty? Prepare the soil; harvest time will come!
- Overestimating—A true story illustrating what can happen if you overestimate. Don’t let your child fall through the cracks.
- Underestimating—Become intentional in the things you pour into your child. They are capable of learning so much!
- Lazy Weeding—Faithfully and diligently “weed” that rich soil and be delighted with the outcome.
- Where’s the Fruit in the Elementary Years?—Learn from Sandy’s wasted corn patch. When the soil is ready, water the hearts of your children.
- Where’s the Fruit Entering the Teen Years?—Is there a purpose for these turbulent years? Transforming hearts with God’s Word.
- Where’s the Fruit in the Higher Education Years?—This teen-to-adulthood season is finally producing a visible harvest—and it’s delightful!
- Where’s the Fruit in Us?—Don’t just have the appearance of fruit in your life. Be fruitful and useful to the Planter!
- Death Brings Forth Life—Die to become beautiful. Discover a precious promise from God’s Word.
“May we be faithful to water our plants with Jesus, who is the Living Water, and in doing so, may we produce a harvest of much fruit.” —Deborah Wuehler
Ensure a good harvest in your children’s lives!
Homeschooling the Rebel Expo- Deb Wuehler
Hear from Deborah Wuehler as she shares on how she homeschooled her rebel and hear from the rebel herself – Hannah Wuehler!
Click on the image to watch the video!
Share this newsletter with a friend, and be sure to let those CONSIDERING homeschooling know about the enormous FREE info-pack which awaits them here: www.TryHomeschooling.com.
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