This post may contain affiliate links. This doesn't change the price for you.
Learn ASL and Spanish in 20 minutes a day? Have I lost my mind? It's possible... pig.
This year we're learning two foreign languages! That's right, we're Super Homeschoolers.
Bow down to us.
I think I just threw up in my mouth.
Nah, we're not anything crazy gifted. We are learning Spanish and ASL though, and if we can learn 2, you could totally learn 4 languages at once.
I've been teaching my kids ASL for some time, but my kids were begging me to let them learn Spanish also.
They've got two adorable cousins that are bilingual (I wish I could post pictures of them, you'd just melt over their cuteness) and they're always wanting to talk to them and their dad in Spanish.
I am not going to discourage that!
I wasn't going to stop teaching ASL though, so I searched high and low for a Spanish curriculum we could use that wasn't going to make me nuts trying to use both.
We had originally attempted to add in French to the mix, but the curriculum I purchased was way too confusing and I just didn't get how to use it or speak it.
It was supposed to take a short time each day and I'd be mumbling to myself trying to figure it out for a good 10 minutes with the kids staring at me.. and then quickly wrestling on the ground.
Then we'd only wind up practicing two phrases and it was just... meh.
I wasn't even sure I got it right and decided to shelve it until I could devote more time to figuring out how to use it.
Did I mention that I'm terrible at spoken languages? My brain just can't remember them at all. I was made for Sign Language, though (I'll talk about that in a sec).
Our Spanish Curriculum
I found this Spanish curriculum by happenstance.
It's called Foreign Languages For Kids by Kids. I fell in love with it right away!
It has kids teaching kids Spanish! This was exactly what I am doing in my second ASL course and I just nearly died (with joy) that there was a Spanish curriculum laid out just the same.
How we learn Spanish in 10 minutes a day
- The kids watch a video -- under 5 minutes
- The kids share with me the new words they've learned (not stressing if they don't remember all of them)
- We do one of the activities listed in the teacher's guide
We are taking it nice and slow. The next day we watch the same video again and do another activity. We'll practice the words together.
We've got cute stickers that we place around the house that label different items. We'll just add one or two new ones with each time we watch the video.
We do have flashcards, but we haven't pulled those out yet.
The kids are truly loving their Spanish time and are picking up on it really well.
Bonus: Since it's all laid out for me, I don't have to stare at the teacher's guide, or the material for a long time just to try to figure out one stupid phrase, which I just butcher anyway.
The kids are actually learning! Victory!!!
Our American Sign Language Curriculum
You may or may not know much about me. That's cool. Let's be friends anyway.
I teach ASL. True story.
I've been signing for 23+ years and have been teaching others for over 11 years. Yeah, it's pretty exciting. :)
I started teaching my children when they were babies. We used ASL with them as babies and toddlers, and then once they hit a certain age (probably when they started talking a ton) we didn't use it near as much.
I know right. Idiot. I'm a full-on idiot.
When we began homeschooling it was a no-brainer what foreign language they'd learn.
I would sit down with them and teach them and we'd play games and have fun. I just wasn't consistent with it.
Seriously, that's my biggest struggle with everything in life: consistency.
I wanted to be consistent, sheesh, this was ridiculous that I couldn't be!
My kids would head over to YouTube and watch my ASL videos for fun. Then it clicked for me. Duh! I could use my own course to teach them.
That's exactly what we're doing now. They go through my curriculum just as my other students do.
How we learn ASL in 10 minutes a day:
- Watch the video*
- Do a practice exercise
- Share with me (and each other) what signs they've learned
*There are a couple videos that are 10 minutes or a bit longer. We break these videos up and they'll watch only half, around 5 minutes.
The practice exercises are games, practice sentences, worksheets, lessons from the book, and challenges.
I've recently started making worksheets just for them that are more kid focused and they're loving them. I just released my ASL Alphabet worksheets, but I can tell you more about those another day.
My kids have made excellent progress!
Bonus: It is so nice to be able to have my kids learn ASL and I don't have to feel like a fool because I am not consistent teaching my own kids the language I am fluent in and love with all my heart.
Soon we're going to have a Deaf day. That's where we sign to one another only for a whole day (or half a day). It's going to be so much fun! And hard for some of my Chatty-Cathy children (Little Miss and Sweet Cheeks).
This summer look for two new courses! ASL Done Right Vol. 2 and ASL Done Right for Youngsters.
The ASL Done Right Vol. 1 course is great for people of all ages. From young kids to adults and everyone in between.
Fun fact: did you know you can teach your pets sign language? Maybe not ALL of your pets, but you can definitely teach your dog.
When do we do our foreign language studies?
We have a pretty set schedule for our school days.
7:30 -12:30 -- Working on the 3 R's.
12:30 -1:30 -- Chow down on a much deserved lunch, chore break, and a small play break.
1:30 -Whenever -- Extra schooling.
They begin with foreign language time. This way, while they're working on their videos and activities I can make sure everything is set and ready to go for the next thing we'll do.
I have them sit together and work on both Spanish and Sign Language (one right after the other).
If the kids are a bit rambunctious and can't sit together, I'll pair them up at the 2 computers and have one pair work on Spanish and the other on ASL. Then they'll switch computers and do the second language.
After they're done with the two languages we move on to one more subject for the day.
When we finish that up they can explore and learn whatever fills their hearts with joy. They work for however long they wish.
The things that have lead to our success:
- Curricula that are ideal for their learning style
- Easy to implement material (aka without Mama's interference)
- Short lessons
When I say they learn 2 languages in 20 minutes a day I'm being totally legit. It's a fun addition to our school day that is completely stress free (for me) and completely fun (for them).
What foreign languages are you learning in your homeschool?
Wait! You've got to check out how these awesome homeschoolers are Playing With Their Words, too.
Take your time and go visit as many as you possibly can. Good stuff here!
3 Reasons You Don't Have To Be Afraid To Grade That Essay - And It's Free @ LJSkool