Spark an Interest in Spanish With Books

Spark an Interest in Spanish with this Book | Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, GeekMom
Image source: Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley

Spark an Interest in Spanish with Books

I love to sprinkle educational materials around our home and watch the learning unfold. I have talked about STEM strewing before, and today I’d like to share some recent foreign language strewing.

The best time to learn a foreign language is now.

There are so many benefits to learning a second language, and research suggests that it is easier to learn a language in childhood than in adulthood. Here are just some of the many benefits of learning another language or two:

  • Learning another language builds an early understanding of geography and culture
  • Language study can help with college admissions
  • Being able to speak multiple languages is a huge advantage in the job market
  • Just think of the travel opportunities
  • Learning a second language can be fun

The problem is, early language lessons can be pricey.

Studies show that the best time for a child to learn another language is now. The earlier the better, and yet many schools do not offer lessons until later grades. Outside language lessons can be expensive. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your child could sample a language for a little bit? If she could get her toes wet and see if she likes it, and whether she prefers one language over another? I’m happy to share that I’ve found an easy and fun way to sample some languages: books.

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My children adore the First Thousand Word series from Usborne. We have Spanish, German, French, and Latin… with the rest of the set on our wish list. These books pair high-use vocabulary words with the amazing illustrations that Usborne is known for, and you can use Usborne Quicklinks to listen to native speakers pronounce each word! This is an amazing way to introduce languages to young children without spending a fortune.

There are oodles of fantastic language books on the market today. Recently, I discovered the book ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Spanish by Judy Martialay. It has been a wonderful addition to our foreign language book collection.

In  ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Spanish, children meet Pete the Pilot. Pete takes the reader on a trip to Mexico where they learn some basic Spanish. Readers will delight in the characters. My kids loved both Pete the Pilot and Panchito, Mexico’s favorite Jumping Bean. The book also includes a craft section where children can make a traditional Mexican mask. My children have been enjoying dabbling in Spanish and other languages with the help of books such as this one.

Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: Are you children learning another language? Do you love to strew educational materials? Share here.

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Cait is a school psychologist, mom to three amazing children, and an unexpected homeschooler. She loves nature, good books, board games, strong coffee, and dancing in her kitchen. You can read about all of these things and more at My Little Poppies. Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast. She is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and G+.