Am I the only one tired of hearing about, talking about and BEING busy? Just the idea of it is exhausting. And yet, it's the reality of our lives. So how can we support our little Spanish learners when we also have to worry about math homework, science projects, and other little things like dinner, laundry, bills, sleeping... Well, I've got three fast & easy tips for that.
THE 5 MINUTE BOOK READ
I can’t talk enough about books, books, books! Books come up in almost all easy, fun, fast tips for any academic need. And no surprise why - books fill so many needs in a kid’s life. Bored? Read a book. Long car trip? Read a book. Need to practice language skills? Read a book!
Everyone's got 5 minutes to spare -- so try this quick language exercise. Five minutes before bedtime (or dinner, or some other daily routine), gather the family around for a power reading session. Give your child an audience, have them pick out a Spanish book and set a timer for 4 minutes of reading aloud. Then a second timer for one minute where the dual kid is summarizing what they read. This works great whether or not the rest of the family speaks Spanish. Summarizing texts starts to become important as early as 1st grade, so you can never practice that skill enough. And even if others don't speak Spanish, a couple weeks of this and they will pick up a few words here and there.
Photo by Rachel on Unsplash
SAME MOVIE, DIFFERENT LANGUAGE
Spanish language tracks or subtitles on movies and videos can be a lifesaver. Many, many movies have Spanish language options, either dubbed or subtitled. It's literally a one minute job to switch from English to Spanish dub or captions, so you have no excuse! And it can happen anywhere -- Waiting at the doctor's office? Hand them your phone and open Netflix or YouTube. Long car trip? Stream a dubbed movie on their tablet. Snowed in at home? Turn it into a family movie night, complete with popcorn, floor pillows, throw covers, and subtitles.
MUSICA, TO GO
Our final fast and easy trick -- Spanish language music in the car. The car is a perfect time for Spanish music because a) they're captive lol and b) if you're anything like us, you take lots of short trips all over the place. Why not use that time to give your kids some language practice? Songs are catchy. I'm sure you've found yourself humming or singing along to a song that you've heard a few times even if you're not sure where. That's what you want to happen here -- pick a playlist on your favorite streaming device (find one here), save it as a shortcut on your phone's homescreen, and play it over and over. Before you know it your dual kid will pick up the song and be singing in Spanish all the time. And it will never feel like a chore -- to you or him!
It's tough out there for a mom... I get it! But sometimes it seems a lot harder than it really needs to be. Pick one of these options and go with it for this coming week. And let us know how it goes!
P.S. Have you seen our 2019 Spanish Immersion Vacation? It's language immersion + luxury vacation - and it's going to be amazing! Join us!