Homeschool, Language Requirements and Curriculum
Is your child in middle or high school and ready to tackle her or his language credits? As a Spanish certified teacher and homeschool mother I will say the following: The earlier a student starts learning the language the easier will be to acquire the language skills he/she needs to learn it.
I love this video because explains in 2 minutes why students should considering learning a language.
Where to start?
First, understand your state requirements for high school graduation. For example, Virginia states require 3 credits of one foreign language or two years of two languages. Now, it is important to clarify these are requirements for the advance studies diploma. For a standard diploma these requirements do not apply. I will say most parents and students choose to go for the advanced diploma for many different reasons, specially the academic ones.
Virginia residents, you can find more information when you go to this link http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/graduation/advanced_studies.shtml#note4
Second, choose the appropriate language. Sometimes as parents we already have a desire or a reason why our child should study a specific language. However, we need to help our child discover which one is the appropriate one for him or her. A good exercise is to start with the WHY? I must say the earlier students make the choice the better! If they start exploring the language earlier they will be able to decide and move forward to the advanced language level
Third, choose the right curriculum. As a home school parent and as an educator having the right tools to teach and learn are an essential decision. There are many wonderful foreign programs out there that are worth our investment. If your child is between the 7th-12th grade range I strongly recommend a curriculum that has:
- Strong vocabulary and grammar structure
- A whole language approach gear to communication not just grammar approach.
I have discovered through the years that there is not a curriculum is perfect. But asking the following question will help you make a better choice:
- What is the curriculum teaching and learning style?
- Is the curriculum missing an essential component to learn the language effectively?
- Is the language curriculum too much or too advanced for me to teach?
- Do I need to supplement the curriculum?
- If I do not speak the language and my child needs help… what are my options? Have a plan ready. If you plan ahead you will be able to move forward and encourage your child to not give up!