Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spanish is Fun

Spanish classes are going well. I am teaching three classes each Monday afternoon in two different cities.

Because I have to be at the first class at 12:15, we leave the house after eating an early lunch around 11. Often I have errands to do on the way - library, post office, gas station. The kids load up their backpacks with independent work - don't forget the pencils! - and we back out of the driveway for our long afternoon away.

The first class is a high school Spanish class for another local homeschool enrichment program. The program is NOT a co-op but a fee-for-service program where all the teachers are paid. I have seven teens in this class and David joins in, as well. The other kids sit in the room and do their independent work or watch a movie if they finish early. We are working through a textbook and I enhance the lesson with games and songs, as I always do in my Spanish classes.

After the hour and 25 minutes of class, we pile back into the van and head north thirty minutes to the location of my other two classes. If we need to stop on the way, we have a little leeway, but not much as the second class begins at 3:00.

This class is twice as large and includes junior high'ers as well as high schoolers. Emily is taking this class, and David sits in as well, as a review. The fourteen students are working through the same textbook as the first class, but they are three weeks behind, so I have two lessons to prepare (although one is a repeat from 3 weeks before). Hopefully after Christmas, I can get both classes on the same schedule so I can prepare each lesson once. (And then David only needs to take one class.)

Each class ends with a Spanish song, so after I've tortured these teens with lyrics "en espanol", I dismiss them and welcome fourteen elementary students, ages 6-11. Suzy and James are enjoying their first real exposure to Spanish along with their friends.

This elementary class is designed for fun enrichment learning, rather than language mastery, so we cover topics like colors, numbers, days of the week, conversation words, clothing, food, etc... We meet for only 30 minutes so I jam every minute full of activities designed to increase language understanding in a fun manner. My prior elementary enrichment classes give me lots of experience to draw on in knowing how long a certain activity will take and how the class may react to it.

We end on the dot of 5:00 and close up the church, waving 'adios' to all our amigos who clutch their new language assignments in their orange folders as they head out to their vehicles.

Three hours of language teaching wears me out and my voice is hoarse when I finally pull the door shut behind me and herd my own munchkins out to the van. When I get home, all I want to do is pull on my comfy PJ's and collapse in my favorite chair and watch silly videos like this one. Enjoy!

1 comment:

norma said...

Hey Lisa I cam across your post in searching for spanish classes/ books anyway. I speak spanish but have never taught kids older than 5 grade. Our co-op wants me to teach middle school spanish and I was wondering if you could share what curriculum, tips and suggestions for me If not then be blessed I enjoyed looking thru your blog!!