Teaching my children foreign languages is near and dear to my heart. We are American, but I am Puerto Rican and speak Spanish. My husband is a Pacific Islander and speaks Tongan. We are determined to teach our children fluency in Spanish, Tongan, and even a fourth language if possible. Teaching kids all about a new language is not easy, but these resources to make foreign language learning fun, can help.
With the freedom we have in homeschooling, the typical foreign language classes just don’t work. Firstly, you probably are teaching a language that you don’t know yourself — most likely not even a little. And even if you do know the language, it surely isn’t a given that you would know how to teach the language to someone else.
Sitting at a desk, repeating foreign words and memorizing them just won’t cut it in our homeschools – not when we have the means to actually make learning fun.
Charlotte Mason had a completely different view of approaching foreign languages in home education than the typical textbook approach.
Charlotte Mason (Vol. 1, p.301) explains, “The child should never see French words in print until he has learned to say them with as much ease and readiness as if they were English.”
This approach emphasizes the need for exposure to the foreign language before the normalized form of learning. The mere act of homeschooling displays our rebellion to normalcy, so why follow the status quo when teaching a foreign language?
Let’s tackle foreign language learning with some fun, so our kids can enjoy a new language, retain the information, and develop a skill they can use throughout their lifetime.
Before I share some resources to help you make foreign language learning fun in your homeschool, I wanted to share some tips that have helped many foreign language learners stay engaged and have fun in their journey:
- Lip-Sync night featuring music in your child’s foreign language.
- Research and share some kid-friendly films in the foreign language for a movie night.
- Make poster collages as a family with what you learned about the country of the foreign language.
- Incorporate music from the foreign language in your homeschool, or in the background during homeschooling or tests.
- Enlist people that may know the foreign language to come and converse with your kids.
- Cook recipes from the country in which your kids are learning their foreign language.
- After learning about the foreign language, country and culture, have trivia games and cool rewards for the winner.
- One hour every day, have your family speak ONLY in the foreign language.
The very best way to teach your kids a foreign language is through natural exposure to it and through play. Kids absorb information like sponges at an early age, but learning languages gets more difficult as we grow older.
I have been trying to learn the Tongan language the same amount of time as my kids, and they are light years ahead of me. Aside from having much more vibrant brain cells than my own, they are also often exposed to other children speaking to them in the Tongan language. They are also, most likely, having a blast while doing so.
Check out these resources for tips to help you teach and make foreign language fun:
How to Teach A Foreign Language When You Don’t Speak It | Rooted Childhood
8 Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler a Foreign Language | Natural Beach Living
How to Raise Your Kids to be Bilingual | Mama in the Now
How to Learn a Foreign Language For FREE! | How to Homeschool for FREE
The Importance of Making Language Fun (and How to Do It) Why most people fail | Multilingual Learning
How To Make Language Learning Fun For Kids | Bilingual Kidspot
Grab some resources to assist in making foreign language learning fun in your homeschool:
Foreign Language Number and Color Practice Activity | World Language Classroom
Spanish Fun for Kids Flash Cards 1 – 4 Bundle | Music and Spanish Fun
8 Must See Children’s Language Learning Apps | Sea of Knowledge
Learn French with Fun Games | iGameMom
How to Plan A World Language Lip Sync Night | Secondary Spanish Space
The Best French Music Videos for Kids | And Next Comes L
11 Useless Fun Facts about Spanish | Speaking Latino
Language Learning Fun | Day Translations
First Words – Italian: 100 Italian words to learn (Lonely Planet Kids)English Spanish Coloring Book For Kids: Bilingual dictionary over 300 pictures to color with fruits vegetables animals food family nature … Learning Coloring Books For Kids) (Volume 1)The Everything Sign Language Book: American Sign Language Made Easy… All new photos!French for Kids: 10 First Reader Books with Online Audio and 100 Vocabulary Words (Beginning to Learn French) Set 1 by Language TogetherThe Toddler’s Handbook: Bilingual (English / Japanese) (えいご / にほんご) Numbers, Colors, Shapes, Sizes, ABC Animals, Opposites, and Sounds, with over 100 … Children’s Learning Books (Japanese Edition)I Love to Share: English Arabic Bilingual Book (English Arabic Bilingual Collection) (Arabic Edition)Chinese for Kids: 10 First Reader Books with Online Audio, Pinyin, Simplified Characters (Beginning to Learn Mandarin) Set 1 by Language TogetherFirst Words in Chinese: (Bilingual English and Mandarin Chinese books for kids) Dual language Edition (book 1) (Volume 1)The Hebrew Alphabet: Book of Rhymes for English Speaking Kids (A Taste of Hebrew for English Speaking Kids) (Volume 1)My First Bilingual Book-Opposites (English-Korean)
The sooner you get kids learning a foreign language, the better. A Harvard longitudinal study shared that children learning languages become more creative, more flexible, and be better engaged in problem-solving. Pre-adolescent children have an easier time learning pronunciation and learning new sounds. That is why teaching young learners foreign languages is a very doable and beneficial thing you could do as a homeschool family. Have your kids stick with it and see just how it helps them as adults. They will thank you for it and won’t forget the fun memories you helped create while doing so.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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