The Benefits of Foreign
"I wonder what we will do this afternoon," Angela thinks, "Will we visit the rainforest? The museum? Will we go to the market? Will we learn salsa?"
She smiles with anticipation, and realizes that for the first time, she is thinking in Spanish!
As a homeschooling family, you have the joy of participating in your children's learning process using a multitude of experiences. You are not limited to a classroom, or even your living room -- the world around you becomes your classroom! A trip to the grocery store becomes a math lesson, a trip downtown becomes a history lesson, or a family trip to the Grand Canyon becomes a geography lesson.
But how do you apply that same philosophy of teaching -- and learning -- a foreign language in a way that will give your children both a skill and a memory that will last a lifetime? This is often a subject that worries homeschool parents because they, themselves, are not fluent in a second language.
Being part of a foreign language immersion program as a family is one way to bring your homeschool experience to the next level, and is one of the best gifts you could give to your children. Bilingualism not only opens the doors for them socially and economically in an increasingly interdependent world community, but it also helps them become better problem solvers because they are challenged to process information in multiple ways.
Immersion programs can take place locally, but learning a foreign language within a native-speaking country adds a level of cultural integration that is an experience unmatched by anything you can offer your children, especially if you make it a family learning adventure! Your family will not only learn the structure and fluency of the language, but you will also imbibe it through experiencing daily life and culture. You will learn to communicate, live and think in a new and exotic world!
Just as your children learned English as toddlers, the new language will become part of who they are and how they navigate the world around them. And, if you learn with them and carry on with the language after your immersion, it will become part of your family's ongoing learning experience!