It’s been a goal of mine for the last couple of years to improve my Spanish language skills and help my girls to become fluent Spanish speakers. See, I have a basic understanding of Spanish and even enjoy watching shows in Spanish (with English subtitles that is), but my ability to hold a conversation is quite lacking.
After living in Puerto Rico for 3 years I picked up a bit, but much of it is a mix of Spanglish and slang. I studied French in high school and have no formal understanding of how Spanish sentence structure or grammar works. I learned all my Spanish from daily interactions at the grocery store, food trucks, quick hellos in the parking lot, and my frequent trips to the fabric store. As many of you know, I would love to return to Puerto Rico one day and settle down. So of course, learning Spanish is at the top of my to do list all of the time. Currently we’ve been using Rosetta Stone and doing our lessons over breakfast. The girls are really picking up words and using them throughout the day to ask for things like “agua” and reply with “si, mama” when I ask them questions.
This year I’ve been working on more intentional ways to bring Spanish language into our home in the form of entertainment. Books are my favorite way but I’ve also been switching any Netflix show (well really their only show, The Magic School Bus) to Spanish without any English subtitles.
I recently received a really cute book in the mail called, Hola!, Let’s Learn Spanish. It was sent to me by the author Judy Martially and she asked if I’d review the book for her. As many of you know I’ve reviewed other books in the past, and I was especially excited to open up this one since it was so timely to our family’s current season where we’re trying to really buckle down on Spanish.
The book, Hola!, Let’s Learn Spanish is a little adventure book. Kids are taken on a plane ride to Mexico with Pete the Pilot and meet an a array of characters and discover what it’s like to live there.
It’s written primarily in English but along the way Spanish words are sprinkled in, making it very easy for kids to stay focused but also catch little bits Espanol. For those who don’t yet know Spanish you will use context clues to recognize the word and hopefully pick up how to use it in a sentence. It’s really a great way to begin reading in Spanish. Since there aren’t long sentences with lots of accents to know you can easily read this to your child and emphasize the new words you’re learning without feeling overwhelmed. You can also visit PolyGlotKidz website and listen to an audio version of the book where you’ll learn the pronunciation of the words.
The back of the book also has a Culture Corner with activities, songs, and a list of frequently used Spanish words and phrases. This is perfect for a mama looking for lessons to do with kiddos, whether you’re focusing on Spanish in particular or simply wanting to mix up your homeschool studies. You could easily invite over a few mama friends with their kiddos as well and host a Spanish themed playdate!
Are any of you learning a new language or trying to teach your children a language? Let’s chat in the comments section. I always reply.