Why Learn Spanish?
Why Learn Spanish?
By Megan Fitzpatrick
April 12, 2021
Likely, if you are here, you are already interested in teaching Spanish to your children. Perhaps you already speak Spanish as a second language and are looking for an intentional way to incorporate the language into your household life. Or maybe you feel that knowing Spanish will be a great asset to your children as they venture on into the workforce someday. It is amazing how quickly doors open up for great positions when “bilingual” is listed on the resume.
Aside from job openings 15 years from now, today your child is developing his or her brain and is learning how to learn every moment of every day. No doubt you are aiming to positively influence this process as much as possible. There is much research on the cognitive and social benefits of learning a foreign language.
Beyond even these reasons to learn a foreign language, Dermond O’Brien in an article from the Parent’s Review, makes an important point:
"We have been inclined in times past to look upon foreigners generally as being of no great importance, sometimes as rather ridiculous people; more lately we have learned to think of them with a certain amount of anxiety, almost of fear, as of potential enemies. If we knew them a little better we might realize that sometimes we seem ridiculous to them; and, knowing them a little better still, we might come to look on them as potential if not actual friends.
"If we could talk freely to our neighbours, inaccurately perhaps but without stumbling over carefully-constructed sentences, we might come to a real interchange of ideas and points of view, a clearing away of misunderstandings, a realization that all our ways are not necessarily and invariably the best; and at the same time we might be able to expound and defend those of our ways which, after comparison and argument, we still consider to be sound."
Though penned in 1939, these words are timeless. When we know another language, we have a special insight into the culture of those who speak that language, and we gain a new insight into our own ways. We have new opportunities for connection, friendship, and life-enriching knowledge of parts of the globe that otherwise may have felt too far off. As Christians, our opportunities for sharing the love of God and the Gospel of grace increase as we have the ability to speak to more people. We gain empathy, insight, compassion, and care when we can connect with others who have a different native tongue. Bilingualism may be one of the greatest assets a child can gain during his or her childhood years.
As a homeschooling mom to 3 children currently ages 5, 3, and 2, I get it. I know that curricula are approached with enthusiasm, but often found to be just too difficult to implement in daily life. Charlotte Mason Simple Spanish is written with grace and flexibility to make it work with whatever your goals and time allotments permit. We have spent much time considering how this program can be gently woven into your days.
Perhaps one of the greatest parts of this experience will be that you yourself gain a love for Spanish. Maybe you took years of Spanish in high school and found that it’s tucked away in your brain somewhere, but it’s dusty and feels distant. This curriculum helps bring back what you already know and share it in a natural way with your own children. If you know nothing about Spanish, no problem! O’Brien also says that the way to learn a foreign language is “to sit at the baby’s feet and learn as he learns.” This is a wonderful opportunity for you to learn with your kids!
Or maybe you are fully bilingual and want to share your love of the Spanish language with your own offspring. I’m right there with you, and I found that I needed a way to organize my Spanish learning with my kids because it is so easy to default back to English on a day to day basis.
When I discovered Charlotte Mason Simple Spanish, I knew I had found exactly what I was looking for in a Spanish curriculum. Quickly I saw how well this program would work in our family. Even as a homeschooling mom who has been a Spanish teacher for over a decade, this program has undoubtedly enriched my Spanish instruction at home. I am so thankful to be part of this very exciting project.
We pray that this is a resource that will pave roads and build bridges for homeschooling families to experience new friendships and adventures in the Spanish speaking world for the glory of God.