Tiny Translators

When we moved back up to North Carolina, I dreaded enrolling the boys in school. While they have never had a hard time completing school work or getting good grades, moving is stressful and every state offers a different curriculum. I had two fears; that they would be really behind and have to do hours of homework each night or that they would be way ahead and be bored out of their minds 7 hours a day. Thankfully it was a healthy mix. They knew some of the material he other kids were learning, but they also had a few new things to learn in order to catch up, especially in subjects like math.

Now that they year is almost over, I am very happy with how they transitioned, and I think their new school has been a great place for them to grow. One of my favorite things about the North Carolina school system is that they offer foreign languages starting in elementary school. As a past homeschooler, this makes me extremely happy because I know that they sooner they start working on a language the better they will grasp it, and the languages they learn can be as second nature to them as English. When a student is expected to learn a foreign language after the early years of learning, they often have a fear of the language and generally find it much more difficult to memorize.

My boys have both been learning Spanish, and early on when I would quiz them on which words they knew, they would freeze up and forget. Now I can tell the language has become a part of them because they can speak it, and translate it. I thought about going ahead and submitting applications for them so they can make us some money by offering translation services. You think I’m kidding? My boys can go into Burger King and tell you what every Spanish speaking customer in the restaurant would like to order!

If you are interested in helping your children learn a foreign language many schools and libraries can help you find a tutor or program geared towards your child’s age. I would highly recommend having your child use a professional teacher or certified program because if they learn it right the first time it makes it so much easier than having to break bad habits.

What foreign languages did you learn in school? Do you think it’s important for children to learn other languages?

Post by: Shasta Walton

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