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Why Study Spanish?

Why Study Spanish?

This quotation from Charlemagne is timeless. We have always heard that it is beneficial to learn another language, but do we really believe it? Well, I do.

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.” – Charlemagne

My Visit to Spain

As a cautious high school student, I boarded my first plane flight to Spain with a group of strangers. Armed only with three years of poorly learned high school Spanish I ventured headlong into a homestay with a wonderfully patient family. Later in my junior year of college, I lived in Córdoba, Spain for an academic year taking classes in Spanish and living life in a Spanish dorm. I quickly had to learn to navigate in my new world.

My Second Soul

So this brings me to my second soul. That summer after my junior year in Spain I was invited by my brother to be a translator on a mission trip to Mexico. I however was not a believer. I was very far from God. A dear friend suddenly died while I was in Spain and the heartbreak of losing him so young shocked me to my core. “What could I say of myself if I passed suddenly as he did?” The big questions of eternity loomed in my heart and my head.

While in Mexico I was paired up with a pastor’s wife and we did door-to-door evangelism together. She used her parallel Bible and I would read and explain concepts in Spanish. It was during that trip after many late-night talks that I surrendered myself to Jesus. I gained my second soul through Spanish.

Why Choose Spanish?

Aside from the beauty of the language and the connections you will make as you study it, Spanish is the language of over 450 million people in the world! By learning Spanish you will be able to understand your native English more. And you will be humbled by how much you do not know about your own language!

I hope you will be able to join me (Emily Harkey) and my students this year in our journey into Spanish with True North Homeschool Academy, or with another curriculum or class – it is truly through the struggles and joys of learning another language that you are able to “possess a second soul”.

More About Emily & Her Spanish Classes

Currently, Emily Harkey teaches Spanish A, Spanish B and section two of our Spanish Level One classes. We are thankful for her expertise. She really immerses the students in the language and culture and she loves the benefits of the interaction students get in her online classes. Hear more from her about her philosophy and teaching styles in the video below:

Thank you, Emily, for sharing from your heart! If you want to learn more about why your child might want to learn Spanish, check out our blog post 5 Reasons to Study Spanish!

Spanish Curriculum Giveaway!

Enter from May 21 – June 4, 2021: True North Homeschool Academy is giving away Spanish curriculum. Enter for a chance to win our self-paced elementary level Spanish curricula from Risas y SonRisas or Level One (used for Spanish 1) or Level Two (used for Spanish II) of the Spanish curriculum, Breaking the Spanish Barrier. It’s an exciting opportunity and one we hope you will ENTER TO WIN! True North offers Spanish classes for your elementary students as well as Spanish for middle school (junior high) and high school Spanish levels 1-3.

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Typical Course of Study: High School

Typical Course of Study: High School

As the world of Homeschooling has expanded and options have increased and become more focused, it’s a great time to be homeschooling.

Frankly, the options for High School Homeschooling are better than ever! As the world of homeschooling has expanded and the unknowns of the next school year loom, parents of high schoolers are wondering how to plan for what’s ahead. A basic understanding of a typical course of study can be a simple and helpful guide to planning the future, even when that future seems uncertain!

Focus on the Core 4 in High School

You should focus on the Core 4 high school subjects and then add electives and extra-curricular ones.
Some of this will depend on what type of transcript you are creating and where your students plan to land after high school. Vocational programs, college or university, ivy league or conservatory, or the Military all warrant focusing on different aspects of your student’s learning program.

I will link to classes we offer here at True North Homeschool Academy since we try to create classes with a typical course of study plan for each age group. Still, you should choose the curriculum or classes that work best for your family. It’s always awesome if you decide that means our online classes, but we want this blog article to help you make an amazing transcript for your high schooler, even if TNHA classes don’t fit your plan.

Typical Course of Study: High School

Let’s start by looking at high school as a four-year program. This will give us a long-view approach and help us determine what classes make sense within our subject areas. I’ll list each subject and then a common 4-year course of study. You are going to want to focus on the Core Four and go from there:

English– 9th-grade Literature & Composition, World Lit & Comp, U.S. Lit & Composition, British Lit, and Composition

(English can also include spelling, vocabulary, short story, novel writing, Speech and Rhetoric, Poetry,  etc.).

Math – Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Personal Finance

SciencePhysical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy & Physiology or other advanced Science

History World Geography, World History, U.S. History, Government & Economics

(History can also include other areas or times of History like Ancient History)

Once you plan these, filling in with electives and extracurricular activities will be much easier.

 

Typical Course of Study: High School – Electives and Extra-curriculars

Foreign Language– this can be any Ancient or Modern Language. Keep in mind that Latin is a fantastic foundation for grammar and learning how to learn a Foreign Language, and Critical Languages are a great way to earn Scholarship Dollars; French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, Chinese, Latin

Physical Education – ½ credit each year. Check out our amazing Dance at the Movies for a fun credit of P.E!

Music – a general overview of music, including Music Theory, Voice, Songwriting, or instrument lessons- also counts. Check out our Music at the Movies for a fascinating look at the power of music in culture!

Art/Humanities – a general understanding of Form and Color, Photography, Photoshop, etc.

Bible/Apologetics Studies – should include a general overview of the Old and New Testament, Church History, and Apologetics. Every educated person was expected to have a general understanding of the Bible and could easily reference books and passages. Take time to read and discuss the Bible together and memorize Scripture. Awanas and the Bible Bee are excellent programs to commit the Bible to memory.

Basic Computer Information Systems – Powerpoint, Video Editing, Internet Safety, and Accountability.

Health – should include general health information, introduction to addictions, cybersecurity and addictions, ages and stages, and reproductive health.

Vocational & Career Interests, including Entrepreneurship – in today’s quickly changing market and the gig economy they will inevitably be a part of, your students need to explore Vocational and Career Options as Life Skills and Personal Finance.

Typical Course of Study electives can vary and be wildly diverse. Think about students’ areas of interest and what’s available to them. Many students delve deeply into a subject area that piques their interest, like art, drama, music, electronics, etc. And don’t forget to provide a robust reading list for your high school students, including short stories, novels, plays, and poems.

High School is also a time to explore new areas of interest so take some time to seek out and expose your student to activities and unique experiences.

Include Community Service in Your Homeschool

A typical course of study for your high school should also include Community Service– I would recommend 15 hours a year or more. It’s tricky with Covid, but you can always write letters to service men and women and collect coats or food for the local coat drive or food pantry. You might have to get creative, but high schoolers typically are creative.

Please teach your students about internet safety and how to protect themselves from addictions, pornography, and perpetrators. Teach them how to manage social media and how to be accountable. Getting snared in addiction at a young age can have devastating implications for them. I highly recommend Glow Kids for every parent and young adult.

Testing Options and More

ACT Test Prep can save you thousands of dollars in Scholarship earned, National Latin Exam looks great on a transcript, and our Performance Series test is a straightforward way to assess where your student is at and helps them gain confidence with standardized tests.

Want to know more about credits, transcripts, and standardized tests to ensure your high school student is getting a typical course of study? Survive Homeschooling High School is a comprehensive eBook that will walk you through how to plan and prepare for high school. Suppose you have a good handle on your high school plan but want help with the logistics of a transcript or assigning credits. In that case, you may want to check out our Academic Advising- we offer Academic Advising, SPED Advising for nontraditional learners, and NCAA Advising for those looking to compete for an NCAA position.

It’s a great time to homeschool, and the options for High School Homeschooling are better than ever! Check out our live online dynamic, interactive classes taught within an international community by world-class teachers! Students interact and work together- we believe excellent education occurs within a community!

Money Saving Bundles

And, in case you didn’t know, we offer Bundles for terrific savings.

We hope you have found our quick guide to a typical course of study for high school helpful. We invite you to join our Facebook group to let us know and to chat with other homeschool parents about credits, transcripts, curriculum, and everything homeschool.

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5 Reasons to Study Spanish!

5 Reasons to Study Spanish!

Have you ever considered teaching your child a foreign language?  It’s a dilemma many homeschool parents face.  When you start, what curriculum to use, and why do our students need to learn a foreign language anyway?  At True North Homeschool Academy, we believe that learning a foreign language has many benefits.  See just a few of them below.

Why learn Spanish? Here are 5 Compelling Reasons.

1) There are currently 20 million people studying Spanish right now!

Of all the foreign languages to study, Spanish might be the most popular, and for a good reason. There are approximately 437- 527 million Spanish Speakers worldwide, depending on which list you look at, but it’s definitely in the top 5 languages spoken worldwide.

2) Spanish is also spoken and understood by over 52 million people in the United States.

But buckle up because that number is going to grow! By 2060, the Latino population of the U.S. will reach close to 130 million, making it the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, overtaking Mexico, and increasing the Spanish language’s global standing.

3).  Spanish, as a language, has a bright future.

With Spanish speakers on the rise, not only in the U.S., It is currently ranked as the second most important language for British citizens to learn.

4).  Spanish will increase your employability.

The Spanish market is a huge demographic for companies to target. Currently, the Latin American market has a 1.5 trillion dollar purchasing power (according to Forbes), making Spanish-speaking employees more valuable than ever to employees as they tap into this profitable market.

5) Understanding Spanish will allow you more opportunities.

These opportunities may come as the chase to travel, work, or study abroad with a richer experience.  Speaking Spanish will also open up an entire entertainment world, with Spanish You-Tubes, television, and movies produced in Spanish.

Why learn a foreign language? For the health and brain benefits, of course!

  1. Learning a foreign language can stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s! Mono-lingual adults showed signs of cognitive decline up to 3 years earlier than bilingual adults.
  2. Bilingual children score higher on problem-solving than monolingual kids. Learning a new language can improve overall cognitive functioning, including how second-semester you are. In other words, bi-lingual people are better able to observe and understand their surroundings, as well as edit out distractions. Bi-lingual people are better able to spot misleading information. Isn’t it interesting that Sherlock Holms, Lord Peter Wimsey (great fictional detectives), and their creators, Sir Conan Doyle and Dorothy Sayers, were bi or multi-lingual?
  3. Learning a foreign language enhances your understanding of your mother tongue.   Learning a second language causes a student to look carefully at sentence structure, grammatical functions, and the nuances of vocabulary. A fun aspect of Spanish is that it’s a derivative of Latin. Latin words significantly influence English. You probably know some Spanish and Latin vocabulary already!
  4. Learning a second language enhances memory and vocabulary.  These benefits allow students to score better on standardized tests!
  5. Learning a second language is good, clean fun! Kids naturally love to talk and write in codes, and a foreign language is just that. A terrific code to decipher for young minds eager to learn and develop! The early your child learns a second language, the more confident and adept they will be at learning multiple languages!

So are you convinced that your child needs to learn Spanish but not quite sure where to start?

If you are looking for a great second-semester memory-enhancing, code-deciphering, FUN class, check our Spanish for Children or Beginning Latin! Classes meet live online each week with a passionate, invested multi-lingual speaker.

Looking for a self-paced option? We have Self Paced Spanish!

(Wondering if live, online homeschool courses are right for you?  Check out the reasons we love live classes!)

Why Learn German?

Why Learn German?

Why should your child study German? Honestly, the best reason of all is simply because they want to. Whether the interest comes from family heritage, an interest in history, or just that it sounds “cool,” that internal drive is what motivates students to move beyond requirements to any level of mastery.

Benefits of Learning The German Language

Most of the benefits provided by learning German are common to learning any foreign language:

  • It satisfies college requirements.
  • It increases a student’s understanding of English.
  • It increases a student’s ability to recognize context clues.
  • It increases cultural understanding, both of their native culture and the culture of the target language.
  • It broadens perspectives and shows new ways of looking at the world.

German has the added advantage of being delightfully literal.

 

A Good Teacher Makes Language Learning Less Intimidating

I took German in high school because Russian wasn’t offered. I had never really thought much about language before that. Spanish made more sense, or so everyone told me, but I did not enjoy my eighth-grade introduction to Spanish. Fortunately, I had two excellent German teachers whose teaching styles perfectly matched my preferred learning style.

The first was Ms. Glendening. She opened the doors of wonder for me and a whole new world of language. When I wasn’t able to afford to go on the class trip to Germany, she was visibly disappointed. She then searched for a scholarship opportunity that paid for a year of study abroad. My second teacher was living in Germany.

As a teacher, I try to emulate the best characteristics of both: immersive, meaningful, playful, and encouraging.

Beautiful postcard view of the famous historic town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber on a sunny day with blue sky and clouds in summer, Franconia, Bavaria, Germany

Parts of German grammar can be intimidating. There is no getting around gender or case or adjective endings. How tedious this is for students has a lot to do with how it is taught, however. One of the clearest methods I know is a simple sentence-building activity that visually demonstrates how German sentences are put together. I turned it into a sort of simple choose-your-own-adventure type game. This grammar drill ended up the most requested game for our end-of-year party.

If a student develops a passion for German that brings them beyond college requirements, there are, of course, other benefits.

  • German is the dominant language of the EU, with more native language speakers than any other European language. It is the second most spoken second language (behind English).
  • Germany has the largest GDP of EU member countries.
  • Germany directly invests over $10 billion into the US economy. Several German companies have satellite offices in the US.
  • It is the language of Goethe, Schiller, Kafka, Brecht, Beethoven, Mozart, and many others.
  • German immigration has greatly influenced American culture.
  • Many of the world’s most significant works in science, theology, psychology, history, and literature are written in German.
  • Plus, binge-watching your favorite television series sounds like more of an accomplishment in German!

Join us this fall on the wonderful adventure of learning German! German I, German II, and National German Exam Test Prep are all available and taught by Dana Hanley.

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Project & Presentation Samples

These are examples of some of the projects complete by students in our online German classes.

Brochures:

Video Presentations:

Spanish C

Spanish C

Spanish C

Spanish C is an online Spanish class that will give your students (grades 5-7) a clear introduction to Spanish grammar, reading, and dialogue. Upper elementary students will enjoy learning this Romance language through chanting, writing, and engaging conversations.

Students will learn grammatical concepts such as verb conjugations, noun genders, and tenses. A great grammatical foundation will allow them to create Spanish sentences properly and give students the confidence to converse with others.

This once-a-week class will cover the last 5 units of the Spanish for Children A text and begin Spanish for Children B second semester. This ensures students will have the time to master the material. Students will meet once a week for 60 minutes.  During this time they will learn the new lesson and practice their vocabulary and dialogue with the teacher and their peers.

The Spanish C course is created with an independent student in mind. Since the class meets once a week students will be required to work independently on memorization, learning chants, and completing the workbook.

(Parents will need to oversee homework as well as administer quizzes.)

Spanish is a critical language, and there are more Spanish speakers worldwide than those who speak English.

Curricula and Supplies:

Spanish C will pair perfectly with our Classical Memory Program and Writing and Grammar or as part of an Elementary Bundle, allowing you to choose which classes best suit your student’s and family’s needs.

Spanish C is a great follow up class for students who have completed Spanish B, or who have participated in an immersion program.