family travels off the beaten path

Why We Chose to Learn Spanish as a Family

Why We Chose to Learn Spanish as a Family

We’re learning Spanish together! As a family of 5 who loves to learn through travel, the idea that we are tackling a new language should come as no surprise to folks who know us well. This time, it isn’t just my husband and I who will be doing the learning, though. Now, we’re going to be learning together with our kids to improve our speaking + listening skills but also broaden our experience when we travel. It definitely will be a new challenge – one that we’re embracing wholeheartedly as we commit to 52 weeks of learning together.

We’ve decided to focus the next 52 weeks on learning Spanish together. Living in America, there are so many reasons why Spanish is a great language to learn, but most of all – we want to begin to expose our kids to a new language early on. I’m already regretting that we didn’t start earlier. Being able to communicate in another language is a not only a huge skill, but also an opportunity to understand other cultures.

Where Are We Starting?

It is probably best to start at ground zero. We all bring something different to the table as far as experience with Spanish as a foreign language. My husband took Spanish in high school and a few credits in college, I took 4 years of Spanish in high school and 4 years of Spanish in college — but am quite rusty. Our daughters, ages 7, 5 and 2 – are starting from scratch, minus the ability to count to ten in Spanish.

How Are We Starting?

For the kids, to start, we’re utilizing our local public library. It is a great resource with a small shelf filled with Spanish-English kids’ books. While it isn’t extensive, it is a free resource to kick things off. We’ve been able to grab a handful of Dr. Seuss books that are a Bilingual Edition – meaning they have the story in English and Spanish. Since they are stories the kids are familiar with, it makes it easier to dive into reading the Spanish side of the story. It also helps to have them become more used to the sounds heard in the Spanish language.

Since I have had quite a bit of Spanish experience, I’m brushing up by listening to a few different “learn Spanish” podcasts. I’ll share those more with you as I dive further into them.

The other interesting piece of taking on a new language is that my husband, kids and I all have very different and distinct learning styles. This will keep things interesting and exciting for sure!

Why Take on Spanish?

I think you know that we love to travel to unique and off the beaten path places. As we begin to look forward to our next year of travel, we know that we would like to have an extended (1 month or longer) trip on the books. We’re finalizing details now, as we will be traveling with another family for the full duration. We can’t wait to spill the beans on where we are headed once things are officially booked! Needless to say, we will need to have Spanish skills and experience in order to fully dive in and immerse ourselves where we are going.

So while this post may feel a little vague, it is the start of our learning adventure – one that will take us through the next year of challenges, successes and a whole lot of practice. We’ll be sharing our progress and our learnings throughout the next year with you as we grow as a family — and hopefully become well versed in the Spanish language.