Early in 2015, we started Benjamin at Language Stars. He's been attending Spanish class with an awesome teacher ever since. We paid something like $500 to finish the schoolyear with him in a 1-3yo class with other kids. I attend with him as it's a parent-tot class. Claire cannot attend, or the price will jump to double since she's above 1 year old. It would be awesome to bring her, but we didn't want to front the cash so soon and have it conflict with her naptime. This can pose a problem when I have no one to watch Claire and it has resulted in me rescheduling a number of classes.
We didn't enroll him in Spanish so we'd be those pretentious parents who can boast about their kids requesting to have mucho agua. It's just, we want him to have an upper hand in this world with language, knowing Spanish is progressively changing our country. It would be wonderful if he had a good base for Spanish as a second language as he grows into adulthood and his career life.
We're also quite terrible at acquiring languages ourselves. I can handle my own when in Mexico (especially after some cervezas), but basic and (short) conversational. About eight years of Spanish education between us and we barely scratch the surface understanding the language when spoken or in print. We know vocabulary and can probably take down some serious flashcards. We had a German tutor multiple times weekly while living in Germany, and I can get by in restaurants, short conversation and at the grocery store, but that's about it.
It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. We're old dogs.
But Benjamin and Claire? New, young, fabulously adorable little poodles. And we want them to have the advantage we didn't have. Their brains are sponges and inhibitions minimal and learning is the only thing they are responsible for doing at this stage in their lives. It's natural and easy.
I can roll my r's, can you? My husband can't. Maybe it's something you're born with, but maybe it's something you teach your brain to do, and at a young age if you're lucky.
One minor problem in this great Language Stars program. It's about as expensive as preschool and only 15% of the time he spends at preschool. It's pricey. They've raised the prices by 20% for fall and he'll be in the more expensive class sans parent in the new schoolyear. We can front it for him, but then what about Claire? How important is it really for us? And then there are swim lessons and enrichment classes and maybe sports... and they're not even in elementary school yet! I'd love to find a former Language Stars teacher to come teach my two kids under the table each week, but I feel a little awkward asking his current teacher about that. A Spanish-speaking nanny would be great, but I like the structure of the Language Stars program and fear a nanny won't be as engaging. Benjamin does watch television in Spanish and we have the whole set of Little Pim videos (they sell at Language Stars) he requested, but he rarely wants to watch those. I have the iPad apps and Spanish music and well... that's probably not going to cut it.
Two years from now, Benjamin will have a shot at the Spanish immersion program lottery for kindergarten, but that's two years away and without guarantees. But man would we love that!
Anyone else considering a second language program for their kiddo?
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