Thursday, December 12

How We're Incorporating Language & Culture into the Holiday Season

The older the boys have gotten, the less we're able to deviate from the regular curriculum during holidays.  We used to take the entire month of December for 'fun school,' but now stick with most of the regular classes and insert holiday lessons here and there.  One of the classes that lends itself most to this is foreign language....

Our oldest son fancies himself something of a linguist, and is currently teaching himself:
  • Spanish
  • Greek
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Latin
  • Egyptian (hieroglyphs)
  • Mandarin
  • ...and something called Tangwar (I hope I got that right, LOTR fans!)

I'm not kidding.  He's also making up his own symbol-based language.  #languagenerd

The rest of us aren't that ambitious, but we have been working on Spanish and Mandarin lately.  One of our favorite teaching resources is TalkBox.Mom.  Her unique approach to language instruction relies on the brain's innate ability to pick up on cadences and phrases as the language is actually used, rather than focusing on grammar and vocabulary. 

Best of all, you don't have to know the language because you'll be learning alongside your children.  This can be used with young children for bilingual development, or with older children as a complement to a foreign language curriculum.  (This is how we are using it.)  The subscription model helps families to stay the course, focusing on different language aspects each month.

Scroll down for a video peek into the curriculum components....

Get $20 off your first TalkBox
Use coupon: holly20

This holiday season, we'll be pulling out these fun studies - 
  • TalkBox.Mom Christmas stories (Spanish / Mandarin) - Available in seven different languages, these free downloads also come with audio to help you with pronunciation!
  • TalkBox.Mom Chanukah story (Hebrew) - As an interfaith house, we have lots of celebrations throughout the year...and especially in December!  This free Hebrew printable is similar in format to the Christmas stories.
  • Have Yourself a Little Latin Christmas (Latin)
  • Spanish-English Christmas Carols (Spanish) - Singing Christmas carols is a great way to put your skills to good use!  You practice pronunciation and learn new vocabulary, and the musical aspect helps your brain to integrate these memories.
  • Chinese Christmas Carols (Mandarin) - Learn to say holiday phrases and sing 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas!'

Get $15 off your first TalkBox
Use coupon: holly20

Spanish 2
Looking for a more structured and traditional approach to foreign language? offers several different language options, along with every other subject - for all grades.  Try it out for one month.  You'll get access to everything they have and will have a chance to see if it's the right fit for your family!  (Spoiler: We bet it will be!)

Grab your copy of Spanish-English Christmas Carols here!

Snag a slew of resources in the Homeschool Helpers Bundle!

Covers ten topics to get your homeschool running smoothly!
Getting Started
· A Parent’s Alphabet
· Choosing the Right Curriculum for Your Family
· Motivating Your Teens
· Seven Steps to Teaching Work Ethic
Special Needs
· Occupational Therapy in Homeschool
· Speech Therapy in Homeschool
· Teaching the Distracted Child
Making it Fun
· Game-Schooling – Learning through Play
· How to Snag Free E-Books
· Holiday Foreign Language Fun

Looking for more?  Check out the original Mom’s Bundle and Homemaking & Homesteading Bundle!

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