The homeschool soft start was a little insider trick I learned from a veteran homeschool mom. It works wonders, and we made it our own by adding a Spanish Immersion twist.
In this post I lay out the advantages of an immersion soft start, my goals while easing into school, and what it looks like in our home!
The name Spanish Immersion Soft Start might be a bit miss-leading, because the Spanish Immersion part is hard-core and all-in. It’s the academic part that we ease into softly.
I know many families who school year-round, but we are not one of them. We usually finish up school around the middle of May and then take a hard break for June and July.
Then we ease back into our homeschool year the first week of August. That's usually two (but this year three) weeks ahead of our area public schools.
Why start back early? This strategic early soft start gives me three distinct advantages.
Three Advantages of an Immersion Soft Start
Truth is, I am a non-native Spanish speaker and my husband doesn’t speak Spanish. Over the summer we spend a lot of time together or with extended family (none Spanish speakers either).
So our Spanish always tends to slide over summer break. We need a couple weeks to put a heavy focus on our minority language at the start of each school year.
Spanish Immersion Soft Start
Starting our school year off in Spanish with a focus on rhythms, character, habits and FUN has been a great way for our family to get back into the bilingual homeschool groove each fall.
My Goals for our Immersion Soft Start
My goals for our soft start are also three-fold.
What Our Immersion Soft Start Looks Like
Our soft start begins with me. I try my best to speak only Spanish (unless I’m speaking directly to my husband).
Then my husband and I work together to get the kids going through their homeschool morning routine (breakfast, teeth brushed, get dressed, do chore). This takes quite a bit of reminding and prompting at first.
After our morning routine, we head downstairs to our homeschool space while my husband heads to work.
But...instead of the full meal deal that is School-In-Full-Swing, we only do Morning Time and a communal math activity! Our Morning Time involves reading aloud, reciting and memorizing poetry, music, and fun activities...all in Spanish.
We use this Fall Spanish Morning Time Plan. I throw in a fun communal math activity to get the numbers flowing again. But that’s it!
It's About Connection
I want my kids to ENJOY being together, to enjoy being with me, and to enjoy learning and speaking Spanish.
As our rhythms and Spanish get established, I start to add in more academics like true math lessons (which we do in Spanish), Spanish language arts, and a few seat work activities like map work and handwriting. If you want to see our Spanish Curricula for 2020 you can read this post.
I hope that by the end of the second week our Spanish routine will be well established.
Then starting around week three, which is when the rest of the world begins school, we add in our English subjects. Once those are established we are running at full-capacity with the rhythm we maintain throughout the school year.
What about you?
How do you start your homeschool year?
Take a second and let me know in the comments!
Thank you for your blog! It is so helpful.
Do you do anything to keep your Spanish fresh? I’m considering trying one of the online Spanish classes, so I can keep the grammar current and correct for my kids.
Here is another resource I’ve found helpful for our bilingual home: https://materialparamaestros.com/
Hi Danielle, from time to time I meet with an online Spanish tutor! I really enjoy my own Spanish lessons, and my kids get to see that I am constantly learning too. 🙂