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dual language immersion education: take the leap

It’s hard to believe the 2016/2017 school year is almost done.  New things create anxiety in me and I feel like we have just settled into this year.

I get asked what we think our kids will do with the Spanish they have learned.  I honestly don’t know the answer to that question.  In the grocery store the other day a family speaking Spanish passed us a few times and the dad had a little girl sound asleep on his shoulder. I asked Gina to use her Spanish to tell them they had a beautiful daughter.  No amount of bribery prompted her to say anything to them.  I can’t change that.

I can’t make my kids use their Spanish.  I can trust that what they have learned will come out when it is needed.  I can trust that the years of learning will bridge a gap between “them” and “us”.  I can hope my kids will be world changers due to the choices we made in their education.

As we move out of the 2nd, 4th and 6th grades I continue to be amazed at how proficient they are.  Middle school brought with it more English than in previous years but also new subject areas that were taught in Spanish.  4th grade days have more Spanish than English but in 2nd grade the only language spoken is Spanish.  Recently I spent a few hours with the 2nd grade class and only a short amount of time in the 4th grade class.  My mind was so tired!!!  It reminded me to have grace for them when they come home from school and are tired and need down time! 

Hannah’s 2nd grade class went on a fieldtrip to an old school house.  Her teacher held school in the old, one room school house.  They compared what school was like then to now.  The kids had a play they read and were assigned parts.  It was so fun to hear them!  

IMG_2516.JPGA few days later I spent time in the 6th grade room.  It’s fun to see kids more comfortable with their Spanish.  While the kids were getting ready for class there was more joking around and activity taking place.  Once they settled in the kids also read a play.  How fun to compare the fluency and speed by which the kids progressed from 2nd to 6th grade.

BUT, if asked “would I do it all over again?”  THAT I can answer. Yes.  100x over, yes.

We are proud of our kids and the work they have put into learning a second language.  

Do I know what high school will look like to keep their Spanish proficiency growing?  No.

Do I know what their ACT/SAT scores are going to be?  No. But I don’t know what they would be if they weren’t learning a second language either.

Do I know if learning a second language will propel them toward being a doctor or a lawyer or work in the mission field? No. But I do know this: I have given my children the gift of a second language.  Someday they will use it.

This gift isn’t always easy or pretty.  It doesn’t come without questions and maybe even some tears.

BUT, if asked “would I do it all over again?”  THAT I can answer. Yes.  100x over, yes.

If you are considering it, take the leap.  Put aside your own questions or anxiety and embrace something new.  You won’t regret it!

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