Have you been wanting to offer Spanish classes at your homeschool co-op? Have you wondered if you could do this easily and affordably? Or how to find a teacher?
For 11 years I have been teaching Spanish classes at a homeschool co-op for elementary and middle school children. It has been a great success with new and returning students every year.
I thought I could share with you how we implement our Spanish classes so you can do it too! I will provide you information on how to schedule classes, how to find a teacher, how to group students, and more. This can also work for implementing an after-school enrichment program.
Because my curriculum, Spanish for You!, is an integral part of our program, I will include its use with this information.
How to Schedule Classes
Our homeschool co-op holds classes once a week on Tuesdays, and each class is one hour. By meeting only once a week our homeschool families find it easy to attend without interruption of their schooling schedules.
Here is an example of how our Spanish classes might be scheduled:
How to Group Students
With homeschool co-ops, you need flexibility in grouping your students. It is common for students of different ages/grades to be put together in a class.
By using Spanish for You!, you have this flexibility. Here are some grouping examples:
The grade levels of the Spanish for You! packages are there so that students learn the material in a way that is appropriate for their age/grade. They do not indicate how many years of Spanish a student has or has not had.
How to Teach the Classes
Every week, I use my one-hour lesson plans to teach class, and this is what you can use too. All my lesson plans are formatted so anyone can use them. See a sample.
You follow the lesson plan from the first step through the last. Instructions for each activity are provided as well as what materials are needed. Material needs are minimal - card stock, Spanish for You! book, paper, etc.
How to Assign Homework
Since we hold class once a week, I assign my students homework for the other 4 school days. I create an e-mail list for each of my classes and at the end of the day, I e-mail the homework for each class to the parents. Everything the students need to do their homework is already at home with the materials they purchase for the school year. More on that in the next section.
What to Charge for Tuition
At our homeschool co-op, we charge a dollar amount per student per one-hour class. So, for example, we have 24 classes in a school year and charge $8.00 per student per class. The total tuition for the school year is $192.00 which is paid to the teacher.
Families also purchase their Spanish for You! materials, which is a themed package for $39.95 less a group discount for the year. The themed package provides them with all that they need to be able to do the homework the teacher assigns. (Link provided below about materials)
Where to Hold Your Classes
Our classes are held at a local church that allows us to use classroom space in exchange for some service work. For example, every spring families pitch in and do some “yard work” for the church like pulling weeds or planting flowers.
You may be able to find free classroom space at a local church or community center.
How to Find a Spanish Teacher
This may seem like a big obstacle, but it is not. Your possibilities for a teacher are many with Spanish for You! Knowing Spanish is not a necessity. The program is designed to support a non-Spanish speaking person teaching it.
You can look for a teacher outside of your co-op, but like many co-ops, parents are the classroom teachers. If you have a parent who knows Spanish, great! But, if not, any parent who has some background or even none, will do just fine. I would say you just want someone who is organized and willing to try something new.
You can read more HERE on how the non-Spanish speaker can teach Spanish classes using Spanish for You! I am also available to chat via phone with any prospective teacher who would like questions answered or assistance. Just drop me an e-mail to arrange.
How to Place Experienced and Inexperienced Students Together
In the first years I was teaching at our homeschool co-op, I had parents ask me: “How are you teach new students each year who have never had Spanish along with those who have had it?”
This was a problem because we wanted students to be able to be in classes with other students around their own age. For example, we didn’t want to place a 7th grader in a class of 3rd and 4th graders all by himself just because he had never had Spanish.
So, I came up with the Spanish for You! curriculum design that would let us put the 7th grader in class with other 7th graders or whatever group of students closest to his/her age who had been in my Spanish classes before.
Every year I have a mix of new and returning students. With the Spanish for You! curriculum, my experienced students continue to progress while my new students are seamlessly integrated.
How to Schedule Your School Year
At our homeschool co-op, our elementary and middle school Spanish classes run for 24 weeks. We begin in September and end in April. We take all of December off for the holidays. We take a week off in February for Presidents Day, and a week at the end of March for Spring Break.
You can schedule your school year longer. If you choose to use Spanish for You!, you will see that the grades 5-6 and grades 7-8 packages run for 24 weeks. You can add extra weeks by doing review, cultural enrichment, parties, or Spanish for You! holiday lessons.
You will see that the grades 3-4 Spanish for You! packages run for 30 weeks. They are longer because younger students need longer to learn the material. Since our homeschool co-op only runs for 24 weeks, the students finish the last 6 weeks on their own at home. The lesson guide (homework) provided allows them to do this independently without having to be in classes.
Take a look HERE to learn more about using the Spanish for You! curriculum for your homeschool co-op.
Any other questions?
Please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to help you!
Posted by Debbie Annett