The growth of Homeschool Inspired Spanish from the beginning.
Kids can be so hard on their parents. California breeds a lot of them that way. Luckily for me rebellion didn’t completely rub its ugly head on my personality, only partly.
Parents dreams or God’s Plan?
When adults have children they have dreams for their kids. If the kids are too rebellious, they never achieve their parent’s expectations. Over 50 years later my unanswered question is, how much of my parents dreams actually came from the Lord?
I was almost a Mexican. That isn’t a bad thing. It is just something my parents were thinking would benefit our family financially. They were interested in purchasing property in Mexico but back in the early sixties only Mexicans could purchase property. The Lord had other plans and my Mom started having problems with the pregnancy and chickened out. My parents decided to use the hospital in the States to be on the safe side. I think it was mostly because they couldn’t speak much Spanish to communicate with medical staff in Mexico.
Early on my Mom tried to get me to learn Spanish. She always pushed me towards learning Spanish. I never did find out why except that we were so close to the border and there were a lot of Mexicans in San Diego.
I was a rebellious Child.
The rebellious child that I was made me dig in my heels and stay away from Spanish. In 8th grade our public school offered foreign language classes. Guess what?! I decided learning a foreign language might be fun. So I partially did what my Mom wanted. I signed up for French class. Yup in 8th grade I was in full rebellion. Surprise! I loved it! My Dad had said our family heritage came from France so learning about our ancestors intrigued me. Every year from 8th grade until my first year in college I studied French. French use to be my second language.
In 10th grade the rebellion continued. German was a new language offered in High School. It isn’t Spanish but it comes from Latin just like Spanish does. Okay, I’m in! For 3 years I studied German in high school along with French. It is tough learning more than one language at a time but by now I realized I had a talent for learning languages. There was a Japanese friend who was teaching me Japanese and a Filipino friend that was teaching me Tagalog. Sociology and geography were the sciences I loved. They all go together. Anything I could learn about other people I did.
In 12th Grade I gave in.
Finally, in 12th grade I gave in to my Mom’s wishes and took 1 year of Spanish. The rebellion ended. Three languages all at once. At test time it was a bit of a struggle in German and Spanish because I always knew the answers in French. For Spanish tests I had to sift through my brain from English to French to German and then the Spanish would come out. Challenging as it was, I still came to love learning Spanish. One of the reasons was my Spanish teacher. She was a gem. Very kind and fun. She put up with us calling her camarones pequeños which is little shrimp even though her real name was Mrs. Lasley. Mrs. Lasley wasn’t even five feet tall hence the nickname. We loved her dearly. All of my language teachers were awesome. Miss Corolla in middle school had a modern flair in her teaching style. Mrs. Gagnon was straight from France so we learned lots about everyday life. Mr. Giess my German teacher was very distinguished but had a great sense of humor. He taught us high German from Bavaria.
Community Education was my first class.
In 2002 my husband, Kurt, and I were living in the southwest corner of Minnesota. This was Laura Ingalls Wilder territory. Windom, Minnesota, had a really good community education department with very reasonably priced classes. The community education director learned of my language background and asked me if I could teach adults Spanish. The Hispanic community was growing in that part of the state due to farming and most Minnesotans knew maybe Norwegian or German. After explaining to the community education director that I had never taught a class before, she said that was okay. Most people when they started teaching at the community education department had never taught before either. When I asked her about the curriculum she said I would have to create it myself because there wasn’t any money in the budget to buy curriculum. Oh boy! What was I thinking?! I actually said yes. I even said I would do a Mexican cooking class. After two years of teaching adults, my husband and I moved away. Whew! I got away from it! At least I thought I was done teaching.
Preparing for a Mission Trip Class
Perham, Minnesota, was the next place we lived where my Spanish skills were used. We had found a great church called Northwoods Assembly of God. We found our home church. After attending a couple months, the pastor, Dirk Currier, brought in a friend of his from Illinois that was building an orphanage in Mexico south of Fabens, Texas. After hearing the wonderful things that were happening down in Mexico a group of people from our church decided to go down and help but they didn’t know any Spanish. “Michelle, you told me once that you had taught a community education class teaching Spanish. Can you teach us?”, Pastor Dirk Currier asked. Oops! I opened my mouth to the wrong person. J When your head pastor asks you to do something and you have a servant’s heart you comply. Once again I was teaching Spanish to adults. I guess my Mom really did know what she was saying and thinking when she wanted me to learn Spanish. Unfortunately, my mother died when I was 19 so she didn’t get to see her influence on my life.
What can I do for an online business?
For several years I had been interested in setting up my own website to make an income. At first I thought I could sell gift baskets but the competition was too stiff. After teaching the adults at Northwoods Assembly, I thought maybe I could do online Spanish classes for adults. When my research was completed I determined there were too many big companies out on the web to compete in the marketplace. Then I thought maybe I could help churches get ready to go on mission trips like my church. After talking with my brother and sister in law, they gave me the idea to teach homeschool kids since they were already implementing homeschooling in their home. Hmmm! That is a great idea! So in March of 2007 I went to my first homeschool convention in Duluth, Minnesota to see what homeschool families wanted in their education for their children. I was amazed at what I saw. I feel like the Lord spoke to me that weekend about teaching from a Biblical world view. By June 2007 I launched my website, Dora & Diego Homeschool Spanish.
Dora & Diego Homeschool Spanish Grammar
Dora & Diego Homeschool Spanish focuses on Spanish grammar through conversational Spanish and a Biblical world view. At this time, I don’t believe anyone else is doing the same thing. Dora & Diego Homeschool Spanish is a one of a kind Spanish curriculum. In October 2016, I launched another website, Homeschool Inspired Spanish a download club, that carries the Dora & Diego Homeschool Spanish grammar curriculum as well as new worksheets for holidays, special events, information about Spanish speaking countries and mission trip tips. We hope to be able to share from other people their trips to Spanish speaking countries as well as how they used their Spanish skills.
Homeschool Inspired Spanish is quicker and easier.
As the years have gone on there have been several people who have used our Homeschool Spanish curriculum but we’ve wanted to get it into their hands quicker and easier. As a result, Homeschool Inspired Spanish was created for homeschool families. We call it a download club. All curriculum and pronunciation files are ready and available whenever homeschool families need them. We have kept our theme of providing Spanish from a Biblical world view and mission trip information.
The Gracious Hand of the Lord is On Me.
As I was starting the new download club I felt inferior. I asked myself, “Why am I doing something that has never been done before?” I believe the Lord lead me to the story of Nehemiah. The Lord told Nehemiah He wanted Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah saw there was a need. I see there is a need. The gracious hand of God was on Nehemiah. I believe the gracious hand of the Lord is on me. There are so many Spanish speaking people in our country as well as in other countries that I believe the Lord wants us to reach them. We can through His word and learning Spanish. Once Spanish speaking people know you can speak their language it opens up a huge door of opportunity. Homeschool Inspired Spanish has the goal of reaching the lost in Jesus name in Spanish. Seeking the Lord every day to know how to create this curricula and worksheets is for His honor and glory.
The Only Spanish from a Biblical World View
There are hundreds, maybe even over 1,000, books, videos, classes, teachers, etc. teaching Spanish. But there is only one teaching from a Biblical world view and that is Homeschool Inspired Spanish. Not only do we teach conversational Spanish but we are teaching the Bible in Spanish. We create tools to be able to witness to others in Spanish. Our first major Bible lesson comes from what is called the Roman Road to Salvation. We’ve taken all of the verses used and created many questions and answers for each verse. In the lesson we have conjugated verbs, yes and no questions, flash cards and we have audio files on our download club so you know how to pronounce everything properly in Mexico. We use Mexican pronunciation as our basis due to using Mexican brothers and sisters in the Lord to do our recordings. Also, living 1 mile from the Mexico border gives us the chance to test our teaching skills.
Most Spanish curricula teach you proper Spanish but ours teaches down to earth Spanish, Spanish for common people. The reason we do that is so we can reach the common people. We do teach proper grammar but we share “Everyday” Spanish so you sound like you have been with the people. Many mission trips take you to the unschooled unchurched regions of a country bringing the gospel to their hearts. These areas don’t necessarily have internet. They might have a radio and some have T.V.s. Teaching Spanish so you can share the gospel is our greatest desire.
Homeschool Inspired Spanish will keep you out of trouble.
Through all of our Spanish lessons, sociology of the Spanish speaking countries, geography and history we will make sure we keep you out of trouble. Learning a Spanish phrase for one country can mean something totally different in another. Just remember even the most adept Spanish speakers can make mistakes. As an example a friend of mine from Minnesota had grown up in Los Angeles speaking Spanish all of her life with her family. Well she had lived in Minnesota a long time and was out of practice but she was an interpreter on my first mission trip. This friend of mine had used the wrong words for saying she was hot from the weather when talking to the local Pastor. Instead she was using the words a wife would say to her husband. Luckily the Pastor didn’t say anything to embarrass her but she actually said the same thing to a little girl whose Mom worked in the kitchen for the mission group. Well the little girl immediately gasped and told her Mom what my friend had said. I picked up one the conversation when the little girl gasped. My friend didn’t even realize she had used the wrong words and her face turned beet red when she found out what she had done. She told us she was embarrassed because she had said the exact same thing to the Pastor. It was too funny. I still laugh to this day about it because I get really nervous about my Spanish and when I think of what my friend did it helps me to relax. When I relax then I can speak properly.
Start Your Students Early as soon as they can write the alphabet.
We believe starting a second language with children should begin at the earliest age possible. Our curricula begin with preschool children and eventually will go through high school. If your students grow up with us, they should be able to speak fluently and be able to preach by the time they graduate from high school. There aren’t any other curricula out there that can do the same thing. So far we have a Preschool/Kindergarten program which is for kids who know how to write their letters. Level 1 has been created for 1st through 5th grade. Everyone starts at the beginning so we start with the alphabet and end with a full conversation between family members after 25 lessons.
As a teacher I must also be a student. Languages change all of the time and I must change with them. My nose is always either stuck in a book or my eyes are on the internet learning, learning, learning. Since I am learning I want to share everything with you all.
Please come and see what we have done and let us know if there is anything else we can provide for you.
Dios le bendiga (God bless you.),