(Although I was compensated for my time on this post, my opinions here are honest- whether positive or not. I always strive for honesty and I’m never required nor coerced into posting a positive review.)
Ever since we moved to California, we realized just how important Spanish is out here, yet, we’ve never taken the time to learn this beautiful language. So when I found out about live, one-on-one, online foreign language lessons for kids in Mandarin and Spanish, I hopped on the opportunity to have my daughter take a few Spanish lessons right away. We’ve been learning French over the years since my in-laws overseas speak French, but finally after moving out to the West Coast we are getting our feet wet with Spanish.
Why Spanish lessons for kids?
A large percentage of the U.S. population speaks Spanish (approximately 52.6 million folks)! I realize the importance of learning a language that a majority of our country speaks daily. The language surrounds us in grocery stores, on billboards and signs, and at our local supermarkets. People all around us speak Spanish in our surrounding neighborhoods and many times it’s required to have the ability to speak Spanish fluently in order to obtain certain jobs in the area.
You might not live in an area surrounded by Spanish speakers, but learning a second language is always a plus. In short, by learning a second language, your student will be able to:
- speak to more people
- boost test scores
- increase brain growth
- train the ear for music
- increase out of the box thinking
…and so much more. There are so many reasons to learn a second language.
How PandaTree.com works
In a nutshell, PandaTree.com offers live, one-on-one, online foreign language lessons for kids in Mandarin and Spanish. This means that meetings are synchronous and are set up like a virtual tutoring session.
My 15-year-old daughter, Nyomi, hopped on this opportunity to take her first two lessons with PandaTree.com.
The first thing she did was log in to her account which I had created for her after signing up for our sessions. (The signup process was fairly easy, by the way. I created an account, selected a tutor based on criteria such as preferred language and times available, and booked the appointments. It’s fairly straightforward.)
When the student is ready to log in for the first appointment, his tutor will be ready and waiting! It’s really that simple.
There are also additional review games and resources available for extra practice after a tutoring session is complete.
There’s always additional items in your dashboard to hold your student over until the next session. Students earn cute, animated panda badges for completing activities in the dashboard. Sometimes instructors add additional things to do as well. And you get a session summary of your time together.
Our experience with PandaTree.com
Nyomi signed into the session with her Spanish tutor, Erika, and right away we knew that we liked her vibe. When you have friendly instructors, online tutoring is a peaceful experience.
Erika introduced herself and launched straight into assessment of Nyomi’s previous knowledge of Spanish. After determining that she had limited vocab knowledge, she jumped into immersing her in Spanish- first with vocabulary words on animals (“perros” and “gatos”), then colors and vehicles. Eventually, all the vocab was mixed together and Nyomi was required to count the animals and vehicles and name the colors.
It was pretty fast-paced. Erika used a mix of online games, virtual flashcards, and Spanish immersion during Nyomi’s thirty minutes with her. There was constant review of vocabulary: pictures/missing pictures, phrases, pronunciation, lots of praise and feedback, and games. Immersion included commands in Spanish: “place a circle around ______”. With Nyomi collaborating on Erika’s shared screen, she was able to interact on the virtual whiteboard.
By the end of her first session, Nyomi felt pretty confident with numbers 1-10, a few colors, some animals and vehicles. Although it was fast-paced, Erika made sure Nyomi understood each concept before moving on.
In Nyomi’s own words:
It was only 30 minutes long so it didn’t take much time, but I think I learned a good bit of Spanish. For the second lesson, Erika went over what we learned last lesson before moving on. After we reviewed she asked me if there was anything I was interested in that I wanted to learn about. I replied that I liked music and asked if there was anything about different kinds of music. There wasn’t a slide about music games. However, there was one about musical instruments … She asked me which instrument I play and also told me about which instruments she learned how to play. She was conversational and friendly. It was really fun learning about different instruments in Spanish.
Why we love online tutoring
Online tutoring can give you an opportunity to learn skills you might not otherwise obtain locally and it definitely has benefits.
- Sometimes it’s just difficult to find a foreign language instructor in your city. You can get Spanish lessons for kids (and other languages, of course) with a quick click of your mouse by selecting your favorite instructor and scheduling the appointment.
- Other times it’s simply difficult to get out with the kids throughout the day to take one more additional class. Again, with a simple click of your mouse you’ve scheduled your appointment and you can show up to your computer in your jammies and talk to your tutor.
Ready to try?
Get your FREE 25-Minute Trial Lesson
(Mandarin or Spanish)
Don’t you love opportunities to try services that might just work for our family?
PandaTree.com is offering a FREE 25-Minute Trial Lesson in Mandarin or Spanish. You pick the language and the time that works best for you. This offer is valid through November 30, 2017. One free lesson per family.
>>SIGN UP for FREE 25-Minute Trial Lesson<<
Use Promo Code iHNFree17 at checkout
About Demetria Zinga
Demetria is a homeschooling mom and “mompreneur” who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband, two daughters, and a Shih-Tzu. She currently runs two podcasts for moms, blogs, writes music, and spends lots of time at coffee shops. Her goal is to be an encourager and motivator of women, helping them to find success and joy in homeschooling, business, and motherhood.