Spanish in Preschool

Are you listening Grandma? Here is another way things have changed since you raised your boys…

This week we visited the first of four preschools we are considering for our Little Miss. At two-and-a-half, she’s just six months away from when most schools will accept her (assuming we put her on a waiting list now and are lucky).

The school (Montessori) had us observe the first 45 minutes of the school day. During their morning warm-up they sang eight songs, half of them in Spanish, with related discussion in Spanish. The 3-year-olds weren’t quite up to speed, but the 4- and 5-year-olds had the basics down.

That’s probably normal in many parts of this country, but in the remote 85-percent-white dairy-and-timber-rich north coast of California, speaking Spanish is a useful skill only if you take a four-to-six hour drive to civilization. Sadly, that’s probably exactly what instructors are thinking because most kids graduate high school and then leave the area to find a decent job.

The demographics of this immigrant nation are changing and Spanish has come to Humboldt County.

So, as I sat in that school and listened to these kids sing in Spanish, three thoughts crossed my mind.

First, my daughter will need an elementary school with Spanish immersion or this is a waste of time. (It turns out, the closest elementary school practices partial immersion).

Second, why the hell did I take three years of German in high school?

Third, if I don’t start learning Spanish now, my daughter will be able to talk behind my back to my face.

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