"Hola! Que linda! Como te llamas?" gushed a sweet cuban lady at the International Food Festival today. Madison looked at me uncertainly . . . and then - a miracle occurred - she remembered her spanish!
"Me llamo Madison. De donde eres? Soy de Bahamas." she politely replied.
Madison has been struggling with Spanish for years. She had a range of spanish teachers before we began homeschooling and they ranged from bad to really terrible. Some of them even made spanish spelling mistakes (and if I could spot them it means they were really bad because Spanish was never my thing either). I learned french instead. But . . . the kids had already started to learn spanish so when I ordered our curriculum I tried to pick up where their schools had left off. It has been difficult but we are finally getting somewhere. I recently found some new curriculum that teaches spanish in a somewhat old-fashioned way - you know conjugating verbs and all that useless stuff - when all they want to teach the kids in school today is conversation skills. However, I believe that to learn to love a language you have to really understand it. What I have found so hard to deal with is that my straight A student really believes spanish is too difficult for her! I have a hard time with what those teachers have done to her self-esteem. She has a very big mental block where spanish is concerned and that is our main difficulty.
So our explorations at the Cultural Festival today were very encouraging. In addition to Cuba, we visited the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Peru, France, England and Scotland. We peeked in on Greece but the crowds put us off staying for a longer visit. The food was divine and the people were wonderful all over the world!
Around the world in eighty days has nothing on us! :)