During this summer we ventured with our 3 kids south of the boarder for a little immersive Spanish experience “R&D”. Since our learning philosophy requires a native speaking environment why not get into the culture in Baja California and seek out some great, family friendly activities that would provide rich language opportunities. Well, we weren’t dissapointed! We spent a week in San Jose Del Cabo enjoying a very authentic experience attending a local school, playing soccer and surfing. Check out the information below and let us know if you are interested in learning more. We plan to go back next year and would love to take some families with us!
SUMMER SCHOOL EN ESPAÑOL – Believe it or not all three of our kids went back to school for a week! The Mission Colegio is a wonderful Dual Immersion private school in San Jose Del Cabo. All students take classes split half the day in Spanish and the other half in English. During our visit we had the opportunity to meet students & teachers and were pleasantly surprised to find that many Americans and Canadians, in addition to Mexican nationals, are attending the school. Our kids made new friends and practiced their Spanish A TON! Check out the Mission Colegio web site and our photos on Facebook.
SOCCER – After school each day we took our kids to a great local soccer camp run by an organization called Pachuca Tuzos los Cabos. The camp director is an ex Mexican Professional Futbol player turned coach. Jesus Romero coaches and grooms players for professional Mexican teams. He also happens to be the PE teacher at Mission Colegio. The camps are run at “La Huerta” a local sports club in San Jose. If you want your kids to learn Spanish, the native soccer Futbol field is one of the best ways to immerse them. Naturally, kids want to play and interact with their peers. Combine English speakers with Spanish speakers on a soccer field and you have a powerful and fun formula to acquire language.
SURF – We ended our week with some more adventure learning to surf. The Cabo Surf Hotel is a well kept secret on the beach as you come into San Jose Del Cabo. The area along the shore is called Costa Azul which is known for some of the best surf breaks in Baja. The hotel has comfortable amenities, quiet rooms, a great restaurant called the 7 Seas Grille and surf lessons provided by our new friend Miguel Rojas at the onsite, beach front, surf shop. The Cabo Surf Shop features one of the only professionally certified “Mike Doyle” surf schools in Baja. We had a great time learning from the friendly, knowledgeable staff and everyone caught waves! If you are ready for a great warm water surfing adventure Miguel and his staff are prepared to coach you in Spanish or English!
During our recent family vacation to Mexico we had the opportunity to explore a great dual immersion primary/secondary school called Mission Colegio. This private school offers all subjects in both Spanish and English with separate language instructors at each grade level. The campus is set in a beautiful area with top notch facilities, friendly staff and promotes a strong ecological value. We spent five days visiting with instructors and staff learning about the school while our 3 kids attended classes from 8-2pm each day. Suffice it to say we had a ton of opportunity to speak Spanish and make new friends. One of the things we discovered was how so many students and teachers are true global citizens. We talk about creating global citizens here in the States but do we really understand what that looks like? Ruth and I had the opportunity to interview one of the instructors at Mission who really fits the description. We will be sharing more information about how you can visit this school in the future. For now, check out the video and let us know what you think:
One of the greatest benefits to learning a second language is what it can do for your travel experience. Many of us have traveled to Mexico, stayed in a resort and enjoyed some good food, beautiful beaches and warm water. But, how many of us have really experienced the local culture up close and personal? How cool would it be to play soccer in Mexico, with people who live and breath the sport, all while practicing the language? How fun would it be to take surf lessons at a surf camp and get some hands on language experience at the same time? You see, when we engage anyone in their language, on their home turf not only does it honor them and create relationship, it also allows us to gain perspective and appreciation for how other people live. All this comes together to enhance your travel experience.
So, starting tomorrow Ruth & I are taking the family south of the boarder to plug into the culture and do exactly what I have described. We will be visiting Cabo San Lucas and Cabo San Jose over the two next weeks. During our time we will be playing fútbol at a soccer camp with Mexican nationals and taking surf lessons at a local beach. As part of our experience we will be seeking authentic, fun & family friendly activities that YOU can do in the near future. Sound exciting? Stay tuned by visiting our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
For the past two year we have had the privilege of working with Sierra Elementary School to develop some creative language solutions. Sierra Elementary is progressive K-6 school in Rocklin, CA with International Baccalaureate World school focus. The school provides Spanish instruction to all students as part of the core curriculum two days/week. In addition, private after school Spanish classes are offered four days/week. Both programs use Sombrero Time curriculum, methods and instructors.
Starting this fall, we are excited to announce a new class at Sierra Elementary. Sombrero Time has been asked to offer Spanish for Kinder students! Similar to our after school program, Kinder Spanish will run shortly after the normal Kindergarten class from 11:30-12:15pm, 4 days/week, Tuesday-Friday. Each session is 45 minutes and will be conducted by one of our trained native speaking instructors and is filled with traditional Spanish dance, Song and Music activities. The class is intended to introduce new Spanish speakers to the language and prepare them for entry into the Spanish program starting in 1st grade at Sierra Elementary. Kinder Spanish will offer a great transition for students enrolled in Kids Junction as well.
Sombrero Time has been working with the Loomis Union School District as their preferred provider for Spanish language instruction for the past two years. In alignment with the district’s vision to develop high quality second language education, Sombrero Time will be offering two different programs at Loomis elementary schools during the 2011/12 school year.
Spanish for kids at the Loomis Basin Charter School – The 2011/12 school year will mark the third year Sombrero Time will be providing Spanish instruction for this successful elementary charter school. Recently certified as an International Baccalaureate school, Loomis Basin Charter school has a mandate to provide high quality language instruction for all students internal to the instructional day. Sombrero Time will be providing instruction again next fall. Two of our highly trained native speaking instructors will be on campus 4 days per week providing instruction at each grade level. Three levels of Sombrero Time curriculum will be used to direct instruction for grades K-7.
Before School Spanish for kids at all Loomis Union Elementary Schools - Classes will be provided at LUSD elementary schools starting this fall. Similar to this past year we will continue providing instruction following our immersive, no English spoken, model. Our trained, native speaking instructors will be available Monday-Thursday delivering instruction for 45 minutes at each session. Spanish class will follow the LUSD calendar staring on September 1, 2011 – May 31, 2012. Class times and locations will be announced after registration is completed. If you are interested in finding out more click the link below for details.
Education Entrepreneur Ron Fairchild of Smarter Learning Group recently published an article in the Huffington Post about Sombrero Time. Smarter Learning Group helps nonprofits, foundations, and school districts develop, grow, and sustain quality education programs and policies.
Ron Fairchild is the founder of the Smarter Learning Group. Prior to starting the firm, Ron served as CEO of the National Summer Learning Association. The Association’s work built on over 15 years of experience and success as the National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University, where Fairchild was executive director from 2002 through 2009. He is widely recognized as a national authority on how to expand learning opportunities for young people. His frequent appearances in the media include segments on NPR, CNN, C-SPAN, NBC Nightly News, and the CBS Early Show.
Sombrero Time is passionate about helping kids do the extraordinary. Language instruction develops a child’s ability to share ideas and communicate across cultural boundaries. Sombrero Time Curriculum coupled with our Professional Development for instructors creates a powerful solution for schools.
Article Excerpt – “Last week Education Week ran a story about huge cuts to foreign language programs across the country. When I was in California recently, I learned about a creative solution to this problem involving two parents, Dave and Ruth Finsthwait, who created an inexpensive Spanish language immersion program for schools, called Sombrero Time.”
Click HERE to continue reading the article and please leave your comments!
As many of you already know our instruction philosophy leverages frequent exposure to Spanish in a fun and immersive class room environment. One of the greatest benefits of Sombrero Time is the rapid pace which students begin to learn and use their language skills. To demonstrate this we are publishing a series of videos featuring students in our programs, all at various levels of development, having two way conversations with their instructors. The first of our videos is published below. Enjoy the Spanish being spoken and kindly provide your comments.
We just printed new Tee-Shirts and wanted to share the design with you. The characters are from our iPad app currently in development. There are about 100 kids wearing these shirts as of this week. The response has been great and we are SOLD OUT already! DON’T WORRY! We are planning to place another order. Here is how you can reserve a shirt for your student:
Send us an email and indicate the following:
-Shipping Address (if not local to Granite Bay, CA)
-Tee Shirt Design: Boy or Girl
-Size: Youth Small, Youth Medium or Youth Large
Shirts Cost $20 each. In order to guarantee this price we need 100 tee-shirts or greater to be reserved. Shirts can be reserved now through June 15, 2011. On June 16 we will contact you with payment instructions. After all shirts have been paid for we will place our order with our printer. If you are a Loomis Basin Charter family we will deliver the shirts to your school for pickup. Otherwise, shipping costs will be calculated based on your shipping address from Granite Bay, CA 95746 using UPS ground service.
Last year Sombrero Time launched a Private Tutoring program in response to parents who were seeking a flexible solution for their students. We are pleased to announce we have recently expanded this service to all ages! Sombrero Time Personal Spanish Tutoring sessions couple our immersion philosophy in a fun and interactive environment creating a very effective experience. “Immersion”-what does that mean? Great question! It means we use “Spanish to teach Spanish” which develops language skills you can use in the real world.
Regardless of your education or skill level Sombrero Time Private Tutoring is right for any level or age. Each session is scheduled with one of our native speaking instructors and is conducted at the Sombrero Time Education Facility in Granite Bay where we provide access to great resources in a sound instructional environment. If you have not been to our Education Facility we invite you drop by for a visit. Our facility is conveniently located in the heart of Granite Bay near Granite Bay High School in the Treelake Village Center.
Upon connecting with Sombrero Time we will create a customized schedule to fit your needs, establish goals for learning and connect you with one of our instructors. Currently we have students scheduled from 1-4 days per week taking 45 minutes of focused instruction per session. If you are new to learning Spanish, getting ready to travel, or preparing for an AP exam, our instructors will tailor a program designed to accelerate your learning experience while having a great time.
For more information click HERE to visit our registration page or call contact us at 916/934-6223