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Today is the day the nation usually gives up – but what about us?

Statistically, January 19th is the day the nation gives up on their New Year Resolution. What about us? I opened learning Spanish up to all of you and we have five learners, all dyslexic, taken up the challenge. Some of us who were in school and have done Spanish before and have opted to try for a GCSE. Some of you have been on holiday to Spain and have some key words like pan (bread), manzana (apple), limonade (lemonade), pollo (chicken) and papas fritas (chips) along with the essential hola (hello), adios (good bye), favour (please) and gracias (good bye). One of you have decided that talking to all those pretty Spanish girls - is the motivation.

Now clearly, I am the least experienced as I don’t have any previous exposure to the language. However, I am an effective learner with age and experience on my side. So, I am hoping to catch up very soon. I, also, have in my arsenal of effective tools to use two Spanish speakers (who are learning English with Orchard Training), they have embraced the idea so warmly that I feel very confident that I will make it all the way to the end of the year.

I came across a sentence with a word in, that caused me to stumble the other day. It was a word that could have more than one meaning, there was no explanation on the page as verbs were not the focus of the lesson, annoyingly it changed spelling with every different use, as a lot of verbs do so in other languages with the male, female and plurals. A quick text to ask and five minutes later the verb ‘tiene’ became ‘have’ and not ‘with’ as I had guessed.

There is a lesson in challenge solving your learning for all of us of home schoolers and independent learners:

  1. Talk about what we are doing – let others know and look out for study buddies.

  2. When we are affected by a problem – first change the word problem to challenge.

  3. Ask ourselves what can I do to help ourselves – try to solve the challenge yourself, don’t give up on overcoming this challenge.

  4. Look in the study manual if you are working from one – in our case we are using Rosetta Stone language program on the lap top and we can only go one way through the lesson, so knowing the answer was not important to the lesson at that moment.

  5. Ask others – parents may be old and have left schools some time ago but they may know the answer from their life experience: they might just surprise you!

  6. Ask the teacher – it might be something they have planned to tell you in your next lesson and you have reached it ahead of time, believe me this happens far more often that we teachers let on and it shows that you are taking on the learning.

  7. Can’t solve the challenge right now - instantly! Put it to one side and come back to it when you have more time.

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