Seven ways to use the One-Word-a-Day Method for learning Spanish

When attempting anything new, most of us humans have one of two ways that we go about it:

ALL IN - deep dive, huge change


BABY STEPS - small changes, building to bigger moves

I think we can all agree that the ALL IN method sometimes works, is invigorating and often helpful to break out of ruts or bad habits, but the BABY STEPS method (I call it x+1 throughout my blogs, lessons, books, and articles) is in general more sustainable. With that agreement, let me give you SEVEN awesome, easy ways to make the one word a day method more fun, effective, and efficient. 

Whatever word you have for the day, doodle it! You've seen my doodles from Spanish Geniuses --- they're laughable! But that's ok - the ACTION of making the doodle while you repeat the new target word is the learning method that makes it effective! Here are some examples of how we use doodles during our Spanish Geniuses bonus sessions:

See? You do NOT have to be an artist. Just speak and doodle, doodle and speak. ONE word at a time.

Not feeling super artsy? You can grab ANY sort of color page from the internet - here's my favorite color page provider - and choose one word to color in and repeat. From this particular page, I would likely start with la rata (the mouse) or el gato (the cat), maybe el tazón (the bowl) or el queso (the cheese) - there's the rug, the floor, and the macaroni too! You can say TASTY, HAPPY, BIG, or FUNNY! So many options, but just choose ONE word. If you're stumped, use SPANISHDICT.COM to translate - they have the speaker option as well as the phonetic spelling to help you out.

Do you have a pencil/writing/drawing/coloring averse kid? Yeah. Me too. But I could get him to DO anything. As long as it had NOTHING to do with writing, coloring or drawing! So - call out the word, and you ALL choose an action for the day. It's a SUPER fun way to add some action and exercise into your life! At the end of the week, you'll basically have a little dance, if you call out each word, one at a time in a chant. Not making sense? Think about the song: HEAD, SHOULDERS, KNEES and TOES.
Here's an example for each day this week: asombroso, bailar, contento, jugar, perfecto. (awesome, to dance, happy, to play, perfect.) 

Of course she learned these ONE day at a time, and then tried to put them together later, after focusing on just ONE word and action again and again each day.

Her family can use the words in a sentence like: Me gusta bailar y jugar. (I like to dance and to play) Or Estoy contenta, asombrosa, y perfecta. (I'm happy, awesome and perfect.)

~4~ You knew I had to say it: FLASH CARDS!
Just make ONE flash card! Spanish on one side, English on the other. Or, picture on one side, BOTH languages on the other. JUST MAKE ONE!
Not a flashcard fan? Use your skinny book - super effective, easy, super fun size. It goes well with ANY learning tool. Truly. Check it out.

Just like many homeschooling families, I'm a HUGE fan of educational games. Charades is one, pictionary is another, or even hiding the flashcards or playing go fish. Here are a few ways to make an easy QUICK game.

Pictionary - use a white board (or a window, a page protector, slick binder cover, or a mirror!) adding the dry erase element helps the perfectionism in your childre to fade a bit and you get to learn that word more easily - it helps if you doodled the word when they learned it. :-) 

Charades - if you acted it out when you started - this is even more fun!

Go fish - stick a paper clip to each flashcard you've made.  Grab a ruler, or pencil, or even a stick, and then tie a pirce of yarn or twine or thread to one end of the stick - the other end of the yarn has a kitchen magnet on it. TAH DAH! You have a FLASHCARD FISHING POLE! When you pick it up, CALL IT OUT in Spanish, or you have to throw it back!

Memory - make two of each word, and make matches. Repetition = success

BINGO - I have a zillion ideas for this. Click the link to the left. But be sure to only focus on ONE word a day for the simplified method.


This is a little less fun, but super helpful - use your words to make a complete sentence. can help you with your grammar, and if you use my Spanish Fun Activity Calendars (Level 1, or Level 2 now!) Then the sentence is built in at the end of the week, for you! You can see a video lesson on how it goes here.

Adding a dose of silliness to your voice, actions, or hand puppet makes ANYthing more memorable. I saved the best for last, because you can ADD this method to any of the other six methods - you'll create more memories, reduce stress, smile more, and remove ANY fear of speaking Spanish by demonstrating your commitment to learn - be vulnerable, be silly. Smile some more. Why not, right??? And yes, we sell those eyes separately - two sets at a time of course!


omment below - which of the seven methods will be the easiest for you to use? Do you need a list of words for your one word a day? How can I help you get started?

~Sra. Gose

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  • Joy de Pominville on

    love to get your one word a day list! thanks wlll be great to secretly teach my grandson!

  • Joy de Pominville on

    love to get your one word a day list! thanks wlll be great to secretly teach my grandson!

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