The Spanish Advantage Club Offers Dual-Language Education, After-School Care & More
For more than 12 years Elizabeth Isonhood worked as a second and sixth-grade teacher, as well as an after-school Spanish immersion tutor for elementary school through high school students who needed extra help with their Spanish language classes. In 2015 she opened The Spanish Advantage Club. Originally it was an after-school Spanish tutoring program but when tutoring inquiries for 3 and 4-year-olds began, she decided it was time to expand and open a dual-language preschool in Indianapolis. Recently, they have opened a kindergarten class as well.
Her students are taught and spoken to completely in Spanish, offering a great early childhood program for children to learn how to speak Spanish.
“If we’re going to do STEM, or a science lesson for example, we teach the lesson completely in Spanish,” Isonhood says. “It’s truly a bilingual school.”
When it comes to enrolling a student in a Spanish-speaking program, Isonhood recommends doing so early in life because of the value of early learning centers, which offer the highest-quality learning environments.
“When students learn a second language at an early age, that’s how their brain develops in terms of tying into their cognitive skills,” says Isonhood, adding that students’ confidence, creativity, memory, concentration and social skills all improve by being exposed to a second language. “There are so many benefits, including developing critical thinking skills, communication skills and listening skills. Plus, they are more curious about learning more things.”
Her students also get daily lessons on manners.
“Basically, we teach them how to be good people,” Isonhood says. “When we are eating in the cafeteria, you’ll see a 2-year-old waiting for everyone else to be seated before they will begin eating. They’ll also talk in a soft voice and set their fork down when they’re done – all rules of etiquette.”
Isonhood also offers a summer camp that has both study and playtime, home-cooked meals and includes a daily field trip. Their 2-acre, on-site outdoor recreation facility has a large playground, tennis court, mini-soccer field and basketball courts, mini-golf, and a tricycle and scooter track.
E-learning students have also recently joined The Spanish Advantage Club.
“[This year] I have become basically a school with pre-K through sixth grade,” Isonhood says. “It’s a lot more work, but I’m happy to help our children and community.”
Isonhood has had about 60 students throughout the pandemic, with no more than 10 in each classroom for safety.
Classes fill up and a waiting list will start, but in the past Isonhood has always been able to open another class if interest demands it. Still, it never hurts to plan for your child’s future. In fact, she has parents with 1-year-olds who have already reserved their spots.
Elizabeth Isonhood and her husband, along with their six children, all work at the family-owned facility.
“Our oldest is 21 and our youngest is 10, and even our 10-year-old is in the office with a radio, alerting the teachers when parents have arrived to pick up children,” Isonhood says.
Though she now works year-round, she could not be happier.
“I love this,” she says. “Yes, it is 10 times the work, but I get to implement my own language curriculum and teach children to be all that they can be. My job is so fulfilling, and I look forward to it every day.”
The Spanish Advantage Club is located at 9615 East 59th Street in Indianapolis. For more information, call 317-656-1757, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit thespanishadvantageclub.com.