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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Homeschool Spanish: A Review

PhotobucketOne of our desires is for our children to be fluent in a second language. Both Joe and I learned French in school but neither of us remember more than a few words and phrases. We decided that Spanish is probably a good language to learn, a lanuguage that could take them many places in the future. The kids and I joined a Spanish class a couple of years ago which we enjoyed but after the coordinator left the island, we never continued. I loved the class because it was relaxed, the coordinator used sign language, songs, and props to make the classes fun AND I could join in and learn Spanish too.  Since then I have looked for a similar process of learning Spanish that I could do on my own so I was so pleased when we were chosen to review Homeschool Spanish: A R.E.A.L Curriculum for the Whole Family. The REAL stands for Relax, Enjoy, Aspire, Learn Spanish!  Sounded like the perfect fit... and so far so good!

I didn't get as far as I had hoped in the program during the review period as it fell smack dab in the middle of Christmas prep and holiday time, but I was able to use it enough to know it is definitely a resource that we will continue with.  The kids have responded well with it and are actually learning!  AND so am I... and you know the saying "It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks!" The first day I introduced the program to the kids I said "Bonjour mes enfants!"  Oh dear...wrong language.. this is going to be good!  I must say things have gotten much better since then!!

So what are the strengths of this program?

It was written specifically for home educators and was developed in order to enable parents to learn along with their child and could be easily incorporated into daily life.  It is built upon a conversational Spanish foundation and does not take a lot of preparation time.  The author Dr. Karyn Williamson-Coria, is the homeschooling mom of 3 boys.  You can read more about her and the philosophy of the program here.

The curriculum comes as a book bundle which is available in hardcopy ($89.95)or as downloadable ebooks ($49.95).

This main book includes home educator tips, ideas for getting started, tips for using it for multiple children of different ages, and ideas to incorporate cultural elements into your learning experience.

The bundle includes a Daily Curriculum guide which takes the guess work out of how the material should be presented each week.  The lessons are broken up into ten units (or 48 weeks) which are made up of vocabulary clusters and  useful phrases for presenting the material.  Idea sections provide suggested activities for reinforcing learning throughout daily life.

There is an  activity book full of fun activities like word search and crossword puzzles, fill in the blanks and unscramble activities.  An answer book is provided.  Micaiah (age 8) has enjoyed this and is able to work on most of the activities in his own.  Eli (age 6) needs quite a bit of assistance from me but that has only helped reinforce my learning as well.   The kids (including Eden- age 4) have started making a collection of picture flash cards to help them remember the words that we are learning.

I have some Spanish board books I was trying to use with the kids.. they are great because they have the Spanish and English words on the same page.  The problem is that I have no clue how to pronounce the Spanish words!  This program comes with audio files so there is no guess work... no logging on to the internet trying to find the right pronunciation... it is all there!

The company offers email support, which I haven't need to use but it is good to know if it is there if we do.

This is a great, well thought out program.  So far it is proving to be what it claims... a program for the whole family which can be learned in a relaxed, enjoyable way.  I look forward to continuing and I am confident that we will continue to be successful in our learning! Check out or purchase the curriculum  here or see what others using this curriculum have to say here.

Hasta luego Amigos!

 Disclaimer:  As a reviewer for the TOS crew, I was given this product free of charge in exchange for an honest (favourable or otherwise) review.

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