|REAL Homeschool Spanish|
It's not enough to learn basic vocabulary. A successful program must immerse the student in a new language, encouraging them to actually use it. That is after all the way we all learned to speak --- through interactions with other people.
In our experience, Homeschool Spanish IS a R.E.A.L. curriculum for the whole family!. (R.E.A.L. = Relax, enjoy, aspire, learn Spanish).
"The idea for a curriculum specifically catering to the homeschool environment arose when Dr. Williamson-Coria was unable to find time to sufficiently plan into her daily routine, a way for her own children to learn French. This was even more frustrating due to the fact that she herself was a French Professor. Dr. Williamson-Coria invested in various computer-based programs hoping to ease her heavy prep time. After completion of various steps in these programs, she saw that her children were not able to communicate what they had just learned, nor were they sufficiently able to self direct their own learning. She found that she would have to do these programs herself as part of her "prep" time in order to be able to guide them in their language learning. She was back to the predicament of not having the time.
At the same time, she was giving Spanish classes to homeschoolers and was inspired when she observed how quickly they learned the materials and how conducive the home environment was to be able to really practice the language. However, most material she could find for her classes were geared to classroom learning with large groups of students.
Dr. Williamson-Coria decided to develop a program that enabled the parents to learn along with their child, a program that was easy to use and would enable the home educator to help his/her children use the language as well as guide them in their language learning. Dr. Coria wanted a product with ideas to help her incorporate language learning into her daily routine (as opposed to a "classroom") without taking up all her weekly or daily prep time. She also wanted a product that could develop speaking ability. Most programs work on reading, writing, listening and pronunciation, but not on using the language in a conversational and creative manner. This program is build upon a conversational Spanish foundation. New material is always presented through speaking the language and soliciting responses from the children. As language is used through human contact in the read world, this program stresses the importance of interaction with others."
Homeschool Spanish is divided into 10 themed units with a total of 48 weeks of learning. The author leaves it up to the parent to decide if this will cover 1 or 2 years of study. Within each unit are between one to four sections each with vocabulary and Home Educator tips, Ideas for facilitating home learning, Grammar tidbits , Audio, Book, Activity Book and Answer Key.
Beginning with Lesson 1, this program stresses communication as a way to learn. Listening to the audio sections of each unit, the student is encouraged to repeat the words and phrases thus building confidence in pronunciation and assisting in memorization. The activity sheets that go along with each unit are another aid in cementing new vocabulary and usage.
To help the parent with planning, there is a corresponding "Daily Curriculum Guide" at the beginning of each unit. There's a planning sheet included to help you map it out as well. The author suggests using the program 20-30 minutes per day to keep up momentum and new vocabulary fresh in the mind.
I found the sections, "Tips to Get Started" and "Multiple Children Ideas" a helpful resource in establishing the flow of using this program in our homeschool. I LOVE the author's philosophy of "You will learn to adapt the curriculum to the learning pace of your family".
Since I have a wide spread of ages using this curriculum - 8, 10, 13 AND 40+ (!), not only is finding a learning rhythm important, but finding the best WAY to teach each age group as well.
"REAL Homeschool Spanish was designed primarily for those Home Educators who have been introduced to Spanish in the past or who have learned another foreign language in the past and could apply their knowledge of learning a foreign language to Spanish. So many parents feel they could teach their children Spanish if only they had the right material to help them accomplish this. It is our belief that R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish will fill this need. However, we feel that anyone who aspires to learn Spanish (despite not having learned a foreign language in the past), who's ambitious and methodical in their approach, and would like to learn Spanish as a family can use this program along with the Audio and enjoy their language learning experience."
I agree! I do have a few years of Spanish under my belt, which I find helpful in teaching Spanish in my house. I think this program is an excellent tool in teaching not only my children, but my husband as well!
I admit that my family didn't get as far into this program as I would have like during this review period. However, I am pleased with the quality of what they've done and their responsiveness to the program over all.
I have taken the time to look ahead and I like how the Author laid out the Grammar Tidbits and especially the use of Ser/Estar as well as the suggested activities for each unit.
With this coming New Year, I'll be making more of an effort to make learning a new language a daily discipline for our entire family. Yes, we will continue to use this curriculum and cannot wait for their High School Version to be released sometime soon!
Take a look at these samples and Table of Contents to see if this program is right fit for your family.
Homeschool Spanish is for grade K-8th.
Pricing is as follows:
Book Bundle (Book, Activity Book, Answer Book & Audio Files) $49.95 Downloaded
Book Bundle (same as above PLUS Daily Curriculum Guide) $59.95 Downloaded
Hard Copy $89.95
Hard Copy PLUS Daily Curriculum Guide $99.95
Here's what other crew members are saying!
Disclaimer: I received this program free of charge in exchange for an honest review.