Friday, January 6, 2012

Review of REAL Homeschool Spanish

Since my husband is a native Spanish speaker, I was very excited to get this program free in exchange for my review.  Although my plan is to give my children years of Latin before I introduce a Romance language, I am happy for the chance to teach them little bits along the way.  REAL (Relax Enjoy Aspire Learn) Homeschool Spanish is a great way for me to be able to do this.

If you follow the day-by-day schedule provided by REAL Homeschool Spanish, the program covers a 48-week period, even longer than a normal school year for most families.  This makes it a great buy.  Further, the author of the program, herself a homeschooling mom, provides numerous tips to adapt this program.  She offers tips for teaching multiple children, ways to slow the program down if it moves too quickly for your family, and many other ideas for implementing this program successfully in multiple homeschool settings.

For $49.95, you can download the text book, activity book, answer book and audio files.  For an additional $10, you will also get the 50 page curriculum guide (for schedule-challenged parents, this might be the best $10 you will spend this school year).  If you prefer hard copies mailed to you, the program, including all components, is $99.95.  I have to say that if something is available as a download, I always choose that option.  First, it saves space.  Secondly, it saves money (at least I'm told it does.  In my world, it just means that I can buy twice as much curriculum!).

REAL Homeschool Spanish covers ten units:

Fruits and Vegetables

Within each unit, vocabulary is introduced (along with audio pronunciations in your audio download), short phrases or dialogues are taught, and a multiplicity of activity ideas are suggested.  These ideas make this program a good one for even the youngest learners for whom memorization is much easier than it is for older learners.

I really like this program for two reasons: first, it looks just like the way I learned Spanish I in 7th grade.  The vocabulary lists and the short dialogues almost could have *come* from my 7th grade textbook.  I find this to be an effective way to teach Spanish.  Second, whereas my children have not been fans of other Spanish programs we have tried, they really liked this one.  They enjoyed it partially because they were learning short phrases to try out on their Spanish speaking grandparents, but they also liked it because the activities (both in the activity book and the suggestions in the text) made learning feel like anything but learning.  They have been having fun!

My children and I recommend REAL Homeschool Spanish to any family wanting to begin Spanish I with their children.  To read other opinions of the program, visit the Crew blog.

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