Learn French with Whistlefritz {Homeschool Review Crew}

Learn French with Whistlefritz

Homeschool Review Crew

Whistlefritz
As part of the Homeschool Review Crew, we recently received a fun package in the mail containing the Educator’s French Collection from Whistlefritz.  Such fun to be had!  Learn French with Whistlefritz only if you want to have tons of fun!

About the Curriculum

When you’re ready to Learn French and get your Educator’s French Collection you’re going to receive a nice package in the mail.  That’s the first positive for this curriculum.  I love a physical product.  There’s just something about bein able to touch and feel something.

In the package you receive 5 DVD videos, 3 music CDs, lesson plan books, and Matching Cards Games.  There are also translation guides available for you to download through the website.  We did not use the translation downloads. 

This curriculum is recommended for ages 1-7.  So for toddler who is still learning English up to approximately the first grade.  You can use this program easily with multiple children.  Because I have kids who are over the age of 7 I did use this with older kids as well.

The DVD’s are done in immersion fashion which means they’re done all in French.  I find this amazing and fun to listen to as I love foreign languages.  It also helps to give you more clues to what they’re talking about and how sentences are formed.  Within the DVD sessions you have both “real” people and animated puppet type people.  They get to have fun and carry on conversations.  

The CD’s include fun songs that your children will love to sing over and over and over and over again.  Seriously.  If you don’t like to hear repeated songs you might want to skip listening to them.  In all honestly I have not gotten to the point of being annoyed by the songs yet and I hear htem daily.  This would be a great part of the course to take with you as you travel so you could easily listen to the radio on the way.

To add in some fun hands on learning there is a card game.  The game consists of 50 cards with the most adorable little foxes on them.  

The Lessons

The lesson book deserves it’s own subheading in this post so here you go!

Within the lesson book is everything you’ll need to know to use the program correctly.  These lessons are so fun!  They include not only learning the words of the language but crafts and so many fun things plus other subjects within the learning of French such as PE, history, math, and science.  Who doesn’t want all that extra learning??  

Within the lesson plan you’re going to get a breakdown of what you need for the class, the appropriate songs and DVD lesson to watch etc.  So for instance, you’re going to be given the vocabulary that this lesson works on, the goals and objectives for the lesson, materials needed for that lesson, a short description of the lesson, and an estimate of how long this lesson will take.  Next you’re getting the how to of the lesson.  It tells you what the focus should be put on and gives you a short script to use for teaching.  Then there is a guided practice and an independent practice followed by a closure.  Oh and don’t forget the extension activities to help cement it all!  

 

Learn French by Immersion

 

Our Thoughts

I love that this is a physical product and does not require me to get on the internet to use it.  My kids thought the videos were cute.  The older kids were significantly not impressed with them but the target age range kids thought they were great.

We love music in our house and it was considered great fun to listen to the music cd’s and try to sing the songs in French as well as identifying what the English song name and lyrics are.

Native French speakers are used in this program.  This means it’s more enjoyable to listen to for one but that it’s also a more accurate portrayal of the language.  Being an immersion language course also means that you’re going to get more chances to listen to them talk and mimic them.  Not only do they use “real” French, but they also teach French to you in such a way that you feel liked you’re truly learning to speak the language.  I realize that sounds a bit weird but it means that you’re being taught French almost as if it’s your first language.

We used this for ages 1-12.  Oh and me.  I listened too.  I love learning foreign languages so this was a no brainer that I was going to be sitting in on the DVD and CD sessions.  My one year old really didn’t get much from it that I can tell.  But he also really doesn’t do much talking in English yet.  My older kids liked to act like they weren’t really all that interested but they also were doing quite a bit of showing off of their newfound language learned to friends and family.  I have to say one of my 6 year olds probably picked this up the fastest and with the least amount of effort.  She loves languages!

Learn More

Want to learn more about Whistlefritz?  Want to learn French?  Or how about Spanish?  Whistlefritz also offered up the Educator’s Spanish Collection for review so you can see both sets linked up for reviews.  Check out the Main Homeschool Review Crew page and see all the reviews!  Each review will let you know if it’s for French or Spanish.  You can also find Whistlefritz on facebook, twitter, and youtube.

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Elementary German {Homeschool Review Crew}

Elementary German

Homeschool Review Crew

One of the many many languages I have always wanted to learn is German.  I want my kids to learn several languages as well.  Recently through the Homeschool Review Crew we got access to an elementary German course from Middlebury Interactive Languages.  Their German Courses are available for grades 3-12.  We received online access to their Elementary German program for grades 3-5.  

 

Spanish, French, German or Chinese {Middlebury Interactive Languages}
 

While this course is for Grades 3-5, I find that my younger children can also learn from it.  We love to listen and practice this together as a family during our homeschool mornings.  Even my three year old is picking up short phrases and words.  It’s so fun to see the kids interacting and using German words during our days!

The program itself is fun and engaging.  It uses fun stories and videos to teach language.  It’s a bit of immersion since they tell a story fully in German to start the lessons.  But the stories are ones that everyone will know so you can get the gist and make your own inference as to what the words mean.

My thoughts

I love that at the beginning of the course you have access to a list of all the stories that are going to be used.  This list allowed me time to make sure that I had the English versions in our house.  I’m a bit of a nerd and love to add more literature into our homeschool day so I made sure that we were reading the same books in English and in German at the same time.   Fun for me and the kids!  

Also, when you go back to the section mentioned above, you can click on a button that allows you to see all of the German phrases they’ll show on the screens and the English next to it.  I LOVE this!!!  It’s printed and in a binder for my use with the kids.  This way I can write some of our phrases on a blackboard or whiteboard throughout the house for practice away from the computer.

 

Elementary German (Homeschool Review Crew)

 

Another fun feature I took advantage of was the list of vocabulary for all 15 units at the beginning.  I printed those guys off too!  I have a chalkboard sticker on my refrigerator door.  Yeap vocabulary words in German get written on there!  It also let me plan ahead.  If I knew say we’d be learning fruit words one week I can make sure I have the fruit in question in my refrigerator so we can eat an apple while we learn the word for apple.  I’m fun like that!!

About the Program

Lesson 1 is all about family.  We learn the names for brother, sister, cousin, etc all while listening to the German version of Rumpelstiltskin.  It’s such a cute and fun way to learn the words!  Be prepared for your kids to run around calling each other brother and sister in German.  It’ll happen.  Ask me how I know.  

We’re working through the program doing one unit per week currently.  Though there have been a few weeks we did two units because my kids really got the words learned quickly.  It’s self paced though.  All the lessons are available when you’re ready for them and you can go back and do them again if you need to.

I highly recommend using Middlebury Interactive Languages Elementary German program.  Again, while it says grades 3-4 I personally am using it with some kids who are in Kindergarten, first, and second as well as a few preschoolers in addition to those grades and they are doing really well learning the words.

Learn More

If you’d like to see more about the other languages that are offered from Middlebury Interactive Languages make sure to check out the Main Post on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.  You’ll also find other levels of German and more reviews about Elementary German as well.  Middlebury Interactive Languages can also be found on social media through their Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  

 

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Homeschool French {Homeschool Crew Review}

Homeschool French

Homeschool Crew Review

I love foreign languages and have always wanted to share them with my children as well as learn them along side them.  The past few weeks we’ve been trying out some homeschool French!  Armfield Academic Press has been kind enough to let us review their Getting Started with French homeschool curriculum through the Homeschool Review Crew(formerly what I would call the TOS Crew).

 

Homeschool French {Homeschool Crew Review}

 

Getting Started with French is a physical product so it was mailed to us.  Part of it is accessed online though in the form of downloadable audio to go with your lesson. You get a book in the mail for you to use and then access to the online portion for your downloads.  Everyone knows the best way to learn a foreign language is to hear it spoken.  It’s a bit hard to speak it if you don’t know what it should sound like!

I was pleased that this review came when it did.  We are doing a book study of Madeline with my younger children so we were able to incorporate learning some French words as well as studying Paris.  Lots of fun to be had and this homeschool French was the perfect addition to our book study!

Homeschool French

The daily lessons are short which makes doing them everyday very simple and fun.  They’re really pretty hassle free, you don’t need extra things to complete them.  My kids thought they were very fun as well so that always adds a positive spin to things!

For our purposes, I sat with all the kids and we went over the lessons together.  I find that when studying a foreign language with my kids it’s easiest if I study it with them so that we are all helping each other.  They like having mommy learn with them and it of course is great when they’re all learning and helping each other.

This book would be great to give to an older junior high or high school student and letting them learn on their own.  It can easily be self guided at that stage where they can attend to it themselves without a parents help.  

There are 172 lessons within the book.  As I stated above they are short and quick so they really don’t add a lot of time to your homeschool day.  If you work on this four days a week it would take 43 weeks to finish it.  That’s our plan anyway!!

Learn More!

Armfield Academic Press has two other Getting Started with. . . . language books already with another on the way.  Right now they have Latin and Spanish.  I’ve been wanting to start Latin with my children again so I’ll be looking into that one.  Coming soon is Getting Started with Russian which would be very interesting to learn I think!

Homeschool French has added not just a subject to our homeschool but also a fun family time as we enjoy learning a language together.  The younger children can’t read the words and don’t understand all of it. Nevertheless, they are quickly picking up the words and using them appropriately.  It’s amazing how well the little ones can learn languages.  They do better than me!

Interested in learning more about adding Getting Started with French to your routine and making it your go to homeschool French?  Check out the Main Blog where all the reviews are linked up as well as find them on facebook.

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

 

Homeschool Spanish {TOS Crew Review}

Homeschool Spanish

TOS Crew Review

Our homeschool has done a few different foreign languages but we’re always looking to add in a new one to see what works best for us.  This year we’re trying out a homeschool Spanish called Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids.  We received Starter Set 1 to review.  

 

Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review
 

This is a physical product which is great for our school.  Because it’s a physical you can touch and feel the books and cards.  This homeschool Spanish program includes 

  • DVD with videos for levels 1-3
  • flashcards and game cards for levels 1-3
  • workbooks for levels 1-3
  • stickers for levels 1-3
  • Three parent teacher guides.  These include a detailed lesson plan, suggested viewing schedule, supplemental and hands on activities to go with the program.

I used this program with all of my children ages 3-11.  My youngest is three and though she can’t read or comprehend everything, she did pick up many of the words and could match some of the flashcards.  My oldest is really enjoying this program as well.  It’s fun and engaging plus they’re learning.

 

Homeschool Spanish

 

The program focuses on grades three and above.  I only have two children who are in this category.  They were the ones using the workbooks as the other kids weren’t quite ready for them.  However, everyone was able to enjoy the DVD’s and learn words and phrases that they enjoyed repeating over and over and over throughout the weeks and days.  I must say I now have quite a Spanish vocabulary just from listening to my children.  They were also able to carry on small conversations of course through what they had learned and again I heard those over and over and over.

I must say that at times I was thinking I might go crazy with all of the repetition but then I realized that I have 9 kids that were now speaking at least some Spanish.  The program met the goal.  I can highly recommend this program to others and really 

The most important aspect of the program in my opinion is the DVD.  This is how your children are really going to learn the words and correct pronunciations.  We watched the levels several times each.  The more they are viewed the more the students learn.

This is an immersion course.  This means you’re immersed or sent into a real life scenario where you’re learning words and phrases that would be needed in everyday life.  Versus the textbook approach where you learn textbook phrases that you’re probably not going to use in an everyday setting.  I find through our different homeschool Spanish courses that immersion is a better approach.  

The curriculum is very laid out so that there is not much left for the parent to plan.  It’s a 20 week course.  The three videos or levels that are included on the DVD are

  1. Basketballs Aren’t For Breakfast
  2. Little Magic House, part 1
  3. Little Magic House, part 2

Each video has a workbook that accompanies it.  My kids really enjoyed these videos.  They’re cute and very much a kid centered cartoon type show.  We spent most of our time on the first level.  This is the Basketballs Aren’t for Breakfast portion.  It’s very cute and entertaining.  My kids stayed interested and enjoyed watching it.  

The Spanish Starter Set 1 retails for $140.25 including the DVD, workbooks, flashcards, parent/teacher guides, and stickers.  There is another membership option that allows you to stream the videos instead of receiving the DVD’s.  We definitely prefer having the DVD’s versus the streaming but I can see how that would be preferable to others.  

Make sure you also check out all the other reviews on the Main TOS Crew page.  You can learn more about Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids on their facebook as well.  

 

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Learn a Foreign Language Online {TOS Crew Review}

Have you or your child ever wanted to learn a foreign language?  Now you can learn a foreign language online with Middlebury Interactive Languages.   We recently got to review Elementary German 1: Grades 3-5 through their online program and the TOS Crew.    

 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
Why German?  German is a language I’ve always wanted to learn and one that we do hear spoken around us occasionally.  I took one semester of it in college and loved it.  I knew then that I was going to want my kids to learn German as well as expand my knowledge.  But, when you live in the country near a small town, there aren’t many language instructors available.

I was thrilled when I learned that you could actually learn a foreign language online.  But then there were all the different courses!  And they of course all had varying costs and reasons that they were the best.  I was so relieved when we got offered this review so that I could stop researching them all!

The course we received is the first semester of the year one German.  You can take Elementary German I and II(so a full year), Middle School German I and II, and High School German I and II.  So all in all they offer three years worth of the German language.  Each course is paid for separately, but that’s a lot of foreign language!

 

 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
This is an immersion based program.  Middlebury Interactive Languages is different than other immersion based programs in that they bring world culture into their lessons.  So really you’re not just learning a language, you’re learning about a people and a culture as well.  You’re going to get experience and reinforcement in learning how to listen, read, speak, and write the language as well as the cultural enhancement.  It’s really a well rounded program.

We used this program three days a week.  There are 45 lessons.  I would have loved for us to be able to use it more, but it just didn’t fit into our schedule.  When you use this way to learn a foreign language online, you’re not just watching videos.  You’re getting much more.  You’re watching videos, being exposed to the written German, hearing it, and seeing images.  It helps to make sure all the senses are engaged and ensures more children learn!  We were right on with using this three days a week as the suggestion for grades 3-5 is 2-3 lessons a week.  So doing three lessons a week with 45 lessons it will take us 15 weeks to finish one semester of German!

 

 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
I have to say that I may have loved this program just as much as my kids and I could easily see us continuing with the German course.  I learned some new things and would love to take some other languages myself!  My kids are also really excited by it!  They for one really love being able to use mommy’s computer as it’s not something they do everyday.  They also like knowing that they’re learning a new language.  While learning this language they can pick up bits and pieces of other conversations!  They also think they have a secret language that they can talk to each other in.  I hated to burst their little imagination bubble and tell them that there is a whole country that speaks their secret language!  They were shocked to say the least.  

Oh and hey mom this is for you.  You don’t have to grade their work!  The computer does that!  Your child will love this.  Well at least mine have!  The student using this is in 4th grade.  Really all of my kids were crowding around to listen and learn.  But only one got to control the keyboard!

Make sure you check out all the other Crew Reviews on the Main TOS Blog Page.  We got to choose a language and a level so there is going to be some variety available to help you choose which language and level is right for you.  Also check out Middlebury Interactive Languages on twitter, instagram, facebook, pinterest, and google +.

 

 

crew disclaimer graphic

 

Learn Latin at Home {TOS Crew Review}

Have you ever wanted to learn Latin?  I self taught Latin when I was in high school by borrowing books from my English teacher.  I have always wanted my children to learn but never really knew where to look for a curriculum.   In 2013 we got the chance to review Prima Latina through Memoria Press.  I was very excited that my children could continue their study to learn Latin this year through our review of Latina Christiana I thanks to the TOS Review Crew.

 

Memoria Press Review
 

Latina Christiana I is the continuation of the Latin series.  This course is recommended for grades 3 and up.  We received the complete set to review( a $98.90 value) which includes the student book, teacher’s manual, pronunciation cd, instructional dvd’s, and flashcards.  This course is ready to teach the beginner or novice all about Latin!  Because we were able to review the Prima Latina before we may have had a leg up on most beginners.  

 

Learn Latin with Memoria Press {TOS Crew Review}

 

Let’s talk a short bit about some of the components.  The student book contains 25 lessons with 5 review lessons.  Within each lesson you will find:

  • Latin sayings that teach their Christian or classical heritage(this ties in well to a history lesson)
  • grammar form
  • ten vocabulary words
  • and reviews of course

Within the Teacher’s Book you will find:

  • a complete copy of the student book with overlaid answers(talk about easy!)
  • detailed weekly lesson plans which takes the stress off of you, especially if you yourself do not know Latin and are learning with the children
  • comprehensive teaching instructions
  • grammar overview
  • recitation schedule
  • background information on the Latin sayings and Roman history(again ties in well to a history lesson)
  • tests, quizzes, and keys

The CD provides you with the correct pronunciations for each lesson as well as prayers and songs that are used with the lessons.

The Instructional DVD contains has 5 discs containing 18 hours of material.  Within this you have lessons that are 35-40 minutes in length.  In this you will find:

  • thorough teaching by the Prima Latina author(again back to our first review)
  • coverage of each new grammar lesson
  • recitation and review
  • vocabulary practice and explanation of derivatives
  • on-screen notes, diagrams, and illustrations
  • additional examples
  • all within a self-explanatory format

The flashcards are pretty self-explanatory as well.  They are cardstock with the vocabulary words on them to go with each lesson.  Each card has the Latin word and the English derivatives on them.

 

Latina Christiana I {TOS Crew Review}

 

Again, this is very easy to teach as it is all laid out for you and you really have no prep work.  This is something that I love because I don’t have time to prep for all of my subjects.  Having a few that are all laid out for me so all I have to do is teach is wonderful!

This is an easy course to do with multiple students as once you have the complete kit all you have to purchase are the student books. Each student book is only $16 so doable for almost any family.  As you may have noticed above I have noted how you could incorporate history lessons into learning Latin.  If you don’t want to take the time to prep that out you can purchase the Famous Men of Rome course through Memoria Press.  This is actually another product that some Crew members reviewed so make sure to check out those reviews if you’re interested in it.

There are many ways you can use this course and plan it out, but with my kids we did one lesson per week.  That seems to be the easiest for us.  On Day 1 we would watch the lesson on the DVD.  On Day 2 we would listen to the CD.  On day 3 we would do our flashcards and work on the lesson in the student book.  On Day 4 we would review.  This might include reviewing a part of the lesson on DVD or relistening to the CD.  Basically we would go over all the material again but specifically focus on anything that wasn’t clicking.  Day 5 was when we would do the rest of the workbook if we had not finished it.

Some fun things that we also added to help with retention and memorization was to have the kids write out the words as copywork in their copywork notebooks.  We also would write the word and the meanings on construction paper to make a guidebook for each of them to keep.  Little things but repetition is key with some of my children.  

So for our verdict, my kids enjoyed this program.  I enjoyed this program.  We knew what to expect already since we had been given the opportunity to review Prima Latina and were still as in love with this one as we were with it.  I love that it has the same basic structure and teaching methods as Prima Latina so that it was familiar to the kids and we didn’t have to spend a long time getting into a routine.  I would recommend this to anyone who want their children to learn Latin or who wants to learn Latin themselves.

If you would like to learn more about the three products that Memoria Press offered Crew members for reviews please visit the Main TOS blog to read the reviews.  You can also connect with Memoria Press on Facebook and Twitter.  

 

crew disclaimer graphic

How To Teach A Foreign Language Even If You Don’t Speak It {Guest Post}

The following post titled How to Teach a Foreign Language Even if You Don’t Speak It, is a guest post by Adriana Zoder.  I was so excited when she reached out to me to guest post on my blog.  I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did!  Oh and we’ve used Middlebury Interactive Languages before and LOVED it too!

 

Because I was raised in Europe, Romania to be exact, foreign languages do not seem like such a big deal to me. Granted, I have been told that I have natural abilities in that realm, but most people around me learned French and English to a certain degree. If nothing else, because these two languages were school subjects for us since the fifth grade all the way through our senior year in high school. Also, because most of the movies and TV shows we watched were in English (or French or Italian or Spanish or German). Daily exposure to other sounds de-mystified them.

 

guest post

 

That’s the secret to learning or teaching a foreign language – daily exposure to those sounds. So here’s a seven-step strategy for you to teach a foreign language in your homeschool even if you can’t remember any of the Spanish – or whatever foreign language – you “learned” in school:

1. Find a radio station online in your target language. For us with French, it’s Radio France Internationale. Turn it on for 10 minutes a day. Even if you don’t understand what in the world they are saying, your ears will start getting used to the sounds and flow and rhythm of that language. Obviously, your children must be listening to this. They are the ones that should learn it, but don’t exclude yourself. You may be surprised how you will be able to distinguish certain words after a month or so of radio listening, especially if you add.

2. YouTube videos – in the target language, of course. We watch Caillou, mostly. But there is also Léo et Popi and Tchoupi et Doudou. Not only do we get all sorts of French vocabulary, as the episodes are organized along specific themes (feelings, Christmas, friendship etc), but we also watch very polite family interactions. Let’s face it, Caillou’s parents are perfect. Their responses to Caillou’s childish actions and reactions should be gathered in a parenting book. Just saying.

 

 

If you don’t know of a show in your target language, just Google “videos in German” or whatever language you want to teach your children. My advice would be no more than 30 minutes per day of videos, no matter how quality the content is. Children must learn skills in the real world and their brains must actively engage in 3D experiences. Screen time should be minimized.

 

 

3. All this exposure to the sounds and rhythm of a foreign language would not take you far unless you had a curriculum that steadily and systematically taught you vocabulary and grammar. I wrote about how we use PetraLingua and Middlebury Interactive Languages in French, but both of these websites offer many other languages. Recently, I discovered DuoLingo, which is a free app for your phone or tablet or computer. No excuses anymore, right? It’s free.

 

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My kids learning French with Middlebury Interactive Languages

 

4. Look for play groups in your target language. Google, your local library and your local newspaper should help you locate them. Some areas will be better equipped at this than others. If nothing else, start your own. Here’s how I started my own French Play Group. Sure, I am fluent in French, but you can also do this with a local foreign language teacher or with youtube videos and an interactive language curriculum. Especially for beginners, it should be easy for you as the coordinator to keep track of their answers. Besides, many of these online curricula are self-correcting.

5. Join your local chapter of Alliance Française if your target language is French. We did and the kids enjoyed greeting people in French. Even if you don’t get anything out of it, just the fact that there is a place where your children can go and it is considered normal to say “bonjour” and “au revoir” to a real person will boost their confidence. For any other language, I would call or visit the website of an embassy of the country where they speak that language. Ask for similar organizations which work on promoting their language and culture.

6. Search your local homeschool co-ops. Sometimes there are foreign language courses offered there and some of the teachers may be native speakers. For those of you living in or near Blount County in Tennessee, the Blount Home Education Association offers French language teaching on different levels by a French national.

7. If you are fluent or at least advanced in a foreign language, read to your children in that language. Start with picture books even if your children are older. It will be short and sweet and the pictures will help with translation, which makes the work less tedious and boosts confidence. Schoenhof’s, Harvard University’s foreign language bookstore, offers free shipping on orders over $50. If you don’t know what titles to get, call them or join their Facebook page and ask. They have very friendly staff.

8. Invest in a foreign language magazine. The Bayard-Milan representative for the US will help you select an appropriate title for your children’s ages. They have magazines in French, German and Spanish.

Here’s hoping you got inspired to learn a foreign language while teaching it to your children!

 

 

 

Adriana Zoder is a homeschooling mom of two, living in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. She has published two books on Amazon, 101 Tips for Preschool at Home and 101 Tips for Kindergarten at Home(reviews of these coming soon by me–Erin!!). Get Adriana’s FREE ebook 21 Days to Jumpstart Your Homeschool at her award-winning blog,www.HomeschoolWays.com.

Kids Learn German with Middlebury Interactive Languages #hsreviews

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
 

I don’t know about you, but I think learning foreign languages is a great thing for children.  They absorb it so quickly.  As adults it is more of a struggle to learn and remember.  I was so excited when a chance came that allowed my kids to learn German through Middlebury Interactive Languages.  We were given access to a full course(one semester or six months) of the German Courses.

The course we received that would help the kids learn German is Elementary German 1: Grades 3-5.  By the time the course ends over 600 vocabulary words have been learned in an immersive multi-media experience.  This is an online course.  There are two choices for the course.  You can choose the without teacher course for $119 or the with teacher course for an additional $175 making the total course $294.  This course is geared for older elementary students or grades 3-5,equivalent to ages 9-12.

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
 

 

It is recommended for this age of course that students use the program 2-3 days per week for a total of 45 lessons.  This is what we were attempting to do.  We wanted to use the course on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays so that we could use it on an evenly spaced routine.  I feel that helps retain more if you’re not leaving large gaps in between that you’re not using and hearing a language.  Most weeks we were able to keep to this schedule though there were a few weeks when life and extra activities got in the way.  We used Saturday as our makeup day and would do our missed coursework on that day.   

 

My kids were so excited to be learning a new language.  They have done a semester of Spanish before as well as some work in French.  I really want them to learn German though as it is a language that was spoken by my husbands family and a language that I have always loved.  I took a semester of it in college and have wanted to learn more since then.  I was hoping that I could make sure I haven’t lost my knowledge by helping my kids with the program!

This is a very cute program that makes learning fun.  I have always though that teaching kids a foreign language was going to require a lot of rote memorization and drilling, but this online program provides cute pictures and ways of helping them work on their language without feeling they’re being drilled.  Through this they do learn and memorize their vocabulary words as well as learn to site read the words.  They associate the word on the screen with the sounds they are speaking and it has then become a site word.  Every time they see it they know what it says and can read it even if they don’t know any of the other words in the sentence.  

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
 

 

 

This is a self paced course.  You can do one lesson a week(but you won’t finish during the semester) or you can do 7 lessons a week.  You have access to your course for the entire semester.  While they do offer a full course of languages from K-12, not all languages are available for the younger grades.  German is not available for the K-2 age group.  Our course for grades 3-5 provides the kids with an introduction to basic expressions, words, and phrases.  As I mentioned above, they will have learned over 600 vocabulary words by the end of the semester which to me is a huge thing!  That’s a great start to learning any language.  

 

 

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
 

 

 

We have really enjoyed our work so far in our German course.  My kids are loving the learning of German and normally beg to do extra work on our days.  We have allowed them to do work by reviewing things we have learned instead of a new lesson.  I don’t want to get done with the course and then have nothing else to do for half the semester.  My kids have already informed me that they want to do the next German course which is the Course 2 for grades 3-5. 

 

Our first lesson for German had us singing the German equivalent of Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.  The kids loved it!  I had previewed the lesson and knew what was coming so we sang the English version in our normal morning song section.  It was pretty funny for me to watch my kids rolling around the German words and then realizing that they actually knew what that word meant!  A great way to make a child feel like they’ve accomplished something immediately.

 

 

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
 

 

You can find Middlebury Interactive Languages on social media through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.   Through listening and making sure the pronunciation is correct your child can communicate in an everyday setting knowing they can at least follow the key points.  

 

 

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
 

 

 

Interested in learning more about Middlebury Interactive Languages?  Do you want a program to help kids learn German?  Or maybe you’re interested in another language.  There are a variety of languages through Middlebury Interactive Languages for a variety of ages(K-12) as well.  You can find out more about the courses and ages through going to the Main TOS Crew Blog Post and reading what other reviewers thought of their courses.  We were allowed a choice in what we used so there are going to be different reasons for courses and feelings on what was liked or disliked.

 

 

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Homeschool Online Language with Mango Languages #hsreviews

Mango Languages Review

Recently members of the TOS homeschool review crew(including us) got to use a new homeschool online language learning site.  By language we’re talking foreign languages.  Mango Languages is an online site that allows the learner to have access to learning any language of their choosing from Biblical Hebrew to Arabic to German to what they call Irish(Gaelic).  The Mango Homeschool Edition is what we were given access to.  We received a full years access for up to 5 family members.  

The program is suitable for most ages, though it is recommended that they be age 6 or over to start the course.  Being able to read is definitely a plus, but even those that cannot yet read can still get something from the curriculum.  My three year olds learned along with us just by sitting and listening.  I was shocked when they’d talk in one of the languages we were studying because I thought they were in their own world coloring or “reading” books while their siblings studied and instead they were really paying enough attention that they could say the word correctly and use it correctly.  

Mango Languages Review
The subscription that we received is for a full year of the program for 5 members of the household.  If paying monthly it is $58 or it is $325 for a year.  You can purchase individually for one person or for any number up to 5.  After 5 it will be a special rate and you will have to contact to find out what the group rate will be for the number you have.  If you want just one person it is $18 for one month or $125 for a year subscription.

The homeschool edition of Mango Languages is still fairly new and has a few kinks that are being worked out.  We are very happy with what we have been able to use.  I personally, am super pleased with the number of languages that are offered.  Some languages only have one section of study under them while others have several.  

Mango Languages Review
Our main language that all of our family members who were reviewing used was German.  I took one semester of German in college and really enjoyed it.  I also believe that my children should become fluent in several languages and German is one that I have wanted us to work on.  We have done some in the past with a video series directed to children so they knew a few words for certain colors and play things that children would need to know, but this went more in depth and provided more of the “what a tourist should know” feel to it I think.  It was preparing you to go somewhere where you would need to be able to communicate in German.

The German course has three journeys.  Each journey is like a new section or semester if you will.  In Journey 1 you learn how to: 

            • greetings, gratitude, and goodbye
            • inquiring about someone’s nationality
            • asking what language they speak
            • names and introductions
            • getting around
            • shopping and payment
            • drinks and dining
            • numbers and currency
            • getting help
            • asking for clarification

As you can see, those are all things that would be exceedingly helpful if you found yourself in Germany and needed to be able to communicate for yourself with the local population.  

Everything is online for the homeschool online language program.  You go online, you listen, you speak, you are questioned and you answer.  But, you can also have access to some study guide type files that are available in pdf that you can print off to help you practice away from the computer.  Not all languages will have these files though.  German is one of the languages that does.  It has a course guide for each of the three journeys so you have something that you can print off and look over when you can’t be on the computer studying.  

Mango Languages Review
When you sign up for a language you are given a passport(the kids loved this idea).  On the home page of this passport you can see how many native speakers of the language there are, where they are located, and also some things that you will learn along the way.  These are things that will help you such as a voice comparison tool, phonetic spelling on demand(this is pretty neat and pops up when you hover your mouse over things), etc.  We really enjoyed the phonetic spelling when we were working on some Biblical Hebrew as their characters are so very foreign to us.

I’ve told you some about the program and some of the things we enjoyed with it.  We are using this program on a daily basis.  I believe that with any language program the more you use it the more you will learn.  The more you are able to immerse yourself in it whether it’s just listening to someone speak in the language while you are coloring(like my littles) or actually focusing on it, the more you hear it the easier it will become.  We did have a week where we took completely off from all school due to a fire in our attic and we had to redo some of our lessons because my children had forgotten.  The more time you go without speaking or hearing a language, the more of that language you will lose.  I know they say it comes back to you, and it will, but only when you are totally immersing again.   Don’t forget though that not all of the languages are created equally.  Some only have one journey while others have three or more.  And if you’re just wanting some fun. . . . they even have pirate!

We plan to continue using the curriculum for the rest of our year and I can see us repurchasing another year subscription as this is a wonderful resource for us.  We have access to over 50 languages and can do it on our time whenever we have time.  If you’re skeptical you can choose a language and try the first lesson for free.  If you’re not a homeschooler, don’t worry!  They also have other programs that you can use including a library version, personal, and K-12.  Choose what works for you and enjoy.

If you’d like to see what other TOS crew members though head on over to the Main Crew Blog  and click on the graphic at the bottom to view more reviews.  We all reviewed the same homeschool online language program but were allowed to choose our own languages so if you’re not interested in German check out what everyone else studied!