Showing posts with label Foreign Language. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Foreign Language. Show all posts

Saturday

Back to Homeschool!

This has been a crazy busy week for us! We started schooling again on Tuesday of this last week. Hubby's work also had a really big festival in a town 45 minutes away which took part of our week as well.

It always feels like it takes me a couple of weeks to get back into the swing of things; and we were only off for a month!

We're still doing the park program daily so we're only doing "half" school right now. We really like the park program as it gives us free lunch, and lets the kids get a couple hours of play time in daily with their friends who go to "regular" school. They've only got 2 more weeks of the park program left. After that, we'll be on a full school schedule again. (Although we'll probably take a couple of weeks to work up to that full schedule once the park program is over.)

How do you arrange your school schedule? Do you school during the summer at all? Whether you school through summer or not, when do you start your "official" new year? (For us, we just progress to the next level when they're done with their current level; regardless of where we are in our year.)

What does your day typically look like? We had our "typical" day scheduled, but now that hubby's home until noon, ours is needing to be re-arranged. We've been working on figuring that out in the past couple of weeks.

I also had some ask what we decided with regards to foreign language. We've decided for now on Prima Latina for Latin only because we already had the program. However, I'm still looking at Latin Road for the future. We're also going to be getting Rosetta Stone Spanish which we plan on doing together as a family. We're looking at starting that in January. We feel like those two will give our children enough of a base that they can easily build from there should they desire to learn other languages later on.

You'll probably see me posting sparsely for the next month or so as we're working back into our schedule. Even though we do school through the summer, August is when I plan the bulk of our year through the next July. As a result, it's usually a crazy-busy month filled with purging the old, organizing the new (or to be used this year), and scheduling so that everything is pretty much set for my year at once.

I'm sure you all understand that family gets to come before my blog. Even though I cherish my readers, I wouldn't want it any other way...I don't think you guys would either!

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me or visit me on my Twitter or Facebook pages. I'll try to keep up with those on an every-other day basis or so for the next month.

-Me

Wednesday

Thank you!

I would like to thank everyone who gave me their thoughts and advice regarding our foreign language delima.

I am compiling all of the suggestions I received via facebook, twitter, this blog, and e-mail. We'll decide from there what to do.

We do know that we will also be teaching Latin this coming fall. We were planning using Prima Latina, but have heard great things from several people regarding the Latin Road to Grammar. We are now looking into that as well.

We don't plan on doing anything heavily language-wise right now, but my two girls are requesting furthur instruction in a language besides Latin. I've never been one to tell my children they can't learn something if they have the desire. So regardless of what we choose, we WILL choose something by this fall.

Thanks again! Your help was much needed and is much appreciated!

-Me

Monday

I Need Advice on Curriculum

What was that I said about changing curriculum? We’re not actually changing our curriculum, I’ve just had a wrench thrown into my plans.

In the past, you could check Rosetta Stone language programs out from the local library. About two years ago, Rosetta Stone began requesting that all libraries remove their programs from their circulation departments. Rosetta Stone also doesn’t allow their products to be resold which means you cannot find them used on Ebay (or any other auction site for that matter). And we’re just not willing to fork over $200 for one year (or $550 for 3 years) without knowing that it truly is the best.

So is it? No. Seriously. Is Rosetta Stone worth the money? Is there something else out there that is just as good or better but cheaper?

What do you use? Why do you like it? What do you not like about it? Do you have Rosetta Stone? What do you like or not like about it?

My kids are K/1st, 2nd, & 4th this year. Thus far, we have just used Usborne and various other language books for Spanish, French, Russian, and German mainly. A couple of their books touch on MANY different languages, but the above 3 have been their focus. They also have Berlitz Books with tapes for Spanish and French and a “Speak French in a Week” series. (Love Bargain Books…paid $5 for that!) We have also used the DVD/TV series “Signing Time” as well as some books & co-op instruction for sign-language.

What we have is no longer enough, however, as my oldest really wants to learn French. (She couldn’t choose Spanish or Russian; the languages I know!) Our 2nd grader is wanting to expound on Spanish and also start learning French. My son just wants to watch Signing Time and pretend he can speak every language.

What would you recommend? Where would you go from here?

Feel free to post your comments here or e-mail me directly.

I appreciate the help!

-Me

Saturday

Review Day: Runaway Radish

Runaway Radish/El Rabano Que Escapo

"Runaway Radish" is a story similar to "The Gingerbread Man". The story is about the Radish Festival held yearly in Oaxaca, Mexico. Just as the carver was about to finish carving his radish sculpture, the last radish ran away. It is a delightful children's story. The bright, colorful illustrations are very animated and thus appealing to children.

Now no review regarding any children's book would be complete without a glimpse of what its target audience, a child, thinks. As a result, I had all three of my children read and review "Runaway Radish". All of them liked "Runaway Radish", especially my six year old son. My oldest, nine, thought the book was kinda cheesy (her words), but liked the Spanish on each page. She liked trying to figure out what each word was. After a mini-Spanish lesson from mom, she was much more successful. The vocabulary list in the back is also very helpful for children.

I loved the story. The history regarding the origination of the story helps the reader understand the setting for the story. I know that what is included on the dust-jacket of a hardcover is not always also included on a soft-cover. I hope they keep this information, though, as it is very useful. Without this background, the reader might wonder why the main character was displaying radishes as he was. It would still be a good story, but is even better with this touch of reality "thrown" in.

I also loved the English/Spanish on each page. As a homeschooling mom who loves literature-based and "real-life" learning, I see this as a great tool. Anyone can memorize a set of letters, words, or conjugation rules. But nothing helps one truly grasp a language like seeing it used in a "real" story. It brings the language to life like no textbook ever could. I imagine it would do the same for ESL students.

"Runaway Radish" is a cheerful, fun story that is also educational. I would recommend this book to homeschooling parents desiring to teach their children Spanish as well as to the "traditional" Spanish or ESL student.

-Me