The girls and I have wanted to study Central American Spanish for a long time.
It all started when our family decided to go on a week-long family missions trip back around 2005. The girls weren't very old back then, but old enough to make the trip with us and experience a third-world culture...and have difficulty communicating with Spanish-only speaking people.
For the last two years, though, we've been learning Latin. Actually, I think our Latin studies have helped to prepare us for learning Spanish!
This year, we were blessed to be able to receive the download version of R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish, designed by a native Spanish-speaking homeschool parent. This sounded perfect to us!
R.E.A.L. Spanish = Relax, Enjoy, Aspire, and Learn Spanish!
So, this was the test.
Could R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish deliver?
Could we be learning Spanish in a way that wasn't stressful and "textbookish"? I'm not entirely against textbooks, but many of them aren't written well and in an interesting manner. And most of them aren't written for homeschooling families.
Could using R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish actually be fun? And cause us to want to learn more?
Here is what our family received:
I'm going to let you take a look at these components, up close and personal, so you may get a feel for what the actual curriculum is like.
Parent/Student Textbook: the download includes both a "black and white" version and a "color" version.
My printer does such an excellent job of printing that I generally print most everything in its lowest resolution, saving on the cost of ink. However, I noticed that the "black and white" version of this curriculum contained a huge amount of gray scale vs. just black text and graphics/borders/boxes. The gray graphics, text boxes, and text was difficult to read and track with our eyes, so I ended up printing out the entire Parent/Student Textbook in color.
Before I did this, I asked each of the girls separately which version would work well for their eyes, and they both said that the grayscale/black/white version was too challenging to read, even at the "Normal" or "Best" print setting on my printer. This was my impression, too. I was surprised, because we've never had this problem before with anything that we print out in black and white. I'm wondering if the black and white text was just a "gray scale" copy of an original color version, instead of a separate black & white text. I'd have to say that for most families, this would be a concern. If the black and white text isn't able to work for many families, then the more expensive color version will need to be printed, which will cost more money; some people don't have a color printer for their own use. I do appreciate the author giving us the option of printing in color or black & white, but the black & white version may not work with all families.
Here's a sample for you to view:
Each Unit Lesson contains two sections of each of the following: new vocabulary, new phrases to learn, and tips for the home educator. In addition, 2 to 4 pages of "Ideas" on how to continue to assimilate this new language into your family is included with each unit! These are wonderful suggestions involving all four learning styles, personality styles, and various amounts of time and effort. Here's a sample:
Hi! I'm Julieanne!