REAL Homeschool Spanish {TOS Review}

I do well with knowing the English language and what little I remember from taking French in high school and in college. Obviously, the English stayed with me, but the French I learned and remember only allows me to read some and speak little – “Je parle un petit peu le francais” or something like that. I always find people who are able to read, write, and have an understandable conversation in more than one language quite interesting.

As I may have mentioned before, I studied French because everyone around me was either taking Spanish or speaking Spanish and I figured I could pick up something from them while also learning a completely new language. Well, that never really happened and every once in a while, I wish I had instead studied Spanish because I would probably have more of an opportunity to use it now than I have had with French. Where I live, there is more of an opportunity to speak with other people who either studied Spanish or are natives of Mexico and I believe that regular conversation/usage of a language is a way to either improve or retain what you have learned.

We were offered the opportunity to review R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish which is a Spanish (Central and South America) curriculum written by Dr. Karyn Williamson, a homeschooling mother of three boys. Although she has her doctorate in Expanded French Studies, she did not stop there with learning a new language. The only thing is that when she delved into learning Spanish, she taught herself with help from and the experience of her husband who is a native of Mexico.

For more than 20 years, Dr. Williamson has taught both French and Spanish to students – homeschoolers, high school students, community college level, and university level. It was during her experience teaching homeschool students (her children included) that she saw a need for a curriculum that satisfied her desires as a teacher and presented the material to her students to ensure they were learning. She had a vision, but her main concern was not having enough prep-time to put it all together.

R.E.A.L. (relax, enjoy, aspire, and learn) Homeschool Spanish curriculum is one created specifically for homeschool families enabling them to learn the language together – parents and children – while also using it in their daily lives and not limited to only using it while in the classroom. The learning of Spanish is a family experience and while everyone studies together – reading, writing, listening, and pronunciation, everyone is also learning to communicate together through conversation and can practice, when not in school, through real-life conversation.

The study is divided into ten units with 46 weeks of study which will take you through a regular academic school year. Each unit focuses on a general theme on which the study sections are based upon that aid in the presentation of the material. The sections include:

Vocabulary & Home Educator Tips
This section presents the new vocabulary words and tips on how to incorporate the usage of the words in your “everyday.”
  Ideas for Facilitating Home Learning
This section offers suggestions of other ways to further the practicing of the presented material to reinforce learning.
Grammar Tidbits
This section offers brief explanations and practice activities of grammar that is used in the lessons.
This section presents the new vocabulary words and sentences to help reinforce speaking and listening skills.
Activity Book
This section has various activities to complete which include crossword puzzles, dialogue building, matching, writing, and more that offer additional learning time for the student and a rest for the teacher.
  Answer Book
This section has the answers to the exercises in the Activity Book.
This is an online resource that is updated every six months and offers links to other Web sites and book resources that show the importance of learning a language and how Spanish is widely used. Access the Culture section.

As you can see, R.E.A.L. (relax, enjoy, aspire, and learn) Homeschool Spanish works well as a stand alone curriculum or it can also be used “alongside the many audio and video programs available to language learners today.”

Dr. Williamson has created a Spanish curriculum with the student in mind. Although it has been developed to include learning together by all family members, it is not necessary for everyone to participate for learning to occur. R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish provides a lot of tools (audio resources and the activity book) for students to be able to learn and retain the language and encourages the students to continue using what they have learned even after teaching time is over.

The prep-time that Dr. Williamson could not find has been returned to the teacher with the Daily Curriculum Guide that is included in the study. The guide has a breakdown of each unit, which is between four to seven weeks, and an outline and very detailed schedule that you can choose to follow or develop your own schedule using the blank curriculum planning table (provided) to map out your own week that better accommodates your family. There is even a schedule for weekly prep and then lessons for five days of the school week. All you have to do is put everything together according to the schedule.

We are still enjoying R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish and I have finally found a foreign language program that is affordable and walks us through learning a new language at a pace that is manageable for the age range of my children (5 – 9) as well as for me. Even though I am the teacher, I get to share a learning experience with my children and we often find ourselves laughing a lot together when we are trying to pronounce some of the vocabulary words correctly – accent and all.

With the existing schedule, we spent about 30 minutes, four days a week, because I wanted to take it real slow. We will probably start following the five-day study schedule when our new school year starts next week.

Thank goodness Dr. Williamson found the time to do all of the prep work. It made my preparation for each week a lot easier because of the Daily Curriculum Guide. I did not have to figure out what to cover and when to cover the material and was instead able to just get to work on the lessons. When teaching a new subject, sometimes it is difficult to determine at what pace to work through the material and that was an issue I did not have to worry about.

I found the Tips for the Home Educator section to be very helpful which kind of worked as a “tutor” or support area for the teacher offering suggestions on how to present the new material to the students.

Although I never had to contact her, Dr. Williamson offers E-mail support and is open for any questions you have regarding the curriculum.

At the time of this post, R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish is available for purchase as a hardcopy for $89.95 or as a convenient download for $49.95 with both packages including the book, activity book, answer book, and audio files only. If you would also like the Daily Curriculum Guide (I would suggest you purchase), then it is another $10 ($59.95/$99/95 respectively). FREE shipping is offered on hardcopy purchases. Take a look at some sample pages, the table of contents, and the Daily Curriculum Guide to get a better idea of what this curriculum has to offer. You can also listen to some of the audio files.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

The product featured in this review was provided to me free of cost by the manufacturer or representing PR agency as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.
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One Response to “REAL Homeschool Spanish {TOS Review}”

  • Comment from LisaRose

    I was just wondering what kind of Spanish it was. European or Central American?

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