French Essentials Full Access Online Program {TOS review}

French Essentials Full Access Online Program is just as the motto says above. It is fun, interactive and very effective while providing an online opportunity to learn French in the comfort of your own home.

The program is specifically geared towards homeschoolers and provides a unique way for students to learn the language. It not only uses audio, but also uses video, interactive PDF lessons and reading, speaking and writing exercises that make for a complete foreign language learning experience.

We have studied Spanish as a family and even a little bit of Latin, but we always managed to return to Spanish, because that is what has been easily available to us. With Spanish being such a popular language to learn these days, you can find more of that type of instruction than French.

As a former student of French in high school and college, I was happy to have the chance to review French Essentials Full Access Online Program and also the opportunity to introduce my children to another language. You don’t have to have any experience using the language to being the program.

The program is very well laid out and everything that you need to get started is in the student area.

The previous picture and this screen are what appear to the student upon logging in.

The Download Area provides quick access to all of the lessons that are available in the modules of which there are five. The plan is for there to eventually be 10 modules, which will give a student the equivalent of two years of high school French.

The Online Exercises & Lesson Tests areas give the student access to online video, tests, online speaking, written and practice exercises and practice games.

To the left is a PDF of one of the lessons. To add to the interactivity of the learning experience, the student is able to click on the page in the linkable areas and hear the pronunciation of expressions that are presented in the lesson.

Of all times, we have been having technical issues that will hopefully be resolved soon, so that we can take advantage of this cool feature located in the La Boite, which is the box at the top of the page. At least we ere able to access the videos that appear throughout the lessons.

Along with learning how to speak and read the language, you are able to go and see sights of the culture in and history of France.

The ideal age for a student to begin working through French Essentials is in the third grade, because he will have a chance to complete all of the modules over the years through to the twelfth grade. Students in the second grade may also benefit from listening and watching the videos, but will prbably be able to get to full benefit of the curriculum in the following year.

There is a placement test that you may use to determine where your child should begin using the curriculum if he has previously studied French. Considering my children have never taken French, we started from the beginning. Although I had quite some years learning the language, I benefited from starting at the beginning as well.

Before we started the lessons I went through and downloaded the first module with all of the lessons. I was not really sure how far we would get through it since they were learning the language for the first time rather than it being a refresher course.

Fresh Essentials provides a doable schedule that has the student beginning with the exercises.

They suggest that you begin with the flashcards, which are also available online. Here is a very basic expression. If you don’t know what it says, then all you do (when inside of the online program) is click the link in the bottom right corner that says “Click to flip” and the card is flipped to the other side to reveal the following:

The student may view the front and back of the cards simultaneously, listen to the pronunciation in French or English and choose from the listing of expressions in either French or English. It really appears that French Essentials has thought of everything in presenting the material, which is presented in a variety of manners, to the student to ensure he learns the language.

Do you see the star in the top right corner, that allows you to select the flash card to study it more at a later time if you believe that you need more practice.

Although your child is supposed to be learning, that does not mean that he cannot have some fun along the way. There are two “games”, one called Race where the student tries to “kill” the vocabulary words that scroll across the screen in either French or English or they can appear randomly. There is another game called Scatter where the student match a picture with its corresponding phrase.

We started with reading through the lessons, each which has several exercises. An example, using lesson number four:

Monday: The children read through exercises one through 12, where they learned how to greet people. I then had them go online and complete the flashcard exercises.

Tuesday: We read through exercises one through 12 again and then I had them go online and complete the Learn section where they were able to listen to the words in either French or English and practice spelling the words. They next went on to the Speller section where they could hear the words spoken at various speeds for them to interpret.

Wednesday: I let both River and Lily practice what they learned using the Scatter and Race games. That was fun. They were also able to review the PDF lesson if they felt it was needed.

Thursday: I had River and Lily both complete the online test, which presents matching, multiple choice, true/false and written questions in either French, English or both languages.

Friday: We used this day as a review time of any online information and also completed student worksheets. We also spent some time learning more about the culture.

French Essentials does provide a suggested schedule. Each module is created to be completed one year at a time. With that being the case, that is, currently, five years of French. When modules six through 10 are released, then you may add five more years of French study to your child’s academic records.

There is also a very handy checklist, which lists everything that should be covered in each module. It is a great reference sheet to use to ensure that no lessons, exercises or tests are missed.

I like that the formal as well as informal interpretations are presented, because when using the language, you may not always be conversing with someone who speaks formally, just as when we speak English. Someone may greet you saying “salut” versus “bonjour”.

The opportunity to see how different people all speak the same language in their own way, which is shown in the many videos included in the lessons, also helps with preparing for speaking to different people. There is a specific way to correctly pronounce a word, but we all may not speak the same words in the same manner. I think that is a good feature of the curriculum, rather than having the same one person present the lesson in his own manner of speaking. My children also enjoyed seeing children included in the lesson presentation for word/expression pronunciation.

When we started working through the lessons, a lot of the previously learned French that I had began to come back to me. I loved hearing the language being spoken and the authentic accents that went along with the lessons. French is a totally cool language.

French Essentials Full Access Online Program provides a student a complete learning experience. The curriculum is presented so that a student may begin learning the language in the elementary grades rather than waiting until high school when so many years of learning opportunities have already passed. I really like the program and will continue alongside my children, because I can also learn something (refresh myself) in an area that used to be very familiar.

You may purchase single modules of French Essentials Full Access Online Program for $69.95 or you may purchase one full year of access to all five modules for $149.95. Both give you 90-days to download all of the lessons and workbook exercises.

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

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