This year we were on the hunt for a Spanish program for Evan. It is his last year in school and all he really “needs” to graduate is a Foreign Language Credit. Understandably I was very excited to be chosen to review The Easy Spanish Level I and use it for our Spanish Curriculum this year.
I remember my own High School Spanish class as being a bunch of exercises and sentences, conjugation of verbs that I could never remember, and a whole lot of “what did she say?” Never learning to think in the language, I only learned to spit back the information for tests…. and as a result I never felt like I retained very much.
Fast forward 20+ years… and I was in the middle of Mexico City, Mexico…. Immersed in the language, and very quickly I began to learn…. as it was a matter of survival. That experience cemented the importance of immersion for me. I knew if I wanted my children to learn a language they needed to be able to think in this new language. Just spitting back facts wasn’t going to cut it.
For our review, we primarily used The Easy Spanish! Level I with Evan, a High School senior and very independent learner. I would make copies of the work text for him to carry in a three ring binder, and he would work on his Spanish before his Radio Broadcasting Class. I chose to do this because I want to use the book again with my other three children, and I didn’t really want it traveling around the countryside in a teenage boy’s backpack . I also copied and laminated the flashcards from the back of the book to make them more durable to use with 4 children.
In the beginning he thought the first few parts of the lesson were “a bit young” but as he progressed, and worked through the Independent Learner and Charlotte Mason Activities, he began to see were the real work was. This course is designed to be used at any grade level. There are lesson plans for younger children Grades 3-6, for Middle School, as well as for the High School child or adult wishing to learn a new language. The curriculum is geared to help you begin to think in another language.
For example, you are not given a list of sentences already written in Spanish to copy and learn. With The Easy Spanish! curriculum you are given a small amount of information such as a verb and a condition, and told to write sentences to describe them. Your brain has to think in Spanish to come up with them. The Independent Learner section encourages you to begin a journal, even if it is only a few sentences. Evan said that this was hard, but it helped him learn the words better.
Each lesson starts by listening to a dialogue on CD. It is recommended that this be done daily. It is important to be able to hear the language pronounced correctly, especially when a parent does not have the experience of a native speaker. The text provides
It was great to have a learning template or lesson plan already scheduled for us. My son could easily look at it and know what portion of the lesson that he needed to work on for that week.
If you teach with Charlotte Mason methods, or even with a more Classical approach, this curriculum would be the one to choose. You will find none of the rote methods of filling in the blanks here. Great Commission Languages seeks immerse you in the language so you can embrace it.
The Easy Spanish! is available for $139.95. This includes a workbook and 2 CD’s. One of the CD’s is enhanced and when placed in your computer allows you to print out additional copies of some of the templates in the book, as well as notebooking pages for each lesson. Overall, I found The Easy Spanish! easy to use as a parent, my son found it easy to use and was able to work at his own pace. I am excited to start it with my younger two children, and my daughter is itching to start on it next week. I would say that it is a hit with this family and our learning styles.
TOS Homeschool Crew members reviewed both the Spanish and French language programs produced by Great Commission Languages. Please visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog to see what other families experiences with these products.
***disclaimer*** We were giving a copy of The Easy Spanish! Level I for free for the sole purpose of this review. No other compensation has been received. All of the opinions above are those of the family members that participated in this review.