Looking for a language program that legitimately teaches the language well – speaking, writing, reading, grammar, and real-life application? I’ve got the one for you!
I’ve always been a lover of languages. And my family has totally absorbed that trait from me. This year we are working on French in our homeschool and so far, I couldn’t be happier with our experience!
This summer, and probably longer – I’ve become totally hooked my Edith Piaf Pandora station. Her music is just beautiful and I love the mood it sets in our home. Due to this, my kids have become huge fans too. Over the summer, they would attempt to figure out what she was saying or pretend like they were speaking French. It was so fun to watch that spark in them.
Our pursuit for a homeschool language curriculum
As the school year approached we discussed how it would be nice to legitimately learn a language. Not just a simple few sentences here and there, but actually understand the in’s and out’s of it, the grammar, the application of different terms. Like for example in English a man or boy can be referred to as a dude, guy, kid, or we could use the term masculine or even the term male to refer to them. Well, in another language – where would this apply, why, and how? We wanted to be able to sit down at dinner and carry out a decent conversation about our day in another language well (other than English or Spanish).
When presented with the opportunity to check out Rosetta Stone Language for Homeschool, I was eager and skeptical. In full disclosure, I was given this curriculum and compensated in exchange for my honest review. Everything I share here today is totally honest and based on my own opinions.
Eager because I felt based on what you hear about it already, that it would provide us with the tools to speak the language.
Skeptical, because I wasn’t sure how much we would really learn. How much my children would be able to really learn. The skepticism wasn’t due to our ability to learn it, but instead due to the quality of the program. It almost sounded too good to be true, but I wanted to give it a go.
Can we say oh là là?
I don’t think I’ve felt like drooling over a homeschool program like this in a while. I’ll get into the technical set up and give you all a visual of the program here in a bit, but I wanted to first share a few things. As we worked through the program I started to make a list of everything I just loved, and I found myself writing almost all the features down! But to spare you, I’ve listed out just a few.
Rosetta Stone focuses on language in such a natural way. They refer to it as Language Immersion. That is their mantra and the basic foundation of what makes their program so awesome. Language Immersion is basically a fancy and simplified way of saying naturally.
Think of how you learned English (or your first language).You were immersed into an environment where that language was spoken. You began to recognize what things were called and how to properly express yourself by observing what was around you. As you observed you were encouraged to “do” or “say”. That’s how we learn to speak as children, and as we grow our language and vocabulary improves. You also learn how to properly express yourself, when to use certain terms and when to not.
For example, My middle daughter used to refer to people as humans. Was she wrong in calling them that? No. But we don’t refer to other people as humans when we are talking about them or to them.I’ll admit it was pretty funny when she would say something like “why are there so many humans in this store today!” . She was still young (and highly influenced by Transformers), still learning her language. But, eventually she learned that we simply say “people”. She learned by hearing us speak, respond, and express ourselves. She also learned to by correcting her and getting her to repeat the sentences with the proper word.
Rosetta Stone uses those natural learning techniques in their program. You are exposed instantly to audio of the language and are connecting what you hear to images (what you see).As you progress, the program builds upon what you have learned. You speak back into your mic and are able to see if your audio matches theirs. It’s very cool!
That’s not all, grammar is also included along with writing. The student learns proper sentence forming and has opportunities to write out words too, which helps with recognition and retention.
The program is self-paced. You go at your speed and should you need to repeat any exercise, you can!
There are quizzes and tests. Yes, really! With Rosetta Stone Language for Homeschool you get a pretty neat packet (on a Supplement CD) included. On the CD you’ll find PDF files to print out which include quizzes, tests, and answer key. I was surprised that the entire page of every test and quiz was in French!
At first I was taken aback but realized it was just plain awesome.The entirety of their experience learning French will be IN FRENCH!But don’t worry, the English Speaking Guide included in this kit has the information in English for the parent to use.You’ll get a side-by-side view of what the student sees and what it means in English. So, mom, you’ll be learning French (or whatever language you choose) alongside your child too!
You can have multiple students/users. The program allows up to five users. So if both parents want to work through the program too, they can! We have two daughters who are using this and we’ll be hopping on board too.
There are several program options to choose from. We went with the Full Year Curriculum Program but there are others that you could choose from should you want to just focus on one area. For example, there is a program option for Speaking & Listening or Reading & Writing Focus.We choose the Full Year because we wanted to cover everything and for it to be thorough. You can also change this should you wish. It’s super simple to do on the dashboard.
The plan is made for you! Homeschooling is busy and curriculum planning can be wild sometimes. The Parent’s Guide includes a lesson plan for you to follow, should you choose. They have two options actually, a 45 week or a 36 week. It’s up to you which you would like to follow, if any. We have trouble following plans to the “t”, but it’s nice having a guide!
Keep up with your student’s progress. This nifty section lets you see the progress, the grades, and what days they were completed on. This is great especially for those more independent students. This way at the end of the week you can come through and check their progress and see how they are doing.
We have the Rosetta Stone Language for Homeschool – French (there are 5 levels)
- Language-learning software (includes two CD’s – the Rosetta Stone program and the Language CD)
- Homeschool Activation ID Card
- Activation ID card (this is different from the one above, it’s for the overall program)
- Quick Start Guide (super useful!)
- User Guide
- Parent’s Guide
- Supplemental Education Materials (CD with the PDF’s you can print)
- Audio Companion CD (these can be downloaded as MP3’s too!)
- Headset Set Up Guide
- License Agreement Booklet
As you can see, they give you everything you could need to get up and running. Their Quick Start Guide is so incredibly useful and very easy to understand.
Take a look inside
I’m one who likes to look at programs before snagging them. Below are a few of the print screens I was able to grab as some of the exercises were worked through as well as what some of the supplemental material looks like.
When the lesson requires you to speak into the microphone to gauge your enunciation, you have the option to see this just by click on the audio button next to the text. When text (on the right column) is grayed out it means you need to work on enunciation.
Within the frist lesson, my daughter was already reading sentences in French. I was super impressed. There is audio so that you can hear proper enunciation, then you speak.
There is a lot of great practice of matching the phrase to an image. Sometimes you will see the words phrase there, others you will only be able to listen to the phrase. It’s an excellent way to make sense of a new language.
Keep up with progress or change the program if needed. When you open the program you will see your students listed. Click on “Launch Rosetta Stone Homeschool” to see progress.
When you click launch, this is what you’ll be able to dive into.
The alphabet was available too! I was not expecting that. Each letter has an audio to it as well.
Exercises are graded instantly so the student can see their progress in real time.
Here are some of the supplemental materials. This is what comes on the Supplemental CD
Here is one of the lesson worksheets. You can find this in the Supplemental CD under Student Workbooks.
This is the Parents Guide for English Speakers I mentioned above. It has the French version (what the students see on their pages) on one side and the English version on the other.
Connect with Rosetta
I hope this has helped you with you get an inside look at Rosetta Stone Language for Homeschool. I’m so pleased with it and can’t wait to keep using it in our family!
Also, if you’d like to get a bit of a feel of the program – head on over to their homeschool site and play around with their demo! :)