We’re talking more about adding a foreign language class to our homeschool curriculum for our son and daughter. My wife and I are leaning towards Spanish, but my daughter is being like I was and wants to do something different because everyone learns Spanish. There’s a general reason for that nowadays, but I get her point. My son isn’t really interested at all in learning a foreign language. That pushes me to find something that will be as engaging as possible and keep his interest. I’d love to just go live in a foreign country for 6 months or so and force us all to learn it together and have fun! Wouldn’t that be the best!?
I know there’s Rosetta Stone (Visit RosettaStone.com) as an option, but very pricey for what I’ve seen. Does anyone have experience with them that are reading this? Let me know what you think? We have a few friends in our circles that either already teach Spanish and would be interested and willing to add our kids as students one day/night a week. One friend has offered to teach them Spanish, but also lived in Japan as a missionary for a number of years, so adding some Japanese to the mix would be very interesting.
Doing a little bit of searching in the homeschool blogs I’ve found some other options, but nothing really sticks out. We’ve worked on some Latin language training, but the curriculum we were using didn’t really click with the kids I don’t think. The audio segments were almost agonizingly painful to listen to, so I didn’t really blame them.
I found a company called inlingua (Visit inlingua-if.com) that looked to be interesting for language training. They have General Purpose Programs that would work I believe, but from everything I can read about them though, it’s all on-site, location based training in Florida. I also couldn’t get an idea about what the classes would actually cost by looking at their website. I might look for something similar here in the Indianapolis area if it exists.
I’m thinking I may just do a combination of things like we’ve done with our other curriculum. I took Spanish and French in high school and more Spanish in college. I’m sure I can get plenty of support and resources from my friends. Would love to know what your experiences have been and any insights you can provide. Let me know in the comments.
My wife used Français interactif from the University of Texas. It’s completely free and online. There’s also free Spanish language online course that my wife will be using next year but I can’t put my finger on it now.
Our kids have used Rosetta Stone and have liked it. The verbal interaction is good and the program has a minimalist appeal. I would agree that it is pricey and there is a 4 person limit per software so if you have more than a few kids like we do it may leave some kids out. I like the sound of a once a week option where someone else teaches. This has an accountability appeal just like farming out music lessons.
Rosetta Stone is nice software, and it’s very effective, but like you said, it’s pricey. A very nice thing about it though is that it doesn’t tell you what to do (say), it makes you think your way through it. Have you considered a Skype tutor perhaps? Pricey too, but when compared to a full series of RS, it may work out.
Carl, thanks for sharing. One of the things you mentioned that I thought was very interesting is the idea of a Skype tutor! I’ve got to think some more about the potential available there!