I have mentioned before I want my kids to learn another language. Sometimes it is hard to find a good program that is affordable and quality. Tiger was recently given the opportunity to review the Early Language Program from Homeschool Spanish Academy.
Languages are best learned through interaction. Homeschool Spanish Academy uses native speakers to teach students in a one on one or one on two environment via Skype. The instructor is able to tailor the lessons to the student and speed up or slow down as necessary using the Homeschool Spanish Academy lessons.
Homeschool Spanish Academy has several different levels of classes from early language to adult. Tiger was enrolled in Early Language. The Early Language program is designed for students ages 5-12. The Early Language program is divided into two levels. Tiger covered the material found here. For other curriculum samples, go here and click on the applicable curriculum preview. There are several options for class plans from once a week for 7 weeks to twice a week for 15 weeks. Price depends on which option you choose. For the purpose of this review, I was offered once a week for 7 weeks. The cost of this plan is $59.99 which works out to $8.57 for each 25 minute class. It is also possible to enroll two students within 3 grade levels as long as they each have their own headset. The cost for 2 on one is $89.99. for other options, please see the price list found under Early Language.
Once a plan is selected and a student is enrolled, it is really easy to choose your schedule lessons. After selecting morning, afternoon, evening, night, weekend, a list of available teachers pops up. Once you click on a teacher, the teacher’s bio comes up with experience, fun facts, and a picture. Then you select the teacher, select a date, and select a time. If you have a busy schedule or one that fluctuates, it is easy to schedule a lesson on Monday this week and one on Wednesday next week or maybe Thursday the week after that. Any time a lesson is scheduled, an email is sent to remind you.
24 hours before the lesson is scheduled, a reminder email will be sent as well. I loved this when we weren’t meeting at the same time each week! During the lesson, the teacher talks to the students, uses slides, and asks the students to respond. Homework is assigned within the Homeschool Spanish Academy website. For Tiger, all his homework was review only and none was completed outside of class. He did, however review the vocabulary each week. I would download the pdf file and email it to my kindle fire so he could review it.
Customer Service with Homeschool Spanish Academy is excellent. Before the first lesson, I received a phone call to test run all my equipment through Skype and to make sure that the equipment wouldn’t cause problems during the lesson. Any questions I asked were answered extremely promptly, either by the teacher or by the technical support department.
For most of his lessons, Tiger had Rosa. Tiger really enjoyed her. One time we had a lesson scheduled and received an email that she would not be able to teach the class due to a doctor’s appointment. She then told us who the substitute would be and offered that we could either continue with the class or reschedule. We chose to use the substitute. He was just as professional as Rosa, knew exactly where he was in his lessons, and when Rosa returned, the transition was seamless. Tiger didn’t mind the substitute but did prefer Rosa because he found her to be a little more playful. One of her strengths was relating the content to him personally. For example, when learning numbers, she asked ages of people in the family or how many sisters he had. She also shared how old her children were or how old she was.
Tiger is really enjoying Homeschool Spanish Academy. He looks forward to his lessons and always turns off the computer with a smile on his face. I have also noticed an improvement in his pronunciation just over the few short weeks of taking Spanish. His first few lessons his pronunciation was pretty bad, but patiently his teacher has been working with him and he has been improving steadily.
Overall, I have enjoyed Homeschool Spanish Academy. Tiger has been able to utilize some of the new words he has been learning. I would like to see his lessons cover a little more. At 11.5, I think that the elementary level might be a little slow for him and when we continue on after our half semester is over, I think I will ask about placing him in the middle school course.