We are just about ready to finish The Easy Spanish or El Espanol Facil! Level I.
I don’t remember where I found the link in the first place but what attracted me to the program was that it described itself as using Charlotte Mason’s ideas for teaching.
I was interested at that point because we had tried a more textbook approach and we started using Rosetta Stone Spanish and neither of those options felt like it was a good fit all by itself.
I pulled up the website and watched the introductory video that is on the front page of the Spanish explanation. It seemed like something we could use in our family so I ordered the Spanish program. I received a spiral bound textbook with two audio CDs.
The textbook is arranged in lessons with corresponding lessons on the CD. The textbook is very well organized so my teenagers can work independently and have their own level of activities. I can see how this program would work with younger students as well. The lessons are written on multiple levels so this plan could be used in a family with children in different grade levels. Their website suggests that with younger children you work through the lessons at a slower pace and take 2-3 years to complete this level. Older students (teens) she suggests 1-2 years depending on how much time each week you take for Spanish.
Each lesson starts with a story that weaves English and Spanish together. You can read it in the text and listen along with the CD. After the story, the CD pronounces the vocabulary and leaves time for your child to respond. There is always a follow-up activity and there is always a time during the week when your child will narrate back in Spanish the general idea of the story from the lesson. There is a special notebook activity that is really a year-long project to have the child tell all about themself in Spanish. All the notebook pages are included. The program includes scripture memorization as part of each lesson. Most lessons have cultural notes that teach deeper about the culture presented in the story. Geography is also a part of this Spanish program.
If your children are older, there is a specific part of the lesson for independent learners. My boys have been working with these assignments all year and I think it has helped them progress more than anything else. The high school age child is also encouraged to start a journal in Spanish. This was difficult at first but as you build vocabulary, it gets easier.
One of the CDs also contains Spanish songs to sing along with the lessons.
The student is given a weekly assignment sheet where he can check off each particular aspect of the lesson each day. I found this to be a great tool for me to use with my boys, helping them to become more independent.
I highly recommend that you go to their homepage and watch the introductory video. I found it very helpful to understand just what was included in the program and an overview of how it words.
The Easy Spanish -Video
So, of all the Spanish programs we have tried so far, this is the best I have found as far as learning practical vocabulary and encouraging the boys to actually have conversations. Using the independent, CM, and journal activities has helped them with their vocabulary and verb work.
Our Spanish course is a combination of The Easy Spanish! and Rosetta Stone Spanish at this point in time. We use The Easy Spanish! everyday of the week, about twenty minutes per day. Rosetta Stone assignments are usually three days a week, 15-20 minutes a day. We have a wonderful notebook of Spanish materials and resources after using The Easy Spanish!
If you are looking for a Spanish program for your family and you want it to have a Charlotte Mason flair, this program is worth looking into.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom