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Monday, July 2, 2012

Homeschool Spanish Academy TOS Crew Review 2012

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            Do you struggle with teaching your kids a foreign language? Do they want to learn a language different than the one you learned when you were in school? This is what was going on in our homeschool... I took 4 years of French in school but my oldest son is serious about Spanish and my younger boys had some Spanish in their early years of Public School. We have learned Latin as a homeschooling family but my boys really wanted to learn Spanish so they could keep up with their older brother. We have tried some Spanish programs and they just were not what we were looking for.

     Homeschool Spanish Academy offered some of us on The Schoolhouse Review Crew a 7 week Interactive Spanish Course. We chose Middle School which is geared to 12-15 year olds. They do offer Elementary, Highschool and Adult classes as well. The classes can be done 1:1 or 2:1, we utilized this as a 1:1 with Alyx our 13 yr old going into 9th grade.






    Homeschool Spanish Academy was a different type of course altogether than what we were used to, this is a live, interactive class using Skype and your computer, a head set and a microphone. Now depending on how you run your homeschool, this may work for you and it may not. The class is taught via Skype using a split screen so that the student can see the instructor  and also the lesson they are going over. The student will be asked to type or speak back responses to the instructor, so it is imperative you have a working microphone and speaker system to participate.  Here are some key points in the pros and cons of Homeschool Spanish Academy..

                     PROS:
                 *Live 1:1 or 2:1 learning without having to leave your house
                 * If your child needs help the class can be slowed down to meet his or her needs, this is not the case in a traditional Spanish class with an outside teacher. 
                 * This class is tailored to your family, the children are taught words that will be used in your unique family, they are asked what family members there are, types of pets, what kind of home and so on. 
                  * The classes are scheduled at your convenience, you set up the class timeline usually by scheduling one class a week using an online scheduling program that is facilitated through HSA.
                  * Tech Support is Fantastic, before your first class is scheduled they will give you a quick call (mine lasted maybe 10 minutes) checking your internet speed, lag time through skype to make sure this will work, your microphone and speaker function and answer any questions you may have. We fortunately did not have any connection or speed issues so we were good to go. 
                  * Lessons can easily be rescheduled through the site with a 12 hour notice or by a simple email of phone call to the teacher or owner Ron Forton. 
                  * You have the ability to stick with the same instructor which is what we did or you can try out others to see who is the best feel for your child.
                  * All lessons are emailed to the student via PDF download, you can read them from the computer or printing them out works best. 
                  * You can TRY before you BUY so that you can make sure this is a good fit for your family by scheduling a trial class. 


                      CONS:
                   * If something comes up at the last minute and you are unable to contact the teacher and miss your class, it counts as a taken class, this was not helpful to us as we had a flat tire one day on the way home from camp and missed our class. 
                   * If there is a lot of noise in your house IE: pets barking, other kids and such it will be hard for the students to hear and talk to the teacher. Make sure there is a quiet place for the class to take place. 
                   * For us it was always tricky remembering that when scheduling our classes the times I was looking at were for a different time zone and I had to convert it to our time zone.
                  
      As you can see the PROS far out way the CONS... It really all depends on your family dynamics and how busy your schedule is as you cannot always get the same time slot each week. We tried different times of the day to see which was best for us and it turned out the earlier the better. We found when we scheduled them later in the day life was more apt to interrupt our lesson that was planned. For instance unexpected company or things like that. All in all my son is enjoying furthering his fluency in Spanish using Homeschool Spanish Academy, but I think we would benefit from using it in the colder months here at home when we tend to be less busy. We will definitely revisit HSA for both of our boys come late fall.
         
The pricing for Homeschool Spanish Academy is as follows...





Please visit all of the reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew that had the opportunity to use Homeschool Spanish Academy and see what they thought about this interactive Spanish course. 


As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my
honest review. All opinions are mine.









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