Monday, September 2, 2013

Homeschool Spanish Academy Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013 #hsreviews #hsspanish #hsmommas

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   When it comes to certain subjects, as a homeschool parent I tend to want to leave it up to a professional that specializes in that particular subject. There is one in particular, Foreign Language. Especially considering I took 4 years of French in High School and today Spanish seems to be the dominant language of choice when choosing a foreign language. I was fortunate to be chosen to review Homeschool Spanish Academy again this year, but this time we did the High School Program.

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    Alyx is my one that is most interested in Foreign Language, Taylor not so much. So Alyx was the one that reviewed HSA again this time around. Homeschool Spanish Academy is an online Spanish class that is done via Skype. Your student interacts with a teacher straight from Guatemala. This gives them authentic dialect to learn from. There are classes for all learning levels and are geared from 5 years through Adults and arranged in learning categories such as Early Language, Middle School, High School and Adult.

   You start by creating your online account, adding in your student or students and then looking at the teacher's profiles. This lets you pick someone that is best suited for your child. Now you are encouraged to use different teachers throughout your classes. For us using the same teacher works best, since my boys have Asperger's Syndrome change is not always best. So we chose Luisa and stuck with her for all of our lessons. To assure we could have the same teacher and time period and day for each of Alyx's classes we scheduled all of his classes at the beginning and then we wrote them on our calendar. There is also an online planner for you to keep track of when your classes are on the HSA website. This comes in handy if you are away from home doing your lessons and need to verify when your next class is. Since this is all done online you can take your class anywhere so long as there is high speed internet that can support Skype without much lag. HSA will contact you before your first class to do a diagnostic test to make sure your internet supports their classes. This is quick and painless I promise.

   If you run into a problem they have wonderful Tech Support available to walk you through the problem to find a remedy to fix it. This happened twice for us and both times they were very helpful. This first problem we had was when we were away camping, I have a portable WiFi jet pack from my wireless provider so I thought we would be good to go. Unfortunately it was not as fast as I thought and the lesson could not be finished. They were very accommodating though and they extended our lessons by one week to replace the lost class. It was simply added back into our que for use to reschedule at a time that was convenient for us.

   The second time we had a problem was from home. My son could hear the teacher but she could not hear him. They had tech support call Alyx and they helped fix the problem so he could continue on with his class.

  The lessons last 50 minutes and run on time so you can be sure to not be kept waiting on your teacher, in fact more often than not the teacher rang Alyx early to make sure he was ready so they could get started on time. This is important to us as a family but especially to my boys, one of their quirks of their Asperger's Syndrome is OCD and this makes it important that when you say something is going to happen at 1:15 it better happen at 1:15. Thankfully this was never an issue with Luisa and HSA.

  You can choose to do your lessons either 1:1 or 2:1 so if you have Siblings at the same level they can take the lesson together at the same time. We could have done this but Taylor had no desire to take Spanish and it would have only proved to make things more difficult, because when he doesn't want to do something he will make everyone miserable if he is forced to. So you have a choice one on one or two to one, there are different prices for each choice as well as a half semester (this is what we were given) of 7 classes or a half semester 2 classes a week for a total of 14 classes. Then there is the option of a full semester taking either one class per week for 15 weeks or 2 classes per week for 15 weeks for a total of 30 classes.  The prices vary per program but for the High School Program which is what Alyx took for a Half Semester which is what we received is $99.99 for a 1:1 ratio, you can get a feel for the alternative pricing fees by checking out the chart below.

     You can see by taking more classes per week for a longer period of time the price per class gets more cost effective. Saving you a substantial amount of money over the long run.
One-On-One Pricing
    You can see by the below chart you would save significantly by having your children who are on the same level take the class together.
Two-On-One Pricing
  Each week your student will be given homework, this can be easily viewed and printed from your HSA dashboard after your have logged in. The first week Alyx received review work, these were basically sheets with common words and their pronunciation on them that he had to look over and review and hopefully memorize. We took the words and made flash cards for each word, with the English word on one side and it's Spanish counter part on the flip side. This was much easier for Alyx to memorize and review. He was overwhelmed by the amount of words on the pages he was given to look over and this made it much more manageable. Each week after that  he had homework that he needed to complete and then turn in by the next class. This is all done easily online.  The work was not too cumbersome and allowed him time each week to study and review and to build upon what he learned in the weeks prior. Alyx is doing amazingly well, and is improving each week by leaps and bounds. I love how at the start of each lesson his teacher jumps right in and greets him in Spanish and allows for little talk in English. I have found that as each week goes on he is becoming more and more confident in returning her questions in Spanish instead of answering them in English like he did the first week. He has a couple more classes left and I cannot wait to see how much more he progresses by the time we are finished. They are getting busy now that the school year is in full swing, if you find when you sign up that it is hard to find a class to meet your family's schedule, sit tight as they are hiring new teachers and getting them trained as quick as possible to help better accommodate everyone'e needs.

   Taking Spanish from Homeschool Spanish Academy for us if far less stressful than having to go to a class somewhere else. Especially during the Winter when the weather is bad. We can stay in our warm, comfy Pajamas and learn Spanish all without leaving the comfort of our home. Don't just take our word for it, please check out all of the Crew's Reviews and see what each family liked or didn't like about Homeschool Spanish Academy, just click on the banner below. Then Head over to Homeschool Spanish Academy and get your kids signed up so you can get started right away.


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