As a homeschooling family, my kids and I wanted to dive into something a little deeper this year. We have learned a little Latin and Greek as part of our vocabulary curriculum and the boys all have a free language app on their kindles, but we wanted to try a more organized foreign language curriculum. When we were offered the chance to review Excelerate SPANISH Streaming from Excelerate SPANISH, I jumped at the opportunity!
Are you wondering what Excelerate SPANISH is? It's simply a family-friendly approach to learning Spanish in short lessons that keep kids engaged and learning. These lessons are classroom recorded style lessons that include a variety of ways of teaching. Some things you can expect to see in these lessons are:
- Student skits
- Complete action sequences
- Fun hand gestures
- Stories by Caryn Hommel
What's Included in Excelerate SPANISH?
Now that you know what Excelerate SPANISH is, you may be wondering what is included in the streaming version. It is an online streaming subscription, which means you can access it anywhere that you have WIFI. Which is great by the way! You can literally homeschool on the go, as long as you can connect to the Internet. You get access to:
- Spanish 1 (24 lessons)
- Spanish 2 (24 lessons)
You will get access to both for a full year and each lesson tends to be around 30-45 minutes or so. Which in my opinion, is perfect for kids because then they start losing interest.
What Type of Teaching is Used in Excelerate SPANISH?
If you are going to use a curriculum for homeschooling, you are probably wondering what type of teaching is used in this foreign language program. Caryn Hommel uses the TPR approach, which is also known as Total Physical Response. The lessons are taught this way because it emerges you entirely into the lesson.
- You will notice that the vocabulary words are put on the whiteboard, so the students can SEE the Spanish words.
- The students are also taught a unique hand gesture that helps the students remember the meaning of the word.
- This foreign language curriculum allows students to learn vocabulary words from the very beginning.
- Students are introduced to new words and shown how to use these words in the correct context.
- Real Spanish is used so that the students get a feel for what Spanish sounds like in real-life situations.
I loved that the lessons aren't just teaching them words and their meanings. The stories she builds and the gestures help them remember the words and how to use them. I don't want the boys to just memorize some words until they complete a lesson or two. I want them to truly learn and grow in whatever they decide to do.
How Did Our Family Like Excelerate SPANISH?
First of all, it's important to note that learning a new language is hard. Some kids are going to do well and some kids may not. When it comes to Excelerate SPANISH, the twins LOVED it and they want to continue on with it. This was quite surprising to me because Spanish is not the language they had been studying on their kindles. When I looked to see if any other languages are being offered, I found this.
Are other languages offered? Answer: Native Italian speaker Chiara Liotta has translated Excelerate into Italian. We are excited to be able to offer this soon! French is also in the works. Additional languages will be made available as our connections and resources foster their development. Your support will help to make that happen more quickly!
That made me super excited! Italian is a language I've always been drawn to and the program my mother has been learning it with is just not for me. Excelerate in Italian is something I'd definitely try. And if they came out with a Scots Gaelic, we'd definitely be trying that one too!
The older two boys did find Excelerate SPANISH a little harder to follow than the younger two. Language, in general, is hard work for these two, so I wasn't super surprised, but they both want to keep working at it which made me super happy!
It's important to note that the streaming does not come with any of the books or materials. In my opinion, it would have made a big difference if they had physical books or workbooks to look at.
All of the kids enjoyed being able to airplay and Smartcast to the TVs. They weren't stuck watching it on a tiny device, they can easily attach it to a television and watch anywhere they could connect to WiFi. Sometimes they used their computer to do their lessons independently or 2 at a time. Other times they would use their phone to send it to the TV in the living room and do the lesson together.
They also showed me that you can use AirPlay on the Macbook (Air and Pro) to send it to our Smart TV. I'll admit my ignorance here. I have no idea if it would work on a different tv or with a PC. I had never done the AirPlay thing before. I used to plug the computer into the TV with an HDMI cord for things like this before…
We didn't have the books/workbooks to go with Excelerate SPANISH but we did check out Quizlet for the corresponding units. There are sets available for every lesson of level 1. I saw a few for level 2 but didn't check to see if they are set up the same way.
We are new to Quizlet, but I found it so helpful! We did one lesson per week, watching it several times. They practiced their mastery on Quizlet with the flashcards, spelling, matching, learn, write, and gravity options.
On Saturdays (we homeschool 6 days a week), they each had to take their tests. I require 80% or higher to consider something understood enough to move on and we haven't had anyone struggle with that yet.
You can adjust the settings on the tests to cover more of the terms learned or leave as is and retake if you don't feel your child has mastered the lesson yet. You can print the test for your children to take, which is what I think we'll do in the future, or have them take it online and show you their results.
I will say that the older two boys tried Level 2 since they've been studying Spanish a little already. It moves much quicker, especially when you accidentally click a setting (either in the program or on their computer) that speeds up the video, which makes it hard to follow.
If you happen to find her talking extremely fast and get confused…this probably got clicked. We normally kept it on 1x (normal) speed, but I found slowing to 0.75x helped with the pronunciation of a few words. By the time we complete level 1, I think they will be ready for level 2 without any issues.
Overall Thoughts on Excelerate SPANISH
My overall thoughts are that if you are a homeschooling family that wants to learn Spanish, Excelerate SPANISH may be for you! You may have some kids that do well with it and some that don't. I would encourage you to try it out because it may be the foreign language tool you need to help your kids learn a second language!
More Reviews of Excelerate SPANISH
Want to know how other families used Excelerate SPANISH Streaming in their homeschool? Click the photo below to check out other reviews from Homeschool Review Crew members!
Connect with Excelerate SPANISH:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ExcelerateSPANISH/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarynPowellHomm
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