Online Language Courses for Homeschool
What can speak louder of a curriculum than a child earnestly choosing to “reorder” it? We had the good fortune of reviewing Middlebury Interactive Languages’ Elementary German 1, Semester 1, last year. Super Hero, jumped at the chance to continue on to Semester 2, when the Crew offered it again this year. So there. That ought to wrap up my glowing review! All right, it might not fly with the folks at Middlebury or the Crew. So here it is 😉
The Goodies We Received
Middlebury Interactive Languages gave us free access to its 6-month subscription to Elementary German 1, Grades 3-5, Semester 2. Retail value $119. In return, I committed to post my thorough and honest review.
What Should You Expect
Elementary German is a web-based course. Aside from your computer, speakers, a microphone and a decent Internet connection, nothing else is required. Both, parent and child, share the same login credentials. The dashboard is simple, yet quite adequate. It contains all that you need to monitor the child’s progress, and for the child to carry on with the course, of course. You’re usually greeted by a “Special Announcements” section followed by a link to the next lesson. From here, one can access a calendar, the table of contents, and the gradebook. There are a couple of other items in the main menu: notifications and help, which I’ve never used. Nothing has ever been posted on notifications, and luckily all is going well. No help has been needed.
The calendar provides you the course’s outline. Though, it’s helpful in laying out the sequence in a visually comfortable way, it won’t let you accommodate your own timetable. Try as we might, we’ve never been able to do all things planned for the week. Invariably, things happen, and we don’t get to cover, say, German, 5 days in row. If you don’t mind not having the actual dates coincide with what you’re doing, then the calendar’s great. The covered lessons will display with a checkmark, thus it’s easy to spot the following lesson by clicking on the next unchecked day.
Each semester contains 8 units. Each unit, 6 lessons. Each lesson, 7 different activities, except the last one (lesson 6,) which presents a summary, a downloadable PDF, and test. The Elementary level program focuses on building vocabulary in a natural way. To accomplish this, the child watches videos with folk stories, listens to songs, matches words with their images, solves puzzles, colors coloring pages, and a vital piece in language learning: speaks up. He gets to record himself right alongside a native speaker’s sound bit. He can immediately compare and re-record if needed.
Course Outline – Semester 2:
How Are We Using It?
Super Hero has been using Elementary German 1, 3 to 4 times a week during the last month or so. He does very much enjoy it. He intends to complete Semester 2, just as he did with Semester 1. Like I said before, he enthusiastically requested the second semester of Middlebury Interactive Languages once the chance opened up with the Crew. He loves that the lessons are short and fun, and –”there’s no writing.” His words, not mine. Getting away with no writing is a big deal for him. For me? As far as they keep him learning, interested, engaged, and speaking words and phrases, the writing can certainly wait. I hadn’t even thought about it until he mentioned it. He’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so in more advanced courses, I’m so sure!
In a Nutshell
In Super Hero's Own Words
I like the way that they teach the kids with the videos and the images, and then I like they made it fun. I like that they tell you what you’re supposed to do next with the checkboxes (in the calendar section). Yes. I would recommend it for a kid wanting to learn German.
Definitely, do give this program a try if you’re interested in learning a foreign language. It’s totally worth it. They also offer Spanish, French and Chinese. Though I haven’t tried those languages, the method’s supposed to be the same. Two thumbs up! Or 5 stars up! (Ratings by Super Hero, as usual.)
Want to Learn More?
If so, there’s plenty more reviews from my fellow Crew members. Or just pay these folks a visit at any of their social media accounts. That’ll give you an immediate feel for what they’re all about:
Google + https://plus.google.com/b/110371351490550861545/110371351490550861545/posts.