Spanish is a language that Ben and I have dabbled in for years. We have tried a few different types of homeschool Spanish curriculum, some with more success than others. One thing that I discovered with my extremely active, highly distracted son is that the more we can use his whole body in learning, the better off he is.
About a year or so ago, we were offered the opportunity to explore learning Spanish with Excelerate SPANISH, a program that does just that.
How It Works
Can you remember how your children learned to talk? Maybe you pointed to objects and said, “cup” or “dog” or “red.” Maybe you closed your eyes as if going to sleep and said, “night, night.” Most likely, you just talked with your kids daily, telling them what was going on in the world as you went along with your day, surprised when suddenly your 2-year-old was speaking in perfect English sentences (it still amazes me how that happens!).
Imagine that you could start over teaching your child to speak, only Spanish instead of English, using much the same method as when they were little — real life situations, just talking about the world, speaking the names of objects, conversing, acting life out. That’s what Excelerate SPANISH does — it creates situations in which the language is learned in context.
I have taken a few Spanish classes myself, and as previously mentioned, we have used other curricula. With Excelerate SPANISH, learning does not just consist of out-of-context words and phrases to memorize (or attempt to translate with audio that make no sense), boring lists of verbs to conjugate, and wondering if you are pronouncing words correctly.
Using a combination of DVD Spanish “class” that is live with other children, and books, Ben was able to independently learn by watching the teacher speak Spanish while carefully gesturing the meanings of words and phrases, absorbing the language much the same way he likely absorbed English as a baby.
The vocabulary is written on a white board, spoken, and then acted out (or gestured) in a method called TPR (total physical response), a method that has been proven to facilitate foreign language acquisition. Each lesson also includes a skit that “turns on” the limbic system, an engaging way to reinforce the topical lesson. Coupling the video class with a lesson book filled with leveled stories and a workbook filled with with worksheets, puzzles, and vocabulary provides a multi-sensory approach to learning the language, that is not only clever, but quite effective. An answer key provides answers to both the lesson book and work book.
Lessons can be learned at a pace that works for your child. Younger children may go at a slower pace than older children. And lessons can easily be reviewed since they are DVD-driven. Did I mention that Ben also worked through the lessons independently?
Excelerate SPANISH can be used at any age (it would be good if they were reading), including middle, high school and adult learners. It would work great for a small group, such as a co-op class as well. When Ben was younger, I taught Spanish to young children in a co-op class. I think I would greatly enjoy doing that again (maybe even more!), using Excelerate Spanish. I know the kids would have a great time, and the method is certainly effective.
Ben and I both feel confident that he has acquired more whole language skill using this program than in any other we have tried. It’s one thing to have memorized a list of nouns, colors, numbers and verb conjugations. It’s quite another to actually be able to hold a simple conversation.
If you have children who enjoy learning in nontraditional ways, if you have children who enjoy “acting out” scenes, if you have children who have struggled to learn Spanish with other programs, or if you want to teach your whole family Spanish together, we highly recommend Excelerate Spanish for your homeschool Spanish curriculum.
Purchase Excelerate SPANISH.