Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Exciting Online Spanish Curriculum

I have been using (also known as with my two sons for over a year now as a supplement to our studies in Spanish.  I started both kids in Preescolar 1.  My youngest son is now in Preescolar 2 and my oldest recently completed Preescolar 3.  The next step after Preescolar 3 is Primer Grado (1st Grade).  I have been very pleased with the content of the program, but I was considering looking for other options for Spanish Grammar for my oldest.  Based on the content of the preschool classes, I was doubtful that the 1st Grade classes would provide the level of instruction that I wanted for my son.  I thought it might be time to look into Rod and Staff Spanish and/or Hagamos Caminos.  I decided to go ahead and enroll him, though.  If I wasn't satisfied, then we would pursue other avenues.  Yesterday I paid the 500 peso registration fee to move up a grade level, which ended up being $42 US.  Tonight I logged in to see how it was set up and was very pleasantly surprised!

From the initial 30 minutes I spent exploring, I am very impressed.  The course consists of 36 weeks of lessons in Science, Math, and Spanish Grammar.  There is a course workbook for each subject, which requires printing.  You have the option of printing the book for the entire year or a week at a time.  In addition to the course workbook, there are online activities and weekly online evaluations.

The Science curriculum seemed to be a broad introduction into scientific themes such as: the human body, plants, the five senses, etc.  The lessons appeared to be very appropriate for the 1st Grade level.  This is the only 1st Grade Spanish homeschool science curriculum I have ever come across!

The Math seemed pretty basic.  The first lesson reviewed numbers 1 thru 10.  I jumped ahead to the final lesson which included telling time, number bonds, and skip counting 2s and 3s.  The math will be easy for my son, but I'm okay with that, because understanding all the new vocabulary will be challenge enough.

The Spanish Grammar/Reading is rooted in Bible passages, so if you're looking for secular Spanish instruction, this is not the program for you.  The reading lessons work on comprehension and fluency, assuming that the student has already mastered reading at a basic level.  The writing exercises begin immediately in cursive, so this could also be a deterrent to some.  

I couldn't be more excited about this 1st Grade curriculum!  It has all the characteristics I have been looking for in an immersion homeschool curriculum.
  • Inexpensive
  • Created in Spanish for Spanish-speakers
  • Christian-based
  • Contains, Spanish, Math, and Science

And well, it's the only option I've come across after hours upon hours of searching.  I mentioned Rod and Staff and Hagamos Caminos earlier.  They both seem like fantastic programs, and I wish I had the time/money to do all of them!  However, Hagamos Caminos is only a reading instruction program, and Rod and Staff only covers Math and Spanish, no Science.  Oh, and what about History?  Well, begins offering History in 3rd Grade.

I will write more about Esceulaenlinea as I we delve into the curriculum!  Feel free to contact me with any questions!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Homeschooling Through a Move

I apologize for the long hiatus from blogging.  My family and I just underwent a huge transition--leaving Active Duty military, moving across the country with no solid plan for employment, and finally (after a couple of months) landing in Florida having accepted a full time job with the Reserve.  The craziness began in November when we made the decision to separate from the Air Force and started packing up our house.  It continues still as we are currently in temporary housing until we find a house.  Through all the upheaval we have tried to remain consistent with our homeschooling routine.

I want to be organized, I mean, I really want to be organized.  Every time I begin a new undertaking (ex. moving), I have the best intentions to maintain organization.  However, I can't seem to bridge the gap between desire and actual implementation.  With each move I tell myself, "This time is going to be so smooth.  I'm going to take all the lessons I've learned from previous moves and make this the best, most organized transition an Air Force family has ever had!" I try my best, making lots of lists, sorting things into lots of piles, using lots of various-sized containers with lots of labels.  Sounds like the makings of well-planned move, doesn't it?

Here is how our current move actually turned out.  Let me start by saying I had to pack for a couple of weeks in Texas and Missouri, a week Disney Cruise, and however long we planned to be in temporary housing.  Well, on the Disney Cruise my boys had no underwear, my husband no shorts, and I had no flip flops or sandals.  We have already completed all the homeschool materials I carried along with us, the rest is packed away somewhere in our 34' trailer, probably towards the back.  Baseball season has begun, and both my boys have two gloves now, the ones we had to buy and the ones stuffed somewhere in the trailer, probably towards the back.  That's really only the half of it, but I'll spare you the rest of the details.

Despite all the turmoil and lack of organization, we have been able to maintain somewhat of a homeschool routine.  Sure, we don't have all of our pocket charts, all of our art supplies, all of our fun science projects, or many of the resources we normally use.  It's ok though;  we've taken it back to the bare necessities.  During our school day (usually from 9 to Noon) we spend time reading and responding to books from the library.  We do math drills, reviews, and logic problems.  We work on our CC memory work.  We study Spanish at and watch Salsa TV.  Some days have been a wash because we were house-hunting or taking care of other business.  But for the most part we have been able to stick to the routine, one of the major contributing factors to maintaining our sanity in the midst of chaos!