Thursday, August 29, 2013

(Review) Homeschool Spanish Academy

Hola!  Estoy muy emocionado de haber sido elegido en opinar sobre este marvalliso programa!  Translation: I am so excited that we were chosen to review this wonderful program! Homeschool Spanish Academy is an excellent program which provides LIVE instruction to learn the Spanish language. Abbey was chosen to participate in the Half Semester Early Language Program.  This program is recommended for beginners of any age, and especially for the younger elementary grades. 

Prior to these classes, I had tried to teach Spanish to Abbey, and while she did pick up on some things, she is not particularly excited about it most days. I don't think this is a curriculum problem as much as it is an instructor problem.  When I told her we were chosen to review another Spanish program, I have to be honest: she was not happy.  She protested right up until the minute the first lesson began.  But as soon as she “met” Elda on that Skype screen, she fell in love. 

Homeschool Spanish Academy uses bilingual teachers from countries whose native tongue is Spanish.  They offer several instructors from which to choose, along with a short biography of each one to help you decide.  I can’t tell you why we chose Elda other than her photo radiated her sweet spirit. And we were NOT disappointed. She indeed has a very sweet spirit and has been a very gentle teacher with Abbey, which is exactly what Abbey needs.

Prior to our first live lesson, we had a phone call from an IT manager with Homeschool Spanish Academy. He checked our Skype connection and our broadband speed.  Everything checked out and he was extremely helpful in answering my questions about how the sessions would work.

Abbey’s first class was a bit longer than the subsequent lessons, as Elda took time to get to know Abbey.  I introduced myself, and then, per Abbey’s request, I left the room and let her get to know Elda without me standing over her shoulder.

Each Homeschool Spanish Academy instructor uses a “shared screen” tool to allow the student to see their worksheet on the screen as the instructor and the student review it.  The first lesson began with the Spanish alphabet and the correct pronunciations of each letter.  This, of course, is so key to learning correct pronunciations for ALL Spanish words.  

“Aaaahhh, excellente’, Abbey!”  I heard coming from the computer in the next room as they went over the homework together.  I could just see Abbey grinning her sheepish grin in response to sweet Elda. After the Skype session ended each time, Elda immediately emailed us a link to Abbey’s homework. I would print it off and review with Abbey before the next week’s session, which I had previously scheduled online. Scheduling is easy and flexible. Rescheduling is too, by the way.   

Each week, a new worksheet is reviewed on the shared screen, followed by the 25-minute lesson, and the follow-up email with the link for me to print out the lesson and review it.  Some lessons, Abbey grasped immediately; some, not so much. She wanted to please Elda, and was devastated when she didn’t do so well, or couldn’t remember everything.

We have completed five lessons now and have two more scheduled for our review period.  Yesterday was our last lesson with Elda, as she is going on maternity leave. She stood up yesterday and showed us her precious baby belly and we all laughed together as we talked about having babies so many years apart (her first child is 10 years old and there are 11 years between my second and third babies).  We hope to schedule more classes with her when she returns to work in November. 

We have already purchased another seven classes, one per week, which is a half semester in the Early Language Program from Homeschool Spanish Academy.  We have chosen a new instructor, and I am looking forward to seeing  another teaching style.  Homeschool Spanish Academy instructors take copious notes on each student, so Abbey’s next instructor will know exactly where Abbey is on the progression scale prior to her next session.  

These folks are so professional and their customer service is top notch!  I sent an email over the weekend asking a question about how to register for the next semester, not expecting to hear back until Monday. I got a return email on Sunday, with a link to a YouTube video showing me exactly how to register.   There are, in fact, several helpful videos on their site that explain almost everything they do. 

My absolute favorite thing about Homeschool Spanish Academy : the instructors are able to correct Abbey in real time, so she does not waste time learning the language the WRONG way! This makes it worth every single penny, in my opinion!  

I can't wait until my sister comes to visit next month, so she and Abbey can practice speaking it every day! (My sister lived in the country of Panama for three years and became quiet fluent in the language.)  

Abbey's favorite things about the class: Nice teachers (she loved her some Elda), the shared screen (loved how cool that was), and the increasingly challenging lessons each time. 

The details:

Four levels of Spanish instruction are available: Early Language,  Middle School, High School, and Adult Programs. 

Three purchase options are available for the Early Language Program: Half Semester (7 weeks/1 class per week at $59), Full Semester (15 weeks/1 class per week for $99), OR Half Semester (7 weeks/2 classes per week at $104.99),  Full Semester (15 weeks/2 classes per week at $174.99).  So, on the high end, it's $8.57 per class, and on the low end, it's $5.83 per class.  [Please see their website for details on the pricing of the other programs.]

I consider foreign language training an investment in my child's future because of the country in which we live. I feel as if it will be very beneficial for her to know this language and feel very comfortable around it and being able to read and speak it. Homeschool Spanish Academy has done a great job in sharing their passion for their language, and I am sold on this style of learning!  

There are over forty other wonderful families that got the chance to review the different programs from Homeschool Spanish Academy. Please take time to check them out and learn more about what worked and didn't work for them, by clicking the Schoolhouse Review Crew blinking banner below! 

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  1. I like your these activities. It is very good for children and parent both.

    Kopi Luwak

  2. Noticed your map in the background with Pea Ridge, Arkansas marked! (well, all of the Civil War battle sites - ours looks like that also!!). We are in central AR and have actually had the chance to visit Pea Ridge... pretty neat site!

  3. Where did you sign up for HSA? We just signed up with HSA and paid $170 for 15 lessons (1 per week). Did they quote you the rates that you have published in your review?

    1. Hi KCL,

      I signed up through the Schoolhouse Crew Review, but checking their prices on the website just now, they are the same as I quoted for the Early Language Program.: Perhaps you are doing an upper level class?


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