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2012-2013 Homeschool Curriculum

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It’s here – the 2012 Not Back to School Blog Hop!


This first week is curriculum week. You can check out my 2012-2013 homeschool curriculum page to see what all we’ll be using this year. I’ve got everything figured out but foreign language for my oldest. She wants to learn French. Any suggestions besides Rosetta Stone?

What will you be using this year? Be sure to stop by iHomeschool Network to link up!

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. I was looking into Rosetta Stone too, but I can’t justify the cost right now (my kids are in 2nd and 3rd grade.) They’re using Muzzy for French. And since I’m trying to learn some French myself so I can help them, I’ve been looking into a few resources. The BBC has a free basic French course on their website that I’ve been using, and it’s quite good: https://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french/ Also, I write for About.com, and our Guide to French Language has an online beginner’s email course (as well as plenty of resource ideas for learning French): https://french.about.com/od/lessons/a/beginningfrench.htm

    I hope this helps! Hope you all have a wonderful school year!

  2. We’re wrestling with French too at the moment. We use some Michel Thomas (https://www.michelthomas.com/) borrowed from the library. Also Learn French by podcast (https://www.learnfrenchbypodcast.com/podcasting.php) the audio episodes you can download free. French films are a fun way to learn we love “Etre et Avoir” a delightful, touching documentary about a tiny village school. Also “le renard et l’enfant” a beautiful film, here’s a taste: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6RU8GLMz8Y
    All the best! Lydia

  3. I haven’t used it, but I know there is a program similar to RS called Instant Immersion that is way cheaper. We’ve used the Berlitz products in the past. Also, our kiddos are little so we enjoy Little Pim and the BBC resources as well.

    1. I just bought Instant Immersion’s Spanish at Sam’s Club for $15. Was $24.98. They had Spanish, French, German and Italian all marked down to $15. I don’t know if that was just my local Sam’s Club or all of them but worth looking into.

  4. I enjoyed using an audio program that I borrowed from the library. It’s called Pimsleur. We did Spanish, but I have seen many other languages offered too. I recently saw it at Barnes and Noble, but no price was listed. My kids have learned and retained the most from this program. We started with Rosetta, but the retention was not there and then we moved into BJU Spanish I. I would not recommend BJU unless you are familiar with the language yourself. I had 4 years of Spanish in school and it was difficult to navigate after so many years of not using the language.

    Pimsleur has 2 native speakers along with an English speaker talking you through the converstation. This is a conversational method, which means, as an example, that you may only learn one verb tense at a time vs. all the conjugations of a specific verb. For example: to run, you may only learn I run and not “you run, he runs, they run, we run” until later lessons.

    I feel the program really challenges your brain because the English speaker will tell you to say a specific thing and then in 1-2 seconds, the native speaker will say the correct answer. I liked trying to “beat the clock” with the right answer. An example, the English speaker would say, “Your friend is walking down the street and you will greet her. Tell her ‘good morning.'” You have time to answer and then the native speaker says, “Buenos dias.”

    Best of all, it was freeeee to borrow from the library!! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve got to go by our library and see if I can get a copy. It won’t let me put it on hold online. I think they won’t ship CDs through intra-library loan. 🙁

    1. We’ve used Pimsleur French with our six year old twins and they love it. It’s great because you focus on conversation rather than spelling the words and therefore you are able to avoid speaking French with an American accent. I highly recommend it.

      1. Thanks, Ellen. A bunch of people have suggested Pimsleur. Unfortunately, our local library doesn’t have it and apparently they don’t allow CDs to be sent through intralibary loan. *sigh* I’d really love to try it before we buy.

  5. Our children are using Mango Languages. Its not comprehensive, but it’s free through our library’s website, and its a good place to start.

  6. We love the Uncle Eric books and I recently purchased a few more in the set. We’ll be doing “Whatever Happened to Justice” this fall as my son takes a class in election politics. I’ve heard such great things about the Trail Guide. It works so well for so many! Looks like it will be a great year, Kris!

    1. We’ve got Whatever Happened to Penny Candy and have enjoyed what we’ve read of it. Both Brianna and I have said we’d like to read the other books in the series. We’ve enjoyed the ones we’ve read so far.

  7. My daughter is using Live Mocha at https://livemocha.com/ Signing up for an account is free. The lessons are free, but cost “tokens” which you earn by reviewing other members lessons. So after every few French lessons I have her help me edit English lessons that others have submitted, which is an excellent English grammar lesson.

  8. I don’t know how old your oldest is, but for junior high/high school French we’ve been using Breaking the Barrier. It’s good for grammar and vocab. It does need some supplementation in the form of more exercises (sometimes there is not enough practice) and some type of audio like Tell Me More or Rosetta Stone, but we’ve liked it. I spoke directly with the publisher and they said many of their customers (including schools) spread the two levels out over three years to give credit for French 1, 2, and 3, so that is what we’ve done. Colleges like to see at least two years in the same language. Hope this helps!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve got a lot of great tips on French today. Now to figure out what to do. 🙂

  9. Oooo, about French: I was going to say Rosetta Stone as that is what we started with. Our eldest daughter is 23 and graduated with a Double Major: French and International Studies. We used Rosetta Stone, tutors, BJU French 2 and 3 through HomeSat (no more, but online classes: https://www.bjupress.com/distance-learning/courses/french-1.php with Mrs. Anderson. She is superb!) Landry Academy online has French courses. Our public Library has a program attached online called Mango. If your library doesn’t have it, here is a link to tell them about it. https://www.mangolanguages.com/libraries/

    Also, our daughter can tutor over distance or consult via Skype, etc. if you need further help.


  10. We live in an Arabic-speaking country where there are first and second language French speakers everywhere. We would like for our 5th, 8th and sophomore children to begin French, but want the teacher to be guided by a curriculum that would both prepare my children to speak AND be ready for AP tests in America. It would be fabulous if they could all use the same curriculum but realize that may be stretching it a bit. Any suggestions? Also, does anyone know how many hours of language every week is necessary to count it for high school credit?

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