Wednesday, November 13, 2013

French Essentials Review -TOS Crew #hsreviews

French Essentials LOGO photo frenchessentiallogo_zps55e20538.jpg 

Do you speak a foreign language?  Do you want to learn?  Or wish you had taken the time to learn when you were young?

Foreign language is a staple in schools these days. Not just public schools but homeschools too.  French Essentials is one such language program. They help students learn French from native speakers.  The program is designed for homeschoolers.  Crew members have received a full year or full package of the French Essentials to review.

There are 10 modules in the program which equate out to 2 years of High School French classes. You don't have to be in high school to take these courses though.  They recommend their courses for grades 2-12. The younger grades of course are not going to get as much done, but they do have until the 12th grade to finish all the modules.  From their website if you start the modules in grade 3 and do one module per year you will complete the courses your Senior year or during grade 12.

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The program can be purchased either as a full set where you have access to all the modules and downloads for a full year or as individual modules.  Each individual module is accessible for 90 days.  Each module can be purchased for $69.95 while the full year(full package) of all modules can be purchased for $149.95.  Right now only modules 1-5 are available with the rest to come.

The program includes downloadable, printable worksheets/assignments as well as audio and visual learning.  You actually hear and see the language in use to help you learn it.  It is taught by native French speakers.  It is designed specifically for home learners in a clear easy to use format.  Learning a new language is always easier if the teachers really know it and are fluent.  This normally only happens if they are native speakers or have been totally immersed in the country of the language.

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As with all foreign language programs both in schools and at home, it is designed to be a daily course.  It should be used 4-5 times per week to help the child remember and improve.

With that, you might wonder how often we used it.  We used it 5 days a week, every week.  In fact, we're still using it!  We love learning foreign languages and have never had a chance to learn French before so this fun not just for the kids, but me as well. I never had the chance to take French in high school or college either so now I am learning with my kids.  Since my oldest is only 8 and in 2nd grade we did not do the actual tests and such, but more just listening and learning.

Next year when they are in 3rd grade they can do the writing and tests so that they are learning more.  I love how it is set up so that they can start earlier than they could if they were not allowed to start until they could do the written work.

Beginning in lesson 5 of module 1 they start having other things to do besides just the listen and say type work.   The first four lessons focus on learning the alphabet and pronunciations.  Those four lessons could be made into an entire year with younger children.  We made it past those, but went at a very slow pace becaue my learners were so young.  We did not do the tests but did play some of the games that go along with the lessons.

The program focuses on teaching and learning in four ways:
-Listening Comprehension(which we used and worked with well)
-Speaking(again one we could master)

The reading and writing parts were the ones that my young learners had problems with.  I would like to see more listening comprehension for pre-readers, but that is not really what the program is geared towards.  My kiddos did learn some of the writing.  They can write the alphabet and some basic words.  They also can read some small words.  It would equate to reading at a kindergarten level in our school probably.

French Essentials culture area photo frenchessentials4_zpsa088c965.jpg

With the course comes:
downloadable lessons
printable workbook(plus all necessary parent/teacher pages)
online exercises and activities
online lesson tests
topics on french culture

If your student has already had some French instruction, they can take a placement test to see which module they should start with.  It will direct you to where they would best fit into the program.  We of course had no French at all.  I have never had French and neither has my husband or any of the kids.  I do have cousins who live in England who are fluent in French and we said a few words to them when they were over visiting recently.  My grandmother also spoke French but unfortunately she passed away before we learned anything to tell her.

Read more Crew Reviews for French Essentials on the Main Crew Blog!  We all received the same to review but with different kids we all have different experiences.

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  1. This sounds great! We have been wanting to learn a new language as a family.

    1. This is definitely the way to do it and at your own pace!

  2. Hi, this sounds gret for my daugter who is in the fifth grade. Will have to show to my husband for this summer though. She has so much going on right now. ;)

    1. Yes it would be a great course to use whenever since there are no time limits to how quickly she has to finish the work.