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Families Again
Monday, 5 December 2011
The Easy Spanish - It's...Well It's Facil!
Mood:  lazy
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


About the only thing this curriculum doesn't teach is how to type in Spanish! Fortunately, I can use online translators so I can look up words and then copy and paste them with their accents. But, let's not talk about my Spanish typing cheats!

But, speaking of the curriculum, let me think of some other Spanish adjectives I can use to describe  ¡El Espanol Facil! - The Easy Spanish! from "Great Commission Languages". How about genial (great), magni­fico (superb), and fantastico (fantastic)?!? It's all of those things and more. This is a great...um...genial program.

So, why is it so genial, magnifico and fantastico? Well, let me focus on why it is so easy - facil.

It's easy because it is flexible. This one curriculum can be used for multiple age groups. It can be used with younger students (even pre-school) and older students. It can be used with a parent/teacher (even one that doesn't know Spanish) or it can be used with an older student independently. The book has complete instructions on how to use it in different ways. It can even be used multiple ways with each group. If you have a pre-school child that you would like teach Spanish to, you can take two or three years to complete this first course. A high school student can use this book over a two year time or complete it in one year. There are goals and objectives for almost every scenario that you can think of. Since John Allen is also learning Latin, we plan on using the two year plan and alternating Spanish and Latin. Remember, though, that John Allen is in his third year of Latin, so he has a good grip on the language. I probably would not recommend trying to learn any two languages using any two curriculums if you were just starting out. I use John Allen as an example only to show how flexible this program is.

It's easy because it covers a broad spectrum of learning styles. El Espanol Facil! - The Easy Spanish was written with a Charlotte Mason approach in mind, and, if you know the Charlotte Mason, you know that she liked things to be taught using all of the senses to accommodate all kinds of learning styles. The author of this curriculum, Marie Filion, did just that when she wrote these lessons. Each of the 36 lessons begins with the student listening to a short dialogue on one of the two CD's that come with this program. The student is told from the beginning that there will be some English words in each dialogue, but there will also be some Spanish words that they will have to try to figure out the meaning of. It really isn't too difficult to figure it out though. The dialogue may go something like this:

Belicia: Marita, this is mi padre, tu tio, Senor Enrique Cordero Paco Fernandez.
Marita: ¡Hola tÃio Enrique! Hello, uncle Enrique.
Senor Fernandez: ¡Hola Marita!
Belicia: Marita, this is mi madre, tu tia, Senora Isabel Charo Viana Fernandez.
Marita: ¡Hola tia Isabel! Hello, aunt Isabel.
Senora Fernandez: ¡Hola Marita!

This is taken from lesson two. Do you see how cleverly done it is? Without knowing any Spanish at all, you could probably figure out that "Hola" means "Hello", "Tio" means "Uncle", and  "Tia" means "Aunt".

After the student listens to the dialogue, he listens to a list of vocabulary words that goes along with that dialogue. Sometimes the vocabulary list can be quite long, but that is the beauty of being able to use this course over a two or three year period. You can always cut the lessons down to do over a two to three week period if needed.

The first lessons are very basic and begin with how to introduce yourself. They then progress through learning Spanish words pertaining to your family, food, clothing, numbers, days of the week, animals, adjectives, and more.

Great Commission Languages - Spanish Level 1

The child listens to the dialogue and vocabulary every day during the week and also does other tasks that reinforce what is being learned. Not all tasks are to be done by all students each week (in a two to three year program, some tasks aren't even introduced until the third year) and all tasks can be adapted to fit your family. The following is a list of some of the tasks with a very brief explanation.

  • Activity - as it says, a short activity to reinforce that weeks lesson. Usually for younger students, but some for older as well.
  • Narration - a Charlotte Mason (CM) task where you recount (could be done in various forms) the story you have just heard.
  • Soy yo! It's me! - another CM method where you transfer yourself into the story.
  • CM Activity - usually done by an independent learner.
  • Teacher Helps - for the parent and/or independent learner to help them understand the lesson and language better.
  • Scripture Memory Work - ¡El Espanol Facil! - The Easy Spanish is a Christian curriculum. In fact, the company that produces El Espanol facil! - The Easy Spanish is called "Great Commission Languages" and was written to help folks learn another language so that they can have a impact on missions. Each week there is a memory verse that helps with that.
  • Cultural Notes - Just as it says, notes to help you understand the Spanish culture.
  • Trivia - Interesting things about the Spanish people or culture.
  • Notebook - Each student keeps a notebook that goes along with this course.
  • Front Cover Work - For the younger child,
  • Things to Remember - Little reminders for that lesson.
  • Everyday Vocabulary - Extra vocabulary of everyday words that a student should practice.
  • Independent Learner - These are activities geared toward the older student that is working independently.
  • Journal - Again, this is for the high school student or advanced younger student.

These are just brief descriptions of the things that might be part of each lesson. More information can be found on the website and, of course, in the book itself. Not all of these things are done every day or, even, each week. The book tells you what is to be done on what day. It's all very easy.

Another thing that is easy is that everything is contained in the two CD's and book. You need nothing else. And, everything is put together so well that there is hardly any preparation work involved. It is truly an easy program to use. We haven't been too far into ¡El Espanol Facil! - The Easy Spanish yet, but we already know that we are going to learn much from it.

Finally, one of the easiest things about this course is the price. El Espanol Facil!, Level I is just $139.95. And, remember, depending on the age and abilities of your student, this curriculum could be used for two or three years. Compared to most other complete language curriculums, $139.95 is even a great price for a one year study. Also, remember, this course can be used with all of your kids at once, or be used later with other kids if you wish. Great Commission Languages also has a Junior Spanish Curriculum if you feel like this book goes a little too quickly for your young ones. They also have a French curriculum that you can buy. Yes, there is also a Level II, available, but, to help cover the cost, Great Commission Languages has an agreement with Wycliffe Bible Translators that if you will donate your Level I curriculum to Wycliffe, you will get a 30% discount for Level II. Just click here or on any one of the links above to find out about this and all of the other "Great Commission Language" programs. Other TOS Crew Members reviewed other things from Great Commission Languages and you can find out what they had to say by clicking here. Happy Homeschooling.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free copy of ¡El Espanol Facil!, Level I in order to try out and give my honest review on this blog.

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Posted by tink38570 at 1:00 AM CST
Updated: Monday, 5 December 2011 1:14 AM CST
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Sunday, 4 December 2011
The Countdown Is About To Start!

The countdown to the big changeover is about to begin. Get ready!

Okay, I know this is another lame excuse for a post. But, I'm working on a review for a really good product that I will post soon, but after midnight, so it wouldn't count for today's post. Besides, I really am going to start the countdown soon, and I really do want you to get ready! If you haven't been over to visit the new blog yet, here's the address - http://familiesagain.blogspot.com . Come on over and check it out!

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:52 PM CST
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Saturday, 3 December 2011
Here Ye! Here Ye! Get the The Old Schoolhouse 2011 Christmas Edition for Free!
Topic: General

In honor of Christmas and the fantastic fact that The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is going all digital, The Old Schoolhouse (TOS) is allowing anyone and everyone to download their 2011 Christmas Edition for FREE! The 2011 Christmas Edition is full of Christmas recipes, crafts, ideas, and more...and, to top it off, many of the articles were written by folks that I am personally friends of. I feel so special :-)! Anyway, click here for the link! This is really a great magazine filled with 81 pages of great stuff. Download it today!

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:38 PM CST
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Friday, 2 December 2011
Attention All of My Followers - Please Read - Exciting News - I Think :-/
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: General

At least I hope it's exciting news. I've been switching over to my new Families Again blogger blog - http://familiesagain.blogspot.com/ and my task this week is to switch over all of my Google Friend Connect and NetworkedBlog followers. I don't want to lose any followers you are the lifeblood of my blog. I need your help. If you are a Google Friend Connect and/or NetWorkedBlog follower please read the following updates.

I have switched...at least I think I have switched...all of my Google Friend Connect followers over to my new blog. This should be the first post that you should actually get from the new Blogspot blog. I am sending this same post to both blogs. Could a few of you please comment on whatever blog you got this on to let me know it worked or didn't work? If you got it on both for some reason, please mention that as well. Thank you so much!

I have not switched over my NetworkedBlog followers yet but will in the next couple of days - hopefully tonight. You all know (or maybe you don't) that I have taken the challenge to post every day for a year again. If, all of a sudden, you stop getting my posts through NetworkedBlogs, or if you continue to get my posts from my angelfire blog (the one with the green refrigerator background), please let me know. For that matter, if everything works out - and I hope it does - and you begin to get the posts from the new Blogspot blog (tan background with new family picture at the top) then please let me know.

Thank you all so much for your help. I'm really excited about switching blogs. I really think my new blog looks a lot better. If you haven't checked out the blogspot blog, here is the address - http://familiesagain.blogspot.com/ . Let me know what you think.

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:08 AM CST
Updated: Friday, 2 December 2011 12:37 PM CST
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Thursday, 1 December 2011
Toydle! Another Great Christmas Gift! And We're Giving Away Three for Free!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Giveaways!


So, what is this wonderful product that I've been talking about for the past couple of days?

It's called a Toydle Toy Fort.

Have your child(ren) ever draped blankets over the couches and chairs and crawled under them?

Have they ever tried to build a fortress out of limbs or left over wood around your home?

Have they ever build these structures only them have them fall apart.or have to be taken down soon after it was built?

Or, worse yet, has your child ever gotten hurt because of faulty or just plain "not made for fort building" materials?

Well, never fear, Toydle Toy Forts are here!

Toydle Toy Forts is the invention of Robert Brownfield. Robert had brought home a toy for his son Ike and five minutes after he presented the toy to his son, it had met it's fate in a heap on the driveway concrete. Rob had already been making quality products with the company of which he was president. After some thought he realized that he could build better, long lasting, more durable toys than what was on the market today, so he began his own company - Toydle. One of the first products he produced was the Toydle Toy Fort. And better yet, it's completely manufactured in American! Take a look at one of the ingenious forts that was build using one of Toydle's Toy Fort kits.


All you do is throw some blankets or tarps over the top and - voila - you have a sturdy fort that can be played in, taken down, and put together again in whatever creative design your child wants. To see a video of a Toydle Toy Fort being put together, just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above to get to the Toydle website. The forts come in two different sizes. The regular Toydle Toy Fort sells for $149 and the Big Toydle Fort sells for $229.99. Each comes with specially cut, sturdy, tubes, hand made connector blocks, clips and a handy dandy carry bag. Better yet, everything is unconditionally guaranteed! The Toydle website says that they will replace anything even if a block was left out in the rain of a tube breaks because a child tried to do a pull-up on it - it's guaranteed!

But wait! After you head to the Toydle website, head over to the TOS Homeschool Crew blog because the TOS Homeschool Crew is giving away THREE of the BIG Toydle Forts. The Crew blog has all of the details, just click here. I'll be checking back to see who wins. It would be really neat if one of my readers is able to put one of these neat forts under the tree for Christmas.

NOTE: The above mentioned contest is open to residents of the United States ONLY. TOS Staff and TOS Crew Members (and their families) are not eligible to enter this contest.

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Posted by tink38570 at 12:23 PM CST
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