June 19, 2011
Rosetta Stone is a dream come true review item for a homeschool blogger. Their website states that they are the "#1 preferred choice of homeschool parents for language curriculum..." and we were delighted to find out WHY here at my bee hive. I had wanted to buy a box and teach the kids Spanish long ago when they were little... but the cost was prohibitive for me. I tried lots of low-cost alternatives over the years including me trying to teach the kids from textbooks, workbooks, and even taking them to classes given by a native speaker as charity for me. Finally, I gave up and decided I would pick it back up when I could afford to do it right.
Now days with ever-increasing bilingual jobs popping up in the want-ads, I figured Spanish was a no-brainer for us in Texas. In fact, there are even a lot of churches here in Texas that have services in English and Spanish both - on the same day... like two congregations of Christians and many can't even communicate with each other. How sad to have so much opportunity around me to USE Spanish and let that go to waste.
When I got the chance to review "the yellow box" homeschool edition, I jumped on it and we have been so blessed. It has been like learning a new language from infancy - total and complete "dynamic" immersion - without 'translation'. You learn the same way you did as a baby - and amazingly, it works.
After you install your Rosetta Stone software, enter your product codes for the language and the homeschool version... and plug in the high-quality headset with built in microphone... it's only seconds until you are hearing, seeing, and speaking Spanish. Best of all (for homeschooling moms) is that the program keeps track of your child's progress and you can check it in just a glance while they work independently. I love being able to see how the kids are doing on their lessons at a glance on the Homeschool Dashboard. You can set up multiple students on one software course, too. The whole family can learn together.
The curriculum takes only about 15 minutes a day from start to finish on each lesson, and you can go at your own pace - adding in extra time when you have it to spare. There's also an Audio Companion for each unit (4 units in level 1) -- and you can take it with you via MP3 or CD to listen where ever you have free time and help enrich and speed your learning ability.
My only frustration so far has been that sometimes it takes a few tries to get the audio speech recognition headset to register that you HAVE spoken correctly.Well, my other issue is that I have no time to sit down and do a lesson around here with 4 kids... but that's no fault of Rosetta Stone's.
Each Unit is broken in to lessons, and each lesson is broken in to the following activities:
- Core Lesson
- Pronunciation (you speak in to your microphone)
- Listening and Reading
- Writing (you use the keyboard to type)
The entire program takes a little less than a full school year to complete (and we're still plugging away at our school year in June due to distractions -- both of which are under 2.5 years of age)... so we have plenty of Spanish to learn this summer yet!
Speaking of the summer... it's the best time to pick up a copy of Rosetta Stone (which I believe is WORTH every penny you invest in it). Right now you can get single levels of the program for only $159. Or you can get the sets for the following prices:
Level 1-2 Set $259
Level 1-3 Set $359
Level 1-5 Set $459
Not only are the prices low, but you can use promo code: hsfreeship for free ground shipping in the US!
When we finish Level 1, which we were given to review (Praise the Lord)... we'll be continuing on with Levels 2-5 on our own dime. I'm happy that my children and I are learning a skill that will enrich our lives as Texas Citizens and Christians. I can't wait to take part in bilingual church services and BE the translator - rather than NEED one.
While you are reading up on the program to see if it is right for your homeschool curriculum, be sure to check out Rosetta Stone's Facebook Page, too. Tell them Sprittibee sent you! You might just get lucky if they offer promo codes or give-aways there! You never know. We feel really honored to get to review this amazing software.
NOTE: Leave a comment on each of my review posts this week and I'll be picking some winners to any and all of the products that some of these great vendors are offering. One entry per post, per person - enter by Saturday - random winner announced next Sunday the 26th!