Getting Started with French – A Review

In our homeschool, one of my weak areas is foreign language. Despite taking three semesters of Spanish in college, I can barely greet you in Spanish. Let us not even discuss my accent. Needless to say finding resources and curriculum to help my children experience, enjoy, and master a foreign language is important. When I heard that Armfield Academic Press has a foreign language resource, Getting Started with French, I hoped that it would be a helpful tool for my daughter, Mary, a high school junior.

Getting Started with French is a beginning French resource that works well for self-teaching students of any age. Whether it is used by a homeschool student like my daughter or an adult with a desire to learn French, anyone can quickly and easily put this program into practice.

Armfield Academic Press has other foreign language resources: Getting Started with Spanish, Getting Started with Latin,and soon they will have Getting Started with Russian.

How to Use This Book

Before handing Getting Started with French to my daughter, I did a read through on the “How to Use This Book” section at the beginning. This gave me a clear understanding of how the program worked and confirmed that my daughter could use this independently.

The set up is broken down into daily lessons that introduce new words, offer grammatical information, and translation exercises. One of my favorite aspects of this program is the free audio files that you can download. Being able to hear the correct pronunciation by a native French speaker is so helpful! My daughter found that the audio files were clear and easy to understand. She also noted that the pace or speed of the speaker was helpful.

The goal of Getting Started with French is mastery so you are encouraged to work on the lessons daily but to take time to review as needed. Practice speaking with your family in French or translating English text into French are great ways to work on review and repetition.

One way my daughter worked on review and repetition to build mastery was to utilize classic children’s literature. Our library had a few books such as Goodnight Moon and The Three Little Pigs available in French. We checked those out and she practiced translating the words into English. It was a bit more challenging than expected but a fun way to practice what she was learning.

Getting Started with French offers flexibility for your style of learning and setting your own schedule and pace. While the presentation is simple and user friendly, it is an effective approach.

You can preview Getting Started with French to get a feel for how the program is set up.

Mary’s Thoughts

Since Mary works independently I have very little interaction directly with this program but discuss what is being taught with Mary to keep an eye on her progress. Here is what she has to say:

I found Getting Started with French very easy to use. Since it can be used by all ages, I was worried at first that it might be too simple and not challenging or helpful. But that wasn’t a problem at all. It encouraged you to take your time and to not rush. It was very easy to understand the lessons and what was being taught. I found it very helpful in understanding the masculine/female gender usage and the pronunciations guides were very helpful for me. Mary – 16

Overall we are both very pleased with this program. I love the approach used and that Mary can work on it independently. Being able to set her own pace and schedule is a huge plus for Mary. She likes the flexibility that it offers.

As a homeschool family with a wide range of ages, I love that it can easily be used by different ages. I have Getting Started with Spanish on my to buy list. I think it would be a great addition to our Group Learning and be a fun family learning experience. Maybe I can finally get the proper Spanish accent?  Oh, and it is a non-consumable resource which is always a huge plus for our family. Just give everyone a notebook and we are set to learn a foreign language or two!

Introducing Getting Started with French {Armfield Academic Press}
Crew Disclaimer

School Pictures – The Teens

A couple of weeks ago, I officially became the mother of four teens. When this parenting journey began, I would have told you that I loved little children and was, honestly, dreading the teen years. However, reality has been completely different from those clueless thoughts years ago. And I am so thankful!

I have some fabulous young adults in my home that bring much joy and laughter. Daily. Parenting, no matter the ages or stages of your children, is difficult and rewarding. I like to think we lean more toward rewarding than difficult. I’m going to miss these kiddos when they leave home.

So, yes, I compelled my older four to play nice for Picture Day.

Lydia, 13, is one of my beautiful redheads. Even as a young child she valued the quiet and alone time. She still does. I often find her hidden away in her room with a good book. Or with sketch pad in hand. She has aspirations to one day be an artist and I think leans toward illustrating books.

Caleb, 14, bears the burden of being surrounding by all these teen girls. Is it any surprise that he enjoys a good hike in the woods? Well, unless he has a good book on hand. He is a smart, intelligent young man who offers up excellent conversation. His future? There has been some discussion of the military but I’m not confident that it is set in stone.

Mary, 16, is my take charge, get it done girl. She plans to one day teach piano and perhaps do music therapy as well. In her free time she loves to sew, read, and any number of other things. She doesn’t believe in idle hands. Get up and get busy is her motto!

Bekah, 17, is a senior this year. She is taking a couple of classes via dual enrollment but the majority of her studies are still at home. Give her chocolate, a good book, and some yummy yarn and she is a happy girl. You will often find her hanging with Lydia in the their bedroom, quietly, enjoying her current read or knitting project. What does her future hold? She is unsure but with her love of literature, I can see her leaning in that direction.

I think that wraps up the torture we call Back to School Pictures for 2016-2017.  I am sure they are looking forward to a new family picture when we need to update this fall. Ha!

Now back to the books!

Systematic Theology and Ferdinand

My oldest child is heading into her senior year of high school.  While we always knew we were going to homeschool, I never imagined how quickly it would go by. This year I have seven children that are official “school age”. We quite easily cover grades from preschool to high school.

I suppose because as my older ones are getting, well, older, it makes days like today all the more precious to me. It is also a beautiful reminder to me on those challenging days why it is worth every sacrifice made to homeschool my children.

After the normal morning things that must be done like the making of beds and taking of showers, we all settled in the living room to read and discuss a bit on systematic theology. Yes, even the four year old was cuddled with me on the couch learning the importance and value of systematic theology.

But not only do the younger ones sit in on the older kiddos’ readings and discussions, it flips in the other direction as well. I gather up my little ones to enjoy The Story of Ferdinand and do a little craft. And who jumps in the mix? My 10 year old and 12 year old daughters. Yes, they were right on the floor with us. Why? Because who can pass the opportunity to sit with Ferdinand and smell the flowers? Of course there was glue involved. Even at my mature age, I do love using glue.

It goes deeper than just listening and gluing. It truly does. While a lot of what we read on systematic theology was too complicated for my four or six year old, they are hearing and understanding the importance of scripture. Of reading all of scripture, seeking to understand the Word, and knowing God better. Each and every day that we sit, read, and discuss, this truth sinks a bit deeper into their hearts.

And relationships, memories, and connections are being strengthened each day between my children that will stand against time. I see my little ones cuddled up beside my older ones sharing favorite picture books or gathered at the table all drawing and creating together. They garden together, knit together, explore the woods together with no thought to age segregation.

It is by far one of the greatest rewards of this homeschooling journey. Do not let me be deceptive. We deal with grumbling and complaining. People need quiet and space and a break from the chaos that is family. No rose colored glasses here, folks. But at the end of the day, I savor the moments with systematic theology and Ferdinand.