All 3 of my children, ages 8, 10, and 12 have used the Homeschool Latin American Spanish for 2 or 3 of years now.
Summary of how it works- The student is given multiple images…between 2 and 8 with some text or numbers at the top. The text is read by a voice out loud as well, and the student must select the correct picture or text to match what was said or to answer a stated question.
Example- On the screen there are 4 pictures. There are pictures of a small flower, a huge flower, a small dog and a large dog.
The voice then says – “El perro es grande” or “The dog is large”. The student must then select the correct picture. By this point, he/she has already learned “dog”, “large”, “flower”, and “small”.
If a student does poorly on a lesson, the program automatically reviews the trouble portions of it with them until they get it.
Overall, I think Rosetta Stone is easy to use and gives children enough vocabulary practice to have a nice foundation and head start to take a “real” Spanish course.
Pros- When you buy Level 1, it is going to last you more than one 1 school year! This is fabulous news and makes the $$ not seem so horrid. We have been using it for, I’m pretty sure 3 years now, and have not run into the end yet! And my kids do at least one lesson most school days.
This program can work easily for young or older students. My youngest was either 5 or 6 when we started, when she got to a point that she was frustrated, I sent her back to the beginning and it was a perfect time for her to review all the way through. She got a ton of practice with the most common words yet wasn’t bored.
Which leads to the 3rd pro… it’s not boring. The pictures are colorful and beautiful and show kids other cultures (not just Spanish speaking ones) and it really keeps their attention.
Cons- I feel like they know a lot of Spanish vocabulary, but not much else. The grammar was totally lost on them all. For instance the words, el, la, las and los baffled them, so I told them they all meant “the.” The program seemed to TRY to teach them when to use each one, but they didn’t get it and I ended up repeatedly explaining it to them until they understood. This was true with how verb endings need to match the subject and several other important things. For a parent that knows no Spanish, this could be VERY frustrating. Fortunately I had 3 years in high school and could help. It really bothered my eldest that there were so many things she didn’t understand.
After 3 years of doing Rosetta Stone, my children cannot speak Spanish to one another. Not even relatively simple sentences. They think they can, but I know that nearly every sentence they say is quite incorrect.