I’m so thankful that many years ago when my own parents were making education choices for their children, they decided to opt into the French immersion program of the public school system. We were fortunate to have begun our education in French, and I stayed in the program from kindergarten through my high school years. Upon graduation, I was considered fully bilingual which proved an invaluable asset when I later enter the workforce in Ottawa as a registered nurse in an officially bilingual hospital.
Fast forward several more years, and I am now a stay-at-home, homeschooling mama in a fairly unilingual area. My own French has become rusty from lack of use, and homeschooling resources, opportunities, and support for French language learning are hard to come by. Still, I really want at least some of the opportunities for my children that I had myself. Since I’m always up for exploring French learning resources, I was happy to give Middlebury Interactive Languages‘ Elementary French 1 (Grades 3-5) a try in our homeschool.
Our French language learning efforts over the last several years have been quite varied, and we have used a little bit of everything, including library books & videos, homeschool co-op lessons with a French teacher, book based homeschool curriculum, and apps, with varying amounts of success. Anything with a screen involved has proved to be very popular with my children, and as expected, Middlebury received a warm welcome!
The course is divided into 16 themed units, each of which is introduced by a story which originates from various French speaking cultures. The lessons also contain games, activities and songs which allow the student to interact with the language.
The units covered are:
- Days of the Week
There are six lessons in each unit, and my 9 year old has been working through the course at a pace of 2-3 lessons each week, or one unit every two weeks. The lessons seem to be pretty fascinating to her little sister who really enjoys watching the story and even practices saying the vocabulary words.
The course also contains a page to view the student’s grades so the parent can check up on how their student has been doing on the tests and quizzes. Some of the activities include the student recording themselves saying the vocabulary words, and you can listen to these as well — I’m not sure but I think that if you purchase the teacher supported version, the teacher listens and evaluates these recordings.
My daughter is really enjoying her Middlebury French lessons, and I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to review their course. It offers a more “immersion” styled experience than others I have seen, using video, music, and activities to provide as rich a language experience as as possible while sitting behind a screen.
I would be remiss to mention however, that unfortunately for us, the price of the course (which is for one student, one level, and one year) is beyond what we budget for any single subject in our homeschool. Budget constraints aside, if you are looking for online language learning, check out the various courses offered by Middlebury, and the reviews from other members of The Homeschool Review Crew.