The crazy life of the ClarkClan. Living a life of grace through Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Curriculum Junkie


Today for the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop we are talking about Curriculum. I can guarantee that if you get two or more homeschool moms together, you are going to talk about curriculum. It is inevitable. What works for your family? What does not work for you? What do you kids like? What do your kids dislike? 

Because I have been homeschooling for 11 years and have been reviewing products for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for over 2 years now, I have a lot of different curriculum choices. I still have my favorites, but I am finding new favorites all the time. It can be so hard to make choices over what is the “best”.  I like being able to find products that work well for my kids, conversely  some I thought would be great,  flopped.  So I thought I would tell my favorites  for my kids, some we will be doing this year, some we have done in the past.


We start our school day with prayer, devotions and a short worship time. I pretty much exclusively use the Lutheran Service Book Hymnal with it’s Form for Morning Prayer, Devotions come from Higher Things and Catechism study comes from Luther’s Small Catechism. I try to teach the kids one new hymn a week. We sing out of the hymnal and I go over any unfamiliar words and phrases. We have a time of prayer and then begin our day. This year we may have to change things around just a little. I am going to an exercise class that meets in the early mornings. So I am thinking the days that I am in exercise, we will be using the Form for Afternoon Prayer and we will have our devotions at lunch. I also plan on having Ben and Rebekah use God’s Great Covenant from Classical Academic Press. I reviewed it this Spring, loved it, but wanted to wait until the Fall to start it again and order Rebekah her own workbook.


I began with Sonlight the first year I brought Matthew home.  We have used Sonlight as the main core pretty exclusively. We do not always finish a Core program in a year, but just keep plugging away until it is finished and then start the next one. This year Sarah will be starting 20th Century World History. I am excited by this because I had a good time going through the program with Matthew a few years ago. With Ben and Rebekah, I will be picking up at about week 19 of Intro to American History Year 2. Ben is very excited because we are just about to start studying the World Wars.


My favorite math programs are Math U See (MUS), Life of Fred, and now Pearson Homeschool. I love Math U See and use it as the main math program for Ben and Rebekah. They are progressing nicely with it and have no troubles with math. Sarah used MUS until Algebra I. She began to have a little trouble with it and so we switched programs. In hindsight, she would have done fine if I had done Pre-Algebra  instead of jumping her ahead to Algebra, but it is what it is. So she used Life of Fred for Algebra I and loved it. Then we reviewed Pearson Homeschool Algebra II and she liked that as well. We will be continuing with  Pearson Homeschool Algebra II this Fall. Ben will be in MUS Epsilon and Rebekah is doing their Delta program.  I also love Calculadders for drill practice.


I have used various things for English. From Rod and Staff to Spectrum workbooks, to just using their own writings to teach concepts. I have come to love Write Shop, Institute for  Excellence in Writing (IEW) and Analytical Grammar. Sarah will be completing Analytical Grammar this year as well as using IEW for her writing program. For vocabulary I have found that we love English from the Roots Up. Not fancy, takes a little work to implement, but very effective. For Handwriting for Ben and Rebekah, will continue to use Presidential Penmanship for extra handwriting practice.

Foreign Language

Latin has been the main foreign language that our family has studied. Sarah is the one who said she wanted to study Latin and then over a year ago, we were able to review three different Latin programs. Sarah has settled on Memoria Press and their First Form Latin program.  I had not done anything with Latin for Ben and Rebekah until we reviewed Visual Latin. They absolutely loved and still love this program. The teacher, Dwane Thomas, is funny and very engaging.  We plan on continuing our Visual Latin lessons this Fall. But we are also contemplating adding in Spanish lessons. We just finished reviewing Homeschool Spanish Academy and were quite impressed with the program. Now to see if we have the time and money to add this in to our schoolwork load.

There are our five “big” topics. I will also add in here and there to round out with certain subjects such as art, music, some fun unit studies etc.  Most of our additions involve items that we are reviewing, some we love and add into our day right away. Other products I love and after the review put it away until later and some we just do not use again at all, even if they were good I have found as much as I want, I can't do it all.

Be sure to visit the blogs below and see what they have to say about curriculum. Just like no two snowflakes are exactly alike, no two homeschool families are exactly alike.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The “No Method” Method of Homeschooling


I began homeschooling 11 years ago this Fall. I had a good friend who had been homeschooling for quite a few years already and she helped me through that beginning year. I remember choosing my main program, Sonlight.  I decided on Saxon math since that is what Matthew had been using in the public school. I also added a few extras, like Explode the Code books and Editor in Chief. It never even occurred to me that there would be “methods” of homeschooling.

If you do a Google search of “homeschooling methods” you will get many results. Many of these I have now heard of, some I have not. They include:

  • Traditional
  • Charlotte Mason
  • Classical Education
  • Literature Rich
  • Montessori Education
  • Unit Studies
  • Thomas Jefferson Education
  • Unschooling
  • Delight Directed
  • The Waldorf Method

It is enough to make your head spin. I still do not understand most of these methods. I have decided that the method that I use is: eclectic.

I do not follow one school of thought. I have four children. While they have certain similarities in learning styles, they are completely different. I do not think following one method would work for our family. Over the course of the last eleven years, I have inadvertently used a mish-mash of all the different methods.

Literature rich is the method that we most closely align. Because I use Sonlight as my kids main program, we read a lot of books. I have kids that like to read so this works out very well, (Rebekah tells me she does not like to read, but I am working on that and she is coming around). 

I have within the past three years used Unit Studies. I like Unit Studies, but have a hard time implementing them for vastly different ages. I know some families can make this work, but I have not really figured out the secret of making something work for elementary and high school grades. When I do a Unit Study, I generally only use it with Ben and Rebekah, who are just one grade apart. I will bring in Sarah to teach the art or science portion of a unit study. Ben and Rebekah love it when she helps them and Sarah is a born teacher.

I suppose we are fairly traditional, except we do not have desks or only use textbooks. We are traditional in the way that we follow a fairly strict schedule. Rebekah needs the structure that a schedule provides. Once I figured this out, school has become much smoother. The older the kids get, the more traditional we become as well. By high school age, I have different subjects that they have to study each day. I let the kids decide the order, but I expect to see their daily assignments completed. This “structured independence” worked out very well for Matthew. He had no trouble figuring out how to complete his college assignments on time this past year.

Our “No Method” method of homeschooling works very well for our family. We are able to take some of the best ideas from each method and incorporate it into our schooling.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Math Essentials–No-Nonsense Algebra & Geometry



No Nonsense Algebra is a complete Algebra I program. In 10 chapters, No-Nonsense Algebra covers all concepts of Algebra I. A corresponding video is available online for every lesson in the book. Each lesson includes: topics explained in an easy to understand manner, examples with step-by-step solutions, written exercises, a review section, and a helpful hints section.

Short concise lessons mean no fluff and no distractions. Each topic is explained so the student can easily understand. Many examples are presented with fully explained step-by-step solutions. Tests and and a final exam are included to allow students to measure progress.

The program was designed and written by Richard W. Fisher. He was a fifth and sixth grade math teacher for over 30 years. His students consistently bypassed the 7th grade program and went directly to  8th grade Algebra. Rick designed all his math books for elementary, Jr. High, and even High School students who need extra math help. The program takes approximately 20 minutes a day and compliments all basic math text books.

ClarkClan Experiences

Sarah (15) has used this book for the review period. She completed Algebra I this past Spring, but was able to use this book as a good review of concepts over the summer. Sarah’s opinion of No-Nonsense Algebra was that it was true to its name. She liked that the lessons were not long and drawn out but short and to the point.  If she was having trouble remembering a concept, she could access the online video lessons using a code in the back of the book. 

Sarah found the videos to be adequate and concise. The videos feature a white board format, no teacher is seen, just heard. According to Sarah, the teacher had a pleasant voice, no quirks or accents that were distracting.



Mastering Essential Math Skills are  workbooks designed to increase understanding of basic math skills.  In 20 minutes a day  this book series helps students master the exact topics recommended for Algebra readiness. No fluff or side topics to distract and confuse students.  Review is included in each lesson allowing students to both master and reinforce math skills.

ClarkClan Experiences

Ben (10) was able to give the Mastering Essential Math Skills: Geometry workbook at try. He has not been exposed to many geometry concepts yet, but he had no trouble completing pages in the workbook.

Each page in the workbook follows the same pattern. It begins with 6 review problems. Then a short Helpful Hints section. The main lesson includes two samples problems to be worked with the teacher, then 7 problems to work independently. A final Problem Solving section gives one word problem to be solved.

This has been a good book for Ben to work through. The book says the lessons can be completed in 20 minutes a day. We found, for the most part, that this was accurate. It may take longer if mom is busy and can’t answer questions immediately. The answers are in the back of the book, which I have appreciated.

Many members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed various Math Essential  books. Click on the banner below to read what their experiences have been.


Disclaimer:  As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received No-Nonsense Algebra and Mastering Essential Skills Geometry, for free from Math Essentials in exchange for my honest review of their product.  All opinions given are mine and/or my children’s.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mealtime Truce

I began making something a little different for dinner tonight. I saw the idea on the internet and thought it looked good. It was lasagna made with zucchini strips instead of noodles. I decided to give it a try. It turned out tasty, but runny.

One of Sarah’s friends was going to eat with us and she was shocked and could not believe I would make “fake lasagna” and she did not think she would like it. Which brings to my mind comments I get frequently about how well my kids eat and how lucky I am.  While I do not want to dispute that I am lucky, I also want to say that it is not necessarily luck, but training.  I hesitate to say that I have the perfect “system" of getting my kids to try new things because I definitely do not. But I thought I would write out how we have approached this in our parenting.

Matt and I decided a long time ago that we did not want meal times to be a battle. We had watched others beg, cajole, yell, and even force feed their kids. We made a conscious decision that we did not want to do that. At first, it really was a “conscious” decision. We would have to remind each other, “It is okay if he doesn’t want to finish. Let him eat what he wants and don’t force it.” The only real rule we had was if you did not eat dinner, there was nothing after dinner.

This policy worked out pretty well. Matthew, then Sarah both ate well, ate pretty much anything put in front of them, and meal times were fairly pleasant affairs.  Ben has given us our biggest challenge. He seems to have been born , shall I say, a cautious eater. I hate to say picky, but Ben can definitely be cautious.

When Ben was starting solid food, the first bite, every time for about 6 months, would come right back out at me. It did not matter what the food was. I would put it in his mouth, he would spit it back out. If he opened his mouth again, I knew he would finish what I was trying to give him. If he did not like the food, you could not pry his mouth open with a crow bar.

Around the time Ben was four, He came to the table for dinner, looked at his plate I had for him, and loudly exclaimed, “Yuck!”. I immediately turned around, picked his plate up and put it in the sink. I said to him, “I am sorry you did not like it, you can have breakfast in the morning.” He sat at the table that night with us, not eating. I explained that I am not requiring that everybody like every food put in front of them, but, it is very rude to loudly complain about the food someone took the time to make.

Ever since that time, which was about 6 years ago, we have added to our “no battle over mealtime” rule. This rule is: you do not have to like everything put in front of you, but you may not be rude about it.  Everybody has foods that are favorites,  foods that are just okay and foods they absolutely do not like. We can respect those differences without rudeness.

So, how do I encourage trying of new foods? Or, even trying foods that they may have not liked in the past?

Letting my kids help cook a meal or two is one way. It is fun to be in the kitchen with mom or dad. Carefully cutting up vegetables, mixing, grating and more can all be done under a parents watchful eye. Getting kids to eat food they have helped prepared is not a big challenge. They are usually very proud of what they have made. (In case you are wondering, NO! this does not happen everyday. This only takes place on days I am feeling very patient.)

One time we had a “Pepper tasting party”. We went to the commissary and I let the kids pick out one of all the different colors of bell peppers. For dinner that night, each kid got to wash and cut up their pepper they picked. We all tried a pepper strip of each color raw. After they were cooked, we all tried each color pepper again. Then the kids compared them and decided which one was their favorite and whether they liked them raw or cooked. To this day, all of them will still eat peppers with no problems. I have done this “food party” a couple times now with various fruits and vegetables.

Repetition. If I have a new food I want them to try to use it frequently. My more adventurous eaters, Matthew, Sarah and Rebekah, usually try it the first time. Ben generally will give it a try and not like it. Then about a week later I make it again. By about the third time, when we sit down at the table I can truthfully say to Ben, “Oh, we have had this before, don’t you remember it?” 9 times out of 10, he tries it the third time and likes it. The idea of a new food is what seems to put him off.

Has this plan been perfect? By no means. We have had times when Matt and I have failed and gotten frustrated that the kids were not eating. We have sent kids away from the table for being grumpy about the food in front of them. But, slowly, over the years, dinner has become less of a battle ground and more a time to connect.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Car Woes

Cars. Car troubles have plagued our marriage from the beginning. It does not seem to matter what car we have, we will have trouble with it. Memories of being stuck in Germany with a broken down car, not once but 2 or 3 times comes to mind.  Having a signal with a friend to come and “rescue” me when my car did not always want to start while we lived in Montana and Matt was gone.  Having to replace clutches in cars, transmissions, strut mounts. It seems never ending.

In the past month, we have replaced the air conditioner on our main car and some other various parts that go along with it. Two days after getting the car back, the AC quit working  and we had to have it looked at again to find out there was a leak in the line and all the Freon leaked out. Now the car is leaking something that looks like oil and we will need to have it looked at again.  As well, it kind of vibrates at higher speeds, despite having had our tires rotated and balanced.

Then this week, our other car has had trouble. Sarah was weed eating in the front yard and a side window on the van exploded. We are assuming a rock was thrown up and hit the window at just the right angle. One day after the window shattered, Matthew went to church to pick up Ben and Rebekah. Sarah got out of the car, then opened the door again to inform Matthew that the tire was hissing. Yes, a flat tire. While I know that Matthew can change a tire all by himself, I still called my dad. Grandpa went down and helped change the tire. Which turned out to be a good thing since one of the lug nuts was a different size. 

Cars cost money. And, my perception is that we have more car trouble than most other people. When we are having car trouble, it is a great time to remind myself and my kids of the love that God  has for us. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. We are able to praise God in all circumstances, such as the tire slowly leaking air instead of blowing while Matthew had a car full of kids. We are able to be thankful for air conditioning after a week of none with temperatures in the 100’s. Giving thanks during difficult situations is hard, but we are getting lots of practice thanks to our vehicles.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Knowledge Quest–TimeMaps

Knowledge Quest


  • TimeMaps The Collection-Maps that move through time!
  • Presented by Knowledge Quest
  • Suitable for all grade levels
  • Available as CD Rom or as an electronic product download
  • Each TimeMap is available individually for $9.95
  • The Collection (all maps) available for $44.95
  • Included maps: Ancient China, Rise of Rome, Fall of Rome, Rise of Islam, Black Death, European Explorers
  • TimeMaps features:
    • Over 75 maps included on the CD
    • Embedded information in each map
    • Interactive
    • Animated
    • Teacher Notes
    • Worksheets
    • Blank timelines and maps


Ben (10) and I have been reviewing an amazing collection of maps from Knowledge Quest. Ben was quickly drawn in and spent hours reading the information contained on one map, then clicking to the next era and reading more.

Timelines, historical maps and encyclopedia information merge to create a complete picture of a period of time. Each map is interactive and animated to let students see the changes that are happening and gain a better understanding of how history fits together.


Ben found the embedded encyclopedia information fascinating. He liked that he could click on the information symbol, or various figures on the map itself and read about what was going on in that land during a specific period of time.  Worksheets are also provided to offer in-depth exercises. We looked at the worksheets, but have not used them yet. Since the maps on this program do not match up with the American History we are studying, we have just used this program as a supplement for fun. When Ben would pick a map to study, he would spend an hour or more reading  the information on each map.

While I did not specifically use the Teacher pages with Ben, I looked through them and found them to be full of activities designed to strengthen a students understanding, not only of the geography of the the area being studied, but also the political undertones of the time period. There are a variety of activities from answering questions out loud (answers included) to essay questions designed to make kids ponder. Commentary on each map is  provided as an overview when time is at a premium and going into depth would be too much.  Also included in the teacher pages are blank timelines, and outline maps of the areas studied.


Ben and I would recommend this product to others. He enjoyed using it in his spare time and I can see it being a great addition to an in depth study of one of the time periods covered.

We received a CD-ROM for this review. The program is also available as an e product through a download. I was also able to download the product.  Either option worked well for me. I had no trouble with the download or the CD. The advantage of the CD –ROM for our family is that Ben can use any computer available instead of just the one with the maps downloaded on it.

Something to keep in mind is that the program requires independent reading if a student is using it by themselves. For a student who has trouble reading, a parent may want to sit and read the information out loud.

My Crew Mates also reviewed Knowledge Quest products. Some reviewed TimeMaps and others reviewed MapTrek. Click on the banner below to visit the Crew Blog and read other reviews.


Disclaimer:  As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received TimeMaps CD-ROM, for free from Knowledge Quest in exchange for my honest review of their product.  All opinions given are mine and/or my children’s.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Have Lyrics, Will Use Them

My kids have this uncanny ability to remember movie and audio book lines.  It seems to be a Clark Family tradition to belt out movie lines or song lyrics at appropriate, and sometimes, non-appropriate times.

Last week Sarah was able to repeat lines from one of her favorite movies Cool Runnings . We were on a trip with other youth from church and were visiting Disneyland.  On the Matterhorn ride, in which you ride in bob sleds. Sarah climbs in the back and in her best “Sanka” voice says “Oh, the back is nice.” The she proceeded to ask her brother if he wanted to “kiss the lucky egg”.

Matthew immediately knew the movie she was quoting and shot back with the next line from the movie. “I ain’t kissin, no  egg”.

Last week, I was talking to Ben about things that need to be done that day. He looked at me and sweetly said, “What does she know, she’s just a mom.” and in the next breath said, “If they’re not around to say no, it means yes.”

I just looked at him and laughed.  He said, “It comes from Drover’s Secret Life, Mom”

Drover’s Secret Life is a book by John Erikson in his Hank the Cowdog Series. Ben has been listening to the audiobook version and tried some of the lines out on me.  Just following Clark family tradition.

My kids tell me that I have a song lyric for everything. I love to use song lyrics to get my message across. It makes my kids laugh, roll their eyes and have fun. When they were smaller I would sing , “I wanna hold your hand” before I needed to hold hands to cross the street.

I think it makes our family stronger to have this tradition . It helps us through tense times by providing a lighter mood. It also enhances the good times. We can really get to laughing together.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Keyboarding for the Christian School

Christian Keyboarding

Filling Your Student's Mind with God's Word Using Typing Skills

  • Keyboarding for the Christian School  Elementary version
  • Author – Leanne Beitel
  • Designed for  grades  K-5th
  • Program offers the basics of learning the keyboard
  • $12.95 e-book edition
  • $45.00 hardback edition

Rebekah has been testing Keyboarding for the Christian School in our house.  Rebekah has had some typing experience and this program reinforced the typing skills she had, while increasing her speed and accuracy.

This program reminds me of learning how to type when I was in school. It is not flashy or gimmicky but filled with repetitive exercises.  I decided to print out the e-book and punch holes and place in a three rind binder, so it became an easy to open book. 

The beginning lessons teach the home row with each lesson teaching two letters using the right and left hand respectively. These lessons quickly progress to typing short words. By lesson 17 all letters are taught, and then symbols are started.

Starting with Lesson 18, which teaches the shift key, full Bible verses are typed. Every complete sentence typed in this program is a Bible verse. 

This is a very complete typing program. By the end of the book, numbers have been taught as well as centering and lists.  The program ends with timed writings to help develop speed and accuracy.

I liked that this was a book. There was no moving characters or extraneous noise to distract Rebekah from the lesson. She could complete a lesson in about 10 to 15 minutes. I realize the later lessons may take longer, but working into longer lessons will be good for her.


We used Microsoft Word for all typing practice. Rebekah decided that she did not want to look at the screen while she was typing, so she figured out how to place the book above the keys, in front o the screen. I liked that she did this as she could not see if she was making mistakes thereby increasing her speed.  Since Rebekah is learning on a laptop computer, I disabled the touch mouse pad while she was typing.

Rebekah also enjoyed typing from a book as she could do one of her favorite activities; pretend play. She would pretend to be working in an office and needing to type for her job. Or, she would say she was in college, like her brother, and type papers.


I feel this is a very solid typing program.  The e-book version is reasonably priced. This program does take parental involvement to get set up each day as well as grading the lessons. A more advanced typing book is also available from Christian Keyboarding.

Many of my Crew Mates also reviewed  Christian Keyboarding’s program, Keyboarding for the Christian School.  Click on the banner below to read what experiences they had with the product. 


Disclaimer:  As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received Keyboarding for the Christian School elementary edition , for free from Christian Keyboarding  in exchange for my honest review of their product.  All opinions given are mine and/or my children’s.

Monday, July 16, 2012

School Supply Fun

It is already school supply time. I like to take advantage of all the “back to school” sales and stock up on basic supplies. It started today at Staples. I had a coupon for $2 off a pack of Zebra brand pens. The pens were on sale for $1 a pack. So basically I got 2 packs of pens for free. They also had spiral notebooks for $0.20 and two pocket folders for $0.20. Notebook paper was only $0.75. And then when I was checking out the clerk asked if I wanted tabbed dividers. I said of course when she said they would only be $0.01. I was able to leave Staples with a full bag of supplies and only spent $4.59.  Ben, Rebekah and I were very happy and proud of our shopping trip.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hewitt Homeschooling–Lightning Literature

Lithtning Lit and comp comedies

  • Lightning Literature & Composition
  • Shakespeare Comedies & Sonnets
  • by Elizabeth Kamath 
  • Available from Hewitt Homeschooling
  • Student Guide $29.95, Teachers Edition $2.50
  • High School Level program.
  • One semester course, may be stretched to one year, if desired.

This course on Shakespeare covers 4 comedies, Twelfth Night, As You  Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Merchant of Venice. As well, four sonnets are studied.

The book starts out with general information on How and Why to read Literature and Poetry. Then it flows into Paper Writing 101. This is a brief overview of how to construct a well-written paper. A thorough introduction to the man William Shakespeare comes next. Sarah and I found this fascinating. It was interesting to read about his life and literary approaches

The  guide to approaching each lesson is very helpful in setting up a schedule for this course. Since this book is written to the student, I had Sarah read through the approach and come up with a plan for the first lesson: Twelfth Night

The very first part of the lessons begins by reading the play that is being studied.  A great feature of this book is the Plot Summary. As Sarah is reading, if she has a question about any plot point, she can turn to this section for explanations of what is going on in the play. Then the lesson focuses on comprehension questions. It is suggested that the questions be answered before beginning the writing lessons.

The writing lessons explore different themes, depending up on the book read. For  “Twelfth Night” the themes are Love, Appearance versus Reality and  Festival and Fun. Character studies help to dig deep into what the character is thinking and feeling. Language lessons and literary terms are explained and then the student is expected to use some of that knowledge in writing their paper. I liked the variety of writing exercises given. Students are encouraged to choose two of the exercises and write a one or two page paper using one of the ideas given.


This is a good resource for teaching analysis and enjoyment of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. The writing assignments get students to think and analyze what they are reading. The course presumes previous knowledge of the mechanics of writing a paper, which is to be expected at the High School level.

We reviewed Shakespeare’s Comedies and Sonnets. Lightning Literature offers many other genres for analysis. Visit the Hewitt Homeschooling Lightning Literature page to see what other books are offered. As well, many of my Crew Mates reviewed various Hewitt Homeschooling products. Click on the banner below to read what they thought of their products.


Disclaimer:  As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received Lightning Literature Shakespeare Comedies and Sonnets, for free from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources in exchange for my honest review of their product.  All opinions given are mine and/or my children’s.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Homeschool Spanish Academy

Homeschool Spanish Academy logo

(This review is tailored towards the Early Learner program using a 2 to 1 student to teacher ratio.)

  • Online Spanish Lessons from a native speaker.
  • Early Language program Ages 5-12 (other age groups also available)
  • Material, exercises, and content tailored to each individual child.
  • Instruction available as  one on one or two on one .
  • Free Trial lesson available on the Homeschool Spanish Academy website.


HSA 2 on 1 pricing

HSA 1 on 1 pricing

About the Program

I was a little skeptical when I received word I would be given the opportunity to review Homeschool Spanish Academy. It scared me to think about being on camera and how my children would do talking to a person in their  computer. I wondered if my computer, (which is a new Windows 7) would work. I wondered how I would manage to be home at the exact time every week.

All my fears were unfounded. To begin with, Ron Fortin, the founder of Homeschool Spanish Academy, called me and we did a technical check. He made sure that all my equipment was working correctly and if I had any questions he could answer.

The instructor we were  assigned was named Rosa. She was extremely friendly and personable. I was impressed how she worked with both kids at one time. She made sure that Ben and Rebekah both took turns and that one child was not overshadowing the other. I thought she did an excellent job.

Scheduling was no problem. Instead of a set time each week, Homeschool Spanish Academy uses an online program called Schedulicity. It is very simple to log in, pick your instructor and see the times available. Then you pick the time you would like, and the appointment is scheduled. I liked this aspect of the program, being able  to schedule Spanish lessons around our busy life.

About 15 minutes before each lesson, I would receive an email from the instructor. Within this email would be a file containing the lesson for that week. I would open it up and print two copies for Ben and Rebekah to use during class.

We even learned what would happen if an instructor was sick for a scheduled class. When Rosa was sick one time, another instructor emailed the lessons and Ben and Rebekah did the class with her. I was impressed with the way it was handled, not canceling, but finding a substitute.

ClarkClan Observations

Ben (10) and Rebekah (8) were the two in our family that used the Early Language program from Homeschool Spanish Academy. They would sit at the computer together with their print outs of the lesson for the day. They would answer the Skype call and lessons would begin immediately. Rosa, their instructor, would greet them, then go over the lesson with them. They would review from the week before, then work on the lesson for that day. Rosa would go over the lesson, gently correcting, when needed. She was very friendly and personable.

The first lesson was a little awkward, but as Ben and Rebekah became more comfortable with the format and talking to the screen, they opened up. Both of them eagerly looked forward to the lessons. They would also try and use what they were learning throughout the week.


I would highly recommend Homeschool Spanish Academy. I urge you  to check out their website and read about the programs as well as the about us section.  I have been highly impressed with this program, more so than I ever imagined.

I reviewed the Early Learner program with a 2 to 1 student to teacher ratio. There are also programs available for Middle School, High School and Adults. Visit the Crew Blog by clicking on the banner below to read reviews for other age groups.


Disclaimer:  As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received half a semester, 7 lessons, for free from Homeschool Spanish Academy in exchange for my honest review of their product.  All opinions given are mine and/or my children’s.