Total Immersion Spanish Language program
Classes available from ages 5-adult
Classes taught by native Spanish speakers
We have spent the last 8 weeks reviewing Homeschool Spanish Academy. This is a very intensive, thorough program for teaching students of all ages. We specifically reviewed the Early Language Program. This review will cover what we thought of that level as well as an overview of all levels. The pricing depends on the level being taught. Visit the Homeschool Spanish Academy website for complete pricing information for all levels.
Cost for Early Language Program
We reviewed the Pair Pricing for Half a Semester. This is one class per week for 7 weeks. The cost for this program is $89.99. For two classes a week for Half a Semester the price is $150.99. A full Semester is 15 weeks worth of classes either one or two classes per week. For one class per week the cost is $145.99 and two classes per week for an entire semester is $299.99.
About the Program
Homeschool Spanish Academy (HSA) is a Spanish language learning program unlike any other. It uses live instructors and technology to create a top notch learning experience. HSA founder is Ron Fortin. Ron was given an opportunity to be the principal of a Guatemalan school. While being the principal of the school he saw an opportunity to provide high quality Spanish instruction from native Spanish speakers to homeschool students.
All instructors in the HSA program are certified Spanish teachers from Guatemalan institutions. To become an instructor they must pass extensive tests and teaching simulations. Once they become instructors, they then receive continuing education and evaluation in English, teaching techniques and technology.
Each lesson is conducted through Skype. The instructor places a Skype call and the instruction begins. You initially can see the instructor on the screen and interact with each other. During instruction time, the instructor can switch between face to face and white board type instruction. My kids were able to see what homework page she was using and pointing to while watching the screen and talking to her.
Homework is given after each session.These are PDF files accessed through the website that can be printed out. The homework is to be done before the next scheduled session. The older levels can turn the homework in, but in the early learning level we just had the homework with Ben and Rebekah and they went over it during the session.
There are four levels of instruction offered through HSA.
- Early Learning: designed for students starting about age five (seven is the recommended starting age) and continuing through age 12. Each session lasts 25 minutes and is tailored to your student. This level can be used individually or in pairs as long as the kids are within 3 grades of each other.
- Middle School: this is designed for students ages from 12 to 15. This level goes beyond the basics and students will learn the how and why Spanish is used. They expand their sentence structure and phrasing. Each session is 50 minutes and can be taken singly or in pairs.
- High School: This is a tailor made program designed to be 1/2 credit per class. An example is that level 1a is 1/2 a semester and 1b is completes the year. So the student would receive a credit of Spanish instruction by completing the two courses. Three years of high school level Spanish are available through HSA. These classes are 50 minutes and offer true immersion in the Spanish language.
- Adult: Adults Spanish learning needs vary greatly. Some need it for business, or patients, some want to learn for fun and edification. This program is tailored to the needs of the adult. The sessions are 50 minutes in length.
Each student is evaluated when first starting out. Then a program is made for that individual student, or students if they are paired with each other. Each level is offered on an individual basis as well as in pairs, as long as the students are no more than three grades from each other.
To experience HSA for yourself you can take a free lesson.
Because each class is individual, you can pick the day and time you would like to work. There are many instructors from which to choose. It is your choice whether you would like to stay with the same instructor or change instructors.
Because we have reviewed this program before, I knew what to expect. I was not disappointed. We found Homeschool Spanish Academy to be a phenomenal program. Friendly, courteous, and very knowledgeable are the trademarks of the HSA.
To begin the experience, you receive a phone call from tech support. They go over all the technical aspects of your computer system and run a test of all systems. This phone call ensures that your experience with the instructor will go off without a hitch.
Then your child, (or children in our case) sit in front of the computer and answer a Skype call. The next 25-30 minutes are spent talking with the instructor, going over homework and learning new material.
I used one main instructor, Rosa. We had used Rosa last time and my kids requested her again. It was really neat to hear the joy in her voice as she greeted them on their first session, remembering them by name and telling them how much they have grown. We found Rosa to be very patient and kind. When mistakes were made they were gently corrected. I noticed that when a pronunciation error was made, Rosa just corrected it, but did not make a big deal about it.
For one of our sessions we had a “substitute” teacher. I received an e-mail from Rosa two days before our scheduled session saying she had an appointment during our scheduled time. She had two options, I could re-schedule with her or Martin could substitute for her. I chose to have the substitute and it was an interesting experience to see how this worked and what happens when a problem arises.
I wondered if Martin would use Rosa’s Skype account or would I have to accept him as a Skype contact. So we turned our computer on 10 minutes early and waited. No contact request came, then our appointment time came and we did not receive the expected Skype call. After five minutes, I was beginning to wonder if I should call and ask about no instructor. Then at seven minutes, my telephone rang. It was the HSA tech department asking if I was having problems. It was a very friendly call and when I told her that we had been waiting for Martin, she asked a couple questions and then talked to Martin. I liked that she told me what she was going to tell Martin and then I could hear her speaking Spanish to him. Within 3 minutes we had the problem resolved and the lesson began.
The lesson with Martin was interesting. He was good with the kids and knew exactly what homework they had and what they were supposed to do that day. I have read that the instructors take detailed notes of each session and can share those notes with other instructors, if needed. I can say that I think this worked great since my kids did not miss anything using another teacher. But, yes, we did go back to Rosa because they requested her.
During our sessions the kids, among other topics, covered: numbers up to million, days of the week, months of the year, seasons, identifying people, the verb to be, birthdays. I was amazed at how much they covered and retained.
In our family, Ben picked up on the lessons a little quicker than Rebekah. He also tried to use the Spanish outside of the lessons a little more than Rebekah. But Rebekah did try and she would practice with Ben or myself a little. She seemed to be more self conscious about speaking and making mistakes. During the online Skype sessions Rebekah was the one who was quiet and I would remind her to speak up and actually answer questions. She seemed to be a little intimidated at times by the camera. At the end of the 7 sessions, she was becoming more comfortable with the format and talking to the instructor.
I found it easier for me to pre-schedule all seven sessions. This way I could put them in my calendar and make sure we did not forget to do a lesson or get so busy that the lesson for that week was skipped. If needed, you can re-schedule as long as it is 24 hours in advance.
I would highly recommend Homeschool Spanish Academy to others. In fact, I already have one lady extremely interested in the program for her grandchildren. This is a great way to learn Spanish from native Spanish speakers. I have no doubt that if we continue with the program, they would continue to become more proficient at speaking and comprehending the language.
Many of my Crew Mates reviewed all levels of Homeschool Spanish Academy. Visit the Crew blog to read what they thought about the program.