Last year, my high school aged son had the privileged of taking an immersion styled Spanish I class. He loved it! And I loved that he was excited about learning and actively using this new skill both verbally and in written form.
When this year rolled around, he was unable to continue Spanish II using this method. What to do? Checking out the many curricula, I was at a loss which one to choose. We needed to make a choice, because he needed another foreign language credit.
Fortunately, an opportunity availed itself with Alpha Omega's LIFEPAC Spanish II. With its' multi-media approach, we anticipated great results and a year filled with expanding his Spanish abilities.
From their website:
Want to advance your child's Spanish? Try LIFEPAC Spanish II for grades 9-12! This fun, consumable course from Alpha Omega Publications is filled with simple, step-by-step lessons designed to develop Spanish skills. And don't be worried about teaching a world language—this clear, easy-to-follow Spanish course will guide you smoothly through each daily lesson. This colorful, one-year Alpha Omega curriculum covers common Spanish words used in everyday situations—complete with dialogue practice to build grammar and vocabulary. Imagine your child learning intermediate Spanish by listening to actual Spanish speakers with included audio CDs! What could be more convenient? Combine that with LIFEPAC's print-based learning and you've got a winning combination.
But that's not all! LIFEPAC also has features homeschooling parents will love—like a handy teacher's guide. Filled with valuable information, this must-have resource comes with teaching tips, additional supplemental activities, answer guides, and clearly outlined objectives. And student worktexts are divided into ten motivating units to encourage student learning—so your student won't be intimidated by a large textbook! LIFEPAC also allows your child to learn independently with confidence through self-paced, flexible lessons. So, why are you waiting? Try LIFEPAC Spanish II for grades 9-12, and see how fun and easy teaching a foreign language can be!
Upon receiving our LIFEPAC package, I was immediately struck with the number of workbooks. WOW! There are 10 workbooks, PLUS 6 CDs containing listening exercises and a thick Teacher's Guide.
Starting with a LIFEPAC reviewing Spanish I topics, Spanish II continues with: Forms of the Past Tenses, Uses of the Past Tenses, Possession & Present Participles, Prepositions & Pronouns, Comparisons & Negatives, Future & Conditional Tenses, Compound Tenses, Adverbs & Commands, and Subjective Mood.
Each colorful LIFEPAC is divided into three to five sections with an introduction and learning objectives. Written assignments include fill in the blanks, writing sentences, writing stories, defining the pictures, crossword puzzles and more. Teacher check points are plentiful and found throughout each unit . This is a great time to double check what your child is learning and what areas they may need more help. Numerous Self Test sections are also placed in each book in addition to an end of the LIFEPAC test.
Practice in learning vocabulary is given both in Spanish to English and English to Spanish.
Listening exercises are specifically marked and are easily done with a cd player or on the computer. Practice is once again given in Spanish to English and English to Spanish and concentrates on verb tenses, usage and more.
Our experience and thoughts:
This is definitely NOT a light weight curriculum! It is thorough and rigorous!
Alpha Omega states that each LIFEPAC should be completed within 3 to 4 weeks. Instead of a set schedule, it's suggested that the user divide each LIFEPAC's number of pages by 15 to help determine how many pages to do each day. For Spanish II, that translates between 5-7 pages per day depending on the unit. That's a lot of worksheets for an upper level class! It was necessary for me to trim the amount of excercises per page as it was simply too much.
There were a few quirks such as the organization of the Teachers Guide and the odd placement of the vocabulary lists in the back of each LIFEPAC that we did need to adjust to. We also found some of the explanation of concepts vague requiring extra explanation on my part in a way different than presented.
In my opinion, though this is a thorough and rigorous curriculum, it's not one you can hand to your child/student, walk away and not expect to be involved in some manner. I whole heartedly believe that a foreign language is best taught in an environment where it is used. It's also very helpful to have at least one parent who can speak the "new" language. In our household, that's me. While I'm not 100% fluent in Spanish, it was a necessity for me to teach the lesson to my son initially before he took over doing the worksheets.
Unfortunately for us, the LIFEPAC Spanish II was too cumbersome and difficult to manage.
Be sure to check out LIFEPAC'S Scope and Sequence for all grades and subjects and see if Alpha Omega is right for your homeschool.
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