About the author:
Dr. Karyn Williamson-Coria is a homeschool mother of three boys. She received her doctorate in Expanded French Studies at the University of Illinois in 1993. In the same year, 1993 she met and later married her husband Carlos who is a native of Mexico. With the help of her husband she began teaching herself Spanish. In 1996 after the birth of her first son, Dr. Williamson-Coria left academia to teach French and Spanish part time. She has 23 years experience teaching foreign languages at the University and High School levels and she has taught several Spanish for the Professions courses at the Community College level. As she began homeschooling her own children, she also commenced teaching foreign languages to the homeschooling community to children of all ages. Karyn went back to work outside the home full time in 2011 and after nine years of homeschooling, her three boys are currently attending school. Two are in high school and one is in elementary school. She recalls her homeschooling years with fondness and was happy to have been able to share that part of their journey together.
About the idea behind the curriculum:
The idea for a curriculum specifically catering to the homeschool environment arose when Dr. Williamson-Coria was unable to find time to sufficiently plan into her daily routine, a way for her own children to learn French. This was even more frustrating due to the fact that she herself was a French professor.
Dr. Williamson-Coria invested in various computer-based programs hoping to ease her heavy prep time. After completion of various steps in these programs, she saw that her children were not able to communicate what they had just learned, nor were they sufficiently able to self direct their own learning. She found that she would have to do these programs herself as part of her “prep” time in order to be able to guide them in their language learning. She was back to the predicament of not having the time.
At the same time, she was giving Spanish classes to homeschoolers and was inspired when she observed how quickly they learned the material and how conducive the home environment was to be able to really practice the language. However, most material she could find for her classes were geared to classroom learning with large groups of students.
Dr. Williamson-Coria decided to develop a program that enabled the parents to learn along with their child, a program that was easy to use and would enable the home educator to help his/her children use the language as well as guide them in their language learning.
Dr. Williamson-Coria wanted a product with ideas to help her incorporate language learning into her daily routine (as opposed to a “classroom”) without taking up all her weekly or daily prep time. She also wanted a product that could develop speaking ability. Most programs work on reading, writing, listening and pronunciation, but not on using the language in a conversational and creative manner. This program is built upon a conversational Spanish foundation. New material is always presented through speaking the language and soliciting responses from the children. As language is used through human contact in the real world, this program stresses the importance of interaction with others.
Dr. Williamson-Coria believes that this program could also be used in conjunction with a computer program your child is using as an oral component to reinforce your child’s ability to speak in Spanish using the vocabulary he/she is already learning.
About the curriculum:
New and unique to homeschoolers, REAL Homeschool Spanish takes the entire family on the journey of language learning.
Our easy to use curriculum is made specifically for the Home Educator and the home learning environment.
REAL Homeschool Spanish trains you and your child to be able to learn Spanish together and interact together in fun and interesting ways.
You can interact with your children in an immersion environment using REAL Homeschool Spanish’s easy to follow “Home Educator Tips” and our unique “Idea” sections which give you literally pages of suggestions on how you and your child can use Spanish during your day and throughout the week in a home learning environment / lifestyle.
Learn how to continue your language-learning journey outside of the initial learning stage. Play games with your child… bingo, hangman, create albums, have your child design his/her own board game…These are just a few ways for you to be able to create a personalized language-learning environment in your home.
Each Unit is made up of vocabulary clusters with phrases to use to present the material. There are 33 Vocabulary clusters and 15 Idea sections each with 3-4 pages or more of suggested activities.
Click here to download an example of simple ways you could begin to introduce Colors and family vocabulary to your child. This is a sample of Unit Two A and Four A, take a look at the Tips to the Home Educator.
The curriculum also comes with a Planning Guide and Daily Planning Chart to show you how to integrate language learning into your own family’s educational journey.
Click here for an example of just one of the many ways of how REAL Homeschool Spanish can help you build language learning into your own curriculum.
That’s not all! The Ideas in the Idea Sections and all of our writing and reading games and activities in the Activity Book allow your child to work with the language and develop all four skills of language learning. With the live person to person interaction encouraged in the Vocabulary Clusters between you and your child, he/she will develop the necessary listening and speaking skills in language learning. With the Idea Section and the Activity Book, your child develops his/her reading and writing skills.
Click here for a sample of the activity book.
All four skills, reading, writing, listening and speaking are necessary components for full integration of language learning.
We also support your language learning with our Audio component read by native speakers of Spanish from Mexico. Doubts about pronunciation? Download the Audio and reinforce your pronunciation with quick audio sessions.
Visit our website often and click on FREE CULTURE LINKS to find fun and interesting links to websites that support cultural learning for your child.
We believe that a relaxed environment encourages positive language learning. Too much grammar and too much emphasis on perfectly correct speech hinders the enjoyment and progress of learning. Slow and steady practice promotes correct speech over time. For these reasons, we have limited our grammar sections to the minimum and stress communication and enjoyment first.
We hope you enjoy your language-learning adventure!