Ms. Q has been bugging us to get her a French curriculum for at least two years now. I kept putting her off because honestly other courses kept eating up all our homeschooling budget. So when we had the opportunity to review Great Commission Languages, The Easy French! I couldn't have been happier. Either could Ms. Q. When it came she was so excited I wish I could have kept the book hidden until Christmas morning - it was that kind of excitement.
Le Francais Facile! (The Easy French!) is a complete homeschool French curriculum. Owned, operated, and developed by a homeschooling family, Great Commission Languages (GCL) The Easy French! uses fun stories and an easy to understand audio CD to help your children (and in our case me too) to learn the French language, grammar, and culture.
We reviewed Level 1A which is geared to students in upper elementary/middle school through high school. The book in the picture states grade 7 and up but my copy of the book does not. The curriculum includes:
- Textbook with 18 lessons, appendices with information on phonograms, spelling and pronunciation rules, and sentence structure, as well as recipes and cultural projects
- Audio CD which includes lesson stories and vocabulary
- Data CD to view or print answers to textbook activities
- Phonogram cards (additional purchase)
- Test booklet and answer key (additional purchase)
The textbook is very easy to use. Each lesson includes an audio story with new French vocabulary mixed with English, a vocabulary list, a student helps section which highlights an important piece of grammatical information, Scripture memory work (which we skipped), and information on French culture and trivia. Some lessons also include a few words of everyday vocabulary such as oui (yes), non (no), or s 'il vous plait (please) and an activity to complete. Each lesson includes a lesson planner template to help both the teacher and the student to stay on track completing the lesson. You can view sample lesson pages HERE.
Although the textbook and the curriculum are really user friendly I have to admit that Ms. Q and I had a little difficulty with the program at first. I think the only thing that got us through the first week was her enthusiasm.
I don't know a word of French other than cafe au lait and croissant. I know a teeny bit of Spanish but none I would say aloud to my mother and although I took four years of German in high school and have been to Germany, I don't think I could even hold a conversation with a German preschooler at this point.
So to make a long story short, when we put in the audio CD that first day and heard the conversation we were both a little overwhelmed. There is a lot of new vocabulary in lesson 1! The textbook introduction states this level can be completed in one year. It's going to take us a
Ms. Q and I decided that we would break each lesson into two or three sections and spend a week on each section instead of a week on each lesson. We spent three weeks on lesson 1! Honestly though it wasn't bad. Ms. Q is really enjoying the lessons now and I am too! The extra time spent on each lesson is really helping her to thoroughly learn the vocabulary and practice her pronunciation.
GCL has a program for grades K-3 called French Jr. which may have been a better fit for Ms. Q. But we like a good challenge. It may take us a little longer than the average user to complete The Easy French! Level 1A but Ms. Q and I are confident that we will be successful because Great Commission Languages has provided us with a curriculum that is well planned, smartly written, and fun.
The Easy French! Level 1A costs $84.95 and can be purchased through the Great Commission Languages' website. The test booklet, answer key, and phonogram cards can be purchased for an additional $10 each.
To see what other TOS Crew members have to say about this and other Great Commission Languages programs check out the TOS Blog.
Disclosure: As a member of the 2011-2012 The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Homeschool Crew, I was provided this product for free in exchange for my review. No other compensation was given and this review reflects my honest opinion.