Sneak Peek #10: New US2 History Guide

This is where new posts begin. All questions or discussions about any of Heart of Dakota's curriculums start here. If you wish to share a one-time post about your family's experience with our curriculum, you may post under the specific curriculum title (found beneath this "Main Board" heading).
Post Reply
Site Admin
Posts: 8093
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:39 pm

Sneak Peek #10: New US2 History Guide

Post by Carrie » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:00 pm


As we are moving through the sneak peeks, I am glad to share our plan for foreign language study for high school. Before we outline the plan for foreign language in the last American History Guide, I will repost some thoughts and experiences that I had shared previously that may lead to a better understanding of the path we have chosen for foreign language in high school. :D

Our own two oldest sons have studied Greek for quite a few years, since my husband has an interest in both Greek and Hebrew in order to read God's Word in its original form. Greek is something we've done with Hey, Andrew, Teach Me Some Greek moving slowly through the levels. :D Had my hubby not instigated this study though, I don't think I would have kept up with it each year!

I will say that in today's heavily academic world, I differ with Charlotte Mason on the burning need to study multiple languages at a young age. While I do think kiddos can learn a variety languages early and with success, I also think that with the plethora of subject areas vying for our time each day, foreign language study often falls by the wayside and gets taught in fits and starts (or not at all). :wink:

As far as speakable foreign languages go, I have purchased various programs through the years and never really gotten off of the ground with any of them! This bothered me so much, for more years than I care to admit, until I finally decided this was one area upon which I could wait until my boys were older to pursue. I rationalized that they would need the credit in high school anyway, at which point they would already have an excellent foundation in English grammar (which would hopefully be a huge help to them as they studied a new language). So, to me, a solid foundation in English grammar became our most important focus in the years leading up to high school (with foreign language waiting in the wings to really take to the stage). :wink: While this may not be the case for many of you reading this sneak peek, I know it may be true for some. :D I share our background to help many of you know that it is alright to wait to study a foreign language until your children reach high school.

Originally, we did not intend to schedule any specific foreign language study in our guides, as the choice of which foreign language to study is such a personal one. :D However, with our own sons, we have found that choosing and scheduling the study of a foreign language can be pretty overwhelming, so we decided that we could at least offer an option that we have tried and had success with ourselves. With our own boys, we decided that Spanish would be a good language for them to study. This is because it is a language that is spoken quite frequently in many areas of the U.S. and is also one that is used in many other countries. It is also a language that is more like the English language, making it easier to pick up and practice. Many mission-related fields also use Spanish. :D

In looking at our boys' heavier schedules throughout high school, we also decided that a systematic approach over all 4 years of high school would be the ideal. Yet, we didn't want language study to overtake our boys' days. So, we opted to do .5 credit of language study each year of high school, earning 2 full credits of the same speakable foreign language by graduation. For families who wish to pursue a quicker pace... that can easily be accomplished simply by devoting more time to the study of a foreign language each year. :D

Our ultimate goals are that our kiddos learn to read, write, understand, and speak some Spanish. We are not expecting fluency, as being fluent in a language takes many years of serious language study. :D We believe the grammar of learning a language is very important, as is the writing of the language. This is why we have chosen an approach that incorporates these skills. :D

With this in mind, we will schedule a portion of Alpha Omega's LifePac Spanish II daily in the U.S. History II Guide as a follow-up to Alpha Omega's LifePac Spanish I that was scheduled in previous guides. Our oldest son used this Alpha Omega course with great success making Spanish one of his favorite high school subjects. Our second oldest son has followed this same path and enjoyed Spanish as well. This course makes it easy for parents with no previous Spanish experience to oversee, thanks to the audio CDs and clear Answer Key. It is meant for the student to complete on his/her own (with the exception of the speaking/dialogue exercises) and works well in that capacity. So don't fret over the illusive foreign language credit any longer! Heart of Dakota schedules a steady, manageable foreign language pace of 2 full credits spread over 4 years of high school that will help your student learn, enjoy, and retain Spanish. We do not recommend the online version (or CD version) of this course, due to a variety of glitches in the correcting of the student's work (not to mention that there is still something to be said for actually having to write the words, rather than type them, which aids in retention too). :D

Since this Spanish program moves quickly and is quite vocabulary intensive, it is best if students have had a rigorous Spanish I program (including exposure to typical introductory Spanish II topics) prior to beginning this year of instruction. Students who have used the Spanish in our U.S. History I will be well prepared for this year of Spanish study. Following the plans as scheduled in the U.S. History II guide will earn ½ credit in Spanish II. Students will use Units 1-4 of the Spanish Homeschool Curriculum for this year of instruction. This provides students with over 400 workbook-style pages of lessons and exercises to complete containing Spanish II concepts. Students who desire to study a different foreign language, or who are beyond the last half of Spanish II, may substitute a different language course in place of this option to fulfill the foreign language requirement. :D

Here is the course description from the publisher: :D
Have your students mastered the basics of Spanish? This comprehensive curriculum takes them to the next level! Engaging activities and practice exercises will build their skills in speaking, writing, reading, and listening as they learn about past tenses, prepositions, the passive voice, subjunctive moods, and more. This full-color, consumable Spanish course is designed to build Spanish skills through dialogue and conversation practice. Afraid you can't teach a foreign language? Don't be. This course has easy, step-by-step lessons and explanations that every parent can follow. And your student will love learning Spanish with easy-to-follow, self-paced lessons! To encourage student learning, this course is divided into motivating worktexts. Personalized instruction, along with consistent reviews, and learning the grammar of Spanish ensures concept mastery. Using the included audio CDs, your student will have the opportunity to hear Spanish speakers actually using various words and verb tenses! What could be more convenient? The course also comes with a teacher's guide filled with teaching ideas, supplemental activities, outlined objectives, and answer keys.

Link to Sample (Unit 1 Worktext): ... EL9901.pdf

Link to Sample (Unit 2 Worktext): ... EL9902.pdf

Link to Sample (Unit 3 Worktext): ... EL9903.pdf

Link to Sample (Unit 4 Worktext): ... EL9904.pdf


Post Reply