Middlebury Interactive Languages Chinese Course Review

Learning foreign languages is an exciting learning experience. We have been learning Chinese informally as a family for a few months already when I was given a full semester course access to Middlebury Interactive Languages for 6 months as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Middlebury Interactive Languages offers interactive and immersive online language courses in Chinese, German, French and Spanish. We were given access to the Chinese Courses Elementary Level 1 for Grades 3 to 5.

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
Designed by Ph. D. level academics and linguistic experts, Middlebury Interactive Languages uses immersive approach in developing one’s fluency in foreign languages. The different rigorous online training courses have passed the standards set by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. This ensures that authentic materials are being used which translates to actual reading, writing, listening and speaking activities in every session. There is also a No-English Spoken Here policy making the student encounter real life scenarios when training elsewhere in the world.

The Chinese Courses are developed for the K-12 curriculum. This is a self-paced program and it is ideal for 3rd Grade to 5th Grade students, though one can start even without any prior knowledge of the language.

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
Since this is an online course, all you need is to have a stable internet connection and a web browser like Safari, Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer and your child can start studying by herself. My daughter is currently in 5th grade and I had her login and do lessons 2-3 times a week.

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Upon log in, you have the option of viewing the Calendar where there is a suggested lesson each day or going to the Table of Contents. Both can lead you to the actual lesson for the day. For the Elementary Chinese Level 1 course, the student will learn about numbers, greetings, family members, home, colors and adjectives, school and food. Every unit focuses on one of these topics. Each topic covers 6 lessons. Depending on the level of fluency of your child, you can do 1-2 lessons per day in my opinion.

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Each unit begins with a video about a Chinese legend or myth surrounding the lesson being taught. Then there are a few games and lab exercises which allows you to explore, practice, remember and speak the language.  For the speaking lab, the student will be asked to speak and record herself saying the new words she has learned. The microphone should be enabled for this exercise.

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review

The learning isn’t limited to the speaking and listening area. There are also some video lessons on Chinese culture like social customs, home customs and being a good host. Chinese character formation and stroke order is also taught throughout the lessons.

For every practice and test activity, there is an automated checking. Then the program automatically records the results and you can view the results when you click on Gradebook at the menu upon log-in.

The lessons are being sold per semester for a single user at the price of $119 without a teacher. There are 45 lessons per semester for the Chinese Courses.

What I Thought of the Product

I understand Chinese because I came from a Chinese family and studied in a Chinese school growing up, it is a different story with my kids. They don’t understand Chinese since we don’t speak Chinese at home. Hearing the spoken Chinese language with its complicated sounds and its rhythms, I salute the accuracy and the quality of the language program.

I also like the systematic approach throughout. With the step by step procedure every lesson,  I am confident that with the consistent usage of the program, my daughter will be able to speak basic Chinese words and understand them as well after one semester. If needed, she can easily access the old lessons and watch them over and over again.

The engaging learning environment provides a holistic approach and helps the student not just to read, write, speak and listen to the language but also understand and appreciate the culture surrounding the language.

This is a wonderful Chinese language online program which needs minimal parental supervision.

For more information on Middlebury Interactive Languages, check out their social media accounts at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Middlebury-Interactive-Languages/141015515949753
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MiddInteractive
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/middinteractive/
Google +: https://plus.google.com/b/110371351490550861545/110371351490550861545/posts

To read more reviews about this certain product or reviews on other languages, check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew posts!

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Counterflow Conference

A conference for all parents out there!

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This is a whole day of learning and workshop happening this October 25, 2014, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at the CCF Center, Frontera Verde, Ortigas Avenue corner C-5 Road, Pasig City. Exciting workshops include topics on Sex and Sexuality, Blended Families, Solo Parenting, Children with Special Needs, Closing the Generation Gaps with Our Teens, Getting into the Hearts of Our Children and many more.

For more information, check https://www.facebook.com/counterflowcommunity2014

Manila Workshops for Kids

Manila Workshops is holding the following interesting workshops for your kids, ages 5-12 years old!

Pastel Color Painting on October 18 at The Podium Mall. For more details, check out Manila Workshops’ page.

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Basic Polymer Clay Art on October 25 at Sulok, Tiendesitas. For more details, check out Manila Workshops’ page.

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Basic Sketching on November 8 at the Podium Mall. For details, check out Manila Workshops’ page.

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Preschoolers and Peace eBook Review

If you asked me 5 years ago, if it is possible to homeschool your older children while you have little ones, I would probably have said no. I only have two children and I can’t imagine homeschooling a family with children of multiple ages. Kendra Fletcher from Preschoolers and Peace knows what it is like and decided to compile her blog posts to share her own experiences on homeschooling older kids with little ones around.

As part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I am privileged to review the eBook entitled Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling older kids with success while loving the little ones at your feet. It is a must-read resource for moms who are considering homeschooling multiple children and even moms who already are homeschooling and needs fresh ideas for their little ones.

 

Preschoolers and Peace Review
Preschoolers and Peace eBook comes in the PDF format and can be read using Adobe Reader.  I read the eBook using my computer but you can also read this eBook on your tablets as long as you have a PDF reader. There are 13 chapters included and each chapter focuses on different topics that helps mom become better equipped handling the little kids while the older ones are homeschooling.

The topics covered in this eBook include:

What a Homeschooling Mom Needs
Preparing Yourself to Homeschool Older Kids With Little Ones Underfoot
Planning Around Preschoolers
How Do I Keep Them Busy?
What Does a 2-Year-Old’s Day Look Like?
How Do I Get Any Preschooling Done?
How Not to Just Kill Time
Circle Time: Or How We Pull the Little Ones In
Preschool Boys
When All of Your Kiddos Are Preschoolers
Preschool Chores
Planning for Preschool
When Mama is Worn Out (or Pregnant)
Meal Planning 101

 

Preschoolers and Peace Review
Though I no longer have preschoolers and children below 7 years of age at home, I have found a great deal of ideas and lessons which our family can certainly benefit from. I am sharing three truths that have resonated with me:

> What a homeschooling mom really needs is to anchor her identity in Christ and not on the success of the homeschool or her children. This was a truth that made me reflect the true state of my heart.

> Schedules and routines play an important part in homeschooling multiple ages. I have 2 children ages 10 and 7, and sometimes it feels like I have to go back and forth between the two of them. Establishing routines that help my kids start their day right was something that we implemented and have benefited from greatly.

> Circle time is the group teaching time that integrates the family. Family devotions and discussions happen during this time and joint learning can be implemented on certain subjects as well. Reading together and praying together are both central in our homeschooling day and we include that in our circle time.

This eBook is such a rich resource and one that I can certainly go back to every now then. The cost of this eBook is $2.99.

For more information, you can check out Preschoolers and Peace’s social media accounts:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PreschoolersandPeace
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KendraEFletcher
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kenj/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+KendraFletcher/posts
You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/user/preschoolersandpeace

You can read the review of other Schoolhouse Review members and see what they think of this eBook!

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My Student Logbook PDF Version Review

A month ago, we were blessed to be given an opportunity to review a daily student planner from My Student Logbook. Being part of the international community, we received the PDF version of the dated book for use with one of my child. My Student Logbook is best for 2nd grade students and up. My Student Logbook Review

My Student Logbook is a simplified but effective student organizer.  This product was created by a multi-level homeschool mom, Corina Abbott. She has been tirelessly looking around for an organizational system which is easy enough to do in a busy household.  With her husband’s support, Corina was able to create a system that utilizes a fold-over checklist. It lines up with the boxes in the dated columns and the checklist can be re-used for the succeeding weeks. There is one column for each day of the week. Mom or student can write the tasks on the checklist and the student just needs to write a check mark below the date if he or she has completed the task written on the specified day.

My Student Logbook Review
Organizing and planning the day of my homeschooler is one of the most challenging aspects of homeschooling. I am not very good at advanced planning and most of the time, this weakness makes me doubt whether our goals for the day or the week were met. It also makes me second guess how our day could have gone better. I have not been able to use any other homeschool planner before since I don’t like to use another planner just for homeschool. So when I saw how easy to use My Student Logbook was, I was excited to share it with my 5th grade daughter.

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We opened the PDF file mailed to us using our pre-installed Adobe Reader. We viewed the attached set up instruction file and also viewed the video on how to set up the logbook from the setup guide as seen from the website. Then we printed the necessary pages and clipped it all together. We didn’t have cover choices.

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 As shown on the photo above, I asked my daughter to write in her daily chores and subjects. We also indicated how many minutes approximately it takes her to finish the task. Then she folded the check list and ensured that the check list is facing out on the week she will be starting to use the list. Then everyday, she just looks at the logbook and place a check on the task she is able to complete. It is a very straight forward, low maintenance daily planner that works for her!

There are several useful pages inserted along with the 6 pages of daily planner. There is an all about me page, prayers and goal page, Bible verses memorized page, book list page, field trips and activities page, test records page and favorite memories from the year page. We found the Bible verses memorized page and book list page very useful.

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My Student Logbooks come in 3 options:

– the Dated My Student Logbooks for August to July school year. This is the product we reviewed.  The physical product costs $15. The PDF file costs $10 for single use and $20 for family use.

– the Dated My Student Logbooks for the calendar year. The physical product costs $15. The PDF file costs $10 for single use and $20 for family use.

– the Undated My Student Logbooks. The physical product costs $15.

 

What I Think of the Product

My Student Logbook has helped me “see” what we have accomplished over the past few weeks. It allows me to visualize how we spent most of our days and what we need to improve upon. Moreso, for my daughter, it has allowed her to be more consistent in monitoring what she has been spending her time on most of the time and it has taught her to be more responsible on how she uses her time daily. This is a good discipline which she would need once she reaches higher grades.

With this planner, I can now easily delegate chores and don’t have to constantly remind them about it. It helps me develop independence in my children as well.

With its simplicity and straight forward approach, I think even my 2nd grade son, if given the opportunity, would be able to use this product too!

For more information about this product, check out My Student Logbook Facebook page and My Student Logbook You Tube channel.

To read more reviews on this product, check out other Schoolhouse Review Crew posts.

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