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More on Rosetta Stone, Vocabulary Vine, Learn to Sew

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, September 15, 2008

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 9 No 74 September 15, 2008
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2008 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!

If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!
And please visit our sponsors! They make it possible. :-)


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Notes from Heather
-- More Feedback on Rosetta Stone
Helpful Tip
-- A Classic Sewing Curriculum
Resource Review
-- Vocabulary Vine
Reader Question
-- Site for Diagramming Sentences?
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

More Reader Feedback on Rosetta Stone


"I wouldn't recommend Rosetta Stone unless you can be very attentive.

What I encountered with my oldest is that although he knew what
words went with the pictures on the screen, he didn't always know
what the words meant. You can go through the lessons lickety split
because of this, yet you may have very little actual comprehension
of the material. When he went to do the workbook, where you need
to compose sentences, he was often clueless. I took Spanish for 4
years in high school plus some in college, so I usually know what
the words mean, but when I don't know, there is no English transla-
tion of the words on the screen to go to for help.

I had to go through the lessons, pick out the words, and buy and
make flashcards for him. He wasn't picking up the meaning of the
words just from the computer program. I had to go through the work-
book with him and have him compose 10 sentences per day to make sure
he was able to do it. I'm not content with him just getting through
it; I want him to be able to use the language.

Also, to communicate in Spanish, you need to be able to conjugate a
verb. You need to know how to say, 'I talk, He talks, They talk',
etc. Rosetta Stone seems to focus on the '-ing' form of the verb:
'The woman is wearing a white shirt.' 'The man and the boy are
standing on the table.' 'The boy is holding a yellow ball in his
right hand.' That's great if you want to use an '-ing' form, but
if you want to say something else, you're in trouble! I'm guessing
they eventually get to conjugating, but it must be quite a bit
farther into the program.

Rosetta Stone may work for some people, but I really encourage those
of you who use it to check your children's comprehension and make
sure they're actually getting it!" -- Alise


"Thank you for sharing the opinion expressed by Jen concerning
Rosetta Stone. I bought the Russian curriculum for my son 3 years
ago. I pride myself on really researching curriculum before I buy
it and I thought I had made a wise purchase. I had heard one nega-
tive comment concerning the curriculum, but disregarded the one
compared to all the positive material I had read while researching.
We tried the program for about 3 weeks and I found it to be NOT
user-friendly for myself or my son. I was so disappointed as I
had paid quite an amount of money for it. I was only able to recoup
a 1/3 of what I paid by selling it to a used curriculum store. I
switched to Power Glide and we had great success.

I am glad to have had some validation concerning the Rosetta Stone
curriculum. I thought it was my inability to comprehend it, so
therefore I couldn't help my son.

Thank you for the Homeschooler's Notebook newsletters. I have
thoroughly enjoyed receiving them and gleaning much information.
Keep up the good work." -- Barbi


Do you have comments to share? Please do!
Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

"In case anyone would like to know how to sew, I ran across this
DVD series -- and though the camera and lighting is not what it
is today (it was made in the 80's), the concepts are very solid.
It has solid techniques like I learned 15 years ago. It also has
several levels to advance to. It's expensive -- around 40 bucks
with free shipping on Amazon -- but well worth the cost and
cheaper than going to sewing classes (with the price of gas) --
and you get to view it over and over again until you get it. :-)


I'm going to use it to teach the kids." -- Sheila


Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share? Please write!
Send to: HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

Resource Review

Vocabulary Vine - A Spiral Study of Latin and Greek Roots
Author: Paula Hasseler

Vocabulary Vine focuses on 108 Latin and Greek roots using words
students use or read in their everyday life. Rather than choosing
a workbook approach, homeschool mom and author, Paula Hasseler,
chose a more hands-on approach, having students create their own
index cards from her 'main list' of roots. On each card the student
records the root, example words, and definitions. Vocabulary Vine
utilizes a spiral method of study, and the 'main list' is organized
so roots are reviewed on a regular basis. The roots studied are
often utilized as parts of other words as they progress through
the course.

Designed to take one school year to complete, students following
the author’s suggested weekly schedule will create one study card
per day for three days; the other two days they are encouraged to
review and sharpen their skills playing one of the games explained
in the text. There are twelve simple games to choose from, which
adds variety and enhances memory of vocabulary studied. While some
of the learning games can be played independently, several of them
require two players or at least a study partner. Other than some
help with some games, upper elementary and older students should
be able to work fairly independently once they understand what
they need to do each week.

I really like how the program is organized. Everything is clearly
explained in the text in a step-by-step fashion. Paula has also
provided a glossary of all roots, showing the forms, definitions,
and indicating whether they are Latin or Greek, along with several
helpful appendices. Rather than using example words that are unfami-
liar, the words used in the Vocabulary Vine are more common, which
makes learning all those roots easier. Easy-to-use and refreshingly
different than the traditional Latin/Greek roots curriculum, Voca-
bulary Vine
is an affordable, non-consumable text that will appeal
to many families.

-- Cindy Prechtel, http://www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"In previous years we have used a curriculum that incorporated
diagramming sentences. This year I am trying a new curriculum
that does not. Does anyone know of a website that, if you submit
the sentence, they will diagram it for you (so that I can use it
as a teacher key)?" -- Kathy in California

Our Readers' Responses

"My first thought about finding a website that will diagram
sentences for you is - why? I've yet to figure out what it
teaches. To me, it was a pointless confusing exercise when I
was a student, and it still is. Our English program includes
it and we skip it. I want my daughter to learn how to construct
a sentence, not how to take it apart and stick it on little

By the way, I spent 25 years in nursing (which required extensive
written documentation that had to meet both medical and legal
requirements), five years in medical transcription (which required
extensive knowledge of all aspects of English usage, spelling,
grammar, punctuation, etc., as well as 'instant' editing of
physicians' dictation), and many years of various aspects of
ministry (which required professional communication skills, both
written and spoken), including publishing a bulletin and newsletter
for a large church -- and I can't think of even one moment when my
forced experience of diagramming sentences was useful in any way.

Yes, I needed to know nouns, verbs, agreement, etc., but how does
diagramming teach any of the above-mentioned skills?" -- Kay


[Editor's note]

I did find this online tool which might be somewhat helpful - you
type in a sentence and it labels the parts of speech:


-- Heather

Answer our NEW Question

"Would any of you have any tips for homeschooling and dealing
with cancer? My husband has just been diagnosed with Multiple
Myeloma and it is in Stage 3. We are not sure of the future.
He is supposed to come home this week, and have chemo 2 times
per week. We homeschool year round, so we have only missed 2
weeks of school so far. I think we can make those up later in
the year because we have numerous breaks built into our year.
I just wondered how other families may have dealt with this
problem." -- Martha


Do you have practical advice or encouragement for Martha?

Please send your answer to: HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

Ask YOUR Question

Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

Send it to HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
if we can help you out in a future issue!

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