For the past few weeks we’ve been working with a new foreign language curriculum, Getting Started with French from Armfield Academic Press.
Getting Started With French
Written by William E. Linney and Brandon Simpson, Getting Started with French has been a wonderful addition to our daily together work. We have no real experience with the French language, but that didn’t stop us from diving into this delightful program. It’s written specifically for homeschoolers without any prior experience. Actually, its subtitle is Beginning French for Homeschoolers and Self-Taught Students of Any Age. How perfect is that?
The program is composed of a single softcover book and some digital downloads.
Within the book you’ll find:
- 172 lessons
- pronunciation guide
- subject index
- answers to all of the exercises
The digital files are pronunciation recordings and an author’s commentary for each lesson. The pronunciation recordings are done by a Frenchman from Paris, which is cool.
How we’re using Getting Started with French
As soon as I started reading the background and instructions for using the program, I knew I wanted to make it part of our morning time (time each day when we do some of our learning together as a family.) The lessons are written in a way that can be used with all ages- even my kindergartners.
The first few lessons are very short and can be combined. After the initial lessons, they start introducing new words and concepts, like articles and noun gender.
I downloaded the digital files to my Google Drive so I could pull the files up and listen on any of my devices. Because it’s only a single book and some digital files, it’s super portable. We can work on lessons in the car, while waiting in the dentist’s office, or even while I’m grocery shopping!
To be honest, some words are difficult to say. I mean, lets face it, our mouths just aren’t used to being formed to make these kinds of sounds! For example, the “r” in French makes a gargle sound. You should have heard us cracking up as we were all trying to do it!
Thankfully, there are also pronunciation tips throughout the book for the harder words like frère- which means brother.
Pronunciation Tip: The word frère sounds something like the word prayer, but you replace the p sound with an f sound.
With most of the lessons come exercises to work out. Either French to translate into English or vice verse. The younger children did these orally, while the bigs and I wrote our answers down. It’s a whole other kind of thinking when you have to actually write in French! Those lessons with exercises also have the page number on which you’ll find the answers in the back of the book- this is super helpful.
Every single one of us have enjoyed using Getting Started with French. I love the way it’s written and it’s effective simplicity. I totally recommend it to any homeschooling family, or even non-homeschoolers who are looking for a relaxed way to learn some French.
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