Better SPANISH Practice for Your Homeschool

The key to becoming really proficient in Spanish is practice, practice, practice…but how is a homeschool family to accomplish this goal most advantageously?

Obviously, choosing an effective curriculum is important.  Make sure that your program’s approach is based on sound principles.  Many common practices are not best practices, and they will waste your valuable time and/or money in the long run!

Excelerate SPANISH incorporates best practices such as Total Physical Response plus powerful storytelling and dramatization techniques to help your students’ brains to assimilate– and hold onto– tons of relevant content.

You’ll also love the benefits of additional “comprehensible input” to further familiarize your students with the patterns and flow of the Spanish language.  Here are some guidelines to help you select the most practical resources:

  1. Pick those options that are interesting, appealing, and enjoyable for your students.  There’s just no need to settle for tedious or dry material.  Speaking another language is fun, and our activities should be, too.
  2. Use audio, reading, and visual materials that are at an appropriate level.  The bulk of the language should be comprehensible to your students, with just enough element of challenge to keep them progressing.
  3. Speakers (live or recorded) who are willing to enunciate, speak slowly, repeat, etc. are ideal!  Of course, there are also benefits to hearing Spanish spoken at a natural (fast!) pace as prep for real-life interactions.
  4. Remember that when we learned our first language, fluency came first, then grammar study— not the other way around.
  5. Sometimes, the best things in life really are free.  That’s also true when it comes to “comprehensible input.”


For conversation practice with native speakers and/or other students of Spanish:

  1. English-Spanish Chat (Parents will want to monitor use by their children).
  2. The Mixxer allows for language learners to find a conversation partner to talk to via Skype.

¿Hablas español?

For authentic Comprehensible Input:

  1. Notes in Spanish offers free podcasts at various levels.  If you like, there are also worksheets you can download and use.
  2. Here is a Children’s Digital Library you can access for free!
  3. These sites offer videos and/or TV shows in Spanish: Argentina’s Public TV, TV al Vivo, TVN, Nicaragua’s Canal 15, Spain’s Tele MadridANTV, and Univision.
  4. To listen to music in Spanish, visit this site featuring over 600 stations!  I also liked the music videos here.
  5. For news, see Telemundo‘s site or Madrid’s ABC (or google, of course).
  6. BBC Languages is no longer updating their site, but it is still functional and well worth exploring!
  7.  Check out this awesome compilation of links!

If you find other sites that you’d like to recommend to homeschool families, please tell us!  Also, feel free to let us know which resources were most beneficial to you.

Still need a curriculum to serve as the core for your studies? Your students will love learning Spanish via gestures, action sequences, skits, and stories!

Order Excelerate SPANISH and brace for success!

Gracias, y buena suerte con su práctica.  🙂

Su segura servidora,

caryn hommel



Total Physical Response (TPR) and Foreign Language SUCCESS

What is Total Physical Response and how can it help you with foreign language acquisition?

Total Physical Response offers tremendous advantages to language learners.  TPR is known to:

  1. Motivate students
  2. Improve retention
  3. Reduce anxiety and stress
  4. Help academically weaker students
  5. Teach students to determine meaning from context
  6. Increase student confidence
  7. Offer a refreshingly different style of teaching/learning
  8. Provide more effective, comprehensible input
  9. Encourage active listening
  10. Access and capitalize on the strengths of the right brain
  11. Offer easy ways to review
  12. Keep the class in the target language
  13. Promote goodwill between student and teacher
  14. Incorporate humor
  15. Increase interest and enjoyment

That is quite a list of benefits, isn’t it?  What great news for language learners of all ages!  And it’s important food for thought for parents and teachers as we select our curricula.  After all, couldn’t we all use ways to work smarter, not harder?

Excelerate SPANISH incorporates TPR into every. single. lesson.  ALL students can enjoy this fabulous “brain-switching” approach and the feeling of success it provides!  Nothing breeds success like success, after all.


Excelerate SPANISH then takes TPR a step further and adds the power of storytelling, activating the limbic system or “emotional memory.” The humorous skits and stories– accompanied by the “muscle memory” that TPR provides– make magical connections happen in the brain!

Whether your student is a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner–or has special needs or is gifted or is average–Excelerate SPANISH will empower, motivate, and optimize your success!

Parents, the best part is– ALL the work has been done for you. The Excelerate SPANISH lesson videos provide ALL the necessary instruction. You may even decide to learn Spanish along with your student– faster and easier than you ever thought possible!

Accelerate Language Acquisition.

Unleash Creativity.

Promote Excellence.

Discover the Power of Story.

Excelerate SPANISH

90 DAY GUARANTEE Love it or your money back!

Love it or your money back!

Grab Comprehensible Input Resources for ANY Language!

As young children, we acquired our native language via relevant, personalized, compelling comprehensible input.  Unfortunately, this is lacking with most foreign language programs.  Fortunately, finding solutions is easier than ever, once we know what to look for.

Appropriate input might include videos, music, television, news articles, podcasts, books, conversations, sports narrations, and more.  You’ll be glad to know that you can find TONS for FREE!  Explore these ideas to access, adapt, or create comprehensible input… all excellent ways to accelerate your way to the proficiency you want!


To evaluate the usefulness of resources that you find, make sure that the level is not too difficult for you (not frustrating) and that the content appeals to you personally.  Also, extended contexts are highly preferable to disjointed, rapidly changing contexts— in other words, stories and other connected discourse are best.  Plus, they’re just more fun.  Win-win!

To find comprehensible input for the foreign language of your choice, simply google the words “comprehensible input” along with the name of the target language (e.g., “comprehensible input mandarin chinese”).  Then narrow the results according to the criteria above.  Spend a little time each day with a good comprehensible input resource.

Things NOT to worry about just yet:  PerfectionGrammar (conjugating verbs, learning structures).  TranslationProducing the sounds correctly yourself.  These things have more to do with output than input… and that’s putting the cart before the horse.  Relax and enjoy the input.


When you are ready to go with a curriculum, please check out Excelerate SPANISH.  It provides tons of compelling comprehensible input via humorous scenarios resembling real-life situations. This makes learning Spanish fun, effective, and memorable!

I hope this post helps with your personal quest.  If you find any really great free resources and think we should all know about them, please pass on the good news!

Excelerate SPANISH for Your Homeschool, Co-op, or Class!

Do you have a single student? Or do you need to offer Spanish to multiple students in your homeschool? How would you like to give them an awesome experience that will help them to acquire tons of practical, useful Spanish?

Excelerate SPANISH is ideal for equipping your students for real life, for employment, for college, and for living in a country where there are over 50 million Spanish speakers. Yes, the United States now has more Spanish speakers than Spain! (See Provide your children with the tools to communicate, collaborate, and compete in today’s– and tomorrow’s– workplaces and communities.

Are you feeling overwhelmed because you don’t speak Spanish, or aren’t sure how to teach it? No worries, friend! Excelerate SPANISH provides all the necessary instruction on DVD. It’s like enrolling your student in a private class, except you save tons of money, go at your own pace, and do it all at your convenience!

Are you a Charlotte Mason fan? Excelerate SPANISH is the hands-on approach you are looking for.

Have other Spanish programs left you wanting more? Check out this article about the difference you’ll see with Excelerate SPANISH.

Do you need a program that offers Spanish 2 also? Excelerate SPANISH 2 will surely delight both you and your students.

You’ll love the multiple options for affordable pricing to meet your needs!

For big families:

For your co-op:, plus and If you need different quantities for your group, just contact me directly using the form on this page for a quick, personal response.

Place your order today so that you can include Spanish for a more exciting, fulfilling school year! And for a limited time only, receive an EXTRA workbook for FREE when you order the whole program! Use the code GETONEFREE when you order (and don’t forget to place the extra workbook into your cart!)

Check out a few reviews and feedback:

A Homeschool Spanish Curriculum That Really Works: Excelerate Spanish

Excelerate SPANISH Homeschool Spanish Curriculum

The Most Fun & Unique Homeschool Spanish Curriculum Ever: Excelerate Spanish Review

Please also check out the Excelerate SPANISH Facebook page for more information, resources, and fun!


Excelerate Your SUCCESS!

Ready to find a foreign language solution that works for your family? You are going to love the Whole Program for level one. All of the Spanish instruction is provided in the video lessons on DVD– It’s like going to a live class without leaving home! This deal is hundreds of dollars’ worth of foreign language instruction for a fraction of the price, and it equips you with all of the necessary materials for one student.

Do you have a large family or multiple students? Try the Family Bundle Pack and save over $40 off the normal price! You will love the flexibility that Excelerate SPANISH offers your student, family, class, and/or co-op. Appropriate for multiple ages and accommodating all learning styles, you will find that students are able to participate at their level and feel confident and successful while learning tons of Spanish language! Develop real comprehension and speaking ability with a practical teaching method that resembles the way that we all learned our first language– naturally, without stress, and with positive results.

You see, the Total Physical Response (TPR) approach allows for all students to truly experience the significance of the spoken word, bringing it to life in their minds, encouraging retention, and bypassing the “affective filter” (our brain’s way of rejecting the unfamiliar). With TPR, we “trick” our elsewise resistant brain into embracing the new words and phrases. And because we are doing so much more than just “listen and repeat,” you will find that the Spanish you are learning truly sticks in your memory and is there for you when you need it. Success!


Concerned about fulfilling a high school language requirement? See this post. Comparing to other curricula? Read this article. Do you prefer a Charlotte Mason approach? See our entry on this subject here. And please google our reviews! We are confident that you will be tickled pink as your students excel and acquire real-life skills in the language, skills that will prepare them to communicate effectively with Spanish speakers from all over the globe! Try Excelerate SPANISH risk-free today!

90 DAY GUARANTEE Love it or your money back!

Love it or your money back!


FREE Spanish Lesson and Foreign Language Workshop!

Contact us today to arrange a FREE Spanish lesson and foreign language workshop for your co-op, support group, or school!

You will learn:

1. How and why so many students fail to achieve proficiency with ordinary methods
2. What brain researchers and language acquisition experts are saying
3. Simple techniques that improve retention
4. How to provide contexts that increase appeal and enjoyment (because learning another language is AWESOME and should feel that way!)
5. The difference between various curricula, programs and methods
6. What kinds of free/cheap resources are most beneficial and HOW TO FIND THEM
7. How you and your family can work smarter, not harder, and jump over this hurdle successfully! No matter what AGE, LANGUAGE, or BUDGET you’re working with, I would like to help you find what you need.

Caryn will schedule the workshop at your convenience.

Contact us today!
Speaker Bio:
Caryn Hommel, homeschool mom and author, holds a degree in Spanish Language and Literature from North Carolina State University and taught Spanish in public schools for ten years. Her success with teaching Spanish using Total Physical Response (TPR) and Total Physical Response Storytelling (TPRS) motivated her to develop a unique DVD-led curriculum to help other homeschoolers to benefit from wonderful, brain-friendly approaches to foreign language instruction. She has also designed and implemented an ESL curriculum, led educational tours of both Spain and Mexico for high school students, and presented at NCHE, FLANC (the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina), JCHE, and the Johnston County Second Language Network.  She assists families in the homeschool community by offering private and co-op classes, conducting free seminars, and speaking at homeschool conventions. The Hommels have homeschooled since 2003 and have two fantastic college students. Caryn continues to teach her younger two children, and thinks that exploring life and learning as a family is the most fulfilling way to spend her days!

It’s HERE! Check out Excelerate SPANISH 2!

Hear ye, hear ye!  All of the Excelerate SPANISH 2 components are now available for purchase.  The Whole Program includes all 24 lesson videos on 6 DVDs, one lesson book, one student workbook, and answer keys for the parent or teacher. And let me just tell you, Spanish 2 is a blast!  Here’s a little preview for you:

La familia visita el zoológico

La familia visita el zoológico

El ladrón conduce rápidamente

El ladrón conduce rápidamente

¡Ay!  Dejó caer la maleta.

¡Ay! Dejó caer la maleta.

Comenzó a ponerse la ropa que cayó de la maleta.

Comenzó a ponerse la ropa que cayó de la maleta.

Se puso toda la ropa y…

Se puso toda la ropa y…

Botó la maleta rota.

Botó la maleta rota.

¡Qué divertido!

¡Qué divertido!

Featuring giraffes!

Featuring giraffes!

Excelerate 2

Now THIS is Spanish you’ll love, use, and remember!

Order today!  Delight is in store!

90 DAY GUARANTEE Love it or your money back!

Love it or your money back!

What’s Different about Excelerate SPANISH?

“What’s different about Excelerate SPANISH?”  This is the question I hear most often at homeschool conferences.  I love answering it, and I think you’ll love the answer, too!

It’s really no exaggeration to say, “What’s different is everything.”  Excelerate SPANISH is truly unique from the other choices available to homeschoolers today!  Read the reviews and do a quick google search, and you’ll find that homeschool bloggers also find the program to be unique and amazing and fun.

To be specific, though, what’s different is the humor.  And the multiple intelligence  approaches.  And the comprehensible inputAnd the focus on fluency.  And the connected discourse (an essential characteristic of proficient speakers according to ACTFL).

Excelerate SPANISH lessons cater to multiple intelligences to teach your student holistically.  The neuroscience behind the theory explains how physical actions, such as those used in Total Physical Response or TPR, help us to learn language.1   TPR increases motivation and personal meaningfulness, therefore your student’s retention also improves.  The entertaining skits and action sequences are quite novel, often silly, and always attention-grabbing.

You may be surprised at what the use of humor can accomplish in a foreign language program.  Laughter is a powerful tool!  You see, your student’s positive feelings about the content (the stories that are told) will also influence his/her feelings about the form (the language used to tell those stories).  After all, “what we learn with pleasure, we never forget.” Fun contexts honor the concept that “in the brain, emotion and cognition are distinguishable but inseparable.”3


Of course, there are other programs available that offer cute contexts.  Unfortunately, many of these are “fluffy” (they constitute of “twaddle,” as Charlotte Mason might say).  Excelerate Spanish is content-rich, utilizing high frequency vocabulary and loads of helpful everyday structures (grammar).  As the student internalizes the patterns and flow of the language, output (speech) comes naturally.  When connected discourse is sufficiently modeled, then connected discourse is also produced…  And that, my friends, is fluency!

Experience the Excelerate SPANISH difference for yourself, and give your student the incredible gift of second language proficiency that lasts.  Order today!

90 DAY GUARANTEE Love it or your money back!

Love it or your money back!


  1. Hannaford, C. (1995). Smart moves: Why learning is not all in your head. Arlington, VA: Great Ocean Publishers.
  2. 2- Mercier, Alfred
  3. 3-Schumann, J. (1994). Where is cognition? Studies in Second Language Acquisition 16, 231-42.



Homeschool Moms’ Feedback on Excelerate SPANISH!

Now that the very first users of the Excelerate SPANISH program are wrapping up their school year, the feedback is beginning to come in!  I’m excited to share it with you, and I hope that the comments of these moms will help to answer some of your own questions.

“We have loved the program.  My children seem to retain most of what they hear in the Lessons and Dramas.  (Two of them are Drama nuts and really enjoy the skits).  My middle child is forever trying to come up with words that stump me, and sometimes he succeeds!  I love that you use a larger Spanish vocabulary that was used when I began Spanish 1 back in middle school and high school.  My 5th grader has managed to keep up with most of the workbook exercises, although sometimes I tell him he doesn’t need to do all the written translation activities, if I can hear him verbally translate.  It is good to hear them WANTING to translate the silly sentences.  Rather than the goofy sentences I had to translate back in school.  ‘Me llamo Roberta.  ¿Dónde está el gato?’

They all love the lessons and have all picked out “favorite lessons” ahead, based on lesson titles.  They were quite sad to hear we were putting away the Spanish books for the year.  But don’t worry, we will be picking them back up in July as we cruise forward in our next school year.

We really don’t have any negative criticisms about the program, I have recommended it to anyone and everyone who has voiced a need for a Spanish Curriculum.  I like how you teach the verb tenses, but I also know my 5th grader doesn’t really get the point of such exercises.  He does them, but doesn’t see the need.  Keep in mind, this is the same child who doesn’t see the need for soap in the shower…  (Just keeping it real!)…

My daughter will finish the book next year for her Spanish 1 requirement for high school.  And we both hope that there will be an Excelerate Spanish 2 in the near future.  After using the Excelerate Spanish curriculum, nothing else seems like a good fit for my kinesthetic family.  I fully intend to repeat the course for my boys once they hit high school as I am a huge fan of repetition being an excellent teacher!

Thank you for demonstrating your desire to keep your curriculum up to higher standards, by constantly looking for ways to improve it.”

-Bobbey S. in NC

“Are you going to have a next level of your Spanish course?  We absolutely love your program and would very much like to stick with you if you are doing it… I have never had so many conversations about about worms and hooks and eating worms!… We have boys 10, 12, and 14 and us adults listening to your program and we are all learning, like it or not (the boys crack up because their father will stand in the kitchen silently watching when he thinks no one is paying attention!)… Thanks for such a fantastic program!”

-Jodi O. of NC

“Our co-op class really enjoyed the Spanish class through Excelerate Spanish… We have nearly completed the book.  The children and I have had so much fun in this class… For homework, the children would write silly sentences or silly stories and they enjoyed this.  Often, they illustrated their stories and I would read some in class.”

-Jackie L. of NC

“I Love , Love, love this curriculum!!! I can’t say enough about how amazing it is, except to say Caryn, you got it right!!! Are you working on curriculum for any other languages? Latin??? 😉  Thank you for your work in putting this curriculum together!!!

You ABSOLUTELY have my permission to use my name and comments. I plan to begin singing your praises from the mountain tops!!! This is better than Rosetta Stone and so much more affordable!!  I will continue to keep my eyes out for your other works in years to come!!!”

-Sandi G. of NC

I hope to post additional comments soon.  In the meantime, please check out these Excelerate SPANISH reviews from homeschool bloggers.  Also, if you haven’t already grabbed your new 2014 Annual Print edition of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, please do.  I’m pleased to relate that Excelerate SPANISH received positive mention in two separate articles!

Feedback on Excelerate SPANISH in TOS!

If you used Excelerate SPANISH this year, would you please take a moment to contact me with your feedback?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions, and suggestions!



What about GRAMMAR in our Homeschool Spanish?

What is the best way to meet your homeschool Spanish goals?  How can parents and students get the greatest “return on investment” (ROI) for your time, effort, and often, money spent on foreign language programs?


A friend of mine is known for saying, “I believe in using the right tool for the right job.”  That bit of wisdom applies to many things we do in life, doesn’t it?  The right tools can help us to save time, save money, save materials, and save us from unnecessary grief and heartache.  The right tools can bring smiles to our faces and a spring to our step!  Could your student use that in his or her school day?  Could you?

The best tools reflect thoughtful design (I can’t help but think of my Dyson here!) and require less effort from the consumer, even while yielding better performance/results.  I don’t know about you, but when I plug in an appliance, I want for it to do more of the work, not me!  Please don’t go believing that tools that make the job harder somehow confer more knowledge to your students.  The wrong tools are simply that, bad tools.

When it comes to homeschool Spanish, you want tools that work with, not against, your student’s brain.  You want tools that take into account how language is actually acquired and what helps us to retain it.  You want tools that are known for producing positive results.

What about grammar?  Well, let’s not lose sight of what we all know did work when we acquired our first language.  It wasn’t grammar study first, then fluency later, right?  What worked the first time, what helped us to acquire and retain?


The best language experiences come to us naturally.

Laura Zuchovicki of Conversabooks writes this about our early language experience:

Learning “to talk” is a slow process that comprises of listening to adults around us. The adults surrounding the baby use “verbs” without explicitly explaining the grammatical rule behind it. Nonetheless, babies receive continuous repetition of certain words until they are able to use them within the appropriate context. The tangible outcome proves to be successful when the babies are officially communicating in their first language…

We simply continue the language acquisition progress until we perfect oral communication and are ready to enroll in the academic life. It is not until we are about six or seven years old that we discover the purpose of grammar within our language. The process of acquiring language is as long as running a marathon.

If the first language is predicated by pure experience, without opening a book or studying the grammar, why do we insist on reversing the process to acquire a new language? In my opinion, the standard should be as follows: “In my Spanish foreign language class, I will not teach my students about the Spanish language and its grammar. I will teach my students to speak in Spanish so that they are able to communicate with others.”


Laura is right— it is indeed backwards to flip the entire paradigm of language experience upside down!  Yet this is what foreign language classes and programs have done rather consistently for far too long.  But as homeschoolers, we don’t have to submit to a faulty model of language teaching.  We get to choose educational philosophies, practices, and resources that harmonize with our needs.  We get to choose our tools, and we choose the best!

Still worried about grammar?  Keep in mind that fluency in Spanish will always lead to greater grammatical accuracy than non-fluency ever could.  Excelerate SPANISH is not anti-grammar!  We simply choose to approach grammar naturally and in context.  In so doing, students internalize (rather than temporarily memorize) the patterns and flow— the structure— of the language.  It’s a kinder, gentler, and more effective way of doing things.

If your goal is to provide Spanish I for your high school student, fluency is the key to proficiency, including test-taking proficiency.  Excelerate SPANISH is for you.  If your goal is to become conversational so that you can be better equipped for that mission trip, special vacation, or move, then Excelerate SPANISH is for you.  And if you simply want the opportunity to connect on a deeper level with Spanish speakers, then Excelerate SPANISH is for you!

Accelerate language learning.

Unleash creativity.

Discover the Power of STORY.

Excelerate SPANISH

Your Homeschool Spanish!

90 DAY GUARANTEE Love it or your money back!

Love it or your money back!