Huge CurrClick Sale Happening NOW!

Here’s an opportunity for you to try Excelerate SPANISH at incredible savings!  It’s just what you need to get over the February blahs and throw a little something juicy into your homeschool dynamic!

Who doesn’t love double coupons?  Wait til you see the bargains we have waiting for you at CurrClick!

Single videos are offered at 40% off, plus an additional coupon code will give you yet another 10% off your purchases.

Don’t miss this “Forget Black Friday, It’s Tangerine Tuesday” sales event!

This sale will run Tuesday, March 11th-Tuesday March 18th.

Psst… the code word is “tangerinetuesday” to save that extra 10% at checkout.  Now THAT’S a secret you’ll want to share!  🙂


FREE Workshop for Your Homeschool Support Group or Co-op!

I’d like to offer your co-op or support group a FREE workshop on teaching foreign languages in your homeschool, to benefit all families no matter which language(s) or curricula you choose! We will discuss:

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
7. How you and your family can work smarter, not harder, and jump over this hurdle successfully!

I’ll be happy to give the workshop at your location (within reasonable driving distance of NC) and at your convenience. Bring your students, of course! We’ll do a few mini-lessons in Spanish to give you a better idea how the various approaches work (and feel for the students).

If you are far outside the NC area, I would be happy to meet with your group via Skype!

Please contact me by email (see “ask a question” fields on this page) to make the arrangements.  I’m here to help!

Su segura servidora,

Caryn Hommel

Homeschool co-op family pic 2012

Incredible Music Videos in Spanish- Watch for FREE!

Now here’s a resource that’s just begging to be shared– authentic music from every Hispanic country under the sun, clearly pinpointed on the world map for easy reference!  These songs are a sure-fire way to further engage your homeschool students and to synthesize their language study with geography and culture.  Click on the pushpins and enjoy a song or two!

We’d love to see your favorites and your comments on our facebook page!  Please be sure to let your friends know about these awesome Spanish music videos specially chosen for foreign language learners by Spanish Teacher Zachary Jones.

Excelerate SPANISH Receiving Positive Attention in TOS Homeschool Magazine

Be sure not to miss the 2014 Annual Print Edition of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine!  It’s a wealth of information for your homeschool- whether you’re a newbie or a veteran.  This incredibly packed issue features articles covering tons of homeschool needs, including everything from how to start mid-year to how to teach your children Spanish at home!

Especially exciting is veteran homeschooler Marji McIlvaine’s article “Teaching Foreign Language:  You Can Do It!”  You’ll be encouraged and inspired as you glean from Marji’s 25+ years of experience teaching multiple foreign languages to homeschool students, and you’ll learn how Excelerate SPANISH addresses a critical need of the homeschool community.


Order your copy now, and enjoy a year’s worth of support in over 275 full-color pages at a phenomenal price.  It’s a treat you deserve, and a valuable resource you’ll come back to again and again.  Click here to learn more and place your order today!

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.

Interview by Melanie Young of Raising Real Men

This weekend we were at the HINTS Conference in Charlotte and I happened to have the most interesting conversation with Caryn Hommel of Excelerate Language. I thought I’d come back over and interview her so you guys could hear from her, too.

Hi Caryn, tell me again why you believe the way most language programs work isn’t really effective. I took three years of French in high school and don’t remember more than “Bonjour!” Basically, there are four components to traditional textbooks in any foreign language: Structure and Vocabulary, Lame Dialogues, Drill (Which many call kill and drill because they kill you with drill) and Cultural Notes. Then the books are dressed up with beautiful pictures and lots of busy to make it pretty. The order might vary but all those components stay the same no matter whether it is a Christian company or a public school textbook publisher. The reason why this doesn’t work is because there is a natural order of acquisition of language and that methodology doesn’t honor basic principles of brain functioning. They are learning about Spanish, but they are not learning Spanish.

Caryn Hommel Excelerate Spanish CarynSo, tell me what does work? What’s natural?

The way we acquired language as children is natural. We are designed to acquire language. We used all of our five senses in the process, from birth. We were designed to learn language because God wants to communicate with us. From the beginning, we are surrounded by language and experience it with all our senses. We aren’t expected to produce language in the beginning, but we begin to develop a mental graph and understand the language. We begin to respond non-verbally, then our ability builds into short answers and in sentences, paragraphs and finally won’t shut up! This all occurs without any formal grammar teaching, no flashcards, no formal instruction. Instructors can help us in the same way our parents do – by using caretaker language: simple words, lots of repetition, slower speech.

So, how did you develop your program?

When I began homeschooling my children I picked a traditional Spanish curriculum well-known in the homeschool community and invited some friends to have their middle school age children join my children to learn together. After three weeks, I gave the children an assessment and despite my best efforts, our good student-teacher ratio – and their hard work and attention, their results were very low. I was dismayed and they were frustrated.

I began looking into alternative methods, beginning with TPR: Total Physical Response. TPR has been around since the 1980s and was the brainchild of Dr. James Asher, a prominent brain researcher. Dr. Asher discovered that children with no previous exposure to Japanese were able to respond appropriately to complex and varied commands in Japanese after only a very few hours of instruction when taught by a fluent Japanese instructor who modeled his utterances with gestures and physical movement, which the children then imitated as opposed to reproducing the verbal utterances themselves. They were not expected to repeat what he said. So, I decided to this, pulling together private classes of homeschool students for TPR-based lessons weekly for an entire school year. Their attitudes, their ability to respond appropriately, their comprehension level were all so superior to anything I have seen before that we were all overcome with joy! We were smiling, we were laughing. They felt successful, confident and happy. This was radically different from our previous results.

What happened next?

Caryn Hommel Excelerate Spanish kids joyThe next fall many of those same students returned for more classes, but I sensed that they were impatient to do more, that they were rearing to go in learning the language. They needed something more than what we’d been doing. I would have lost them if I’d kept doing the same thing, so I pulled one of Blaine Ray’s books off my shelf, one I’d never used, and gave his ideas a try. We used TPR for the vocabulary, then we acted out a completely crazy story.

When the students use their bodies, it causes their motor cordices to light up. When they do stories that engage their emotions, that uses the limbic system in the brain.  So, we use Total Physical Response Storytelling, also known as Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling. It’s a very natural, fun way to learn and it is very successful in building mastery and retention.

What age do you recommend your materials for?

I’ve taught classes using this material from ages six to adult. My younger children don’t do the workbook. Every child will pick it up according to their age and ability level. The main thing with younger children is to stop instruction before they get tired. Stop it and wait for later while they are still excited. On the other hand, with older children, I would feel very comfortable giving Spanish I credit.

We haven’t tried it yet, but this looks like a great way to teach boys – very active! We’ll be reviewing Excelerate Spanish in the next few months here, but in the meantime, Caryn has graciously offered to let us do a giveaway!! That’s right, one winner will win the ENTIRE EXCELERATE SPANISH CURRICULUM, DVDs and all! It’s a $149 value!

Have fun!Melanie Winter Pic (c)2010 John Calvin Young


This interview originally appeared on Raising Real Men, republished with permission.