This is the Beta format right now and we’re happy to work with something new and help them develop an amazing product to market to homeschoolers everywhere! We didn’t experience any real glitches and my kids loves the lessons, learning simple conversations in other languages.
We’ve used Mango for free from our local county public library before, so I wondered what the big deal was with a homeschool version. Public libraries usually only have one level of maybe a dozen languages while Mango Homeschool Edition has all levels and all languages (60 to choose from!) and community features like a forum.
My kids were excited to explore and try out a few different languages.
Tori chose to learn a few lessons of Hawaiian. Kate and I looked at Mandarin Chinese and really, really loved it.
Liz and Dad did a few lessons of Arabic.
Then we studiously practiced the German since we’re moving there in a couple months!
Once you login, the course directory lets you choose a language and join that space:
Once you join a space, you have to verify that you do indeed want to login for the lessons:
The lessons jump right in with conversations:
I was not interested in the Club or forum or having my kids use any chat features so I monitored their lessons closely. This might be fine for older students, but not my wee ones. It just wasn’t necessary. I understand they have excellent security in place to keep this a safe environment.
There are not restrictions on the number of languages a student can learn or be part of at any one time. This is great since we each joined about 5 or 6 and practiced each several times a week.
What I love:
- Simple conversational lessons with pronunciation and ability to scroll over the words and phrases to see phonetics (good for visual learners)
- Doesn’t take much time to complete a lesson
- cultural notes about language and dialects and colloquialisms (a particular term for girl in Mandarin is not a nice word to say in some provinces of China)
- self-paced. My kids and I could do 1 lesson and walk away or sit and knock out 3-4 lessons. They made it a competition.
What I don’t care for (but I’m sure they’ll improve this soon!):
- the narrator was annoying at times. I still don’t understand some of her phrasing (“without sounding inappropriate” “isn’t this easy?”). Just keep it simple and don’t make me feel like an idiot if I don’t think it’s easy.
- chat and forum accessible to my young children (we just wouldn’t ever use this)
- too much review for advanced language learners. I wanted to see what was ahead. I tested into chapter 2 of German and skipped over lots more of it and drove my husband nuts making the narrator sound like I was channel surfing over her.
- only very basic conversational and vacation language so far in our lessons (we’re moving to Germany, so we want to learn more in-depth info right now)
- no printables or real assessment in the system (apparently, they have plans for this). For the price, I want a more comprehensive program with etymology, vocabulary lists, writing, history, and culture that I can print out and use
- I have to monitor progress and listen in on lessons to check how they’re going. There was no way to assess without asking or listening. My daughters figured out how to use the microphone to test pronunciation, but it doesn’t record for assessment by a teacher.
- I just can’t imagine that this could count for any high school credit since it’s just not comprehensive enough for me to consider the few journeys offered as 2 years’ worth of foreign language study
Here is the info for German:
- Greetings, Gratitude, Goodbyes
- Inquiring About Someone’s Nationality
- Asking What Languages Someone Speaks
- Names and Introductions
- Getting Around
- Shopping and Payment
- Drinks and Dining
- Numbers and Currency
- Getting Help
- Asking for Clarification
- Addressing and Describing People and Animals
- Describing Surroundings
- Making Small Talk
- Accepting and Declining Social Invitations
- Foods, Cooking and Dining
- Commenting on the Weather
- Using the Bank and Post Office
- Planning leisure activities
- Culture, Literature and Art
- Discussing Historical Events
- Addressing Medical Conditions
- Expressing Thoughts and Feelings
- Discussing Schools and Education
- Names and Their Origins
- Talking About Food and Dietary Habits
- Physical Descriptions
- Making Plans
- Sports and Exercise
Course guides in pdf format are available.
What is currently available on the site:
Over 60 different languages
Built-in journals, discussions, and wikis
Collaborative learning spaces
eNote messaging /chat rooms
Access to embedded/downloadable content
Support from other community members
Calendars to schedule meetings or study groups
Over the next several months, we’ll be introducing other exciting features like:
Enhanced Tracking and Progress Monitoring – including seat time (for students and parents)
Goals and Personal Lesson Plans (both stand-alone and tied into Mango courses)
Resume and Portfolio Builder
The program is intended for ages 6 through adult. My youngest daughter, Kate, is almost seven and she navigated through this easily on her own.
Introductory pricing for Mango Homeschool:
1 subscription is $18/month or $125/year total
2 subscriptions is $28/month or $175 /year total
3 subscriptions is $38/month or $225/year total
4 subscriptions is $48/month or $275/year total
5 subscriptions is $58/month or $325/year total