Foreign Language Fun – Middlebury Interactive Languages Review

 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review

Foreign language in school is a hot topic in most circles.  Most feel that teaching a foreign language is important and most don’t know the best way to do it.  We put a lot of emphasis on learning languages in our school and therefore we love the opportunity to try foreign language curriculum options.

We recently had the opportunity to review Middlebury Interactive Languages French Courses for 3rd to 5th grade. We were definitely impressed.

What is Middlebury Interactive Languages?

Middlebury Interactive Languages is an interactive,  online language program available for kindergarten through high school in FrenchSpanishGerman and Chinese.

We were given one semester (6 months) of 3rd to 5th grade French for one student to review.

How we used Middlebury Interactive Languages?

My 10 year old daughter loved in 3 times per week to do the interactive French lessons through Middlebury Interactive Languages.

The lessons are competition,  interactive and fun. Each lesson is immersive, meaning they are in French. There are 42 lessons in the French 1 3rd to 5th grade curriculum. It is designed to be done 2 to 3 days a week. However,  they are self-paced lessons so your student can go slower or faster depending upon their progress.

Each lesson has a story in French follows by interactive activities to practice their understanding of the language. The stories are well known stories so though they are entirely in French;  my daughter knew the stories.  She really loved Little Red Riding Hood in French.

Each lesson also gives the student the opportunity to hear native voices pronouncing words and phrases and then for the student to practice them.  The student can then record his or her voice practicing and listen back to it.  This was my daughter’s favorite part.  She loved recording herself and hearing herself speak in french.

What we thought

We both really loved Middlebury Interactive Languages.  It truly is difficult to figure out how to best teach languages to our children.  Especially when we don’t speak those languages ourselves.  Middlebury Interactive Languages is a great way to introduce a language or continue with current language studies regardless of the grade of the child.  The interactive,  self paced nature of this immersion program makes it an excellent choice in language curriculum.

There is a section available for parents to view the lessons completed and progress of their students which I thought was great.  It was ready to navigate and I liked being able to see how she was progressing without hanging over her shoulder the entire lesson.

My daughter asked if she could do another lesson quite frequently.  I love hearing her excited for studying something.  Since French is her choice to study, that may have something to do with it but either way her progress was good,  she was excited to learn,  and enjoys the lessons.  Overall I think Middlebury Interactive Languages is a hit for her and for me. We will definitely continue with the lessons and consider renewing for another semester.

You can purchase a semester/6 month membership to Middlebury Interactive Languages at any of their levels for $119 without a teacher per student per semester.  This is what we used.  You can also purchase the same semester with teacher assistance for $175 per student per semester. This is not what we reviewed. However, it’s nice that it is an option.

You can check out what the rest of the TOS Review Crew has to say about Middlebury Interactive Languages.  You can also check out Middlebury Interactive Languages on FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle + and Pinterest. Our purchase your own subscription to Middlebury Interactive Languages for 6 months in French, SpanishGerman or Chinese through their website.

 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review


Family Fun and Games with USAology – A Review

 USAopoly Review
We are a family that loves board games. I grew up with game night and like to keep that tradition going in our house. So when given the opportunity to try out USAopoly games to review, I was excited to see what we got.

We were given the opportunity to review Tapple and Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game from USAopoly, which was really fun for us. We received both games from USAopoly for our review.

USAopoly ReviewWonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game

Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game is a game of balance and strategy. Each player received cards to tell them which blocks they place in the center building area. There are 9 blocks in 3 colors and sizes (large, medium, and small). The cards tells the player which block to play (ie purple medium). The blocks are stacked in the center of the playing area. You must play it without knocking down the tower of blocks. If you knock it over you start it again. The winner is the person who plays their last card, stacks the block and does not knock over the tower.
Displaying 20150927_114050.jpgWe enjoyed this games. The kids had fun stacking the blocks and trying not to knock it down. Since the cards have pictures on them it was easy for my young reader to play as well. It does take hand-eye coordination to keep the blocks stacked without knocking over.

The game plays fairly quickly. There are hints on how to play in teams within the instruction book. The reason it is “Wonky” is because the blocks are not just flat and square, they have some shape and rounding to them, making placement of the blocks strategic if you want to make it easier or more difficult to stack other blocks on top of a placed block.

The game is low maintenance, easy to store in the included Wonky bag, and a quick game for the whole family. USAopoly recommends the game for ages 8 and up, probably due to the strategic play and steady hand for game success. My 6 year old didn’t like the game much, but enjoyed trying to stack the blocks and playing with the blocks. My 10 year old enjoyed the game and was happy with herself when she successfully stacked a tower.

Overall, this is a fun game for the whole family. You can purchase your own USAopoly Wonky game through their website for $19.95.

Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone

Tapple is a fun, quick moving game for the whole family. You can play several players or teams and these hints are in the instructions. The game is compact, requires 2 AA batteries to work the timer, and has an easy to use, built in carrying pocket for the cards.

 USAopoly Review The game starts with the first player pushing the timer button in the middle of the board and grabbing a category card. There are easy to hard category cards, 4 categories/questions per card. The first player pushes the timer button and picks a category card question (ie. Vegetables). Then the plays names something that is from the category that begins with a letter on the wheel that has not already been used. (i.e. Corn). If the player chooses “corn” then they would push down the letter C on the Tapple wheel gameboard and then push the timer button to reset the timer back to 10 seconds for the next player to grab a card and more forward.

Displaying 20150927_121137.jpg

Back of Tapple game board – easy card storage

The game is fast paced. And if you pair that with the timer clicking or buzzing when you do not think of something in 10 seconds, along with the pounding reset of the timer button, you can get a little excited with the game.
My son enjoyed playing Tapple. Because he is 6 I drew his cards and read them for them, because he is a beginning reader, but my 10 year old daughter drew her own cards. The categories were fun and the game had a great rhythm to it.

We very much enjoyed this game. We liked this the best of the 2 games. Both kids thought it was fun and got into the game, shouting out answers and pounding the timer button. I really like that the cards can be stored inside the game board. The box design bothered me because it isn’t easy to put the board inside the box to store due to the plastic, see-through part of the box. I would like a storage box that is solid or a bag for storage.

Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone is recommended by USAopoly for ages 8 and up; however, my 6 year old loved playing the game, though he needed the cards read to him, which I’m sure is why it is rated for the age group that it is.

Otherwise, I think it’s a fun game and the whole family really enjoyed it. You can purchase your own Tapple game through the USAopoly website for $19.95.

USAopoly games are brightly colored, have good instructions, and were fun to play. Be sure to check out USAopoly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. And see what the other TOS Review Crew has to say about their reviews of USAopoly games by clicking the button below.

 USAopoly Review

Throwback Thursday – Classical Conversations Cycle 1 Posts



Today I have decided to share some old Classical Conversations Cycle 1 posts in the spirit of Throwback Thursday.

Be sure to check out some of our previous Cycle 1 Classical Conversations posts and pins.


Classical Conversations Cycle 1 Week 5 Science: Invertebrates

Classical Conversations – Using Timeline Cards and Handmotions (**this post has OLD hand motions, new are on CC Connected)

Composer Study – The Orchestra

Classical Conversations Prescripts Review

Planning Next Years Lapbooking for Classical Conversations Cycle 1

Classical Conversations – Our Cycle 1 Preparation



If you would love to share your Cycle 1 Classical Conversations posts, I would love to see them. Let me know if any of these are helpful, I would love to know what people are wanting to see. 


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