I have spent the better part of nine years searching for a language program that teaches more than word recognition and silly stories. I was beginning to become really discouraged until I read about Le Francais Facile! on a homeschooling message board. And after talking with friends of ours who are serving as missionaries on the French-speaking Magdalen Islands, I was encouraged to look into Le Francais Facile! for our homeschool.
Author Marie Filion is a homeschooling mom of four who not only speaks French but has also taught French as a second language and has her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology (Reading). What that means for the rest of us is that she has scientifically designed Le Francais Facile! to help the non-French speaker retrain his ear to hear the frequencies of the French language. Just when you thought you'd never be able to pronounce French!
What we received for review was the Junior Level, designed primarily for kindergarten through third grade. There are 34 lessons in the nonconsumable workbook, and the coloring pages are geared toward the younger crowd. There is also less emphasis on writing and grammar in the Junior Level than in the two other levels available. The two CDs that are included contain songs, stories, and all the pronunciations for each lesson, as well as printable versions of the coloring pages and activities.
You may also purchase The Ultimate Lapbook Handbook by Tammy Duby and Cyndy Regeling to use in conjunction with Le Francais Facile! Many of the activities in the student workbook were written with The Ultimate Lapbook Handbook in mind. For some kids, a hands-on approach is helpful, and for most kids in the kindergarten to third-grade range, lapbook activities will be fun and engaging.
Because we had a French exchange student living with us, we took advantage of her knowledge and began a little French class with four other families. The ages were a broad range from kindergarten through eleventh grade. One might think the junior level would have been too slow for those older students, but we found that they very much enjoyed writing the vocabulary, pronouncing the words, and utilizing the phrases. All of the students came away with a thorough understanding of masculine and feminine nouns in the French language. We found Le Francais Facile! very easy to use in our co-op setting.
The heart of Le Francais Facile! is its author, who encourages you to pass along your used copy of the program to Wycliffe Bible Translators in exchange for a discount on the next level. So a nonconsumable program that can be used by several age groups in both a home or co-op setting can also be passed along to bless those who are working to further the Gospel in other countries. I love it!