Friday, March 14, 2014

Mango Homeschool Edition Product Review #language

Mango Languages Review

One of the most of the subjects I worry the most about teaching is  foreign languages.  Mango Languages has their own homeschooling version!  Mango Homeschool Edition  is perfect for homeschooling families looking for a solution to studying foreign languages easily at home.  With 61 choices there is something to suite everyone's taste.


Mango Homeschool Edition -is a online study course.  You need Java to access the course so not all tablets will work - a pc or a laptop will do just fine.  You access this program though Mango entirely online.  The program works with interactive-Flash cards.  So the 'card' comes on screen and a voice says the word.  Then you flip to the next card and you will be asked a question to verbally answer then check.  You can also hook up a microphone to check your pronunciation but we personally did not use one - so don't worry if you don't have one either.

Each lesson has a list of conversational and grammar goals.  At the end of each section you will have the opportunity to take a quiz.  

Here are some screenshots to show you the program:

Mango Languages Review

Mango Languages Review

Introductory pricing. 

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

Age Range:  Mango can be used for all age ranges but is recommended for ages 7-adult.

Beta Edition:

For this review we were using the Beta Edition - this means that exciting changes will be coming.  We used the program with no problems and felt it was great as is.  That said the changes coming are pretty exciting too!  

Here are some details for that:

What is currently available on the site:

  • Over 60 different languages
  • Progress Assessments

  • 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

My Thoughts:

My family has really enjoyed Mango Homeschool Edition. We have been using the Beta edition so not all the features were  available at the time of my review (they are coming soon and listed above!)  That said there is still a lot of material up and running and we had a blast learning and playing!  

 Three of us are using this:  13 year old son, 11 year old son and me!  For this review we decided together to study one language.  The reason for this is that we wanted to be able to use it with each other throughout the week.  We picked Italian for two reasons.  The first is that we are all Italian and the general consensus was that it would be cool to learn the language of our ancestors.  The second reason is that my niece Emily speaks Italian rather well.   We hope to speak Italian with her when she visits this summer.

My two boys typically work faster on their studies than  I can and  so they have taken to using my 13 year old's tablet and sitting on the couch working together.  This is awesome because there are not many subjects they can do together for grades 6th and 8th.  I have noticed that during Mango-time they are having a fun time learning together.  That is one of the major benefits I've seen.  The enjoy doing their lessons and actually ask to do their Mango! 

As for me it is a bit harder.  I guess at *37* learning a new language is not going to be a natural process.  I find I have to keep going back over each lesson to learn.  I need to do the lessons at least three times each to really retain only about 25%.  Fortunately for the kids it is not like that at all.  They still have the natural ability to learn new languages and everything clicks for them easily!  Oh to be young again!! The first couple of lessons my boys did twice but they don't feel they have to do that anymore.  

Each of my children had their own account and I had a teacher account.  I can access their accounts but they cannot access mine.  The program is easy to navigate and my kids needed no help after I showed them the first time how to get into their chosen language. 

Overall we really enjoyed our experience with this program.  Are we fluently speaking Italian?  No.  Do we have some understanding and the ability to use some vocabulary around the house?  Absolutely!  Will we continue to use the program after this review period?  YES!  My kids look forward to studying on Mango each day.  It is a nice break from the workbook studies that they do plus it is interactive because they have to repeat the words and think on their feet when prompted to say a certain word or phrase.  I have a suspicion that this program is going to be a big asset for our high school language graduation requirements.  

There are so many languages to choose from (61!)
Easy to use lessons
Interactive Flashcard style learning
Pirate as a language choice (YES pirate!!) 

I wish there was more printables to go with each lesson.  Perhaps at the end a little link to click and print all the words out vocabulary style.

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