As a special educator I often am requested to write blogs or answer questions on websites such as Education.com. Typically, the questions I receive are from parents who are looking for tangible ways to promote the general development of their child with special needs. The two most sought after domains for information are communication and social skills. It became apparent that I needed to delve further in to research as to what affordable products and programs were available to parents, especially those who opted to teach their child at home. This is why I connected with Rosetta Stone to preview their Homeschool English edition and I was glad I did!
I decided to go through the Rosetta Stone English – Level One series twice. First time I did not use the sound nor the speech simulation aspects of the kit. I wanted to experience this language program from the perspective of a deaf individual. Now while I recognize that I could never truly duplicate a deaf person’s experience, it helped me to try. To the credit of Rosetta Stone the program had great visual aspects and clear and concise language acquisition modules. Without the sound or speech replication, one could learn a lot about English grammatical components as there was a continual flow of text/ captions. Note: research has demonstrated that some deaf children who use ASL as their primary language do experience difficulties with writing as ASL is based on syntactical concepts that are not “English”. (And actually are closer to French.) Thus, this program could prove to be a great tool for a deaf child regarding the development of their reading and writing skills!
Now the program was not absolutely “perfect” from the “deaf perspective” however, in my opinion – nearly so. Only a few times, did the lack of expressive language skills trip up my “grade”. Overall, as I have indicated, I think this would be a great addition to primary level deaf education programs, especially grades 2-5. It also could help with any child who is undergoing speech therapy, such as those with a cochlear implant.
Now for my take on my second experience delving in to the Rosetta Stone Homeschool English Edition. This second time I worked through the program and decided to keep the sound and speech elements in tact. I wanted to experience the program as if I was home educated and with learning challenges, such as Autism. I paid special attention to the social story components and the photography. I must say that Rosetta Stone has created an exceptional product for special needs populations. The photos were excellent. The kind that is needed to grab a student’s interest when attending can be difficult. The design of the content was engaging and beautifully demonstrated how people work through every day social situations by providing models and scenarios that could be used as effective learning strategies for socialization. Two examples included how one could greet a stranger or learn to interact appropriately within a group setting. It would seem very reasonable that the Rosetta Stone program could assist a child on the Autism spectrum to learn how to integrate key socialization concepts and vocabulary needed to engage with others in their own lives.
There are many aspects of this comprehensive series that made it “hands down” the best on the market, in my humble opinion. However, I would make some minor additions and adaptations to the supplemental materials (e.g. parent guide, student workbook, etc.) and the program itself for children with learning challenges and sensitivity issues. I would be happy to discuss these with Rosetta Stone, if they wish.
Lastly, I saw on Rosetta Stone’s website that homeschool educators gave the Homeschool English Edition a score of 4.8 out of 5. I would have to agree! This program has proven to be par excellence for language acquisition across ages and needs. As for the price, some may balk, but if you look at other quality homeschool and special education materials you will see that Rosetta Stone is right in line with most and well worth the price.
For more information about Rosetta Stone Homeschool Program go HERE:
Note: I received no monies for this review. Only Rosetta Stone product to experience for myself and share with all of you. Thanks for reading!
THIS IS HOW I FEEL ABOUT ROSETTA STONE- TWO THUMBS WAY UP!!