How can you know if Mango Languages is the best homeschool language curriculum for you? My previous reviews can give you more details, but here’s a quick overview of the software's strengths and weaknesses:
Mango Languages wins points with me for:
- Being tailored to homeschool families' needs.
- Offering clear and accessible explanations of grammar concepts.
- Being low-cost: Mango is free at many public libraries and available as a $20/month subscription for homeschool families.
- Integrating cultural education and language learning (through Mango Premiere).
However, it may not be the best fit for your family if you:
- Have younger children (under ten years of age) who want to learn a language.
- Have children who struggle with motivation for language learning.
- Have children interested in learning a language with a non-Latin alphabet (who can’t access outside resources).
Now, given those strengths and weaknesses, what are some ways that you might make Mango a learning tool in your homeschool? Here are some ideas:
- Help your child develop good note-taking skills to make the most of Mango’s grammar instruction. Mango is great at teaching grammar and helping kids to understand the rules of language, but if they’re going to retain that information, they’re going to need to write it down. Have your child write down each rule as they learn it through Mango and then perhaps an example or two (like those in the program) to remind them of how to put that rule to use. I also suggest making flashcards for key vocabulary words. Students can do this on paper or through an app like Quizlet—either way will work!
- Enjoy a family movie night using Mango Premiere. Pick a movie, make a (culturally relevant) snack, and sit back to enjoy a safe foreign language film together. You could even make a learning game out of it using the vocabulary words that Mango Premiere previews—draw up a quick Bingo sheet with them and play as you watch the film!
- Switch roles—have your child teach you what he/she is learning through Mango. After your child finishes a unit in Mango, have him teach you the phrases that he has learned and practice them with you. He gets speaking practice, and you get to learn a bit as well!
- Find some authentic resources to help your child see the fruit (pun intended) of his/her Mango learning! Have your student put all of that language learning into action by helping her find newspaper articles, books, and TV shows in the target language. I’m currently developing a resource library to help you do just that, so check back soon—I’m hoping it will be available by the end of the year!
And come back tomorrow for a quick comparison of Duolingo and Mango Languages—the top two homeschool language learning apps—so that you can decide which one would be best for your child!
In the meantime, if Mango Languages is working for your family, please share your tips in the comments—how have you made it a part of your homeschool?