Spanish 1 (with a Difference)

Marji McIlvaine
Monday 3PM (ET)
Thursday 9AM (ET)



Spanish 1 Course Overview

Learning smarter, not harder! After 20+ years of teaching Spanish in a traditional format, I am now teaching by blending that with a different approach called the “reading & storytelling” approach (TPRS) to learning a foreign language. Research & scholarly studies reveal that students learn to speak and use the languages faster, and better, with this approach – it equips every learner, from the gifted student to the dyslexic. Success – and fun!

While your student will speak and converse a lot, this is more than a conversational language class. Grammar is included through meaning and repetition and small doses of concentrated material as the student acquires language because he or she understands what is being said.

My daughter had a fantastic year of Spanish! We had tried another program which did not work well. Mrs Mac’s class is very interesting and had her talking and singing in Spanish while walking around the church. She learned a lot of Spanish and enjoyed doing it as well. Wish I’d had Mrs Mac when I took high school languages!

Students will be speaking, understanding, and reading the language from the first week – growing in ability quickly. Grammar is taught every class through meaning and application.

There are many benefits to foreign language study, from the academic to the business world, to the understanding of our own language. All of this is true – and it is required for entrance to many colleges. However, languages are meant for communication – and communicating the most important thing of all, the love and Truth of God, is our highest and greatest purpose with language. With language, we build relationships – through those relationships, we gain the “ear” of others to share the Truth of the Gospel.

Mrs. Mac is a dynamic teacher. I just signed my 2nd child up to take Spanish from her. After my first child finished Spanish 1, she was more fluent and had better understanding of the Spanish language than my other daughter who was finishing her 3rd year with a different teacher. Her approach is creative, fun, and very effective. Highly recommend Mrs. Mac over other teachers and traditional teaching! What a blessing she has been to our family!

In this class, we begin this journey through fun, and the ability to use the language as we learn it. I can scarcely wait to begin! Students should plan on 30-40 minutes of work each day, four days per week (plus the live class on a 5th day). This work at home is foundational to achievement.

We will work through our text and read one or two novels completely in Spanish, depending on class achievement. This course uses a lot of “out of the text” material, so we will move through our text very slowly, adding other core learning materials through the year. This text should cover through Spanish 2. Scripture memory will always be included, as well as praise songs, hymns, contemporary music, culture, foods and games.

I would like to thank you for the wonderful teaching and guidance you’ve provided to P during Spanish I this year. She gladly wakes up early every week to join the 7am class (New Mexico) and she loves it!! Needless to say, she will be taking Spanish II next year.

Parents: Please contact me (instructor) if you know your student has dyslexic/learning issues. I believe those students can find success through this approach, but it will help me to know. I also have back-up resources to recommend.

If you would like to check out the curriculum, the approach, the reviews, here is the site:


Novels for the 2023-2024 school year will be posted by July 31st.

Optional: materials are truly optional. The author wrote this curriculum to allow homeschooling families to study Spanish even if nobody knows any Spanish. The DVD’s contain motions and lessons filmed for the whole book — this is made for groups and families, so some of the students are younger. The method works for all ages, and this DVD would help a struggling student practice at home. It’s a great adjunct, but it is not required. We will do a LOT of out-of-text work, and move through the text slowly.

Grade Levels

  • 8-12

Marji McIlvaine

Marji McIlvaine (and her husband Rick) homeschooled their six children from K-12, even though she was just going to “try it for one year” with her first five-year-old. The children are all graduated and several are college graduates (2 Magna Cum Laude, 1 Summa Cum Laude). Some of the children are in college now, and some are in the work force, each one walking a God-directed pathway.

Marji has a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Florida, with graduate hours in linguistics and testing and assessment (ECU). Marji began her college career as a pre-veterinary major and garnered many college hours enjoying science.

Growing up in south Florida, she went to SeaCamp in the FL Keys where her passion for marine science was ignited through snorkeling, scuba diving and the hands-on study of ocean life.

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