Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spanish for You!

I love Spanish. Actually, I love languages in general. I studied both Spanish and French. When my boys were little, I would take them to Spanish story time at our local library. I will often say things to them in Spanish. Not full conversations, just little snippets here and there. I wasn't really sure what to expect when I was asked to review the Spanish for You! program. This actually turned out to be a very difficult program for me to review.

Spanish for You! is a Spanish curriculum for grades 3-8. From their website: "Spanish for You! begins your child on the road to fluency. It is designed from years of experience by a Spanish teacher to effectively build speaking, reading, and writing skills as well as grammar knowledge. Students learn to creatively build sentences, ask and answer questions, and truly communicate in Spanish! And they have fun doing it!!"

I received the "Fiestas" package for grades 3-8. This included a hard copy book (but it is also available in e-format), mp3 audio downloads to help with pronunciation, lesson guides in PDF format, and self-checking worksheets also in PDF format, and PDF flash cards. The lesson guides are split into three different age groups. They are grades 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8. The higher grades are designed to take 24 weeks. Grades 3-4 are slowed down and stretched out to 30 weeks. This makes it a fantastic program for teaching multiple ages at the same time. This whole program sells for $64.95. However, if you only need one of the grade levels, you can choose which one you need and it is only $39.95. Here is a great blog post from the program creator about the flashcards. The "Fiestas" package focuses on words and phrases that have to do with celebrations. There are five lessons: birthday party, el dia de los muertos, Carnaval, Holy week, and April Fair (an event in Seville, Spain). The other full program available is called "Estaciones" (seasons). According to the website, they are working on more programs. One is set to be released in June.

I used the lesson guide for the 3-4 grade level with my 4th grader. My older son is just starting high school, so I decided not to use the program with him. The program is very well laid out. The lesson guides have very detailed step-by-step instructions. The audio files are a great addition. It makes it so that even if you know nothing about Spanish, you can do this program with your kids. Since I am semi-fluent, I did not actually use the audio files.  The main problem I ran into using this program, is that because I have exposed my kids to Spanish since they were very small, they already know much of what is covered. I ran into the problem of my son not wanting to participate because he thought it a waste of time. I would still definitely recommend the program to those who want a simple, well organized way to introduce Spanish to your kids. It is especially great if you have no or limited knowledge of Spanish yourself. I also love how the festivals give some insight into different cultures of Spanish speaking countries.

I received this curriculum free in exchange for an honest review. I received no other compensation. 

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