As a member of the Mosaic Reviews team, I was given the opportunity to review Spanish For You! This curriculum was written by Debbie Annett, MSEd. This certified teacher saw a need for a Spanish curriculum that would allow elementary and middle school students to not only have fun learning a new language, but be able to easily transition to a high school program.
The program is designed for third through eighth graders. It is designed to be easy for anyone to teach, tweak, and adapt for any student. When you purchase Spanish For You! you can choose between three different themes – Fiestas, Viajes, and Estaciones. More theme packages are being developed, so if you happen to finish one, there will be something else for you!
Each package provides you with lesson plans, self-checking worksheets, activity pictures and flashcards and even audio files. You can choose a package that has grades 3-8, or smaller packages such as just grades 3-4. Teacher lessons plans are separate but everything is incredibly affordable. For example, the Fiestas package is only $64.95 for everything you need for grades 3-8, except lesson plans, and those run only about $12.95 to $14.95. This is in incredibly affordable program!
For us homeschoolers, not only is it affordable, but you don’t even need lesson plans if you are not teaching a classroom full of students. Plus, you use the same book for all ages – simply use the worksheets that are most appropriate for your child’s age.
We received the Estaciones (Seasons) theme package for review. Now, to be honest, I found it difficult to implement but that was due to the age of my son, NOT the program. I had to do a great deal of tweaking to be able to use it with my son, as he is only in pre-K. I fully intend to keep using the program, tweaking as needed, because my son is having great fun learning new words, using them, and his overall vocabulary is greatly improving. When you have a child with a speech delay, whatever works is always welcome!
While I was unable to use all the activities with my son, I was able to use them for myself. I love the way the program makes Spanish easy to learn and shows how useful it is. Students read, speak, understand and talk with each other. Verbs, vocabular, and grammar are all taught. There are games and activites to help make things fun. To make the program even easier to use, the worksheet files are divided into folders by grade, and the audio files are in the lesson folders. It is very easy to find exactly what you need. I’m finding myself remembering a good deal of my high school spanish.
In looking the program over, I love how easily it integrates everything. Lessons are short and build upon each other while continually introducing new material. The variety of activities keeps away boredom while reinforcing everything that is learned. The audios were especially helpful so I could make sure that I was saying things correctly. There were two kinds – native speakers and ones recorded by Debbie. I prefer the ones by Debbie, as they are clearer and they feel less rushed.
Estaciones covers the alphabet, common words and phrases, and commands. Students learn about the calendar, weather, the four seasons, and even school. All the way, they are learning the various verbs and grammar rules in a fun and engaging way.
With my son, we focused on learning the sounds of the alphabet in Spanish and simple words. There are activities and flashcards to help you teach and I used some of the suggestions but instead of the cards, I used the real object. Such as handing him his sunglasses, saying “sunglasses” and then making it a point to tell him to put on the “las gafas de sol” (the sunglasses). I made sure to tell him in English, then tell him “and this is how you say it in Spanish.” I did this for many different things. He’s learned that camiseta is t-shirt, limonada is lemonade, and so on.
Colors are also taught. As we worked on art projects or just were pointing out things, I was able to say “This crayon is blue. And in Spanish we say azul.” He picked this up quickly since I was able to make it more hands-on for him, and is as likely to tell you he has on an azul shirt as he is to say a blue one.
I plan to continue introducing Boobear to Spanish with ideas pulled from this program, and I can easily see myself using it right along with him when he is old enough. I highly recommend it to any homeschooler who is thinking of teaching Spanish to their children, and see it as an especially useful program for those who are teaching various ages.
If you want to know what the other Mosaic Reviewers thought, click here to read their reviews.