Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mosaic Review: Spanish For You

I believe that learning a Foreign Language is important as it gives children a cultural experience and allows interaction with different cultures of the world. We live in a suburb of Chicago that is Culturally diverse. I also have a BIL who is Mexican and my boys LOVE when he talks to them in Spanish, even if right now they don't understand it. I myself grew up around the Spanish Language. I can comprehend more then I can speak, even after taking 4yrs of Spanish between High School and College. I have been looking for a curriculum to use with my boys that wasn't difficult and also not expensive. The only thing that we have found so far were online programs offered through the Library website. Well, that was until I was offered the opportunity to Use and Review a Curriculum I had never heard of. As a member of Mosaic Reviews I was offered the opportunity to use and review Spanish For You and I jumped at the chance.

Spanish for You was created by Debbie Annett, who is a State Certified Teacher with a BA in Spanish. She created this curriculum 4yrs ago with the Homeschooler in mind. Debbie currently teaches Spanish Classes at a Homeschool Coop in her area.

I decided to use this with all 3 of my boys grades 5th, 4th and 2nd. My 4th grader is a struggling learner due to vision issues, but I didn't want to leave him out so we used 3rd grade level with him. My 2nd grader is advanced and I felt he could use the 3rd grade level. We were selected to receive the Estaciones(the Seasons) package.

Our package for review included:

  • A Printed soft cover book
  • A Zip File of PDF Printable Lesson Guides(this also includes Self Checking Worksheets and set of Picture Flashcards) 
  • A Zip File of Audio Files of the entire book for music players or use them from the computer(the audio files also contain a Bonus audio of the entire book recorded by a Native Speaker.) 

The other theme already completed and available for purchase is "Fiestas". The Fiestas theme includes all the same type of materials.

The boys and I began by printing and assembling the Flashcards. The next day we "hit the book" by doing part of Lesson 1. My 4th grader has learning struggles due to Vision Issues, so the Audio files really came in handy for him as well as the Flashcards. He was able to complete the worksheet pretty easily because of the Audio files. My 5th grader usually gets frustrated when new materials are added in, but he really enjoyed the Spanish For You program. My 3rd grader LOVES the program. He is really enjoying it. We have only completed 2 Lessons so far, but we are very much enjoying the program. The Estaciones programs focuses on Calendar and Weather, Spring, Summer, Fall, School, and Winter.

The main features of this program that we really like:
  • Affordability: Most of the programs that I had researched were way out of our budget. The packages which cover a year of Spanish Learning vary from $39.95-$64.95
  • Ease of Use: The program is very easy to use and understand. 
  • Fun Learning: The program is set up in a way that makes learning fun. The boys didn't feel "worn out" and tired after using this program. They were relaxed and excited while doing the Lessons. 
  • Printable Lesson Worksheets: I really like the the Worksheets come in Printable form and you can "print as you go". I think this is one aspect that makes the program more affordable. I know for some the printing would be a deterent, but for me I LOVE IT! 
  • Audio Files: I really like the Audio Files of the entire book. The Audio files help with proper pronuciation. Also, for my 4th grader with Vision issues the Audio Files were a GREAT asset. 
  • Flexibility: The program is set up to be used 4 days a week, but the program is also flexible in that you can stretch the Lesson plans over multiple weeks or days if you like. The program set can be changed up by the user. 
  • Themed Packages: Each Package has a theme. I think this makes it a lot easier to learn when it is planned around a theme rather then "random" learning. The Spanish For You program currently has 2 themes, Estaciones(The Seasons) and Fiestas(Celebrations), more themes are coming soon. 
  • Range of Ages for Learning: The program is designed for Grades 3-8 but is easily adaptable for varying ages. Have a child who is advanced, place them in a higher level. Have a struggling learner, place them a level more suitable for them. 

Our family really didn't have any "CONS" at this point in the program. We really LOVE the program!! We will continue to use this program as Spanish For You is a GREAT fit for our family!

Here is more info about the Spanish for You Curriculum and Ordering Prices and info:

ALL Spanish for You! packages come complete with:
  • soft cover book or e-book (currently only our trial pkgs.)
  • 24-30 week lesson guide for the grades you need (24 weeks for G5-6 & 7-8, 30 weeks for G3-4) (PDF download)
  • self-checking worksheets (PDF download)
  • audio files of entire book (includes bonus audio of native speaker of entire book) (MP3 download)
  • flashcard/activity pictures (PDF download)
  • *Teacher lesson plans are NOT included. These need to be purchased separately. Please visit our CLASS USE page for important information on using Spanish for You! with classes.
Grade Level Packages 3-4, 5-6 7-8 cost $39.95 per package. The entire Package which is all material for Grades 3-8 cost $64.95 for the package. Extra books are available for $12.95 each.

Go here for full details on how to Purchase Curriculum

The Author Debbie Annett has also included some Free Mini Lessons and Free Worksheets. This allows potential customers to "Try it Before You Buy It". Also included on the website are Curriculum Activities and Games that go along with the Lessons.

I give the Spanish For You program 5 out of 5 stars.

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