Friday, April 26, 2013

Spanish For You {A Mosaic Review}

My children love learning foreign languages - we have been working on conversational Gaelic, Russian, and Latvian {the latter two due to our adoption this summer and spending a month in Latvia}. Spanish is something the kids have been learning for years - I remember being somewhere when Ava Mae was just four and she started speaking Spanish to a woman and her little girl. The mom was thrilled to engage her in some phrases.
We had the opportunity to review Spanish For You! in our homeschool over the last few weeks. Having tried several different curriculums for Spanish - even the expensive go to software for all foreign languages, I feel like an expert in Spanish curriculum. So far, this has been the most child friendly curriculum we have used. In fact, the whole time I was working with the curriculum I kept thinking this would be a wonderful package to use at a hybrid school or co-op.

Spanish For You! is a theme based curriculum. We received the Fiestas package {also available - Seasons or Travel}. So while we were learning Spanish we were also learning about holidays, special occasions, and party themes. For a younger child {younger than 3rd grade} I could see putting together a fun lapbook with this curriculum. The curriculum in our package included a lesson book, downloads of student materials in pdf format {worksheets, flashcards, etc.}, mp3 downloads of the audio files, and a Lesson Guide.

Having never scored well in enunciation during Spanish class myself - I love the wonderful audio files in Spanish. No guessing how to pronounce a word or phrase.

The lesson guide is easy to follow and has short lessons for 4 days a week.  There are 30 weeks of lessons for grades 3 - 4 and 24 weeks for grades 5 - 8. With our mix of ages we chose to just follow the 3rd - 4th grade level and that worked really well for us. We made flashcards, vocabulary cards, played games, and my older two did worksheets.

The only drawbacks I found for the program is that it is not "pull it out of the box ready to go". Sometimes I really need that type of curriculum. There was a little bit of needing to figure out how to use everything that came with the program. Spanish For You! does easily explain on their site how to use everything - it is just a matter of sitting down and going over it. I am also not always a fan of curriculum that you need to print lots of materials out for - though it is not a curriculum where you have to print everything at once - you can choose to print things as you need them.
Spanish For You! was created by Debbie Annett.She has taught Spanish for grades kindergarten through high school for 14 years.  Debbie has also has taught Spanish enrichment classes for grades 1 through 8, and all levels of high school classes for homeschool students. Debbie Annett is an Illinois State Certified Teacher with a bachelor's degree in Spanish from the University of Illinois and a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Illinois University.  Debbie even studied in Seville, Spain.

Spanish for You! is a very affordable curriculum! For $64.95 you receive all materials needed to teach grades 3 - 8. You can also choose to just purchase one level, which costs just $39.95. Teacher lesson plans are available for $14.95 for Grades 3 - 4 and just $12.95 for Grades 5 - 6 or 7 - 8.
I feel that Spanish for You! is a great curriculum for a family looking for something affordable that spans a wide range of ages and learning styles.

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