Monday, July 27, 2015

Spanish Anyone?

It is no secret that we love the Spanish language in this house.  It should also come as no surprise that I love Spanish curriculum, hence my continual reviews of different ones.  Yes, I have reviewed a lot!  Yes, I love many of them!  But a few stand out to me more than others, as is the case for Spanish For You! I had the opportunity to review Spanish For You! about two years ago through the Schoolhouse Review Crew, so I was thrilled when creator Debbie Annett asked me to look over one of her newest themes - Mi Vida! (My Life)

 Also available are Estaciones (Seasons), Fiestas (Celebrations), and Viejes (Travels).  Each unit stands alone and be used in any order.

Spanish For You! was written by Debbie, a veteran Spanish teacher of many years, and is intended to teach Spanish in a simple and affordable manner to children grades 3-8.  With additional themes added since I last reviewed this program, you can gear your child's learning to a subject you think they will enjoy!  The fun themes help catch the child's attention, teach everyday vocabulary, and provide some fun along the way.

Spanish For You! is intended to be taught four days a week and will typically cover a year, depending on the grade you are teaching and the rate you go. Each themed unit provides downloadable lesson plans and worksheets for grades 3rd and 4th, 5th and 6th and then 7th through 8th.  All levels are provided to you so you can choose which one(s) you need to use.  If you are teaching multiple age levels, I would recommend you use the 3rd-4th grade lesson plans and then add extra activities to challenge your older children.  Downloads also include flashcards for you to cut out and use for each of the 5 lessons.  

Mi Vida lessons include-
  • Mi Casa (My house)
  • Mi Cuarto (My room)
  • Mi Familia y mis amigos (My family and friends)
  • Mi Actividades (My activities)
  • Mis Clases (My classes)

Once you have printed out the lesson plans you are ready to learn!  Debbie has specific instructions for each day, including reading lessons, learning new vocabulary, reviewing vocabulary, and even playing games.  She also often directs you to listen to audio files that you will receive the downloadable files for when you buy the program.  These audios (a complete audio of the textbook recorded by Debbie herself) provide your child with clear examples of pronunciation and help encourage them to practice actually speaking the language.  A bonus downlaod that has a native speaker reading is also included.

One of the things I love about this program is the wealth of basic information that Debbie provides for you at the beginning for each of her workbooks.  There is an alphabet pronunciation guide, a list of basic commands, great ideas for games to use for additional practice, and basic vocabulary to get you started.  Debbie recommends that you go at your own pace and repeat any days that you feel like your child needs to review.  

The other element that stands out in this program is that it is a great mixture of fun and hard work. Oftentimes, Spanish programs at the younger age levels teach a lot of vocabulary, but fail to teach basic grammar.  Debbie provides both!  Grammar rules are provided in each lesson as well as verb conjugation.  I know, it may take you back to your 5th grade grammar class, but I can assure you, it is invaluable information to know.  Our trips to Guatemala when adopting our son showed us quickly that vocabulary alone will not get you far.  Plus, using the wrong tense of a verb can get you some funny looks!

Will I ever teach my kids to be bi-lingual?  Hmmm, the jury is still out there on that one.  But I do know with Debbie's Spanish For You program we are at least on the right path!

Free mini units and worksheets are available on Debbie's site to give you a preview of her teaching style!


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