Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Fun Spanish- Schoolhouse Crew Review


We love Spanish here.  And we have used a lot of Spanish programs to help us learn.  But The Fun Spanish by Brookdale House is now at the top of our list for fun ways to learn Spanish.  Seriously, fun!

The Fun Spanish  is a Spanish program for elementary ages that is, you guessed it,  fun and simple to use.  

Whether printed book or the e-book form we reviewed, this Charlotte Mason style Spanish program teaches the conjugation of 11 verbs in addition to numerous nouns, prepositions, and adjectives.  By combining those words, The Fun Spanish teaches kids how to create and speak simple Spanish sentences, one sentence at a time.

How? By being silly!  Isn't that what fun is all about?

At the beginning of each weeks lesson your child is introduced to a new verb and shown how to conjugate it. They are then given 6-10 new words each day to learn as well.  Next they practice using those words by writing a simple sentence given in Spanish.

Then the fun begins.  The next sentence given is in Spanish and your child has to read it and use his words for the day to decide what it says.  The fun part?  The sentences are silly.  Really silly!

I am a big, green cat with long legs.
He is an orange rat with 8 hairs.
This is a pink fish with 9 black wings.
We are yellow monkeys.  We eat pasta.

Finally your child has a space to draw a picture of the sentence. The following four days after, the child writes the same verb and its' conjugations, but adds a few new vocabulary words.  There is another sentence to write each day and another sentence to translate and illustrate, each one equally as silly.  On day five, there is a review page.  On that day you review each of the four silly sentences, translating them in your book. You also conjugate the verb with no help, and review the weeks' vocabulary,  By doing one lesson, which is comprised of 5 days, every two weeks, The Fun Spanish is year long program.  You can use the second week to review the words learned.

Verbs covered-
ser (to be)
estar (to be)
tener (to have)
vivir (to live)
comer (to eat)
jugar (to play)
saltar (to jump)
ver (to see)
oir (to hear)
dormir (to sleep)
querer (to want)

How we have used this program and what we think-

We have been using The Fun Spanish with my 8 year old for about 6 weeks now.  I originally  printed out the first three weeks and keep them loose leafed, but quickly realized they were getting so much use it was better to print it all out at once and bind it.  So yes, I printed out all 203 pages and put my binder to work.  Because Colby has a pretty solid foundation with Spanish vocabulary we have done one lesson a week with good success.  Each day he conjugates the verb, his least favorite part, translates the sentence, his favorite part, and draws the picture.  Sometimes he has me draw with him, but regardless we always end up giggling.

  • One, it is fun and engaging.  There is little stress and it flows easily. 
  • Secondly, I love that while it teaches vocabulary, the primary focus is on sentence structure.  Most programs we have used in the past teach a lot of vocabulary and nothing else.  While vocabulary is important, I know from experience that knowing all the vocabulary in the world is not helpful if you cannot speak a sentence.  Don't worry if you cannot do this on our own, the answers and translations are provided at the end of each lessons.
  • Because Colby is so excited to see what the next silly sentence was going to be, he quickly reads the sentences in Spanish with no hesitation and little thought.  After just a few weeks in a row, he became more and more comfortable and I noticed his speech became more clear and smooth.  Let's face it, the more you practice, the better you become at something and the more comfortable you become.  Silly sentences are not threatening to a child, they are just fun!
  • In addition, I noticed that his reading comprehension became better by about week three.  He had to look back at the vocabulary lists less and less which was so encouraging.  

Now The Fun Spanish is one of the first things he wants to do in the morning.  While it may not make him bilingual in a year (what program will?), I have no doubt that it will teach him a lot and make him more comfortable with the Spanish language.  All in all, a great goal for elementary age curriculum!

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