Foreign language education is an important part of our homeschool curriculum. My older daughter studies French, Latin, and Mandarin presently. I started her in a Spanish program when she was 5 but she didn’t like it. My son, age 6, however, has expressed interest in learning Spanish. Therefore, we thought this might be a good way to give it a try and see what we thought of this program.
Since I’ve done a lot of research on programs, I was impressed by the DVD and immersion presentation of the Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Spanish program. I think immersion is most certainly the best option if possible to learn a language successfully. The Starter Set we received was developed by a homeschool mom, Kit Strauss, to be used with her own children. The set includes:
- A 20 week curriculum guide
- Workbook for each video
- Flashcard set to correspond with each video
- “Go Squish” is also included right now
The DVD lessons follow a day-in-the-life of a family of three boys. Everything is in Spanish (immersion). Though I found the format a little “young,” if you will, it didn’t seem to phase the kids. They liked the video lessons and were completely engaged. Each lesson focuses on come vocabulary words that are pulled out of the lesson dialogue. These vocabulary words are then reinforced in the workbooks, games, stickers, and flashcards. The very thorough and easy to follow Teacher’s Guide leads the teacher in how to work with the emphasized vocabulary through the lesson and during the week to review.
I found the Teacher’s Guides very easy to use. They are simply, clear, and show options in what you can do to work with the vocabulary and you don’t have to do all the activities so you can figure out what works for your time schedule and what your students like.
The student workbooks have fun titles which my 11 year old liked and are very colorful and easy to use. The lessons are thorough but brief, which was good for my 6 year old son. The workbook was used by my 11 year old but son only watched the DVD lesson and listened to his sister work through the workbook. She would read it to him.
The workbook pages correspond with the lessons, are referred to in in the Teacher’s Guides, and are very colorful.
There are suggestions for games to work with the vocabulary in each lesson. This gave us the opportunity to work with the words, review words already covered, and have fun learning. Both kids enjoyed working with the flashcards and playing games with them.
There are also stickers included with the curriculum that you can place around your house to identify words learned. The kids had fun putting them throughout the house. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture before they were taken down because we had a showing of the house. 🙂 Anyway, that being said, the stickers were easy to remove, so that was a plus. Frankly I was worried about that when I read in the curriculum that it was suggested to place the stickers all over the house. So… anyway, the stickers were fun for the kids and they are looking forward to putting them back up.
The DVD lessons were short and the corresponding workbook assignment was concise as well meaning that we typically spent 30 minutes or lesson Spanish each day. We did it 3 days a week but i could see doing it 4 days a week during the school year (we typically have a 4 day a week schedule at home). There were no complaints from either child about Spanish time and they both seemed to like the program.
I took Spanish in high school and college and watching the videos with immersion was good for me to get a refresher. I found that I was slowly picking it back up again with the program, which was a nice benefit.
And my 2 year did seem to like watching the videos. I haven’t seen that she has “caught on” to words but you never know when they are 2 what they are absorbing, right? But her favorite part of Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids? The wrapping it came in.
Overall, we liked the program and enjoyed the games and activities that work on the words learned. I would say we are likely to continue it during the school year.