Sunday, December 2, 2012

Spanish for You! Review

~Spanish for You!~

As many of you know, we started our foreign language journey in 3rd grade with Latin.  I chose Latin, not because we are of the classical-teaching mindset, but because I really wanted Abbey to have a great foundation of the English Language and Latin is a great means to that end. 

But this year, her 4th grade year, I decided to go in a bit of a different direction and teach her Spanish.  I had taken two years of Spanish in high school and really loved it, and I knew that the Latin-to-Spanish transition would be smooth.  They are such similar languages.  

After much shopping around for a Spanish language course, we decided upon a great and affordable curriculum called Spanish for You!  Debbie Annett, the author of the curriculum, has taught Spanish in homeschool co-op classes for many years, so she knows what works.  This curriculum is easy to use and has some really neat features. 

With your purchase, you will receive the following:
  • Spanish for you! soft cover book or E-book (we reviewed the Fiestas set)
  • Audio download of the entire book
  • 24-30 Week Lesson Guides for grades 3-8 PDF (27-30 wks grades 3-4, 24 wks grades 5/6, 7/8)
  • Nearly 200 self-checking worksheets for grades 3-8 PDF
  • Free bonus audio of the entire book recorded by a native speaker from Mexico.
  • Free set of flashcard pictures for making flashcards and other activity materials.
There are so many ideas given by author Debbie Annett to use this program with multiple grade levels, co-op groups, or like us, just a one-on-one pair.  The curriculum is extremely user-friendly and has a TON of ideas to keep it fresh and exciting.  We are having a lot of fun with it!

We are going very slowly, as I really want Abbey to absorb the information, instead of just covering it for the sake of saying we covered it.  We have worked our way through three pages of mandatos (commands) and three lessons of vocabulario (vocabulary).  This past week, we started conjugation. Spanish for You! emphasizes reading, listening, speaking and writing the words and commands so that it really sinks in.   It also encourages you to take your time, as we are doing, and move at your own pace. 
One of the greatest features of this curriculum—you receive an mp3-audio of every word and command in the lesson.  Listen with your child(ren); pay attention to the pronunciation; have your child repeat the word.   It is such an important part of the learning to make sure you are saying the word correctly and hearing it pronounced most definitely helps. I would have loved this option when we were learning Latin last year.  My one and only complaint about this program is that the amount of time allowed for the student to repeat the word is not long enough.  Abbey has to take a moment to process what she just heard, and the amount of time allowed on the audio before the next word is being pronounced is not quite enough for her.  

Abbey loves Spanish for You!  She has done so many things, on her own initiative, to have fun with the words.  One day after school, I saw her packing up her little back pack with her Spanish flashcards to go outside.  I was like “Honey, what are you doing with those?”  She said, “I’m going to quiz my friends!” And out the door she skipped, ready to ask any and every kid in the neighborhood what the Spanish word for “presents” is.  

This past week she decided we should take all the noun flashcards and tape them to their appropriate item in the house.  After reading them for a week, I can quiz her on any of those nouns now (I say the Spanish word) and she knows them like “boom!” 

the candy

the food

the song and the music

Not sure if you want to invest in a Spanish language program yet?  Debbie Annett and Spanish for You! have made available free mini-lessons, 4- and 6-week trial versions of each of the sets for you to try.  She even has free worksheets available on her website to use with any current Spanish program you may be using.  

Details: Spanish For You! can be purchased in many different sets ranging from $9.99 for the trial package, to $64.95 for the Grades 3 - 8 package. There are different sets and configurations available. I encourage you to check it out for yourself here

Recommended Ages: Grades 3 to 8, but if you have an advanced learner, start earlier.And if you have a high school student that wants a user-friendly Spanish program, chose this one! 

Disclaimer:  I received a free set of the Spanish for You! Fiestas program to use with my child in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was given.

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