Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spanish for You ! Estaciones -- A Mosaic Reviews Product Review

Spanish for You!  Estaciones
Debbie Annett
Grades 3-8
Pricing varies depending on resources ordered

About     Purchase     Game/Activity Links     Free Mini Lessons     Free Worksheets

Hey there, I'd like to invite you to check out our latest curriculum adventure.  Sit down, kick back and read on.

The Mission:  Learn Spanish with a simple, effective and affordable curriculum

Who:   My easily distracted by life daughter and the Kid (her very busy little brother)
What:  Learn basic Spanish vocabulary and grammar about seasons and read it aloud
When:   For the last few weeks (and ultimately for a full school year)
Where:  Our homeschool, or wherever our travels take us
How--The Plan:  Download the appropriate grade level guides, lessons, worksheets and audio files.  Make flashcards.    Have fun!

Wow, what a goal!  I couldn't help wondering if it would work. I'll tell a bit of how it went a little later in this post, but I want to share what the program includes first.

(Keep in mind while reading that we received downloads of all of the materials for Estaciones (seasons theme) but not the hard copy book.)

The Spanish for You! curriculum currently is available using a celebrations theme or a seasons theme.  (In June a travel theme will also be released.)  The materials included can be used for self-study, family or class use by kids grades 3-8.  And, yes, that does mean you can use the same single curriculum package for all of those ages at the same time!

Lessons in Estaciones include:

The Calendar and Weather
The Fall and School
The Winter

The Spring
The Summer  

The Lesson Guides suggest planning around 10-30 minutes for 4 days a week.  Kids begin lessons with flashcards which contain simple hand drawn illustrations to learn the new vocabulary.  Then kids use the vocabulary to listen and do what they hear, draw to show it or write what it means in English.  Games like hangman, etc. are suggested to make learning more interactive, and then self-checking worksheets for your chosen grade level are completed.   Listening to lesson audio files and reading aloud are also encouraged.

Here's how it works:

Elementary and middle school students learn language components through theme based lessons by making and using flashcards, completing self-checking work sheets, listening to related audio files and practicing reading aloud.  They even get to play games and do other activities which are related to the lessons.

When you order a Spanish for You!  package you get to pick which theme you're interested in.  The themes do not need to be done in any order.  (However, the lessons within a theme do need to be done in order.)

You'll either be ordering an e-book (trial) or a soft cover book.  As soon as you order you'll immediately receive several downloads.  Make sure you download the files upon receipt because they expire within 5 days or 120 hours, whichever comes first.   You'll find an audio file to download which contains the whole book to use as a guide for lessons.  (Actually there are 2, one by the author and the other audio file done by a native speaker of Spanish.)  You'll also download lesson guides (which cover 24-30 weeks of learning) and self-checking worksheets (grades 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8).  Last but not least, you'll also download images to use for making flashcards.  After those few steps you're on your own as far as pace and grade levels.  Vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar and more are included in each lesson.  The lessons help your kids develop speaking, reading, and writing skills as well as fluency. (Teacher lesson plans are available separately for purchase too!)
You'll probably notice early on that this is not a fancy textbook, and the flashcards have simply hand drawn pictures, in black and white.  You get "skills without the frills" (or expensive graphics that often cause distraction)--the best way to keep prices down!  Each themed package provides some overlap material for reinforcement.

Theme packages are available from $39.95 (grades 3-4, 5-6, or 7-8) to $64.95 (grades 3-8), and a money back guarantee is ensured if you're not happy with your purchase.

Click here if you'd like to see sample pages.

Now that you have an idea of what is included, you're probably wondering if the mission was accomplished. I'm happy to say that we have a good start and are planning to continue the program.

While many people enjoy big, glossy, colorful pictures in their books and curriculum, I have found that simplicity often works better for us.  I love the simple black and white pictures that the kids can color if they choose to do so.  I love that the program is flexible in pace and usable for multiple ages with just one package covering everything for everyone.  I'm a big fan of printing what you need as you need it, and I appreciated that the author suggested this too.  The audio files that go with the lessons are helpful too.  It was nice to be able to listen to the author versus the native speaker of Spanish.  In the past we tried a Spanish program which contained no audio files.  This package is much more complete and usable.  The price is definitely good too--much better than other programs I've check out.

As for the kids, my little guy just didn't want to slow down to absorb the material, but he is a sponge most of the time and will probably start spitting out Spanish phrases at random.  My daughter actually found this fairly easy to work on independently and enjoyed the lessons.  (Maybe because I let her go off by herself, without the Kid, to work on it?)  This time of year is a bit crazy for us, and we need to focus on catching up with the lessons.  I don't expect that will be a problem though since the program is sooo flexible. I'm hoping we get through this package and can continue on to another, but time will tell.  In the meantime we'll be moving through the seasons while learning words about the seasons.

If you'd like to see what other team members thought of the program click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Many thanks, However
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