Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mosaic Reviews - Spanish for You!

Spanish for You! is a Spanish curriculum that can be used with a wide range of students. The levels are Grades 3-4, 5-6 or 7-8. It was written by Debbie Annett, who saw a need for this type of curriculum and created it. You can read more about her and her reasons on her About the Author page.

I received a package of items from Spanish for You! to use and review. I got an e-book, a lesson guide, worksheets, two sets of audio files and flash cards. All products are downloads except a purchased package does come with a bound student book.

There are lots of freebies on the site that will give you a taste of the program:

Mini Lessons  and Free Worksheets as well as Curriculum Activities.

 The packages are grouped by a central theme. Ours was Estaciones (Seasons). Others include - Fiestas (Celebrations) and  Viajes (Travels). Other themes are forthcoming.

My boys have a lot of trouble learning English and have auditory processing issues to boot. We have had trouble finding a foreign language curriculum that might work for them. I took French in High School but my husband took Spanish and is still a bit fluent in it. I decided to let him listen in to see how it sounded to him. (He had been less than impressed with another popular Spanish program we'd tried.)

Though he liked it a lot - especially the two audio versions - non native speaker and native speaker - the boys did not fare so well with it. Since all three have auditory processing issues and language weaknesses I am certain the fault is not in the curriculum. They enjoyed the flash cards and the materials as well as the short lessons but the audio was too fast for them to grasp. I had no trouble following it so I am sure that it is a processing issue. I will continue to try to adapt this to make it work as I believe Spanish is a language they need some familiarity with going forward.  They also do not like to draw and that caused us some problems. Fine motor skills are another struggle in our homeschool. 

I had my husband use the audio materials with them since he could coach their pronunciations. They had a lot of trouble with it and I now see why our reading tutor advised against trying to teach a foreign language. After many tears and lots of frustration I decided to take a step back for now and try to adapt it for their specific issues.  We did a weeks worth of lessons before the gasket blew completely. :)

(The only change that could help with the audio files would be a longer pause between words. I tried to hit pause but was not quick enough. Between their fine motor issues, auditory issues and my poor eye hand coordination it's a wonder we get anything done around here! )

The product's conference call with Debbie helped me sort through the material and put it into order. I did struggle without a specific teacher's guide (one will be available for Estaciones in May 2013) but I was able to manage to use the curriculum enough to get a sense of it thanks to the Lesson Guides. I just require more hand holding.  Debbie is so responsive and helpful. In response to the confusion over putting the audio files in order, she has reordered the audio files by lesson as well as divided them for easier downloading.

There are several purchase options available. You can opt for a 4 week trial of Viajes for grades 5-8 for $9.99 or for 6 weeks for grades 3-4 for $12.99. (Full 30 week package has an estimated completion date of June 2013)

For Fiestas and Estaciones:

Grades 3-8  complete package - $64.95 (Teacher Lesson plans not included in package - see note at bottom)

Price by levels - $39.95 each:                               Extra books are $12.95 each
Grades 3-4                                                                                  
Grades 5-6 
Grades 7-8

Note: Teacher Lesson Plans are a separate purchase and are only available for Fiestas - per level. For Pricing - click here. (bottom of page)

I would highly recommend this product. I believe it is very well written and put together in a way that most in the grade range can understand it. The author is quick to change or update or provide valuable input as needed. It is also VERY affordable when compared to other Spanish curricula. I plan on using this for our boys as soon as I can figure out how to work around the auditory and fine motor issues. I love the shortness of the lessons and the practicality of using themes to learn a language.

To see what other members of the Review team had to say about this product, please click here.

Disclaimer/Disclosure: I was given use of this product for the purpose of obtaining my honest opinion. I received nothing else. This is my honest opinion. Please consider that every family is different and results may vary.

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