As a member of the Mosaic Reviews Team, I was sent Spanish for You! homeschool curriculum to review.
Developed by an experienced Spanish instructor, Spanish for You! curriculum is designed for elementary and middle school. Each Spanish for You! package comes with a soft cover book (trial packages have e-book instead), lesson guide (PDF download), worksheets (PDF download), flashcards and activities (PDF download), and audio files (MP3 download).
Teacher lesson plans are not included (and not needed) with the standard package. Parents can use the lesson guides. If purchasing this curriculum for class use (not homeschool), lessons plans may be bought separately. Currently, there are two different books sold: Fiestas (celebrations) and Estaciones (seasons). Until June, Viajes (travels) is only available as an e-book, included with the trial packages. The same Spanish for You! book can be used for multiple children (grades 3-8) in a single school year, but the worksheets vary. Each book has five lessons, and the lessons are always organized the same way.
With this program, the Spanish language is learned in components: vocabulary, pronunciation, verbs, and grammar. The vocabulary is useful and daily; that is, the English translation of the words will be ones students are familiar with already and use in their lives. Pronunciation is extremely important, of course, so the audio files have two different speakers to listen to: a non-native speaker and a native speaker from Mexico. Next, students study verb conjugation, and, finally, grammar. These components blended together develop speaking and writing skills as well as grammar.
I took a Spanish course at a local community college “just because” a few years ago. When I finished, I understood verb conjugation and pronunciation to an extent, but I definitely had rudimentary verbal language skills. Learning to speak Spanish is something I need to really focus on this year, since next year I will be living in Spain!
Now that I’ve established I’m not an expert Spanish speaker: what I wanted to deduce from this curriculum is how well it is organized and how effective the activities appear to be. Can I learn from it? Does it truly seem geared towards multiple ages and ability levels at the same time? Obviously, I can’t ultimately know that unless I had both a 3rd grader and an 8th grader, which I don’t. But having taught all ages at one point or another, I believe I can get an idea. Tomorrow, once all the reviewers have posted at Mosaic Reviews, I’ll link there, so you can check out other reviews, if interested. Some of the other reviewers have children of multiple ages.
You can see the Fiestas book above. It’s very detailed. I can see that older children will need little guidance on how to use this book and can work independently. The directions for each component are very clear. On the bottom of page 3, it says “Choose an activity from the Practicing Flashcards page… .” There are 12 flashcards activities listed, and they vary from looking at the Spanish word and guessing the English to playing “Spanictionary,” which is similar to Pictionary. As you can see, the difficulty level varies greatly.
The book also includes directions for 13 different games/activities. Many of them are for two or more players, so you can use them with all your children.
In these photos below, you can see the difference in the lesson guides between grades 3-4 and 7-8. The grades 7-8 guide has more difficult activities.
Below are snapshots of the worksheets (again, 3-4 and then 7-8), so you can see the difference.
Although the same soft cover book is used for all grades, the worksheets and lesson guides clearly differ, so you really can use this program with multiple children of varying abilities.
I want to note that the book included “Spain only” words as well as the Latin American words. Since we’ll be living in Spain, Baby J will learn that style of Spanish, and I’m thrilled this program caters to both. The illustrations are cute but juvenile, since the author’s daughter drew them. I actually really like them! I think they’ll appeal to children, since it’s relatable artwork.
If you’re curious about learning more, you can visit Spanish for You! on their website. Their 4-week trial (grades 5-8) is $9.99 and the 6 week trial (grades 3-4) is $12.99. Full packages (24-30 weeks) are $39.95 if purchasing for just 3-4 or 5-6 or 7-8. If purchasing the entire course (3-8), the package is $64.95. Extra books are available for sale.
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