My husband and I felt very strongly that we wanted to include a foreign language in our homeschooling curriculum. I therefore was very excited that I had the opportunity to review the Educator's Spanish Collection from Whistlefritz. This is a great company, and they offer a great product. I really encourage you to take the time to read my review, and then to go and check them out at their website or at:
First of all, I should tell you that this is an immersion program which means that the entire program is in Spanish. Our Educator's Spanish Collection included:
- A Lesson Plans Book
- 5 videos
- 3 music CD's
- Matching Cards game
Matching Cards game
Here is a picture of my second son, Sidge after getting a match in the card game! We really enjoyed playing with this card game and getting to match different Spanish words:
Lesson Plans Book
The Lesson Book includes 40 reproducible lessons provided in a hard copy book. One of the lessons that my kids most enjoyed was Lesson 14: My family (Mi familia). I did this lesson with all four of my children (ages 3, 5, 8, and 9) but it was my oldest three who most "got it". (My three-year-old just loved being with us and trying!)
The lesson is written out very clearly for me. It includes:
- Description of lesson: This particular lesson teaches students vocabulary for the names of family members.
- Goal: This lesson was to teach students the names of family members.
- Objective: For students to be able to identify family members.
- Vocabulary: The words that they are trying to learn during this lesson.
- Materials: This includes materials that are provided by Whistlefritz and lists anything you might need yourself.
- Time: This particular lesson was 30-40 minutes.
It then breaks down the lesson into easy-to-follow bite-sized-nuggets. This one included:
- Focus and Review: This section provided an opportunity to prepare for this lesson by saying in Spanish who we are, where we live, and who are family members are.
- Teacher Input: This is where I have students repeat different things after me about family members.
- Guided Practice: We looked at a photo album of family members, and I would ask the students "Who is this?" in Spanish. They would then answer in Spanish.
- Independent Practice: For the "Independent Practice" we created family member puppets. We printed out colored pictures of people in our family (like Dad, Grampa, or Grama) and glued them to a popsicle stick. Then my kiddos would hold one of the popsicle sticks and role play conversations.
- Closure: For the "Closure" we held up the popsicle sticks and identified individual family members.
- Extension Activities: The suggested activity was to create a memory game with pictures of family members. We did this with our popsicle sticks!
Each one of the above-listed items is broken down clearly for me to go through with my children. It tells me what to say and what I should have the students do in each lesson.
DVD's & CD's
In addition to the workbook filled with 40 lessons, my package included DVD's that my kids just loved. We actually set them up on the portable DVD player in our van and would watch them on the way to and from town.
There are also music CD's that we listened to as well. They had some great songs and music.
Here is a short clip to give you an idea what the videos are like:
Here's my overall take on the Educator's Spanish Collection from Whistlefritz: It's really great. The videos are very well done. My kids definitely enjoyed them. The Lesson Book is incredibly detailed and provides fantastic materials and ideas.
The only slight "note" I want to make about this program is the fact that it requires me (the teacher) to speak in Spanish as I go through the Lesson Book with my kids. This can be challenging if you are not at all familiar with the language. I think if you have some familiarity or have taken that language yourself, you'll be able to do it, but if you don't know anything about the language, it will be very challenging. I took many years of Spanish and also grew up in South Florida so I felt I had a good enough handle on the language to do a good job teaching my kids.
Overall, we were very pleased with the program, and think you will be too. As always, take the time to email me if you have more questions or want me to expand on my thoughts further!
I am trying to decide between the ultimate & educators collection. Would you say that having the lessons are worth the extra money or will the kids learn enough with the dvds & cds? My kids are 3 & 5.5 for reference. Thanks!
I would just do DVDs at that age!!!
That slight note is so important. It is extremely difficult to teach a language even with fabulous materials thst you don't have some grasp of yourself. "What do you do about foreign language study?" is one of the most common questions I field from more junior homeschooling moms.
Our family's situation is uncommon so I have trouble answering their question when they only know English.
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