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Learn Spanish with Whistlefritz – A Homeschool Crew Review

Spanish Videos for kids

Learning a foreign language is fun! Teaching a foreign language is not always the best experience. Learning a foreign language is best done with immersion, especially for the younger ages. While I am not able to do all our school in Spanish, I can have fun with the Educator's Spanish Collection from Whistlefritz.


Whistlefritz

Included with the Educator's Spanish Collection you will find the Lesson Plans book, 5 DVDs, 3 music CDs and a card matching game. This is everything you will need to begin a great foundation of Spanish for your younger kids. This program is recommended for the Pre-K to Early Elementary grades or ages 1-7.

Spanish Videos for kids

While you could have your child learn without all the things included in this kit, these are all made to work together. Using all the items in the collection will reach each type of learning skill you can think of, visual, audio, gross motor and fine motor. Each one of the activities involved between the items in the collection work with each other to help your child learn and retain better.

We have decided to use one lesson a week from the Lesson Plans book. We started out first learning to greet each other. All the videos included will include the introductions and numbers, so the first few weeks you can watch any of the videos. The first week, Little Miss wanted to watch them all, and I decided that I would let her.

learn Spanish

After our first week working on introductions, I focused on one DVD and we would watch that one every day before our lesson. This allowed both Little Miss and Baby Girl to hear the words that were being spoken more than once. They could watch the DVD and know visually what was happening and use their minds to make the connection with the words that were being spoke, much like when they were babies and learned English for the first time!

Each of the videos run about 25-30 minutes long. They are not boring and the boys would often join the girls in watching them. They were completely in Spanish, with no English spoken at all. This was our immersion part of the day. Even with just a few years of high school Spanish years ago, I could pick up on some of the words and phrases as we repeated the video all week.

foreign language

The lessons work with the videos and are cross-curricular. We were able to take that one lesson a week and re-do it all week. We worked on greetings the first week, and are continuing that each week after before starting our new topics. From greetings to colors and numbers, we have been having a lot of fun with Fritzi learning Spanish!

On top of watching fun videos and doing fun activities to help us learn Spanish, we also have a fun matching card game to help us with our vocabulary. While Little Miss cannot read yet, the pictures help her to know what the words are.

While I cannot do the full lesson in Spanish, which would be an awesome form of immersion, I love that we are using what we learn throughout the day. This is not just a take the course, do the worksheet and move on with the day. This is a program that gives you words that you can use daily with younger kids. Even Baby Girl gets review each day just by watching the videos and siting with Little Miss. Hearing us talk the simple words has given her a head start in speaking the as well.

There are no drills, no worrying about grammar. Just having fun. The perfect way for kids to learn a new language, by having fun and listening to someone else speak the words!

Whistlefritz also has a French program like this. Check out reviews of that and other reviews of this Spanish program by clicking the picture right here:


Spanish and French {Whistlefritz Reviews}


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Prima Latina from Memoria Press – A Homeschool Crew Review

classical christian education

Learning a new language can be fun. I want to work on giving my kids an advantage in their future lessons at any chance that I can. I have been watching the Latin programs that are available from Memoria Press for a few years. After a little research, I learned that Latin is a great base for any language your child may want to learn. With this in mind, I took a leap and decided to have Ray Ray try the Prima Latina Complete Set. Boy, am I happy I finally did this!

classical christian education

Prima Latina is the first Latin program available for the younger ages. This program is geared towards grades 1-4 and is working perfect for Ray Ray in his transition from 2nd to 3rd grade. The complete set includes all that you need to get a firm hold of this language and is great for a teacher, like myself, who has little to no Latin background.

Within the set you will find the Student Book, Teacher Guide, Pronunciation CD, Flashcards and 3 Instructional DVDs. This right here will give your child 25 lessons, each with a 15-20 minute video lesson. This is great in that it allows your child to learn the correct pronunciation right from the start. Each video lesson will go over everything in the student book, plus a little practice of previous lessons.

classical christian education

Ray Ray has not decided on a language he will want to study, and being in 3rd grade, I don't expect him to pick one out quite yet. He has shown interest in French, for a long time, some interest in Spanish and even a little interest in Italian. I figure if I can give him a solid start in a language that would help with any of these, I would do that for him. After finding out we had this review, Ray Ray learned that his great grandpa had to learn Latin in Catholic School as a child and has used grandpa's help with some practice in between lessons.

classical christian education
Video Lessons

While there is a lesson plan available if you are the type of mom or dad who needs one, it is not required to make the curriculum work. We took one lesson, and split it up over a week. Mondays always include learning the new lesson. Watching the video and going over the lesson in the book.

classical christian education
Flashcards to help us practice our vocab words.

Tuesday includes using the flashcards on the vocab words we just learned and a few of them from previous weeks. As we go through the flashcards, Ray Ray would write down the new ones on Vocabulary Drill sheet that is in the back of the Teacher Guide. We also work on the first page of the workbook page.

Wednesday is another Vocab Drill day, we love to make sure we know the words as we learn them! Once again, we used the flashcards and the drill sheet. Now that we are halfway through the week, I like to Pronunciation CD to make sure we are on the right track and to help us with our prayer that we are working on. What I love is that we are learning a prayer, line by line and slowly putting it together.

classical christian education

Thursday, we start with our flashcard review, but we don't do the drill sheet. We make sure we know all our words up to the current lesson and we move on to the second workbook page. Ray Ray loves to split things up a little when it comes to the workbook, so this is great way to get him to complete the two pages.

Finally, on Friday, we re-watch the video lesson. I love to make sure that Ray Ray has the correct pronunciation on the words, and it is a great way to refresh what we have been working on over the week. After he watches the video, I have him complete his last vocabulary drill. By this time, he is pretty sure of himself, and I love to see how much he can complete without using any clues!

Ray Ray has been having a great time learning Latin. He loves the simple workbook pages, and watching the lessons on a DVD. Since there is not a lot of writing or reading, this is perfect for his learning style. I loved that even though I had no experience with Latin, I felt that I could teach this by watching the videos alongside Ray Ray. I learned as he learned. I could guide, but was not required to teach. This is great when it comes to a new language for me! Not only that, but Ray Ray is excited to show Great Grandpa how far he is coming with his Latin!

Using Prima Latina has started us on a firm foundation on which we are able to continue. We plan to finish Prima Latina and move forward to the next after we are done. I am in love with the fact that this is a complete curriculum that I can sit right down next to Ray Ray and learn with him. I can be the teacher and the student and have no doubts that the learning will happen, and it does!


Latin, Nature and Trees {Memoria Press Reviews}


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Getting Started With French ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Learning a new language can be a daunting task. What if I told you that you could find a program that works great for homeschoolers or self-taught students of any age? Would you want to know more? Well let me tell you about Armfield Academic Press and their Getting Started With French program!

Homeschool Crew Review

What Is It

Getting Started With French is a soft covered book with 172 simple lessons. This book is designed to be self-contained and easy to be self-taught. The purchase of this book, gives you everything that you need to teach yourself, or your child how to speak French. You don't need to buy anything else, the MP3s of the pronunciations are included as a download with this book.

While there are 172 lessons and you could do one each day, this is meant to be slef-paced. If you need more time on one lesson, spend more time lesson, go for it!

At the beginning of this book, you will find a How To Use This Book section. This part of the book tells you all about the rest of the book. Each lesson will start with a new word or words that will be in bold writing. You will find this word along with the definition of this word. You will also learn how to pronounce this word. While this will be written, you will be able to hear it in the MP3 download.

French

There are no real tests or quizzes when it comes to this book, however, you are able to go back a lesson or two and verbally ask yourself or your child questions on what was learned. The lessons are quick, and effective. They should take you no longer than 30 minutes a day. This is a program where more is less. Shorter, yet more frequent practice is the key here.

How We Used It

Ray Ray is my French boy. He wants to run away to France and sleep under the Eiffel Tower one day. Because of this fascination, he is open to any and every way to learn the language. Ray Ray set his schedule when it came to this curriculum. I did not want to force this, and since it is described as a self-paced program, I followed that. I would see how much he remembered from the day or two before moving forward. If he seemed to want or need more time with a lesson, I gave it to him.

While we didn't have an actual lesson schedule, we made sure that we were using this program every day during the week. I would sit down and listen to the pronunciation with Ray Ray, we would talk about the lesson together and really had fun with this! We did not just listen to the MP3s and move on, we spoke the words we were learning and talked about the lessons and what we were learning with the grammar and language rules.

French

What We Thought

Ray Ray loves French. He loves easy school. This was the best of both worlds for him. The lessons were short, and without an actual schedule, he was able to make sure he was learning. He didn't have to struggle as he went along, and loved listening to the pronunciations and author commentary on the lessons. Seeing the words in front of him and hearing them at the same time really made things click for him.

There are no frilly pictures in the book. No nonsense, just the lessons. They are written so that Ray Ray could understand them and I could understand them as well. Any age and any person would be able to understand these nice lessons. I love watching Ray Ray learn, and I love being able to learn at the same time. I love not having to dig through a bunch of curriculum each day and that I just open the book and MP3s and he basically does this on his own.

This book is re-usable. Do you know what that means? I can save money and Little Miss or Baby Girl can use this when they are ready to learn a new language. If Moe Man decided that he wants to learn French for his foreign language, he can start at any time. I don't have to buy workbooks for each child. I don't have to worry about anything extra. This is something that is key to me when it comes to finding homeschool curriculums!

We were one of 50 families to try this program out. Want to hear about the other experiences? Check out their reviews right here:


Introducing Getting Started with French {Armfield Academic Press}

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Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Learning a new language should be fun. It should be entertaining and should be able to be used in daily life. You do not want to have a boring textbook with lots of writing and little actual speaking. Where do you find something like that, especially for the younger ages? We have been having fun with the Spanish Starter Set 1 from Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids (FL4K) these last couple of weeks and we can't wait to tell you about it!

A Schoolhouse Crew Review

What Is It

The Spanish Starter Set 1 is a 20-week course in beginning Spanish. Included with this is a DVD that covers the first 3 units, if you want to call them that. They are Basketballs aren't for Breakfast and The Little Magic House Part 1 and 2. Along with this are three workbooks and teacher's guides that go with each video. Each video covers anywhere from 11 to 20 lessons. There are also fun lesson extenders included to help you have even more fun with what you are learning. With this set, you will also get a sticker set (you won't believe how fun sticker are until you see these), flashcards and a fun game to play!

FL4K Stickers

The lessons are set up to be short, sweet and fun. You should be working on 1 lesson twice a week. The video lessons are only in Spanish, but you don't need to panic. This is a great way to learn a language, by using it! Each lesson has at least 2-4 activities to go with it, meaning you can watch the video segment for the lesson each day and do a different activity each day.

How We Used It

Frist things first, mom read the How To Get Started Guide. This gave me many great tips and helped me to help the kids not be frustrated with the all-Spanish speaking video they were about to watch. Each short video is broken down into shorter segments. These shorter segments built into each other, so as we went along, we were able to watch the whole video and actually understand it as we went along!

FL4K Teacher's Guide

The first day, I let the kids watch it the whole video. While this is not recommended, I knew that if the kids didn't get to see it all, they would be more frustrated. We didn't do any lessons with it, just watched it and talked about it. The next day we just watched the first segment and went on to the lesson for the day. And this is how we continued. As we went along, we were able to start some work in the workbooks, but we were already using words in our everyday life.

The workbooks are broken down into 4 different sections, Activities, Culture, Squisher Says and the Answer Key. We used the workbooks throughout the lesson. Ray Ray and I would work together on these workbook pages while Little Miss looked on. They were easy to do and introduced us to the words we were learning on a worksheet. Oh, and the stickers…how we used the stickers! These were stickers with the words we were learning on them. We got to go around the house and sticker the house up with Spanish words. Even daddy, who wasn't taking the lessons with us was learning Spanish by seeing these stickers!

FL4K Stickers Everywhere

What We Thought

I took two years of high school Spanish and 1 semester of college Spanish in my school years. Guess what? I didn't learn near as much as I did from watching these lessons with the kids! Yes, I can count to 10 and know a few words here or there when I see them, but FL4K has taken teaching a new language to a whole new level! We loved the funny storyline that was used to teach us Spanish, and we loved how easy it was to pick up on words that were being spoken.

While the kids didn't love the workbooks as much as I did, they were still easy enough to do without much argument. The stickers and videos have been the highlight of this program for the kids. At the end of each video segment, we had a Rapid Review section. This is where we would see what we remembered. This is also where the kids had a contest to see who knew the words first. This makes it fun for them and that makes it fun to learn. When you are having fun, there is no time for being bored!

FL4K Workbooks

We have been having so much fun with FL4K and we have been known to walk around the house or even the store talking about the food we need or want in Spanish! My kids love it and I love it!

We were not the only family to check out this fun Foreign Language program. Check out these other reviews and see if this is something that will work with your family like it did for ours!


Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review

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Middlebury Interactive Languages ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Middlebury Interactive Languages

What do you do when your first grader wants to learn French? Do you find a high school program and try to adapt it to the needs of a young child? I decided to try Middlebury Interactive Languages and their French Courses, which has an Elementary French 1 program for grades K-2nd.

Middlebury Interactive Languages

What It Is

This program, is a fully online program that teaches the child the language of choice through fun games and activities right from the beginning. For this elementary program, your child will have their main focus on the French vocabulary. But the vocabulary is not the boring study this word until you have it memorized kind of vocabulary.

As soon as Ray Ray logged in, he was finding out that he was going on an adventure in France, and he needed to pay attention! This was easy with the interactive lessons that had him doing activities to learn the vocabulary instead of reading and studying.

The Middlebury Interactive Language program contains all you need to help your child learn the language of their choice. It comes with a calendar that has the lessons planned out for you and a gradebook to see how your child is doing.

Middlebury Interactive Languages

How We Used This

I will say right off the bat, we did not follow the calendar. Ray Ray would do 2 or 3 lessons one day and then skip a day or two. He was excited to be able to finally learn French in a way that he understood, by playing a game.

We would use the calendar as our guideline as to what we needed to do each week. Ray Ray would look at it and know what he needed to do. Than I would let him go at it. He was in charge of his learning in this program and he loved it!

If you didn’t want to follow the calendar, there is a table of contents showing all the units. In the French course there are 12 units, each unit consisting of 6 lessons. This gives a wonderful amount of time to focus on each category and practice it before moving on.

Each lesson consisted of different parts. You would start out with a review of what you already learned, keeping this fresh in your mind. Following that, your child would be introduced to the new set of words or phrases. This learning of the new material comes in many parts. The kids have many chances to learn these words and phrases in many different games, activities and stories.

Middlebury Interactive Languages

What We Thought About This

Ray Ray has always loved French. He has wanted to learn it, and we have tried many different programs. This is the one program that seems to work for him. I think the interactive immersion is what works. Everything is spoken and written in French, and you have to move to a different screen to see and hear the English.

Having him listen to someone telling him what to do in the language is how we learned to speak our current language as babies, so why wouldn’t it work as children? Being able to check and see if you understood what they were saying makes it the perfect program for him.

“I love it, it is really good actually.” This is what I hear from Ray Ray when I ask him what he thinks about this program. When asked what he likes about the program, “I like almost everything. I really like being able to move my character. Every time I sit down, stuff is new.” And what he doesn’t like about the program, “The thing I don’t really like is trying to record myself, but that is the only thing I don’t like.” Now how can you argue with a 7 year old?

Middlebury has many different languages and grade levels. Go and check them out over here!


 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review


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Mango Languages ~ Review



Mango Languages Review

 


Does your homeschool curriculum include a foreign language?  Just one? Or more than one? Plain old boring books, or a program that teaches you the actual language through speaking?


 


We had the opportunity to review Mango Languages Mango Homeschool Edition recently with The Schoolhouse Review Crew.


 


 


Mango Languages Review


 


Mango Homeschool Edition is an online program that helps you to add in that foreign language to your homeschool curriculum. Mango Homeschool Edition offers you over 60 foreign language courses with access to all of those with your subscription! You don't have to worry about the boring vocabulary that you won't remember years from now, Mango Homeschool Edition helps you work on actual conversations from the beginning, just like when you learn your original language. You don't have to worry about carrying around books and DVDs or CDs. Everything you need for this course is right here on the computer. There is no special computer equipment or operating system required.


 


You may have heard of Mango Languages before, as they have been around for years now. They have a library program that is free if your library has a membership. But there is only one problem with that…they don't have all the levels of the different languages available with the library edition. With Mango Homeschool Edition you have access to all the levels of all the languages. Which, I find to be well worth it if you really want to learn the language.


 


Mango Homeschool Edition is recommended for ages 6 up to adult. Moe Man and I have been using it, and Ray Ray hopped on and started having fun also. He is only 5, but was able to easily navigate the course and since there really isn't a huge need for the reading, he has been picking up on the different  words and phrases of French. Yes, he picked French…because he wants to go to Paris and the Eiffel Tower!


 


Ray Ray hasn't had to use this for an actual class. He has had the opportunity to play on it. Moe Man and myself have been using this program for at least 4-5 days a week…both of us will sometimes do more if we are having too much fun 🙂 Since Moe Man is only in 7th grade this year, and there is no requirement for a foreign language yet, we are using this as our introduction, or review in my case.


 


Moe Man had wanted to do Chinese for his language of choice, but I said he could only do that as a free choice and we worked on Spanish (Latin America) together. We kept a notebook of the different words and phrases we were learning, as well as how the verbs work together and the formal and informal versions of speech. By taking this notes, we were able to practice throughout the day, even without the computer! 


 


Once starting the program, we found out that each language is divided into different Journeys. Each of these are than broken down into chapters. The different chapters have different lessons in them. We would take our time going through the lessons and practice them over and over again as many times as we could. Since the conversations are usually among two people, it helped that we were learning together. It is much easier to practice a conversation with another person versus by yourself 🙂


 


After you complete the chapter, you are given a quiz on what you learned. This is where Moe Man struggles. He does not like quizzes. So, since we homeschool, I tweaked this for him. I have the printed up file of what we are learning and we would go through and have the conversation over and over again throughout the quiz. This really helped to re-enforce what we were learning, and help with the quiz taking process. 


 


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Not only do you get to learn how to have conversations within the language you are learning, but you get to learn the cultural and grammar notes. They do not place a huge emphasis on this, but they do not leave it out also. You have to think…when we learned how to speak as babies, you  never heard WHY you said what you said…you just heard it and learned it. Mango Homeschool Edition seems to be doing this same thing. I really like this way of learning much more than any other way of learning when it comes to a new language. 


 


Mango Homeschool Edition offers many other options to go along with this too. You can use their progress assessment tests to see how much you already know and skip the things you do know. They have a in system chat setup where you can ask questions and find answers from other members. In the near future, Mango Homeschool Edition will have an enhanced progress tracking and progress monitoring. This will include "seat time". They are also making a goals and personal lesson plan section that can be stand alone but is also tied into the Mango program. They also plan to have a resume and portfolio builder. We have not used all of these options yet, some are still in the working, so I will not comment on them 🙂


 


I really liked the idea of this program and the fact that it is focused on the hearing and speaking of the language. I would have loved to see a little more worksheets or paperwork to help the visual learners. However…Moe Man loved the program and learning the different languages. He loved being able to listen to the different language and using their voice comparison tool to see how well he was matching them. When I asked him what he would want to see changed, he said nothing. He liked the whole thing and felt it was easy to navigate and understand.


 


All of this is packaged up in one pretty little bundle for $125 for a year for one subscription or $18 a month. That includes all 60+ languages and access to all of them!  Need more than one subscription? Get 2 for $175 for the year, $28 for a month, 3 for $225 for a year or $38 a month, 4 for $275 a year or $48 a month, 5 for $325 a year or $58 a month. By far the yearly deal is better! If you are really serious about wanting to add a foreign language into your homeschool…take the plunge with the yearly deal. Don't forget to show your love for Mango and follow them on their social media here:


Twitter: https://twitter.com/MangoLanguages​


Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mangolanguages/​ 


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MangoLanguages


 


With over 60 langauges from Spanish to Pirate (yes, Pirate) to Polish and everything in between, there is no way I would be able to review them all. Want to know more? Check out these other reviews: 


 


 


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