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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!