Monday, April 22, 2013

Mosaic Reviews: Spanish for You!


We really want our children to learn a foreign language. My husband's heritage is French, but we haven't found a French program that really works for our family. I took 2 years of Spanish in high school, but haven't really looked at it since.   We keep feeling very defeated in this area of our homeschool.  Most programs are so expensive to find one that's affordable for multiple age levels is difficult.  Or they are so involved that they take too much time and prep work.  I was excited to be given the opportunity to review Spanish for You! designed and tested in a homeschool co-op experience by Debbie Annett through the Mosaics Review Team.  

When we received our materials, I have to admit being overwhelmed at the PDF files and trying to figure out what to do...UNTIL...I realized that Debbie's lesson guides, spell it all out for you!  I found the lesson guide for the week and printed it out.  Then followed the list on what to do everyday.  Once a week, I print out the lesson guide and all the worksheets.  Then, we take a few minutes everyday to do our assignments. There is a wide variety of activities on a daily basis. Games, flashcards, audio files, worksheets- no time or opportunity for boredom.   

I received the Estaciones themed book, revolving around the seasons of the year.  There are only 5 lessons in each book.  So, you spend several weeks on the same material-enough time to really learn the material.  In each lesson, we go over  vocabulary, grammar, and verbs.  Kids read, write and speak the language everyday.   My kids were writing and answering questions in Spanish, the very first week! 

Tera and Daniel working on an activity

What we like:

  • Affordable--the whole year for all the grade levels  (grades 3-8) under $75. 
  • Easy to use lesson guides break down what you are supposed to do everyday.  You don't have to figure out how to break this program up into "bite-sized" portions.
  • Grade levels can all work together.  This program is designed so that your 3rd grader is working on their level with the same material, while your 8th grader works at theirs.
  • Flexible and not time consuming-- 4 days a week and right about 10-20 minutes at the most to finish the day's work.
  • Builds a foundation for later Spanish instruction.
  • Lots of fun activities built in--my kids played Simon Dice (Simon Says) and other games.
  • Audio files included.  If you've never had Spanish, you don't have to guess at the pronunciation.  Your child (and you) can listen to the audio files (one of the founder, Debbie Annett and another of a native speaker)
What could be better:

  • The audio files and worksheets did not come arranged in sequential order.  The worksheets are listed in the lesson guide.  So it just took looking for the right one in the worksheet file.  You could organize them into sub-folders, but it would be nice if these came arranged in the order they are used in the book.
UPDATE:  Since posting, these files have been reorganized by Spanish for You!  Now when you order,  the audio files are organized by lessons and the worksheets will come in folders for each grade level!!  What great customer service!!!
  • There were a couple of words on the assigned worksheets that had not been covered previously in the printed material. This might be frustrating to parents with no Spanish background.   It would be great if there were a vocabulary list that included all the words in maybe a glossary type appendix.     If my children came across a word that was not introduced in the material previously, I encouraged them to try and figure out the meaning of the word from the context clues.  They could usually figure it out. We just googled any other ones.  At the beginning of the book, there are common words/phrases and commands vocabulary lists.  

Dictation exercise

There are three different  thematic packages to choose from:
Estaciones (Seasons), Fiestas (Celebrations), or Viajes (Travels)  (full package coming in June 2013)  

Each package can be purchased for grades 3-8 ($64.95) 
or individually (3-4; 5-6; or 7-8 for $39.95 each) 

The package contains:  
  • soft cover book
  • the following in PDF downloads:   lesson guides for the grades you need (24 weeks for grades 5-6 and 7-8, 30 weeks for grades 3-4); self-checking worksheets; and flashcard/activity pictures.
  • audio files of entire book plus a bonus audio with a native speaker as a MP3 download. 

If you are a teacher and would like to use this product in a classroom setting, there are lesson plans that can be purchased in addition to the packages.  Fiestas is available now, and the others are coming available in May and throughout the summer of 2013. 

The website also includes:  


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