Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Fun Spanish Review

 Brookdale House Review

We received The Fun Spanish, an elementary Spanish curriculum, from Brookdale House to review. It was an ebook copy, though the Brookdale House does have physical copies. The Fun Spanish uses a Charlotte Mason style of teaching, keeping it fun for the kids and easy for them to follow along. The curriculum focuses on memory retention, to get the most out of it. The Fun Spanish teaches verb conjugation, prepositions, and vocabulary, along with the fundamentals of Spanish sentence structure. Ideally The Fun Spanish would be used by children in grades 2-5.

 Brookdale House Review
E-Book $14.95 Printed Book $19.95

One of the awesome things about The Fun Spanish is that it has a curriculum schedule that is easy to follow. Unfortunately, due to the fact that my children are still young, they don't do as much writing as is required for most of this curriculum. We supplemented with flash cards and a white board with all of the study materials, and they copied down the work in their Spanish workbook. Bean did much better in this department, but Munchkin mainly focused on the alphabet, numbers and some phrases.

Currently we are also using an online curriculum for Spanish, but it does not include a written portion. It mainly focused on learning phrases and the correct pronunciation. That, combined with The Fun Spanish, was a perfect combination. The writing portions appealed more to Bean, who was able to have a better understanding of Spanish using this curriculum. Instead of just jumping straight in with phrases, it goes through the different components of Spanish, to help children better understand how words are formed. Like how some are masculine and feminine. That was a hard concept to teach, but we made it through it. 

We used the curriculum several times a week. We printed off each lesson and focused on one lesson every two weeks. Sometimes it took longer than two weeks to work through, so we made adjustments where it was needed. We prioritize mastery first, instead of plowing through at a set pace. Generally our lessons would last about 40 minutes (20 on the computer, 20 on written work). On the off days, we practice using homemade spelling sheets and flash cards. 

There are 17 lessons, so you can use this curriculum over a whole year. Considering the price of this book, that is a bargain for a foreign language curriculum! Each lesson builds on the previous lessons. They steadily get harder, but I found it to be a good pace. One thing the curriculum lacks is pictures, which I know helps most kids, but the neat thing about this curriculum is that there is a drawing section at the end of each lesson, along with a sentence to copy and to base the picture off of. So it really isn't lacking anything! We liked that the book wasn't too "busy" and allowed for children to focus easily. 

I would highly recommend this curriculum to other homeschooling families looking to introduce their children to Spanish. It's wonderful as an introductory course through the basics. I would just suggest picking up a Spanish dictionary, though not required for the curriculum, but for children to use on their own. My daughter would often write on her own after lessons were over and write her on sentences, but occasionally she would need a word in Spanish that she hadn't learned yet, so we'd have to look it up. Overall we really enjoyed using this curriculum and I hope they come out with a Level 2!

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