I was a Spanish minor, so I always wanted my kids to learn Spanish. So when I had the chance to review Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids, a made by kids language learning program I couldn’t wait to get started trying out Starter Set 1!
What’s included in Foreign Languages For Kids By KidsIn our Starter Set 1 packet, we received three levels of Beginning Spanish materials:
- DVD for Levels 1-3
- Parent-Teacher Guides for levels 1-3 – These guides include detailed lesson plans, suggested DVD viewing schedule, and supplemental activities to reinforce learning.
- Flashcards and Card Games for Levels 1 to 3
- Workbooks for Levels 1-3
- Stickers for Levels 1-3
The Starter Set 1 (Beginning Spanish) retails for $140.25.
How to get started with Foreign Languages For Kids By Kids
My advice is to begin right away by reading the Teacher Guide. With any specialized program of study it’s very important to know how the program is supposed to work before beginning to implement it. The teacher’s guide explains the immersion method this program uses, as well as gives details outlines for how much a student should complete in each lesson.
You might be nervous to start teaching your kids a foreign language at home, but the Foreign Languages For Kids By Kids program sets your mind at ease by telling you right away that it will “sound strange” for your kids. You as a parent can set your kids nerves at ease by telling them in advance that they may not understand a thing the first time, and it might feel strange and that’s okay!
The lessons themselves vary in lenght from 10-15 minutes, to 45 minutes maximum. This may present a small challenge for parents who have set times for each subject. But the times are just an estimate, and you could certainly adjust to fit your schedule, or spread a longer lesson over two days by breaking up the activities and workbook time.
Our Spanish Lessons
We began by watching the first 5 minutes of the DVD. The videos for each lesson are short as it is, but in any given lesson you might only watch a segment depending on the lesson focus. Repetition is key in language acquisition, so be prepared to watch segments and videos several times. We watched the first section three times before I quizzed my six year old on the vocabulary.
It only took a couple rounds before my 6 year old caught on that he should listen and watch what the kids said and did, and make the connections. The kids in the video are super cute. They do daily life activities like having breakfast, and petting their dog to demonstrate simple conversational Spanish vocabulary. Meanwhile the printed words appear on the screen and the camera focuses on the object or action being spoken.There’s also a student workbook where kids can extend their language learning: fill-in-the-blank, play matching games, do crossword puzzles, and other activities to help them remember the Spanish vocabulary. The workbooks are geared for Third Grade and above, and definitely most of the pages were above my 1st grader’s reading level, but there were still a few items he could complete.Then there’s these really cool vocabulary stickers! The instructions in the teacher guide say for the kids to stick the stickers to what they represent around the house so they’ll have practice as they go through the day. However, I cannot have stickers stuck all over my house! Ha! So instead I created little tent cards from card stock and stuck the stickers to them. Then my son placed the cards in front of objects or play food to show his knowledge, and we also left several items set up on a tray to play with as we had time. My boys had fun labeling different sized objects as grande or pequeno.
Are we having a good time yet? Yes we are! But there’s more!!!
The Go Squish Cardgame and Flashcards provided gave us another chance to practice seeing and saying our new Spanish vocabulary! Using picture cards and word cards mixed up, kids played a foreign language version of Go Fish (I could see a “Matching” game working out well with these cards too!).
But will my kids learn Spanish?
The goal of Starter Set 1 in this program is to help children feel comfortable and confident with a foreign language, and build their vocabulary and conversational ability. I can assure you it works! We haven’t even been using this program that long, but already my kids walk around the house singing “Grande, Pequeno, Grande, Pequeno!” as they pick up various objects. And they love to say me gusta and no me gusta to everything. Even our four-year-old has picked up many of the phrases and uses them correctly. We have all gotten a lot of laughs and had fun – this program makes learning Spanish just like another fun game for them, but a game they LOVE to play!
Perhaps the biggest evidence that my 6 year old is really picking up on the language happened when we went on vacation. Looking over the menus at breakfast one morning, he excitedly pointed out, “Mom! They have huevos here!” (He was pointing at the huevos rancheros item on the menu! I thought it was so cool that he recognized the Spanish word he’d learned in a real life situations. Even better? His thrill at being able to read and say the Spanish word in public!
We’ve really enjoy the experience of Foreign Languages For Kids By Kids. The combination of fun videos, exciting games, and stickers, and the simplicity of their immersion method works out so well for us with little children. I’m excited to continue working through the rest of the program with my boys, and hope to continue beyond Starter Set 1!To read more reviews of Foreigns Language For Kids By Kids by other homeschool moms, click here!