We have been using the Starter Set 1 from Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids to learn Spanish. Unable to find quality foreign language products, Kit Strauss,a homeschooling mum and lawyer, designed this amazing program which gives parents a fun and easy way to help their children learn Spanish.
Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids is a full immersive video program that uses day to day life situations, which includes practical words and sentences, to teach Spanish. Aimed at children ages 3 – 14, this program shows real kids speaking Spanish in everyday life situations to help children understand the language better. The lessons do not overload the student, but gradually build on each other, gently adding new vocabulary as to not overwhelm your child.
For this review, we received a package in the mail which consisted of:
- DVD with videos for Levels 1-3
- Three Parent/Teacher Guides (20 week curriculum) which set out a detailed lesson plan, a suggested viewing schedule and a variety of fun, supplemental and hands-on activities
- “Go Squish” Card Game
- Workbooks for Levels 1-3
- Sticker Set
Currently this starter set is on sale through to the 31st August for just $140.25. That is a huge saving of 15%!
There is also a 2 day (48 hour) free trial that gives you access to try the video lessons, workbooks and quizzes at no charge. You can cancel at any time within this time period. They also have monthly, three-monthly, six-monthly, yearly and two-yearly subscriptions if you wish to purchase an online version of this program.
Upon receiving the package, I first went through the parent guides which I found to be extremely helpful and really recommend them if you are going to use this program. They outlined the methods on using the program as well as offered some great tips on how to implement these in your house. The level 1 guide gives a basic overview of the program as well as a page on how to use them before heading into the lessons. Each lesson starts with an estimated time that is needed to complete it before listing the activities. At the back of each guide are some extended learning activities which include things like drawing flags, cooking, and listening to certain music. The lesson plans were also very helpful and were extremely flexible, allowing you to repeat until all your children understood the words they were learning.
The activities in each lesson vary each day. They include completing certain pages in the workbook; learning about the geography of Lima, Peru; which stickers to choose and place around the house; playing the Rapid Review game or the Duck Duck Goose game as well as a variety of different games you can play with the flashcards.
This is an example of lesson 8 in The Little Magic House:
Time 30 – 35 minutes
Spanish Vocabulary – it lists a couple of Spanish words and their English meanings.
Activity 1 – Watch the video segment – This lists how much/which part of the video to watch.
Activity 2 – Rapid Review – A fun game to see how many Spanish words you child knows.
Activity 3 – Stickers – Which stickers you are to place and where to place them.
Activity 4 – Go Squish Card Game – Which cards to use and how to play the game.
When we first started watching the first video, the boys were quite surprised. The videos are full immersion, they have no English! But this didn’t stop our boys. Kids love watching other kids and with the engaging storyline and fun characters, our boys were soon captivated.
The videos are presented as in-flight movies, as you watch a family live their daily life. Our two boys were really able to relate to the 3 brothers in the videos who make the viewing quite entertaining. Each video is around 10 – 15 minutes each, but you don’t watch them all in one viewing (as per the parent manuals).
I really loved the way the videos introduced and presented the Spanish words. The labelling of the items is a fantastic way for children to learn. By hearing and seeing the word repeatedly, our boys found it quite easy to pick up the language.
After watching the required part of the video, it was onto the workbooks, flashcards and the card game. These accompanying quizzes and worksheets are a great way to help reinforce what your child has watched on the video lessons. They provide lots of fun and allow children to continue to see and write the Spanish words they are learning.
We received only one workbook per level, in which our boys took turns at completing. I would suggest purchasing one workbook set per child as there is a copyright notice that prohibits copying the pages.
Included in the pack we also received, was a stack of flashcards. Half of the flashcards had images on them which seem to have been grabbed from the videos. The other half of the flashcards are the words that match these images. These flashcards were used to play the “Go Squish” card game. This game is similar to Go Fish, only all the speaking is done in Spanish. It was very fun to play! There were also other games in the manuals that used these flashcards as well.
Another inclusion was a pack of the stickers which are used to label items around the house. As we live in a rental, I used blue-tac to tack each of the stickers to the objects they described as I didn’t want any sticky residue to be left or any paint ripped off when I removed these stickers.
Overall, we really enjoyed this language program. I loved how super easy it was to pop into the dvd player and turn it on. Learning to speak words that are used daily was fun and the activities provided really helped with reinforcing what was being taught in the entertaining videos. I believe it would be a great program for younger children as well as it doesn’t require a lot of sitting still, allowing the kids to get more involved and hands-on, moving around and having fun playing educational games.
Now, after watching quite a few lessons, our boys are getting really confident with the language and are doing very well at mastering many of the words they were hearing.
To get a feel for this program and the videos, you can watch a brief sample video and you can also try out some of the student workbook activities from Level 1 in the online format, which is identical to the contents of the printed workbook.