Homeschool.com’s Product Reviews
|Preschool – Early Elementary
Whistlefritz is a foreign language curriculum (you can choose French or Spanish), for kids Pre-K–the early elementary grades. It focuses on teaching children languages using the immersion method, and the lesson plans work well for parents that may not know the language. Thus, you can learn right along with your students!
I reviewed the Whistlefritz Spanish Educator’s Collection, which is a multi-media collection of lesson plans, videos and music – the package is perfect for a homeschooling family. It includes a soft-cover book entitled Spanish Lessons for Kids (273 pages – so it’s quite substantial); 5 videos; 3 CDs; and a set of memory matching cards (fun!).
The Lesson Plans book is chocked full of fun lesson activities. It offers a scaffolded curriculum of forty reproducible lessons full of diverse, interactive, age-appropriate activities. Activities include making puppets, following recipes, conducting experiments, and playing board games.
In addition to Spanish, the curriculum includes cross-curricular lessons in math, science, and physical education. I really appreciate this!
The book reviews and expands upon vocabulary that is introduced in the videos, CDs, and Matching Cards, and allows educators (and students) the opportunity to explore in greater depth the themes and the vocabulary. For example, the vocabulary for various foods is introduced in the 30-minute video Adentro y Afuera. In Lesson Plans 26-31, up to four hours of instructional time is dedicated to food-related vocabulary. I really appreciate this coordination, and the opportunity to expand on a subject.
Also, the lessons flow in a logical progression of thematic units (Colors, Numbers, Shapes, Places, Around the House, Clothing, Seasons, Parts of the Body, Positional Words, Food, Family, Animals, and Descriptive Words), which again, I appreciate.
Included are play-based assessments, so you can evaluate your student’s progress.
The videos (there are five of them) cover a multitude of age-appropriate topics. They include live action (real people), animation, lively music, the use of puppets, and much more. The adult character Maria is very likeable and fun to watch, and there are many kids in the videos – children love to watch other children. Plus, the opportunity to hear real people speak, helps in the learning process. The videos are very colorful and they are great for visual learners.
The 3 CDs allow your kids to cantar (sing), bailar (dance), and aprender (learn) along with Latin music. Songs cover topics such as letters, seasons, etc., and you’ll even hear a few melodies you already know (B-I-N-G-O!). You can play them at home or in the car.
The cards are for a matching game and include 50 Spanish verb cards. They provide a great way to learn Spanish, while also improving concentration and memory. The playing cards make learning a game – and as we all know, kids love games!
You can check out the graphic below to see how the different products inter-relate and enhance one another.
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