We were so excited when our first package of curriculum to review for “The Old Schoolhouse” magazine arrived! “Song School Spanish” from Classic Academic Press showed up in our mailbox in mid January.
We excitedly gathered around the box, as if it were a belated Christmas gift! The boys both wanted to be the one to open it. If you are a home schooler, you probably understand the excitement of receiving new curriculum in the mail.
Wow! We took turns looking at the “Song School Spanish” student and teacher books. Then we popped the accompanying CD in, because we couldn’t wait until the next day when we were to begin actually using the “Song School Spanish” curriculum. My boys (7 and 9) and I all learned to say hola (hello) and adios (goodbye) before bedtime, as the first song was so catchy. Right away I noticed the cartoon like characters on the cover and was impressed that it appeared “kid friendly” at first glance. The Teacher’s Edition was filled with a variety of activities for me to include with each day’s lesson (word searches, matching games, crosswords and such). Some weeks, we would spend a day using just these activities for review and practice fun! Click here to see a few of the sample pages just for us, the teachers, to share with our kiddoes!
We have now been using “Song School Spanish” for about 5 weeks and have easily been able to cover 9 chapters. We typically follow the 3 day schedule that is recommended at the front of the book, which takes us about 15 to 20 minutes, just as it said it would. We always review previously learned words using the songs on the CD and then by reading them in the Student Book before we begin a new lesson. Then again, we use the CD to introduce new words for that lesson before we begin. This makes it easy to grasp the correct pronunciation beforehand. I studied French for 5 years, so Spanish is new to me also. Sometimes we listen to the CD song a number of times to make sure we are pronouncing words correctly.
They also offer a free student support website, HeadventureLand.com that offers review games after completing chapters 4,10, 14 & 20 (when a unit is completed) for “Song School Spanish.” We enjoyed playing “Flash Dash.”
There are also a variety of free resources on the Classical Academic Press website. We love the coloring pages for each chapter of “Song School Spanish,” as they reinforce the new vocabulary we are learning. These are found on the main web site under free resources as pdf files you can print for free. We are already walking around the house using a variety of Spanish phrases and having fun while we are learning. There is an additional game one can purchase, “Spanish Amigo Match” for $26.95, but we wmade our own flash card with the Spanish word and then the English word to play our own matching game and to use for review.
I used this product with my 7 and 9 year old sons in 2nd & 4th, though it is recommended for K-3rd. I still thought it was quite appropriate for my 4th grader. I appreciated that there was a lot of review of new vocabulary, so that we could all let it soak in. Some of the lessons require copywork and independent reading, so those were the lessons my older son did. This is a soft bound, consumable workbook. My 7 year old is a late reader, so the lessons that had the vocabulary and then a picture to choose from were perfect for him.
We all find ourselves singing the songs throughout the day! The songs (and lessons) employ “code switching, ” which is the linguistic term for “changing languages mid-speech” according to Classic Academic Press. They state that current research shows that this is a natural occurrence in bilingual communities and allows the student to receive “extra contextual information about how words are used in Spanish.” An example of this is the last line of the first lessons song: “Good-bye, estudiantes, good-bye students!” This definitely helped us to remember that students was “estudiantes” in Spanish.
We were so inspired that we signed up for an 8 week beginning Spanish co op class and look forward to finishing the entire book and I am happy to report that we all know about 75 Spanish words and phrases having completed 9 of the 31 chapters in “Song School Spanish” by ” Classic Academic Press!” When we are done with this book, we may in fact move on to their next book “Spanish for Children.” Both of the “Song School Spanish” student and teacher’s books are a bargain at $24.95
La familia is off to read el libro of la tortuga and conejo in la casa near a sunny ventana. Yo me llamo Kerry Hinton, la maestra and madre of dos ninos, Kyle and Matthew. Estoy feliz with “Song School Spanish.” Adios amigos!!! (That’s me, using my newly acquired “code switching” technique to learn Spanish 🙂
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La Maestra, Kerry and Los Estudiantes, Matthew & Kyle
*Please note that I did not receive payment for this review, except the curriculum, furnished for our homeschool to use through the Schoolhouse Review Crew. I received the student and teacher books. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my honest reviews of this curriculum. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.