Hola! Como estas? Estoy bien!
We’ve been learning Spanish!! I was so excited to have the opportunity to review Song School Spanish by Classical Academic Press. Let me tell you why.
Two years ago I had the opportunity to hear Christopher Perrin (the publisher of CAP) speak at a homeschool convention. He spoke about Recovering the Classical Tradition of Education. He discussed how our goal as homeschool families is not to help our children find a job (although that is a good thing), but to cultivate them into good human beings. A good human being loves wisdom, virtue, eloquence, and what is beautiful; and all of this comes from the Lord.
I knew after listening to him that I wanted to use the language series that Classical Academic Press publishes. I want my children to be eloquent; and not just in English!
So here I am with the Song School Spanish Student book ($24.95) and the Teacher’s Edition ($24.95) and we are loving it! Song School Spanish is written for children in grades K-3rd grade, although my 4 year old LOVES the CD and is learning right along with her kindergarten brother.
It’s an interesting name isn’t it? That’s because this curriculum uses songs as a main part of teaching Spanish to young children. The songs, as well as the student book, uses a scaffolding approach to teaching language. The student book comes with a CD and has 2-4 songs per chapter. I think the music is fun and the kids have really enjoyed listening to the songs. During one trip in the van, (YES! We can learn Spanish while driving!!) Sweet Cheeks asked, “Mama, can you play that again? I need to learn the words.” RB giggles every time the song about eating a book with ketchup comes on; and I must say, I do a little bit of swaying in my seat when the counting song comes on. It reminds me of a cabana!!
There is a set of cards called Spanish Amigo Match($26.95) that can be purchased along with the book and CD. I chose not to buy the set, but it includes all of the vocabulary words and gives directions for playing 3 games.
There are some extra features that are FREE on the CAP website. There are extra songs that can be downloaded, coloring pages for each vocabulary word, and pronunciation audio files.
CAP also has a FREE game website called Headventure Land. I love this idea as a resource, but the Song School Spanish part of the site needs more development. I had both children try the game out and both did not have a great experience with the game. RB is in kindergarten and is almost reading fluently, but because the game was timed, he stressed out too much and was not able to read the words quickly enough to show his knowledge of the subject. He became frustrated and shut down. Sweet Cheeks could not read any of the words, of course, since she is 4.
To improve the online-game, I recommend these things to make it more “preschool/lower elementary friendly”:
1) A voice needs to read the questions and the answer choices. As the voice reads, the words being read should be highlighted.
2) For young kids, a letter “grade” and percentage isn’t really necessary. My heart sank when I saw the “data” at the end. I suggest a “10 out of 13” would suffice, along with a “Good Job!”
3) The game could be more “gamey” instead of multiple choice questions that are timed. My kids didn’t find the game fun. Perhaps the goal could be to get Tortuga to Conejo as questions are being asked.
The CD is great. The student book is great. I never really used the Teacher’s Edition, but it’s a great resource for extra activities. The kids and I are in the middle of chapter 5 and they are learning so much! My family loves to eat out at a local Mexican restaurant and it is fun to watch my kids have the confidence to speak Spanish with our servers and other Hispanics!!
Developing a curriculum that accommodates kindergarten through 3rd grade abilities is difficult. In the student book there are activities for different learning styles such as matching games, role plays with puppets, and the words to all the songs. There is writing and spelling practice as well, but I skipped over that because my kids just aren’t ready for it. But because the book caters to K-3 students, parents and teachers can make the curriculum fit the needs of their children.
Overall, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Song School Spanish. I won’t be using the website, but I will continue to focus on using the CD and the student book. And I plan to eventually use Song School Latin as well!!
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.