Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids: A Spanish Program Review

Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review

It's not news that learning other languages is so good for your brain and your perspective on the world.  Plus, Spanish is the most common second language in our area and so of course I jumped at the chance to review the Spanish Starter Set 1 from Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids.  As parents we easily underestimate not only our children's ability to learn things, but what may or may not be interesting to them! I honestly expected my kids to watch the videos once, maybe twice and then move their interest to other things.  After several weeks, they still ask for it periodically and try to use words on their own.  It's adorable!

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids is the creation of Kit Strauss and "the culmination of years of studying and experimenting with the most positive and successful ways to learn Spanish."  The program is intended for children as young as 3 years old, but can be a fun way for adults to learn as well.  My children, who are 3 and 5, both remained engaged and enjoyed practicing words they had heard from the videos.  The Starter Set 1 that we received (as seen in the picture below) included:
  • DVD with videos for Levels 1-3
  • Three Parent-Teacher Guides which sets out a detailed lesson plan, with a suggested viewing schedule and a variety of fun, supplemental and hands on activities to choose from to reinforce the material taught in the videos.
  • Flashcards and Card Games for Levels 1 to 3
  • Workbooks for Levels 1-3
  • Stickers for Levels 1-3
Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review
The Teacher's Guide is very helpful in understanding the program's intent and design which really sets the parent/teacher up to maximize the benefits the students receive.  It also breaks the content down into lessons complete with a word list corresponding to each video and activities.  The workbooks are intended for 3rd grade and up so we didn't use them during our review period, but they'll be stored for later use when my son is older.  The stickers are a wonderful tool, especially once your kids are reading, to reinforce the names of things around the house.  The Go Squish Cardgame is another great way for the kids practice the words they are hearing.  Since my children are younger, we spent most of our time watching videos and then practiced with the 'Rapid Review' section at the end of each video remembering Spanish words.  

Why We Loved It:
Maybe my children are different than most, but the videos completely engaged them while being completely in Spanish (except for the intros, I think).  Even though you are immersed in the language, the ideas were very concise and clear. They begged to watch them multiple times without me prompting them.  The videos were not bland in any way, but also not crowded with unfamiliar cultural images or references.  That's not to say that it didn't look or sound authentic, just that it appeared to be regular kids doing familiar/regular things, but in Spanish. And whenever they start spouting off words - even words that aren't real words - they have a much better accent than I could ever teach them!  We found it to be a great program that doesn't require a lot of drab repetition and engaging for my young children directly from the start.

We reviewed the Starter Set 1 (which is Levels 1-3), but they have several other levels and other products as well that you might be interested in.  Feel free to explore what they have to offer here
Keep up with Foreign Languages For Kids By Kids on Social Media:

Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review
Crew Disclaimer

No comments:

What Happens If You're Disappointed This Week?

Disappointment is a big issue with kids around.  Every parent will tell you not to say a word about a trip to the zoo or a possible visitor ...