Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spanish For You! Review

I have always wanted to learn Spanish.  I have several friends who speak Spanish, some as their native language.  I have tried different programs and have one, in particular, that I really like.  But, if there is one thing I have learned as a homeschool parent it is that I need to keep an open mind about different curriculum choices.  So, I was very interested to have the opportunity to review Spanish For You!.

Spanish For You! is a curriculum for grades 3-8.  The lessons are broken up into grade levels: 3/4, 5/6, 7/8.  It is designed to promote fluency through speaking and writing skills, reading, and grammar knowledge.  The program is 24 weeks for grades 5-8 and 30 weeks for grades 3-4 and should take about 10-30 minutes per day.  Debbie Annett, author of Spanish For You!, encourages families to work at their own pace though.  She sees this program as a journey and adventure in learning and not a race to the finish line.  Many lessons provide optional activities that can help the student to dive deeper into learning not only the Spanish language, but the history and culture.

Spanish For You! offers three different themed curriculum: Viejes (travels), Fiestas (celebrations), or Estaciones (seasons).  More themed packages are soon to be introduced.  They offer different option for purchasing which are:  

  • Viajes in a 4 week trial for $5.99 - grades 5-8
  • Viajes in a 6 week trial for $12.99 - grades 3-4
  • Fiestas for $19.95 per grade level (3/4, 5/6, 7/8)
  • Fiestas for $64.95 for all grade levels
  • Estaciones for $39.95 per grade level (3/4, 5/6, 7/8)
  • Estaciones for $64.95 for all grade levels
  • Extra workbooks can be ordered for $12.95
 ALL Spanish for You! packages come complete with:
  • soft cover book, or, for trial packages, an e-book
  • 24-30 week lesson guide for the grades you need in a PDF download
  • self-checking worksheets in a PDF download
  • audio files of entire book done by Debbie and a 2nd audio file of a native speaker in an MP3 download
  • flashcard/activity pictures in a PDF download
Teacher lesson plans are not included, but can be purchased separately for class use of Spanish For You!

You will also have access to the following at the Spanish For You! website:
  • activities
  • games
  • mini lessons
  • worksheets
 Here are some of the things I liked about Spanish For You!:
  • It is affordable.  Whether being purchased for a specific grade level or as the complete package for all grade levels, the price is much less than most language curricula on the market.
  • It offers a variety of that will suite most learning styles.  Oral, written, audio, and kinesthetic.
  • It offers a money back guarantee.  
  • Payment is easy with paypal right at the website.
  • The two audio files are a wonderful touch!  The native speaker file is more difficult to understand, but it really helps to be able to hear the native tongue.
  • The breakdown of grade levels is very helpful in making sure you select the package that will best suit your child.  I like that the complete package with all grade levels is offered for those families with multiple children.
  • I love the idea of the themes.  Not only does it make it more interesting, but your child can choose his favorite!  Then, you could even select a different theme as you continue on with the program with the different grade levels.
  • Customer Service is STELLAR! 
 Here are some of the things I did not like about Spanish For You!:
  • To keep expenses low for the large number of reviews being done, I received my entire Fiestas package as a download.  It took a long time to download and I had a lot of technical difficulties.  I will say that when I contacted Debbie about these problems she addressed them very quickly and helped me complete the process.
  • I greatly dislike e-book or e-file products.  I never get them.  It's almost as if I have to have a book in front of me or I can not function.  For this reason, I had an extremely difficult time navigating the many files provided to me.  They were disorganized and confusing.  It took me several times of stopping and re-starting in an attempt to really get going in the program just because of my frustration.  I had to walk away.  I will say that as soon as Debbie was made aware that the reviewers were having a difficult time with this, she immediately re-organized the files into a very user-friendly format and that is what you will receive when you make your purchase.  Debbie is ready and willing to make whatever improvements to her product to meet the needs of the customers.
  • Overall, this product was not a good fit for my family.  I did not feel that it offered enough foundation for a person who has never been introduced to Spanish.  It dives right in.  There is a lot going on and, in my opinion and experience, it required a lot more than 10-30 minutes per day.  It was a one hour a day project for us.  I would recommend that if it is taking that long to complete one lesson then go ahead and chop it in half.  Do a little each day and not the whole lesson.
Spanish For You! would be a good fit for the following families:
  • Those wanting a casual and fun approach to learning Spanish, while still having the opportunity to master it.
  •  Those families with multiple grade level children - the full package price really is a great deal!
  • Those families who enjoy e-book or e-file products and/or do not mind printing out the information and creating a binder or other book-like set up.
  • Those families wanting to try the trial package to see if Spanish is a good fit language for them.
Visit the Spanish For You! website and check it out for yourself.  Here you go.....  Go ahead and shoot Debbie an e-mail with any questions.  I can assure you that she is willing and eager to help!


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