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Saturday, January 09, 2016

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Spanish (Review)

A review about Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids which teaches students the Spanish Language. Written by ASliceOfHomeschoolPie.com

One of the best ways to learn a foreign language is by being immersed in that language. I remember when my nephew was a young boy of about 4 or 5 years old, the only language he knew was English. After spending a year or two in Puerto Rico, I was amazed at how well he could speak Spanish. I hope that someday my children will have the opportunity to spend some time in a Spanish-speaking country where they, too, can be immersed in the Spanish language. In the meantime, I am happy to have found a program, Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids, which teaches Spanish using an immersion approach.

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids teaches Spanish to children ages 3 and up. Parents can also learn alongside their children. Each video depicts three brothers going about their day. Only child actors are used ranging from elementary through high school age. The skits are presented in a fun, humorous manner, and the videos were professionally created. Each video averages about five minutes.

These videos can either be purchased as DVDs or as an online subscription. For this review, I was provided with an online subscription.

The videos were created with a flight theme and as students watch the videos they are taken on a “flight” to various Spanish-speaking countries such as Lima, Peru, or Bogota, Colombia. You can use these opportunities to incorporate a short geography lesson by having the students locate these countries on a map. While on their flight they watch the lessons as their “in-flight movie.”

What I like about this program:
  • The only language spoken is Spanish, hence the immersion approach.

  • In addition to using speech, the program uses labels and texts to help teach the words and its spelling. Below is an example. On the book you see the label “Libro.” Even before you hear the word, you can guess that libro means book.

  • Students are encouraged to learn at a slow pace. They watch one lesson a couple of times before moving on to the next one. (As I am using this for a class, the students watch one lesson a week which is why the next reason I like this program is so important.)

  • It includes an abundant amount of repetition and review throughout each lesson in order to help children remember their vocabulary.

  • The skits make my students laugh which makes the videos enjoyable to watch. Also, the humor and the inflections used throughout the videos helps the students remember the words and their meanings. For example, in one of the “in flight movies,” one of the boys is trying to get his brother to come down to eat breakfast so he calls out, desayuno (breakfast), extending each syllable in the word as he says it, so it sounds like deee-saaaa-yuuuu-nooo.  Whenever my son hears the word desayuno, he jokingly says it in that same manner. (I can actually hear it in my mind as I type this.)

  • My students look forward to learning Spanish. It’s amazing how much they have learned from each segment.

Students captivated by Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids video
  • Two workbooks are available to help reinforce what they have learned. These workbooks include fill-in-the blank questions, crossword puzzles, word searches, and some information pertaining to some Spanish-speaking countries.
Visit Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids to watch a sample of an episode. While there, you can sign up for a free 48-hour trial. The first episode will teach vocabulary such as:

Desayuno
¿Dónde esta?
Gracias
De nada
Hola
Manzana

The videos always begin with a short review of  the words covered in a  previous lesson. You can watch some more samples here.

Cost:

Online subscription which includes the 2-day free trial, a Teacher’s Guide, access to their online workbook, and few video games:

One-month: $14.00/month

Three-month: $39.99 every 3 months

Six-month: $69.99 every 6 months

One-year: $89.99 every year

Customers also have the option of purchasing their DVDs:

Individual DVDs: $23.99 each. (There are 3 volumes available.) You may purchase all three volumes for $63.99.

You can also buy the Beginner Spanish Set which includes all three videos, flashcards, 3 workbooks, and a sticker set to go along with the first volume. Cost: $144.00.

If your children like playing games, you may want to purchase their Dice Off game. Cost: $35.96.

Check out their Facebook page.

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids is a great way to offer your students an introduction to the Spanish language. 


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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Homeschool Mama Wonders, "Am I Coddling My Students?"

A homeschool mom shares her thoughts on trying to find a right balance between what might be coddling her students and helping them grow through challenges. By A Slice of Homeschool Pie.

The other day I found myself asking this question, "Do I coddle my students when it comes to their academic work?" Have you ever asked yourself this question? A couple of recent situations in our homeschool have made me ask this of myself.

I have read several blog posts or articles in the past in which the authors have suggested various methods to use in helping children accomplish their schoolwork successfully. I have used some of their advice with both of my children. For example, if my children (when younger) became frustrated over their math, I would have them stop and either take a break, or leave it until the next day to complete. I still believe that this method is great to use with younger children, but at what age should this method no longer be used?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Friendly Chemistry - Review

Review of the high school chemistry curriculum - Friendly Chemistry

The word chemistry has a way of sending cold chills down my spine, or at least it used to until I found Friendly Chemistry.

I spent a good portion of my summer researching through various chemistry curriculum. Friendly Chemistry stood out to me because of its title. I wondered how chemistry could ever be "friendly".  I was so intrigued that I read the two volume Teacher's Edition from cover to cover in just a handful of weeks. Below, I'd like to share with you my review of this high school chemistry course which can be used by both Christian and Secular families alike.

The Authors' Background (From Their Website):

This book was written by Joey and Lisa Hajda. Joey has a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine and a master's degree in secondary and higher education, curriculum, and instruction. He has taught science courses at the middle and high school levels for over 20 years, as well as at the local community college level.

Lisa has a bachelor's degree in veterinary science, a master's degree in elementary curriculum and instruction, and completed her coursework towards her doctorate in education.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fun Summer Learning Activities for Elementary Students - Guest Post

Fun Summer Learning Activities for Elementary Students - A Slice of Homeschool Pie

A question that people who are unfamiliar with homeschooling often ask is if there is really much of a distinction between holidays and school days if you are being homeschooled. Doesn’t every day feel like a holiday? After all, study plans are not as rigid and structured as they are at regular schools. The answer is that the way children are homeschooled varies and yes, they are more flexible. But to completely slack off from studies during summer holidays will be as much of a step back for children being homeschooled as it is to children who attend regular school.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Learn Math Fast System Review - How It Was Able to Teach My High School Student What Other Math Curricula Couldn't

How It Was Able to Teach My High School Student What Other Math Curricula Couldn't

In the fall of 2014, we switched my high school son’s math program. As we were finishing up the school year, he told me that he was struggling with math. My son who had previously received A type grades in math had not only dropped his grade by two levels, but his confidence in his math skills as well.

Since I had experience using Volume I of the Learn Math Fast System curriculum with my youngest (you can read my review about it here), and having been really impressed with it, I decided to try it with my oldest. Because my son hopes to get into the mechanical engineering field someday, I wanted a math program that would help him understand math, in this case Algebra.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Spanish Level I Online Course - Fall of 2015

Online Spanish Level 1 Course

This fall I will be offering a Spanish Level I course for students in Grades 8 – 12 (Students in 7th grade may also participate if they have taken a prior Spanish course.)

This course will be taught online in a group setting using Google+ Hangouts. In order to participate, students must have a Google+ account and a scanner. Students will be required to scan their homework assignments and email them to me. All tests and quizzes will be emailed to the students. Students will receive a Certificate of Completion award at the completion of the full course.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Diary of A Homeschool Parent - The High School Years - Guidance Counselor and Transcripts

Diary of a Homeschool Parent The High School Years - Guidance Counselor and Transcripts

I have been a homeschool parent for the past 10 years. In May my oldest son will finish his first year of high school lessons, and this past winter I added a new title to my homeschool resume. This new title is Guidance Counselor. Having absolutely no past experience in this regard, I find this new position challenging.

For those of you who have not yet started down this road called the high school years, I thought I'd share my journey with you in a new series of posts which will read more like a diary. My hope is that by reading my "entries," it will assist you in preparing for this phase of your homeschooling career, or if you're already driving down this path, that we will be able to come alongside each other in order to help steer one another in the right direction.