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One thing I love about homeschooling my kids is the ability to teach them anything they are interested in. We have always loved having my kids learn a foreign language. This past month we have been trying out the Calico Spanish Curriculum for kids and have really been enjoying it. My kindergartner and I have been working through their Level A program together.
Calico Spanish is presented with video stories that teach the kids Spanish words and phrases. It introduces fun characters and immerses them into the language. There are video clips, story books, songs, workbook activities, flash cards, vocabulary posters, and games to help teach the language. The curriculum uses repetition through a variety of these activities to help the words to stay in their long-term memories.
Calico Spanish uses the natural approach to teaching, meaning that they learn the language as they are exposed to it. The videos use words the kids have not learned yet, but they can figure out the meaning from the context. They can understand and decipher words and phrases through listening and looking and the videos, songs and other visual aids. The curriculum repeatedly uses the same words and phrases in Spanish accompanied by visuals that the kids begin to grasp and remember through repetition. They will understand the messages, and begin building a framework for the language.
I have to say that I really was impressed by their methods and their program. The curriculum is very well done. The videos and lesson activities are of very high quality and really engaged my son.
What is Included in Calico Spanish:
For our review, we received a set that included the Teacher’s Guide, the Student Activities book, Vocabulary posters, Flash cards, and picture books to go along with the video lessons. We also got access to their online lessons where the songs and videos are located.
The Calico Spanish parent guide has a simple to follow, scripted plan for each day. It includes 8 units, but each unit is broken up into 11 different lessons. So, there is really a lot of content and enough to use for the entire school year. Since my son is young, we were only doing lessons twice per week. I think older kids could move through the program more quickly.
You can follow the instructions in the parent book, or right on the screen in the online section. Since the videos and songs are all located online, I liked following along right there best. Both places have all of the needed content, so it is up to you and your preference! Just in case you have no Spanish background, all of the songs and videos have translations in the teacher guides, so don’t worry!
The core of the lesson is the video portion. You watch the same videos multiple times over the course of each section in the lesson. This is really important to help kids grasp and remember the vocabulary words taught in each one. There are dialogue videos and music videos that each teach different concepts. We like the songs from the music videos and often had them stuck in our heads through the day!
Once he got the hang of the basic words in the video, we played a flash card game called Matamoscas (or fly swatter). I spread the flashcards out on the ground and as we listened to the video, he had to find the right one to match the phrases he heard. He really liked this game a lot and we repeated it multiple times! It was perfect way to review what he really knew.
Cost of Calico Spanish:
There are two options for purchasing. You can purchase the printed materials or just use them digitally wth the subscription model. However, you will need to pay their monthly subscription to access all of the digital online content. It is very reasonably priced and you get access to all of the levels. This is a great option for multiple kids.
As I mentioned, I have tried lots of Spanish programs. This is one of the most comprehensive I have seen. It is such high quality and something I definitely would recommend! If you are in the market for foreign language lessons for your kids, definitely take some time to check out Calico Spanish!