Learning a second language is beneficial for so many reasons, but did you know that learning a second language actually makes your brain grow? Studies have shown that learning a foreign language causes the hippocampus and three areas of the cerebral cortex to grow. Learning a foreign language also helps develop better attention and concentration, better memorization skills, better all around language skills, and much much more.
Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids
Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids was developed by Kit Strauss, a mom who struggled to find a fun yet effective foreign language curriculum for her children. What is now an award winning program, Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids includes games, videos, humor, entertainment, and, of course, lots of enjoyable learning along the way. Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids is recommended for children as young as 3 to kids in their early teens.
The Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Starter Set 1 covers Spanish levels 1-3:
- Basketballs Aren’t for Breakfast – Level 1
- The Little Magic House Part I – Level 2
- The Little Magic House Part II – Level 3
The Starter Set 1 includes the following:
- Spanish DVD – Volume 1 – includes videos for all 3 levels
- Spanish Stickers – 9 page set
- Spanish Flashcard Set – includes flashcards for each of the 3 levels
- 3 Spanish Student workbooks – one workbook for each of the 3 levels
- 3 Spanish Teacher’s guides – one guide for each of the 3 levels
- Go Squish card game
The Starter Set 1 curriculum is meant to cover a 20 week period and suggests completing one lesson twice a week. The curriculum includes cultural information, such as cooking and geography, as well as the language aspect. With all the stickers and hands-on activities and games, learning Spanish becomes easy and enjoyable.
The full color student workbooks include crossword puzzles, search-a-words, matching games, and much more. Each workbook reinforces what is presented in the video. Workbook pages are kept light and not at all boring or tedious.
The teacher’s guides are well laid out with daily lesson plans so the teacher can “open and go”. No lesson plans or preparations are necessary. Lessons take, on average, about 30 minutes.
The DVD is entertaining and humorous. Because this program teaches students using the immersion method, students are not expected to understand everything in the video at first, but over time they will begin to understand more and more. Each video is somewhere around 10 minutes, but the videos are broken up into segments for the first few lessons.
Thoughts and Usage
I used Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Starter Set 1 with my two kids, ages 5 and 11, and both of them have learned so much! This curriculum truly spans a large range of ages.
I was planning to use this curriculum as suggested, doing two lessons a week, but since my kids begged to “do Spanish” everyday, we usually completed a lesson everyday.
Using the teacher’s guide, we would start out a lesson by watching a video segment. This only took a few minutes and then we would proceed to the lesson’s activities. Most lessons contained one or more activities. The activities might include locating on a map and talking about a Spanish-speaking country, playing a game using Spanish vocabulary, completing a page in the student workbook, placing Spanish word stickers on objects around the house, or reviewing Spanish words through flashcard games. My kids loved all the activities and games!
My daughter, 5, was too young to use the workbooks but they were perfect for my 11 year-old son. My daughter was able to participate in all the other games and activities, and both of my kids loved the videos. They wanted to watch them over and over. They loved the humor and the fact that all the actors were children.
I’m truly amazed at all the Spanish my kids have learned in such a short amount of time. My kids have been able to incorporate Spanish words and phrases into their daily conversations. For example, they say, “Mmm, me gusta” during dinner and “Hola Mama” whenever I walk into a room. When they are looking for something, they wander around the house saying, “Donde, donde esta?” I love it!
I’ve noticed that the way some of the Spanish words are pronounced is different from what I learned in college, especially in regards to the words el and ella. I’m guessing there are just different pronunciations out there depending on location, just as English words have different pronunciations depending on where you live.
The DVD is high quality and very engaging. My kids love it. Some of the girls on the DVD are wearing tank tops and some rather short shorts. It’s in passing, so I don’t really have that big of a problem with it. Just something I noticed.
The Spanish flashcards aren’t traditional flashcards. They don’t have the answers on the back of the cards. Instead, the answers are on a couple of separate answer key cards. This is so that your students can play the Go Squish card game.
The student workbook is not completed in order. It took a little getting used to for me at first, but just know that you’ll be jumping around to different pages in the student workbook and that’s okay.
My kids love this Spanish curriculum and are eager to do it every day. We have completed level one and are currently working through level two. Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids has been my kids’ first introduction to Spanish, and due to this program their first taste of Spanish has been an enjoyable one. No tears and no stress. Yay!
Learning Spanish can be fun and effective with Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids. We are big fans and we’ll be continuing this curriculum all the way through level three.