There is quite a bit of research that shows that learning a second language is good for the brain and improves learning in many other areas. The research also indicates that the best time to learn a second language is when you are very young. I believe exposing young children to other languages at a young age is a wonderful idea so I was really excited to have the chance to use the Educator’s Spanish Collection from Whistlefritz with my younger kids.
This collection consists of a Lesson Plan Book, 5 DVDs, 3 music CDs and a matching card game. This curriculum was originally written for preschool and early elementary Spanish teachers to use in their classroom but it is easily adapted for children ages one through seven in the homeschool environment. Your older children will likely learn a few things as well! Everything is written and presented in a way that you don’t even need to know Spanish to teach it to your children, you can learn along with them!
The videos feature a combination of animation and real adults and children speaking the language. They are bright and engaging and keep children’s interest. The CDs are full of fun, upbeat music that gets kids singing and dancing along. Since this is an immersion program everything on the CDs and DVDs is exclusively in Spanish.
The Spanish Lesson Plans for Kids book has 40 simple lessons to teach Spanish vocabulary in addition to many other cross-curricular topics such as science, art, math, and more! The lessons contain songs, games, crafts and other activities to keep kids interested and engaged. Masters of anything needing to be copied are included right in the book and most supplies are household or easy to find items.
The lesson plans tell you exactly what to say and do so you don’t even need to know Spanish to teach the lessons. Each lesson includes a description, the goal and objective, vocabulary and materials needed as well as how much time to allow for the lesson. Then you have the section that tells you exactly how to conduct the lesson, what to say, what to do, what to have the kids do, and how to do any activities.
You also get a fun matching card game with this collection that can be used to reinforce the vocabulary your children are learning.
I used this program with my one-year-old and five-year-old. We mostly watched the videos at home and listened to the CDs in the car. My boys loved the shows and the fun songs. My 5-year-old will not stop counting to 10 in Spanish. Here he is sharing his counting with you:
I tried a few of the lesson plans but my one-year-old really isn’t old enough for structured lessons so it was mostly focused on my older son. He liked the activities but was much more interested in the videos. I also struggled with feeling unsure and self-conscious about my pronunciation while doing the lessons. I think the lesson plans themselves would be better for someone who can already speak Spanish, although that isn’t required. My kids learned a lot just from the DVDs and CDs.
My one year old mimics everything he hears but isn’t really able to apply that information yet. I do believe some of it will carry over when he is older and we will continue using this program to expose him to Spanish. My five-year-old is pretty much only counting at this point but he is also slightly speech delayed and may be a bit self-conscious (he is also pretty strong willed and there is no making him do anything he doesn’t want to do).
He says his favorite video is “Fritzi’s Party” (La Fiesta De Fritzi) and is always asking to watch the videos and listen to the CDs. I suspect he will continue learning more and more of the language and gain confidence in actually using it. He is quite proud of his counting and shows it off every chance he gets. I will continue exposing him to the DVDs and CDs as well and will continue slowly working our way through the lessons despite my amateur pronunciation. Luckily we have family members that can help with that!
If you would like a language program for the young children in your homeschool (or any young children in your life) Whistlefritz is a great choice! They also have French lessons. See the Review Crew link below for more reviews on both the Spanish and French collections!
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This is a Review Crew review, see other reviews of this product and the Educator’s French Collection here: