We’ve been trying to learn Spanish as a family over the past few months, so I’ve been on the lookout for good resources to help all the words stick into the children’s heads. So, when I had the opportunity to review The Fun Spanish for Brookdale House, I was excited to get the opportunity to give it a try with my ten year old.
About The Fun Spanish
The Fun Spanish is a one semester introductory Spanish course that has been written for elementary school students using Charlotte Mason’s principles to design a gentle, but thorough introduction to the language. Instructions are given for expanding this course into a year-long course, but since I’m using it with a fifth-grader, we’re using it as written.
Each lesson has five days of work contained in the workbook. The first four days of work for each lesson follow a predictable pattern. This pattern is:
- Verb conjugation. Each week has a new verb for your child to learn, and your child says and writes down the verb in each of it’s simple present tense forms.
- Vocabulary. There’s new words to learn and vocabulary words to review.
- Translation Practice. Your child is given an English sentence to translate into Spanish, and to memorize each day.
- Silly Sentence. Your child is given a silly sentence to copy and to illustrate.
The fifth day of work for each lesson reviews the verb conjugation for the week, has your child translate English words into Spanish and allows your child to pick one or more Spanish sentences to translate into English. Along the way, your child reviews the Spanish sentences for each day all week.
How We Used The Fun Spanish
We used the program completely as written. Sometimes we only got to Spanish three or four days a week, but we completed a day each time we sat down to work on it. Spanish took approximately 10-15 minutes, depending on how artistic Firecracker was feeling that day. I haven’t used it with Rose yet, but I imagine it would take a little longer each day for her because she likes to make larger, more elaborate drawings.
Our Opinion on The Fun Spanish
This Spanish program is truly fun. This is one of Firecracker’s favorite products that he’s used in a long time. Often, the model for each day elicited a grin or a giggle from him as he read it and began to get the idea to complete his drawing. He found the sentences easy to remember, and he often chose to share these sentences with his Daddy in the evenings when they talked about his day.
He also loved that so many of the early vocabulary words are related to animals. Firecracker is a real animal lover, so learning the Spanish words for different animals kept him really engaged in a way that learning Spanish with other things might not have. He loved drawing elephants with small bodies, pink bears living in pools and the other things that he would need to draw each day. He actually wanted to do more than one day’s work each day, but I felt like, from a memorizing vocabulary standpoint, that he needed to slow down and make sure he was remembering the words and sentences as he went through his lessons.
This is a wonderful Spanish program for the upper elementary school set. They recommend it for grades two through five, and I think that’s a really true estimate of the age range that would find this product of the most use. If you have a sixth or seventh grader that loves to draw, they also might enjoy working through the workbook. I could easily see Firecracker enjoying this type of Spanish workbook for another year or two. He enjoys drawing, and this really allows him to have fun drawing silly images.
Firecracker and I are enjoying the opportunity to use it, and I fully plan to implement it with Rose after the first of the year. I’m giving her English abilities a little more time to develop before I begin allowing her to work on the translations, but I know, because of the drawings and the fun nature of the program that she will succeed just as well as Firecracker has with the curriculum.