Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids {a TOS review}

Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review
We only speak one language in our home, but I would love for my kids to grow up with the foundations of other languages.  Currently we sponsor two children in Peru and I thought it would be perfect for the kids to begin to learn Spanish to break this language barrier we have.   We have been using the Starter Set 1 from Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids (FL4K) to help us achieve this goal. 
With FL4K Starter Set 1, also known as Beginner Spanish Set , your children will learn the basics of the Spanish language by being fully immersed into the language with cute video based lessons set in conversation style.  In this manner the students will learn the language in the same way they learn their own native language - by hearing it spoken in real conversations. 

This isn't a program where we learn to read and write Spanish (although you'd certainly be able to do some of that after the program), but rather, this program is like the foundation of language learning.  Just like we learn our native language first by hearing and speaking it, so we learn Spanish with FL4K.
Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review
The Starter Set comes with:
  • one DVD (Spanish Volume 1) with 3 levels of learning -
  • Guide for Teachers and Parents - levels 1 through 3
  • workbooks for Levels 1 through 3
  • Go Squish Cardgame (instructions)
  • flash cards for the 3 levels (used for games and drill/practice)
  • Sticker Set for levels 1 through 3

The videos from FL4K are set up as if you are on a flight and you are giving an in-flight movie, where all the conversations are in Spanish.  You start in Washington D.C. and then "fly" to Lima, Peru for your first flight (Level 1, or Flight 101).  Once you master this section you begin Flight 102 and fly off to Bogota, Columbia where you are given another in-flight movie - The Little Magic House Part 1.  Your last flight takes you to San Jose, Costa Rica with an in-flight movie, The Little Magic House Part 2.

Each of the videos follow 3 brothers, and their activities throughout the day.  Level 1 finds the brothers at breakfast time.  You will learn Spanish words for things we'd say in our everyday life, such as breakfast, hello, thank you, you're welcome, sleep and so on.

Level 2 finds the brothers at 10 a.m. with one brother playing basketball while another brother tries to introduce his friend, Gracie.  In this level we learn pronouns such as he and she, and we learn common words like brother, sister, house, and friend.

Level 3 continues on with Gracie's visit where the brothers and Gracie are thirsty and hungry.  In this episode you'll learn how to say you're thirsty or hungry and ask for some common foods or drinks.

The Teacher Guides

The Teacher Guides provide you with lesson plans and activities that not only guide you on which parts of the DVD to watch or what page to complete in the workbooks, but also extended learning ideas in Geography, culture or games.

Here you will also find great advice on how to best to teach Spanish with this program.

Sticker Set

Stickers are provided in the Starter Set 1 to use throughout your journey to incorporate your Spanish vocabulary into your own everyday life.  Each level has it's own stickers to follow along with the new words learned.

This was probably my kids' favorite part of the program.  I have 3 kids ages 3, 6 and 9 that would all watch the videos together.  As they learned the vocabulary we'd add a sticker to the appropriate area in our home.  They loved this - and even my 3 year old was using the "me gusta/no me gusta" phrase appropriately .  So fun!

The Workbooks

The workbooks provide additional learning with crosswords puzzles, short grammar lessons, geography lessons, cultural facts and more.  We completed any sections that were to be read aloud such as the geography portions.  Others that asked for writing we didn't complete as 2 of my students are too young and the eldest really resists most writing - but we did complete those lessons verbally together.

Go Squish Cardgame and Flashcards

The flashcards are a way to practice the vocabulary with fun games such in a way that's more than just the old fashioned manner of showing a card and they robotically answer.  No, the ideas given in the Guides get your kids up and moving and laughing while they learn.

The cards show scenes from the videos and have a written word to match.  2 word banks are provided for each level (which was super useful for us until we got better at the Spanish words).

Go Squish Cardgame is best described as a Spanish version of Go Fish.  This little booklet describes how to play the game at a beginning level when you're not yet to familiar with the phrases and then grows with your family as you learn more - soon you'll be playing the whole game while saying the common phrasing of Go Fish in Spanish, with Go Squish said instead.

Final Thoughts

We thoroughly have enjoyed learning Spanish with this fun program.  I was most pleased that my 3 year old has been learning right along with us. 

The only thing I'd like different is phonetic help along side the vocabulary.  This would be super helpful as a teacher that has a hard time distinguishing sounds sometimes.  If I had a "sounds like" I could better help them say their words correctly, sooner. 

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Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review

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