Song School Spanish
Song School Spanish by Classical Academic Press is a music-based Spanish curriculum for early elementary students. I am using it with my seven-year-old Caleb. We have been working at the recommended pace in the Song School Spanish Teacher’s Guide ($24.95) of one lesson per week, which is separated into three 10-20 minute sessions.
We have been listening to the music recording (the Song School Spanish Student Book with mp3 CD) in the car with my entire family. Even my eleven-year-old son has the songs memorized and my four-year-old twins love the music. Each time we get to a new lesson, I am surprised at how much Caleb already knows simply because we listen to the cd so much. The music for each lesson presents all of the new vocabulary words by embedding them into interesting and catchy lyrics or songs we already know. (Example: “If You’re Feliz and You Know It Clap Your Hands”.)
One of the very first activities we did involved cutting out conejo (rabbit) and tortuga (turtle) puppets from the Song School Spanish Student Text ($24.95) and acting out the story of the Tortoise and the Hare using some Spanish words and mostly English words. Caleb loved his activity and practiced over and over. It has been about six weeks since we did that first lesson. Today my nine-year-old daughter Anna was working on a project for school in which she had to read that same story and answer questions. She came up to me and explained all of her work using the Spanish words. Apparently someone has been listening in to her brother’s studies. The conejo and tortuga are not the only extras included in the back of the student textbook to add a hands-on element to your studies either. We found the next cut-out elements are for unit six, which we should be doing this week.
One of the things introduced in the second lesson and reinforced throughout is the concept of a different alphabet with additional letters. This concept has been hard for Caleb since he is not reading well in English yet. Each lesson includes a bit of copywork of the Spanish letters and vocabulary covered. You might think I would let Caleb skip those since he cannot read them. However, these are just tracing exercises which are very good for fine motor skills. We go ahead and trace the letters and words and talk about the differences even though we are not really ready for this yet. I’m a big believer in creating “hooks” for your child to add knowledge to later.
Another common activity from Song School Spanish which Caleb really enjoys is the “acting out” of different scenarios. For instance, when we learned “¿Como, te llamas?“ (What’s your name?) and “Yo me llamo _______ ” (My name is Amy.) we acted out greeting each other and answering the question. My whole family got involved and took turns. At the end of chapter four, we acted out a play between the conejo and tortuga puppets in which they asked each other how they were feeling — “¿Como estas?” and used emotion words learned in the lesson to answer. (estoy feliz, estoy triste, estoy bien)
Classical Academic Press actually has a free supplementary website called Headventureland that provides additional resources such as online games and coloring pages to supplement all of their various curriculum. We really enjoyed adding the coloring pages to our studies and my preschoolers really liked them! After receiving our Song School Spanish materials, we also chose to purchase the extra game called Spanish Amigo Match ($26.95). These fun and colorful flashcards have pairs of words with one being in Spanish and one being in English. The cards cover 100 vocabulary words, are divided into four decks by color and are used according to which chapters you have competed in the book. Three different methods of play are suggested from a simple memory game to a version of go fish and old maid. After I received these cards I realized they would not work very well for my son until he is reading, so we are saving them for later.
My Bottom Line:
I love how Classical Academic Press includes something for every learning style and fun activities for every lesson. I know for sure that the entire family has learned new Spanish vocabulary. Caleb and I are thoroughly enjoying using Song School Spanish and will continue because it is a perfect fit.
Disclaimer: I received Song School Spanish book, mp3 and teacher’s guide at no cost to me in exchange for an honest review on my blog as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Here you have my honest review. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Guidelines.