Homeschool Language Arts

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review and Giveaway!

Three of our Hip Homeschool Moms team members recently had the opportunity to use and review Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Spanish. This program is great for children ages 3 to 14. We are happy to have the chance to share this review with you.

Be sure to read all the way down to the end to see how you can purchase your own membership and to enter to win a free one-year subscription for yourself and get a free subscription to give away during the holidays!

Spanish Curriculum

Cheryl and her son, an active 7-year-old boy, loved this program!

As soon as the box arrived I was intrigued.  Their slogan is “Knowing a foreign language is fun so leaning one should be too!!”. I love that approach!  Isn’t that one of our goals in homeschool?  To enjoy and love learning?

As I unpacked the box with my excited 7-year-old beside me, I was happily surprised.  Rather than workbooks and readers, the contents looked like videos and games.  My son instantly wanted to “play.”  Score for this mom of an an active boy, because worksheets alone won’t keep his interest.

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids takes a multi-sensory approach that works well with most styles of learning.  Using a combination of  video, workbooks, online quizzes, hands-on dice games, and sticker rewards, there’s something to appeal to everyone.  However it wasn’t created to simply be fun, it was created to be effective as well.

Created with parents in mind, Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids is an unintimidating way for you (even if you don’t know Spanish) to expose your child to a foreign language in a “slow but steady” immersion style.  Overall, I was very impressed with its style.  I wish I’d had something like this when my teen boys were little.

Foreign Language For KidsWhat We Liked

Slow Pace.  This program stresses the importance of taking things slowly at first.  This gave my son time to better absorb the foreign aspect of the foreign language.  We began with videos only, no more than 10 minutes at a time.  From there, several weeks later, we added in workbooks, quizzes, and games.

DVD and Online Videos.  When we began, we started with the online videos that are already broken down into smaller segments.  Once I felt my son was ready to tackle several segments at once, or the entire video, we used the DVDs.  That made it easier for him to not be tempted to leap ahead.

Online Quizzes.  While I don’t always rely on quizzes in homeschool (some kids just are good testers), I found the quizzes, which present more as online games, helpful in determining whether or not my son was ready to move on.  We’re all about mastery, folks.

The Dice Games. This fun extra really helps solidify what’s been learned.  The element of play is very important in teaching my active boy.  Being able to “play a game” rather than “learn” keeps him positively motivated.

Sturdiness. The dice games are on a nice, sturdy board, not flimsy material.  This is imperative with something that will be handled so much by little hands, and used again and again.

Emphasis on review. The importance of review and mastery is stressed with an emphasis on starting slow, reviewing after every video session, and completing quizzes to ensure next-level-readiness. This is so important with all subjects, but especially foreign language.

Ease of Use.  There was no cumbersome software to install and no complicated instructions to follow.  Everything was well explained and straight forward.  Even navigating the member area website was simple.

What I’d Add

Even though we thoroughly enjoyed this product, and I will keep using it, there are a few additional things I’d like to see or would change.

More Workbooks.  I’d love either more workbooks or workbooks with more material.  My eldest son is now 18; when he was younger, he was a workbook nut!  If I had used this program with him, he would have completed the workbooks in record time and wanted more.

Workbooks for nonreaders.  My 7-year-old is not a reader.  When it was time to do workbooks, I had to work through them at his side.  There was nothing wrong with that. However, I know he would have appreciated workbooks with more visual information.

I was very satisfied with the overall Spanish immersion experience offered by Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids.  It was fun, engaging and thorough!  

Danielle and her husband were very happy with the program and were thrilled with how much Spanish they and their sons (ages 7 and 9)  learned in a short time!

Our family runs a small homestead farm in Southern California, and earlier this year we were blessed with the opportunity to become weekly vendors at our local farmer’s market. We’ve met the nicest people there inside the tight-knit community of market vendors and their families. It’s because we spend every Monday at this market, where a very kind and primarily Spanish-speaking gentleman is also a vendor, that my three boys developed a genuine interest in learning to speak Spanish. Needless to say we were thrilled when given the opportunity to review the program Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids!

We reviewed the following products:

Spanish DVDs Volume 1 & Volume 2

Spanish Workbooks Volume 1 & Volume 2 (Print)

Dice Off Game

Stickers (9-page set)

The DVDs – My two youngest sons (ages 7 & 9) were the primary reviewers for this program, and they liked it instantly! Upon receiving our materials I quickly read through the clearly-written instructional pages, and the boys eagerly popped DVD Volume 1 in to play. Our whole family thoroughly enjoyed the funny, lighthearted, easy-to-follow content which centers on three brothers (just like my boys, which was fun for them) as they instantly begin to immerse the watcher into a Spanish-speaking home & community. Our first good impression of the videos only deepened as we continued to watch through the weeks! The short lessons are very well done, using Spanish exclusively in conversational situations children are likely to experience themselves but using visual clues to help the kids follow along. My husband and I honestly picked up more useful conversational Spanish in one or two watches of the Volume 1 DVD than we retained in 2 full years of high school Spanish! I’m truly excited to be able to continue using this resource with our boys. They’ve learned so much in such a short time I can only imagine what result more time will produce!

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The Workbooks – As a homeschool mom I really appreciate how well the Spanish Workbooks compliment the videos. They are very well thought-out, easily grabbed my middle son’s attention, and were a vital tool in helping him retain the words and phrases he was learning in the videos. My youngest son is not a strong reader, and he would have definitely benefitted from a lower-level, more picture-heavy workbook in order to achieve the same multi-sensory learning approach enjoyed by his older brother.

The Dice Off Game – This game always brought a barrel of belly-laughs from my guys! The individual game boards, or “Flight Manuals,” show 12 different Spanish verbs, and the players must correctly pronounce and act out the various verbs in order to cover that particular square with their verb card. I could show you all the blurry pictures I took of them kicking, jumping, dancing, and pretending to drive while playing, but you’ll just have to take my word for it. 😉 This was a great way for my wiggly-willy 9-year-old to really “get” the different verbs in the way he best receives new information! We didn’t get a chance to play the more advanced versions of the game, but this introductory level one was always met with excitement and approval from both mom and kiddos! (Important note: The game does complement the curriculum, but it may be played on its own too–even without the curriculum.) 

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Stickers – If I had to pick my favorite part of the whole system it’d be the 9-sheet set of stickers meant to help the kids associate Spanish words and phrases with their own surroundings. I loved seeing these pop up all over my house through the weeks when the boys would identify a new piece of information and subsequently understand how they could apply it to their own world. These constant visual reminders were good for more than learning the vocabulary; they very often kept Spanish a topic of conversation in our home. I often witness them come upon a tag, repeat a phrase, figure out the correct verb for an action, and playfully try to stump one another with impromptu quizzes in response to the visual reminder. It’s been a ton of fun for me to watch!!

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I think this program is masterfully done, a unique and truly multi-sensory approach to immersing children of all ages (and their parents, but shhhhhh…..) in foreign language studies. I was never met with groans and grumbles when it was Spanish time in our homeschool, a minor miracle in itself! I’d love to see Foreign Language for Kids by Kids continue to expand and create new workbooks and DVDs!

 

Kelli’s Review:

bandicam 2014-10-31 15-22-12-010

Hola! From the get-go, your family will start out hearing, seeing, and comprehending the foreign language lessons in this program. The concept is fairly simple and was created to reach a variety of different learning styles.

The program uses video, audio, and text with:

  • DVDs
  • Online video
  • Workbooks
  • Interactive quizzes
  • Games and activities

We began with a DVD video. The boys watched a simple video which they could relate easily to. We were introduced to three brothers who were beginning their day at the breakfast table. As the boys greeted each other, talked and identified the foods they were eating, and made additional small talk – we were able to follow along and begin to learn new words as we saw them in action and heard them being used simultaneously.

The video lesson was slow enough for us to be able to repeat most of the words as we watched, yet not so slow as to be boring. The lessons are short, not overwhelming, and to the point. They are intended to be watched repeatedly, until the material is mastered. This allows each child to learn at his own pace – which is perfect for homeschool families teaching multiple ages!

After watching the video lesson, we moved on to the corresponding workbook where the boys spent some time naming and identifying the words and items they had just heard and watched in the video. It was an immediate review, a simple format, and an effective learning tool. Several workbooks come with each program.

There are additional games and activities included in the workbooks for continual practice and reinforcement.  The company also has online videos and workbooks available as well as interactive quizzes!

Online Workbooks

Foreign Language for kids by kids - online workbooks

Video Sample Lesson:

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids

Once you are about three weeks into the program – and have begun to use the words you are learning, have built up a foundation in the vocabulary, and are familiar with the usage of the language – there is a game to play which will further reinforce familiarity with foreign language. It’s the perfect way to practice putting the language to work, and the activities will also reach kinetic learners while helping all learners use their new-found knowledge. It puts a fun twist on learning foreign language for sure! (Note: This game is optional and is available as a separate purchase.)

Dice Off - Foreign language learning game

 

All in all, Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids is a program that will have you speaking and understanding the language from day one. It is a simple system, a solid concept, and an effective – yet fun way to learn.

I was impressed with the quality of the products and the user-friendly format. There are little extras included that really make a difference, like stickers to place on everyday objects around the house for daily use, the workbook activities, and fun tools with the game.

The lessons held the attention of my children and they are retaining what they have learned. To me, this covers some of the most important factors in any educational program – it reaches them, holds their attention, and reinforces their learning.

I give this program two thumbs up and a high five! Me Gusta!

Buy It!

A Membership: This is a great time to buy a membership for your family! As a special holiday promotion, when you buy a 3-, 6-, or 12-month membership, you will receive an additional membership of equal value FREE to give to a special child (or adult)! (Kid-based learning is fun for adults too!) To take advantage of this offer, just click this link. There, you can watch the demo video and then sign up for a free 48-hour trial. If you sign up for the free trial, you will have to enter your credit card info and will be billed if you don’t cancel within 48 hours. It is not necessary to sign up for the free trial in order to get this offer, but if you’d like to have a day or two to try it out before making a purchase, this is an option you might like. Use the code BUY1GET1, and you’ll get the second membership free!  (This promotion is good through 11/28/14.) 

A Game: If your children love board games or if you love playing board games with your kids, you may want to try out the award-winning Spanish game, Dice Off®. It offers a hands-on and active way to learn practical Spanish vocabulary which will have you laughing in no time! Be prepared to be creative! Dice Off® can be used separately from the Spanish video program or as a supplement to it. Get 20% off by using the coupon code diceoff20.  Purchase here. (This promotion also lasts through 11/28/14.)

Win It!

There will be 3 winners! (Don’t worry! If you purchase a game or a membership and then win the contest, you will be reimbursed for your purchase!)

Grand Prize: Online Membership for One Year (Value: $89.99)

2nd Prize: Online Membership for 6 Months (Value: $59.99)

3rd Prize: Dice Off®, Spanish learning board game for kids or the whole family! (Value: $44.95)

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About the author

Kelli Becton

Kelli lives on the coast of Southwest Florida with her Pro Fishing Guide husband, Mark. They were introduced 16 years ago at the beach, and quickly discovered they had grown up in the same church. They were married on that island beach, and now have three little boys who play & explore there together. She is ever grateful for God's faithfulness. It was in the midst of a booming real estate career, that God called them to homeschool. Once she recovered from the shock, and stepped out in obedience, they have never looked back! The boys are now 13, 10, & 9 years old. You will often find them kayaking, hiking, camping while exploring God’s creation. They share these learning experiences with Wildlife Adventures Unit Studies on the family blog.

About the author

Cheryl P

Cheryl has been homeschooling since 2001. She is currently raising and educating five children (two of whom are her brothers-in-law). Cheryl is an avid social media user with a heart for strong family values and the companies that promote them. Sensing a need to help establish homeschool bloggers online and support family-friendly business, Cheryl created The 2:1 Conference. 2:1 is a faith based conference for homeschooling parents active in social media.

About the author

Danielle

Danielle is a big-city Southern California girl who, after a number of years spent enjoying the majesty of small-town Montana, moved back home to be near family and make a go of her backyard homesteading dreams. She’s married to her stud of a high school sweetheart and together they’re raising three handsome, rough-and-tumble young men. Their family loves the Lord and homeschooling is just one of the many ways they have endeavored to give their whole lives to Christ. Danielle and her family are having a blast working to turn their healthy DIY spirit into a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

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