Animo: Once A Week Spanish Class
Foreign Language / May 20, 2014

Animo Spanish Content: Foreign Language – Spanish Grade(s): 3rd – 8th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $ || ? Pages: 263 Publication Date: 2012 Publisher: Lulu Date of Review: May 16, 2014 Reviewer: Alessa Giampaolo Keener Animo is an elementary-level, introductory Spanish course. Like many foreign language classes for children, the focus is on helping students begin to speak about topics relevant to kids. The book is intended to be completed over two 12-week periods. By the time you finish, you’ll have learned over 300 Spanish vocabulary words and short phrases and be able to use them in the present tense. Parents with little or no Spanish background may be able to use this curriculum, if they’re willing to learn a new language along with their kids. Previewing the book will be helpful for novice adult Spanish learners so you can highlight important pronunciation notes, as they are sprinkled throughout the book. For example, notes for handling tilde and accent marks are introduced in Chapter 2. Students learn how to properly pronounce the Spanish alphabet in Chapter 9. And, chapter 10 discusses stressed syllables. What may seem like an odd approach to teaching…

Getting Started With Latin
Foreign Language / January 2, 2014

Getting Started With Latin Content: Foreign Language Grade(s): 4th – up Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: None Teacher Involvement: Minimal Cost: $ || ? Pages: 224 Publication Date: 2011 Publisher: gettingstartedwithlatin.com Date of Review: 01/02/2014 Reviewer: Sarah Butler MacLeod Getting Started with Latin (Beginning Latin for Homeschoolers and Self-Taught Students of Any Age), by William E. Linney, approaches Latin gradually and, over 132 single page lessons, introduces the learner to basic Latin grammar. It’s not a full year of Latin, but it’s a fine and effective grounding in the language. With only one new idea per lesson, this is a gentle approach to a complicated language. Linney covers the first and second declension, two conjugations of present tense verbs, the concept of gender, and a handful of adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, and conjunctions. The vocabulary is relatively small – farmers, sailors, beasts, and women; build, sail, swim, and plow in a variety of combinations – but this decreased vocabulary allows the learner to focus on learning the grammar itself rather than on memorizing voluminous vocabulary lists. The content may not be the most scintillating material to translate, but this sound beginner’s text is entirely nonthreatening, an essential feature for…

Muzzy Foreign Language
Foreign Language / January 6, 2012

Muzzy Content: Foreign Language – Multiple Grade(s): PreK – 8th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $ || ? Pages: DVD, print & online components Publication Date: Publisher: www.muzzybbc.com Updated Review: May 26, 2017 From Muzzy’s website: Developed by the BBC, MUZZY’s “see and say, listen and learn” method patterns the way children learn their first language. MUZZY follows national foreign language standards which emphasize the use of functional language, repetition and “spiraling.” In MUZZY, words and concepts are first introduced, and then introduced again and again in many new contexts. Guided Immersion Learning Portal Children will access Muzzy’s simple easy interface that naturally guides them through the progression of discovering a new language. Self-guided learning makes it easy and delightful for your child. Animated Stories The cornerstone of the MUZZY program, the MUZZY Level I and II stories combine humor and adventure to keep children captivated as hundreds of new words and phrases are introduced and repeated in new contexts. Laugh along in Level I as Muzzy’s taste for parking meters gets him into trouble, and sit on the edge of your seats for the exciting helicopter chase that just may decide the…

Hooked On Spanish
Foreign Language / January 6, 2012

Hooked On Spanish Content: Foreign Language – Spanish Grade(s): PreK-K Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$ || ? Pages: Software and Book based Publisher: www.hookedonphonics.com Updated Review: May 6, 2014 From Hooked On Spanish’s website: Our unique three-level learning system teaches new language skills through fun activities your child will want to share with family and friends. Hooked on Spanish utilizes independent instruction combined with interactive methods to teach basic words and phrases. Techniques include workbook practice, lovable characters to encourage correct pronunciation, stories and games for reinforcement, and other activities to keep the learning alive long after you’ve turned off the computer. Yellow Level: Hello and goodbye Numbers Saying your age Colors Shapes Red Level: Family members Greetings Parts of the body Friends Counting things Saying “I have…” Blue Level: Opposites Clothes Places in your neighborhood “Let’s go to…” “Where are we going?” Because one opinion is never enough! Have you ever used Hooked On Spanish? How did it work for your family? Share your review below.

Professor Toto
Featured , Foreign Language / January 6, 2012

Professor Toto Content: Foreign Language – Multiple Grade(s): PreK – 5th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Yes Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $$ || ? Pages: DVD & print components Publication Date: 2003 Publisher: www.professortoto.com Updated Review: May 6, 2014 From Professor Toto’s website: Professor Toto is a series of multi-award winning language education tools for ages 2 to 8. Animated DVDs, song-filled CDs, and colorful workbooks introduce a stimulating menagerie of characters who teach: * French * Spanish * Italian * Chinese * German Professor Toto uses the innovative Thibaut Technique®, the distinctive teaching method pioneered by Thibaut in 1973. His method allows kids to learn naturally, by hearing, not translating. First they hear, then they understand, and finally they speak. Thibaut’s method combines a carefully structured curriculum with a child’s innate love of play. Professor Toto brings a child’s mind to life with color, humor, friends, and action. Kids laugh, respond, and become emotionally involved so their minds’ absorb everything they are seeing, hearing, and saying. We created Professor Toto as a flexible learning tool so there are myriad ways for your child to enjoy his kit. Very young children are typically content with watching Professor Toto…

Spanish Is Fun
Foreign Language / February 19, 2011

Spanish Is Fun Content: Foreign Language Grade(s): 5th and up Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $$ || ? Pages: 400+ Publication Date: 2003 Publisher: www.amscopub.com Available in: French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish From Amsco’s website: ___ is Fun series provides students with a basal text that will help them attain acceptable levels of proficiency in basic communicative skills. The book provides enough materials for a one-year course in junior high school as well as beginning high school courses. Develops basic communicative skills through simple materials. Uses visual cues for learning and practice. Provides topical contexts to which students can easily relate. Teaches vocabulary through lively drawings that convey meanings of words without the need of English. Makes extensive use of cognates to show students that Italian is not so “foreign” after all. Presents structure inductively, guiding students into making their own discoveries and formulating their own conclusions. Features short, entertaining narratives and/or playlets that illustrate new vocabulary and structures. Rounds out lessons with illustrated conversations, personalized dialog exercises, and other practice. Makes cultural connections in the narratives, playlets, and personalized communicative practice. Includes review units after every four lessons featuring games, puzzles,…

First Start French
Foreign Language / February 7, 2011

First Start French Content: French Grade(s): 6th – 8th Perspective: Christian Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $ || ? Pages: 128 Publication Date: 2007 Publisher: www.memoriapress.com Common Core Aligned: No From Memoria Press’ website: First Start French is the perfect introduction to French for students at grade levels 6 through 8. Modeled after Memoria Press’ approachable Latina Christiana format, you will be able to teach your students the basics of grammar, help them develop a large vocabulary, and assist them in beginning to speak French. You will enjoy learning along with them as they practice conversation, reading and translation, and are introduced to French culture. The student manual introduces vocabulary, grammar, and translation, with practice exercises for every lesson. The teacher manual includes hints and guidelines to keep you ahead of your student. Quizzes and answer keys make it easy to check progress. A pronunciation guide and CD will give your student the guidance needed to develop a good accent. Six fun, traditional French songs help with grammar and vocabulary. About the Author: Danielle L. Schultz earned an MA from the University of Chicago in Social Service Administration. Her BA in Sociology (magna cum laude)…

Latina Christiana
Foreign Language / February 7, 2011

Latina Christiana Content: Latin Grade(s): 3rd – 5th Perspective: Christian Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $ || ? Pages: 88 Publication Date: 2002 Publisher: www.memoriapress.com Common Core Aligned: No From Memoria Press’ website: Each lesson consists of ten vocabulary words, a set of grammar forms, and a Latin saying. Exercises reinforce memory work, teach systematic grammar, and provide simple translation. Prayers, songs, conversational Latin, history lessons, maps, and games add interest and motivation. The Teacher Manual includes keyed copy of the student book and provides grammar overview, teaching guidelines, recitation schedule, scripted lesson plans, tests, keys, and background information on Latin sayings and Roman history. Both Christian and classical content. The thirty lessons can be completed in a year or longer, depending on age of student and experience of teacher. Latina Christiana was designed as a beginning course for students of all ages. This course was specifically written for the teacher with no background in Latin. About the Author: Cheryl Lowe graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree in chemistry and from Western KY University with an M.S in Biology. Cheryl has had wide teaching experience teaching everything from phonics, reading, math, Bible,…

Prima Latina
Foreign Language / February 7, 2011

Prima Latina Content: Latin Grade(s): 2nd – 4th Perspective: Christian Prep Time: Minimal Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Essential Cost: $ || ? Pages: 128 Publication Date: 2003 Publisher: www.memoriapress.com Common Core Aligned: No From Memoria Press’ website: Prima Latina was developed for young children who are still becoming familiar with English grammar and wish to learn Latin at a slower pace. The program provides 25 lessons, each including a grammar skill, 5 vocabulary words with corresponding English derivatives, a practical Latin phrase, and one line of a prayer that is learned in totality over five lessons. The exercises that accompany each lesson are thorough and provide constant review of materials learned throughout the course. After each five lessons, a review chapter summarizes the material covered and provides a keyed test to insure mastery. With grammar lessons appropriate for primary grades and an easy to read two color format, Prima Latina is the perfect choice for those who would like to start Latin early and lay the foundation of a rigorous language arts program. Prima Latina was written to transition directly into Latina Christiana, allowing students to complete an entire Latin sequence without missing important concepts or vocabulary. Prima Latina…

Calvert Education

Calvert Education Content: Full Grade(s): PreK – 12th Perspective: Secular Prep Time: Moderate Teacher Manual: Available Teacher Involvement: Moderate Cost: $$$$ || ? Pages: Online & Book Publisher: www.calverteducation.com Review Last Updated: May 28, 2017 Common Core Aligned: Yes ** From the Publisher’s Website: ** Calvert Education’s inquiry-based method of learning allows students to absorb subject matter and apply knowledge in vibrant, expressive ways. In sharing their own knowledge and techniques with their peers, individual students collaborate in a bright, open world of learning with endless possibilities. Elementary and Middle Schol Programs focus on the four core subject areas: Language Arts, Math, Science, and History. Students develop strong reading comprehension skills, write original composition pieces, develop critical thinking skills, learn fundamental math concepts, read classic literature, explore a variety of science topics, and learn about the world around them. The programs also include integrated technology lessons that coincide with subjects and lessons. Calvert Education is Available As: Complete Homeschool Program: Everything you need to teach your children at home is provided to you, including materials, step-by-step Lesson Manuals, access to the online planning tool – Calvert Teaching Navigator, and engaging online resources. Individual Calvert Classes: Supplement your existing homeschool program…