It helps....(or makes)...you remember stuff whether you want to or not.
I mean, I remember way too many lyrics from my high school days. Don't even get me started on the ones I am embarrassed to say that I sang along at the top of my lungs to....only to realize years later what I was actually singing! (Billy Squier's - The Stroke - anyone?)
My point is, like the ABC's or the books of the Bible....music can make some things much easier to remember....for the rest of your life. I mean, I still sing the ABCs in my head when I am alphabetizing.
That is sort of the concept behind Song School Spanish by Classical Academic Press.
This curriculum is designed to be used with ages Kindergarten through 2nd or 3rd Grade. So, I have been using this with S-girl and A-man, but of course, V-girl does not want to be left out....so she is hanging out with us. She listens to the music, but does not do any of the workbook pages.
(Meet Conejo and Tortuga! Hola!)
This curriculum came with a student workbook and CD, as well as a teacher book for me.
The CD has 42 short, little, fun songs/chants on it.
The ideal plan is for you to complete a chapter of the workbook each week, which would take you through 31 chapters during your school year. They suggest having a lesson 3 times a week. We have ended up spreading ours out a bit more, since we are only doing Spanish class 2 days a week.
The lessons are all laid out for you. Almost no thinking or digging required by the teacher. You know I am all over that.
Each lesson starts by explaining what you are going to learn in that Chapter, the words, the letters (how they look and sound different than our own alphabet), the songs (they even tell you in the student book what track they are on the CD and how many times to sing the verses). There is writing practice of the new words, story time, some simple art projects (like drawing your teacher or how your face looks when you are sad). There are fill in the blank questions and songs.
I liked the workbook and how the lessons were laid out. Super easy for me and easy to follow for the kids.
In the back of the book are little cut out thingies that you can color and make into puppets or just tape them to a pencil or stick to help them visualize what the thing is that goes with the Spanish word.
I will admit that the first time I popped the CD in before we started the lessons, I didn't find the songs all that enjoyable. But, they grow on you. And when you use them (as intended) along with the lessons, you see how they truly help solidify the new words inside your head. They are catchy. They run through your head when you don't necessarily want them to....but, what that means is that you are learning. I would much rather my kids learn this stuff that the lyrics to The Stroke, wouldn't you?
There wasn't much that I didn't like about Song School Spanish. I felt it was age appropriate for what is was marketed towards K-2nd/3rd. This product is described as a "gentle introduction of Spanish grammer". It is. You are not conjugating verbs with the kids, but through the use of the songs and stories, you figure out that the Spanish language is put together and structured a bit differently than English.
We loved the inclusion of the website Headventure Land because they had a free Flash Dash game that ties in with Song School Spanish where the kids could practice the vocabulary words they were covering chapter by chapter in their lessons. Super cool resource!
We have had a little Spanish study in our school already, so some of the things they caught onto really quickly because they remembered us studying it before. But, really the songs (although annoying sometimes) really did a lot of the work to solidify things in their little heads!
I know there are some people that are anti-workbook for kids, but not me. I love workbooks. I love having hands-on practice of concepts. I think the kids also enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that they get when they finish their work for the day or week.
If you get the teacher's edition also, it has a few teaching helps, but also has the answer key for the workbook pages. I could see using this with older students in a more independent way, because the workbook is so well laid out, and then just checking some of their work with the answer keys.
For now, we are doing it together (which is why the songs are stuck in my head too).
Here is a sample of the workbook pages.
If you want to listen to a few samples of the songs, click on this link and then scroll down to the tab that says "Sample Songs".
One cool thing that is available (but I didn't need to use) is the "Ask the Magister(teacher)" link through Classical Academic Press. You just type in your contact information, what book you are using and what your question is and they will get back to you.
Song School Spanish through Classical Academic Press costs $24.95 for the student book and CD, and $24.95 for the teacher's edition.
The TOS Review Crew reviewed other items by Classical Academic Press besides Song School Spanish. They reviewed God's Great Covenant, the Old Testament too. To see what the crew thought of Song School Spanish and God's Great Covenant, click here for their opinions.
Disclaimer: I received the Song School Spanish workbook, CD and teacher's edition from Classical Academic Press for free, in exchange for an honest review.