Archive for category Curriculum Reviews
If you’re like me, you may not have been aware of Spanish For You!™
Spanish for You!™was created in an effort to provide an affordable alternative for language learning. It is designed to provide students with a foundation for future, more rigorous Spanish courses.
Here’s a little bit about the product from the website: “Spanish for You!™ begins your child on the road to fluency. It is designed from years of experience by a Spanish teacher to effectively build speaking, reading, and writing skills as well as grammar knowledge. Students learn to creatively build sentences, ask and answer questions, and truly communicate in Spanish! And they have fun doing it!!”
The concepts are learned through a topical approach and focuses on themes used throughout everyday life and culture. They can be approached in any order, so your child can pick whichever theme they’d like to start with.
Spanish for You!™ follows a pattern like this:
First, learn everyday vocabulary and pronunciation using MP3′s (both native and non-native speakers.) Second, learn verb conjugations. Last, proceed on to grammar and application of the new concepts learned in the lesson. As you proceed through each lesson, it follows a “spiral” approach, learning new material and reviewing past lessons.
No previous language experience is necessary. Just choose your student’s current grade level and the package includes worksheets and activities that are geared toward that age group.
Spanish For You!™ is an effective and affordable solution for family language learning. This introduction to Spanish language will give your students a good foundation for future high school level courses.
As of this review, there are three available themes to choose from. You can choose from Viajes (Travel), Fiestas (Celebrations), or Estaciones (Seasons). Because of the way the program is designed, you can start with whichever package that sounds interesting to your child. If you purchase the Complete Package Theme, you will receive the lessons guides for all grade levels, so you can use them with the whole family. If you only have one child and/or wish to use it for just one grade level, you can also choose one of the following grade levels:
Grades 3 – 4 (30 weeks/4 days per week)
Grades 5 – 6 (24 weeks/4 days per week)
Grades 7 – 8 (24 weeks/4 days per week)
Another benefit, is that the audio files come complete with two options. One with an non-native narrator and another with a native speaker. (With little or no Spanish experience, you may find the non-native narrator a little easier to follow, as the native speaker proceeds a little more quickly.)
There are worksheets for your student to complete with each lesson and each comes with the answer-key, so your child is able to correct their own work, if you desire.
The Spanish For You!™ Fiestas e-book has lots of ideas for games and activities to go along with the Celebrations theme.
While this product appears to be an excellent introduction to Spanish for elementary age students, there were a couple of draw-backs for me. The first and most important was the way the downloads were organized. (See Update below) I received the Fiesta e-book, the Lesson Guides, Flashcards, and both sets of MP3 audio files. It took me some time to locate all the matching pages for each segment of the lessons. Additionally, because the audio files sort themselves alphabetically, they are not strictly in order by the page number that they correspond to in the lesson. So it takes a little effort to located the correct audio file.
Going forward, I think I would take the time to print and make folders for each lesson ahead of time, organizing them by lesson number. Of course, you can make digital file folders on your computer to accomplish the same thing, if you’d rather not print them all. And since the worksheets are in pdf format, your child can even use the add text function to fill in the blanks, if you’d prefer going paperless. (Note: In the image below, I opened the e-book and found the first page for Lesson 1. Then I opened/played the corresponding MP3 file while following the lesson. You can see the Worksheet for Lesson 1 open on the right, with the add text function engaged.)
*** Update 4/24/2013 – Debbie Arnett, the author of Spanish For You!™, sent Mosaic Team members an email due to the concerns voiced through some of our reviews. Here is an excerpt from her response:
I am so impressed by the promptness and willingness for Debbie to listen to our concerns regarding the organization of the download files. This speaks volumes about the level of customer service you will receive from Spanish For You!™
The second issue, which is really a minor one, is that the illustrations on the flashcards and throughout the e-book were created by a child and thus were not as professional as I would like. (This may not be an issue for you, and your child could easily make their own flashcards to go along with each lesson to use in lieu of the cards provided.) The primary reason the publisher decided to use hand-drawn images, was in an effort to keep the product affordable. So this may be a great trade-off!
Bottom Line: Spanish for You! is a fun and affordable language learning solution, provided that you are willing to take a little time to organize the digital files in a more sequential way.
Three unique programs by theme: Viajes, Fiestas, Estaciones (Travel, Celebrations & Seasons)
Ages: Grade 3 – 8
*Complete w/all grades: $64.95 (softcover or e-book, lesson guides, audio files, worksheets & flashcards)
Grade Specific for $39.95
Teacher Lesson Plans: from $12.95
*Current pricing as of this review: April 2013
Some team members received copies of the e-book and supplemental materials for Fiesta. Other members were provided copies of Viajes or Estaciones to review. Head over to the Mosaic Reviews website for links to all the reviews.
Disclaimer: Members of the Mosaic Reviews team were given copies of this product in exchange for their honest reviews. No other compensation of any kind has been received.
Years ago, when the kids were younger, we utilized a simple savings program, to help them understand responsible money management. We paid them an allowance, which they in turn had to divide into five different categories by percentage. Something like this:
- Tithe/Charity: 10%
- Savings for Future/Emergency Fund: 40%
- Savings for Specific Items: 20%
- Spending Money/Gifts for others: 20%
- Educational/Books: 10%
It was a great program to get them started, but as they got older, we got away from using it. (Thankfully, they were diligent to protect their envelope kit, and the folder with their savings for the future sat untouched!)
The program starts with entering all money on hand in a register, then tracking all future income and expenses in one place. This was the fun part for us. I watched my son’s face light up as he pulled out his wallet, his secret storage box, and his old envelope system and began to count it out. I don’t think either child had any idea how much money they really had!
The program has the parent act as the banker, but because of their past savings and their ages, we chose to use this time to get real bank accounts for them to manage. They will keep a regular check register for their real bank account and a separate register for their spending money at home.
After learning to track their money, they learned about goal setting, budgeting, and even simple and compound interest. Each new concept is followed by application through a related assignment.
And there is more helpful information available on the FamilyMint Blog
What a great way to get your kids started with Money Management. I love that you have the choice between using an online app OR a workbook. We chose to focus primarily with the workbook edition, because we are using technology solutions for so many other subjects. Both are easy to navigate and effective in teaching your child how to manage their money.
Here’s a quote from the FamilyMint website:
“Financial success and independence starts with forming the right habits and behaviors. This simple step-by-step program is designed to enhance learning and ensure success.”
I think they’re on the right track with this award winning program!
Obviously the key to making this a successful program for your child, is to continue utilizing the concepts learned. The Money Management Certification Program by FamilyMint sets them on an excellent path to disciplined money management. Starting good habits young, will help them achieve goals and make good financial decisions later in life.
So, what have you got to lose? They have a 100% Better-than-Money-Back Guarantee, see website for details!
Designed for ages 10+
As of this writing, there are three options available:
Option 1: Family Introductory Bundle (Workbook & Premium Online Subscription) for $29.99
Option 2: Premium Online Only Subscription – Monthly $4.99 or Annual $24.99
Option 3: FREE online application
FamilyMint has offered a coupon code just for you! From now until March 31st, you can get 20% off your entire order at FamilyMint. Simply enter mosaics20 at checkout to receive this discount.
Please visit the FamilyMint website for the most current information and more details.
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2
We’ll just start by saying this; Nutrition 101 was one of our absolute favorites to review this year! But before we get into the details, let’s learn a little about why this product came to be:
Growing Healthy Homes was established, “to educate and train families regarding God’s plan to optimum health as outlined in the Bible. We are wives, mothers, researchers and teachers dedicated to reaching homes with a message of hope and healing. Our product line includes family-centered and health-infused books/e-books, as well as educational materials for user of pure therapeutic-grade essential oils.”
Members of the TOS Crew were given copies of Nutrition 101: Choose Life! to use with their families. We could not be more amazed at how complete this study is! “Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is a three-in-one family nutrition and health program for all ages that presents the major body systems, how they function, their common health issues, the benefits of good food and the consequences of bad food.” The book is broken into these six units:
The Brain and Nervous System
- Digestion and Elimination
- Respiration and Olfactory
- Muscular and Skeletal Systems
- Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
- Endocrine System and Emotions
Please take a few moments to check out the book for yourself: Read an excerpt I think you’ll like what you see!
If that’s not enough, you can also watch this short informational video:
We are enjoying the hands on activities AND the recipes and plan to continue using this product! The first recipe we made was Guacamole…it’s good for your brain!
Now I was excited about this one, but I wasn’t sure how my picky eater would fare…no way he’s eating green mush, right? (See evidence to the contrary below!)
But it’s not all about the great recipes, there is also an incredible wealth of detailed scientific information on how nutrition affects the major systems in the human body. There are learning opportunities for younger students and secondary students, and if that’s not sufficient, there are lists of additional resources for further studies.
With 448 pages, this could easily be used for a full year’s curriculum for a very thorough Nutrition course. Additionally, if you are considering a Human Anatomy course, Nutrition 101 would be an excellent choice for a corresponding elective. Even for those who are not home educating their children, this would be a great reference to have around the house. We can ALL benefit from eating a healthier diet, right?
So in a nutshell, we….
We are all looking forward to the lessons ahead….Who knows? By the time we get to the end, maybe my “picky eater” won’t be so picky any more!
Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is available at : Growing Healthy Homes
Age/Grade: Elementary w/Parent, Secondary, Adult
Book – $99.95, CD-Rom – $79.95, Combo – $129.95
Multiple User License for Co-Op Use Available
“Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies”
“Is There a Dr. Mom in Your House”
“The Raw Food Feast: 7 Days Through the Rainbow”
Disclaimer: Members of the TOS Homeschool Crew were given copies of this product in exchange for their honest review. No other compensation of any kind has been received. All quotes taken directly from the Growing Healthy Homes website.
Now get up from the computer and go have a healthy snack!