Archive for category Curriculum Reviews

Spanish For You!™


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.

photo (25)

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.)

pdfs open

*** 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 SAW THAT SEVERAL PEOPLE COMMENTED ON THE ORGANIZATION OF THE WORKSHEET AND AUDIO FILES. So glad you did!  I have already reorganized the worksheet files for both Fiestas and Estaciones so that now they come in folders for the grade levels – much easier to navigate! Anyone purchasing will now receive them in this new way.
Also, I am in the process of putting the audio files into folders by lesson. Also much easier to navigate. Those should be up and available in this new way later today.”
Now back to the review….

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.  photo (23)(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.

Product Information


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

FREE mini lessonsSpanish for You! Blog, For more about the Author, Debbie Annett, MSEd.

*Current pricing as of this review: April 2013


MosaicReviews125x125_zpsb7d2cb5fSome 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.

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Money Management Certification Program by FamilyMint


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!)

Fast forward…..It’s time to get beyond the basics.  When we received our copy of the award-winning, Money Management Certification Program, I knew it would be a great fit.   WB Workbook - Homepage

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.

WB FamilyMint Premium - Homepage

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!

Product Information

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.


MosaicReviews125x125_zpsb7d2cb5fOther members of the Mosaic Reviews team have also reviewed this product.  Please feel free to visit their blogs by clicking the Mosaic Reviews button.

Disclaimer:  Members of the Mosaic Reviews team were given this product in exchange for their honest review. No other compensation of any kind has been received.

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