Archive for Spanish

Jun
14

Art Ditto by Birdcage Press ~ A TOS Review

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It never ceases to amaze me what one creative, motivated momma can accomplish when she has three young children, and wants to teach them that learning is fun!   In this case, the woman is Wenda O’Reilly.  Her first game was published by Birdcage Press in 2000.  There are now more than 30 award-winning games available!

 

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“Classic card games with an educational twist.”

I recently had the opportunity to review Art DittoIt is a memory game, but it is so much more, too!

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There are 48, 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″, high-gloss, heavy-duty tiles of famous museum-quality paintings.  The paintings depict birds, boats, cats, flowers, horses; and music.  They are gorgeous!  There are also 8, 5″ x 10″ cards that can be used for collecting art sets.  Designed for ages 4+, it is a wonderful game for family play with multiple ages.  You’ll find it on the website for $24.95, and possibly in your local art museum’s gift shop.

Because Art Ditto is a memory game, it promotes visual processing, matching, memory, taking turns; and sharing for young children.  The pictures are vibrant, and hold a child’s attention.  This game is not just for wee ones, though.  The cards list the subject of the painting, the artist; and the name of the painting and the date.  The text is written in four languages!  English, French, Spanish; and German.  (I do wish there was a pronunciation guide included, because it took me some time to look up the proper pronunciations so I could read them aloud.)  This game could easily be used, with older students, as a supplement to their art studies, history; and language.

I played it with a 4 year old.  Just me and my granddaughter.  She loved the art!  We spent at least 15 minutes just enjoying the paintings, and discussing what we saw in them.  48 cards seemed a bit overwhelming for a memory game, though, and it took us forever to match them; so after the first game, we chose themes ahead of time.  One time we chose the tiles with flowers and tiles with the color green on them, another time we chose tiles that had something “living” on them, and so on.  Each new game, we mixed up the set of tiles and played with the smaller set, making it quicker and a little more enjoyable for her age.  It’s a game that can easily grow with her, and future grandchildren.

My Crew mates reviewed several of the products that are available at Birdcage Press, and if you click the banner below and follow the link you’ll find them there.

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 Blessings,

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Disclaimer*   I received the game, Art Ditto, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Thank you for your comments.  I enjoy hearing from you!

 

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

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May
15

Spanish for You! ~ A TOS Review

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One more time, I have the opportunity to learn, and to teach my children Spanish.  Let me just tell you now that I think this program might actually work for us!

 

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Spanish for You!  is a full-year Spanish curriculum built around a theme, instead of grade levels.  It’s actually designed in a way that I can use it with all of my children at the same time.  Created by Spanish teacher and author, Debbie Annett, for grades 3 – 8, it is concise and simple to use.  Currently, there are two themes available:  Fiestas – Celebrations, and Estaciones – Seasons.  Another theme, Viajes – Travels, is expected this summer.  Our study is based on Estaciones Seasons.  We enjoy each of the four seasons, the outdoors, and the dramatic weather changes we sometimes experience; so this seemed a perfect place for us to begin!

 

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 Curriculum includes:

Soft-bound text, Parent/Teacher Guide

Lesson Guides for Grades 3 – 8 in PDF format

MP3 audio download for each Lesson

Printable worksheets in PDF format

Flashcards, to download and print

and

Audio download of the entire book, recorded by a native speaker

Spanish for You Curriculum

 

This course is set up for 30 minutes or less a day, 4 days a week, consistently; and most importantly, following the specified order of the lessons.  However, the author encourages you to have fun, don’t stress, and modify your schedule if needed.  The Lesson Guides include clear instructions and a complete plan for the entire curriculum.

There really isn’t a lot of prep work for Estaciones.  I downloaded the files for the audio, worksheets, etc. and then I read a few pages of the text and Lesson Guides to familiarize myself with the course.  The Lesson Guides tell you what audio you’ll need to listen to, what worksheets you’ll need to print;  and which flashcards to use for each lesson.  I chose to print mine all at one time and put them in folders.  I also printed all of the flashcards.

The flashcards are not my favorite.  Ms. Annett even says that you might want to “use your computer to make cool flashcards.”  I haven’t figured out how to do that, yet; so I used the flashcards she includes with the curriculum.  Making my own flashcards in this way was time consuming.  Each sheet of flashcards must be printed and cut apart.  They’re black and white sketches, so we decided to color them.  Then we glued them to 3″x 5″ cards, giving me a place to write the Spanish/English words that correspond to each drawing.  The biggest issue for me is that, since I don’t already speak Spanish, it seems to take forever and a day to write the phonetic pronunciation of the word; so I know whether or not my student is pronouncing it correctly.  I’m sure I’ll get quicker as I learn, but presently I have to refer to the guide numerous times for each word.  I’d like to be able to print the flashcards in color, and I’d like the Spanish word and pronunciation set up to print on the reverse side; or separately, so I could cut it out and glue it to the back of the card.

 

Spanish for You flashcards

 

Our first week we followed the Lesson Guides as they are set up.  We moved along, but didn’t feel like we retained much by the end of the week; so we chose to use the author’s modified schedule suggestion.  Our Day 1 is covered on Monday and Tuesday.  Day 2 on Wednesday and Thursday; and Friday we review.  Day 3 is covered Monday and Tuesday of the second week, with Day 4 on Wednesday and Thursday.  Again, Friday is a great day for review and testing.  The Audio files are an invaluable assistance.  The Teacher’s Text includes Ideas for Using Flashcards, and a variety of Games and Activities that we use for lessons and review.  Playing Charades is one of our favorites!  Flashcards are mixed up and stacked in a pile.  A card is chosen from the top of the stack, and acted out.  The correct word or phrase must be shouted in Spanish to win!  It’s noisy, but great fun!  So, we are spreading one week’s worth of instruction over two weeks of time; but I think we’re getting it and keeping it.  It is the easiest Spanish curriculum I’ve ever used!

 

We are still in Lesson 1, but we have covered a lot of material —

  • The Months of the Year
  • The Days of the Week
  • Commands:  Look, Write; Draw
  • Weather Conditions:  Cold, Hot, Windy, etc.
  • Verb Conjugation
  • and Grammar

We are learning to speak, hear, read and write Spanish!

 

A complete packaged curriculum for all grades, 3 – 8 can be purchased for $64.95.  Complete, select packages for grades 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8 are $39.95 each.  You can find all of the available themes on the Spanish for You! website, under the Purchase Curriculum tab on the left.  If you’re still not sure if this curriculum will work for your family, please take some time to read the reviews written by my Crew mates.  Just click on the banner and follow the link below.

 

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Bendición,

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Disclaimer*   I received a complete package curriculum of Spanish for You! theme Estaciones, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Thank you for your comments.  I enjoy hearing from you!

 

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

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Sep
14

Revisiting Speekee

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Generally, life is so busy for everyone.  Have you noticed?  I try to keep ours fairly simple, but it still seems like it’s going to spiral out-of-control on occasion.  There are people at church or at the park that I meet and think, “I’d really like to get to know them.  We’ll have to make plans to get together.”  Then, life happens and the connections don’t.  There are old friends, relationships once established, and even acquaintances that I’d like to catch-up with because they cross my mind or I find them heavy on my heart. I pray for them, but I rarely make the time to call them. I have blog posts, products, and reviews I’d like to revisit, amend or update; but I seldom do it.  Maybe, it’s forward motion and I have a hard time going back or maybe, the truth is, my time’s just not as organized as it should be.  Nevertheless, none of these are situations that I like and I figure it’s up to me to make change occur in my own life.  I’m not going to wait until Monday or the ever-elusive-tomorrow.  Now is the only moment guaranteed, so…

Today, I want to revisit SpeekeeSpeekee is a Spanish language course for children, ages 2 to 10.  My initial introduction to Speekee, the purple puppet that stars in the program, was in the beginning of 2011.

 

Meet Speekee.

 

Since then, Speekee has made some changes.  Speekee TV is an online program, which means you have to connect to the web to use it, but now Speekee can travel!  Thanks to the creation of a new app for mobile devices, access to Speekee TVSpeekee and sock-puppet friends, Dino and Lupi – is never far away.

 

Dino and Lupi

 

There are 10 episodes filmed on location in Spain, with Spanish children and their friend, Jim; along with Speekee, Dino and Lupi.  Utilizing the Immersion Method, SpeekeeTV is in 100% Spanish, although subtitles are available in Spanish and English.  This helps me because I’m more of a write-the-word-and-its-phonetic-pronunciation-so-I-can-see-it, and then I’ll say it out loud -kinda girl; but my 4 year old granddaughter, who can’t read, is all-in.  She’s immersed in it, clearly not distracted by subtitles!  Each video, 15-20 minutes in length, follows the same basic format and students excel because of this consistency and repetition.  By the time she regularly visits the el parque, el cafe, le clase, el zoo; y el mercado with her new “friends,” she may be the first one in our family to actually learn the language.  Virtually, she spends minutes at the park, in Spain, playing and singing with Speekee; and then she bops back into the living room and says, “Listen to my Spanish song!  I’m singing Spanish.”  She’s excited to use Speekee and the learning is effortless!

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Speekee TV is always available, flexible to any schedule; and parent or student-paced.  When I previously reviewed it, the outstanding FastTrack curriculum for homeschoolers was not an option.  You can now access FastTrack from the website or signup to receive a weekly email.  I get an email every week, for 40 weeks, that includes 4 activities that correspond to a specific Speekee video clip; plus other downloads, printable worksheets and flash cards that I can use for reinforcement.  One of the first activities we did was make Dino and Lupi sock puppets!  Every craft idea is not that involved, but they are fun and engaging.  We still have the freedom to pick and choose what we want to do, but I appreciate the fact that the creators of Speekee spent the time to assemble a curriculum that will accelerate my child’s and grandchild’s understanding and use of Spanish.  “Gracias, Speekee!”  This program is better than ever with the compliment of FastTrack.

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Try it FREE for two weeks.  If you’re not satisfied within that time, you can discontinue it and you’ve risked nothing.  On the other hand, if you find your children asking to play Speekee and speaking Spanish to each other while they play, you can subscribe for $7.50 per month; with no long term commitment.  You can also go all-in, like my granddaughter, for $60 per year.

 

Click the banner to subscribe

 

The entire program is also available for purchase on 4 DVD discs, 34-track audio CD plus a 70 page guide.  Read the fine print – because of the format the DVD’s will play on most US players, but not all.

 

 Click for DVD Package details

~

 

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

 

email ~ customerservice@speekee.co.uk

phone ~ 01422 820263

or write ~

Lingua4 Ltd

Swift Cross Farm

Ripponden

Sowerby Bridge

HX6 4LQ

United Kingdom

~

 

You can find Speekee on facebook

 

 

and read Speekee’s Blog

You’ll note, I’ve included several links to the website in this post, and I can tell you that my Crew mates have shared their opinions on the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.  You can read those when you click the banner below.


 

 

Now, I think I’ll call that new family from church and see if we can arrange a play-date for our children this weekend.  Don’t you just love the Grace of a new day and a fresh start!

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   I received an online subscription to Speekee TV  in exchange for my honest review, as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

Thank you for your comments.

 

 

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

 

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Mar
16

The Art of Argument

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I consider myself to be a logical person, but I have had no formal training in Logic.  I usually hold my own in a debate, if I am knowledgeable or passionate about a subject.  I’m comfortable making a sensible statement from my point of view.  Until recently, I didn’t realize that the art of reasonable argument can be taught.  I didn’t know that curriculum is available for teaching Logic, and that “mastery of logic is a requisite skill for mastering other subjects.”

The Art of Argument, is one of the exceptional studies offered by Classical Academic Press.  It teaches the ability to reason and to recognize poor reasoning.

 

 

 

It covers 28 fallacies of relevance, presumption and clarity, over 28 chapters.  This is an introduction to the informal fallacies.  It was designed with Junior High students in mind, but my older children, who have had no previous teaching in logic,  are learning the definitions and fallacies that are presented, as well.  The more they practice them, the quicker they are able to recognize them.

The publisher states that “fallacies are present on the political left and right (and in the middle) and in the arguments of people of all kinds of political, religious, and cultural viewpoints.  No one ‘school of thought’ is fallacy-free!”  We and our children are bombarded with political jargon, especially in this election year, advertisements and commercials, editorials, etc.  Having the skills to wade through the swamp of errant information and clearly identify the flawed arguments is critical to finding the truth.

We have not completed this course, but we already utilize what we have learned.   We have more awareness of the need to filter and evaluate what we hear, plus we’re learning to use the tools of detection and analysis that we’ve been given.  Yes, I said weI am learning to be even more logically reasonable in my arguments  discussions.  Jokingly, my husband is not amused, as he already believed my talents have been wasted and I should have become a lawyer.  I reason that I’d do well to take advantage of learning logic now, making sure my children don’t get ahead of me!

 

 

Classical Academic Press offers classical curricula and media in Latin, Spanish, Greek, French, Logic, Bible and Poetry. They back their products with a 30-day money back guarantee.

 

 

 The Art of Argument student book is a workbook – text and discussion, questions and essays.  It is $21.95.

The Teacher’s Edition, includes the complete student text, answer keys, quizzes and tests, for $24.95.

A set of 5 DVD’s, teaching videos to complement The Art of Argument, is available for $54.95.

Although, I have not been familiar with the teaching of Logic, I see the value of it, and we will pursue it.  I found it somewhat difficult to teach, probably because of my lack of familiarity, and the children thought it was dry.  We tend to follow a living school  or school-of-life system of learning, and The Art of Argument doesn’t seem easily adaptable.  If it is something you are interested in, I suggest you examine the CAP curriculum.  Their focus is “clear design and structure, incremental and systematic instruction, all with a touch of delight, creativity and flair.”

For your convenience, I’ve provided links throughout this post that you can follow for more information.  You’ll also find my crew mates reviews by clicking on the TOS graphic, below.

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

Classical Academic Press
3920 Market Street
Camp Hill, PA 17011

~

Toll Free: 866-730-0711
Phone: 717-730-0711

~

and follow on facebook

Euripides is credited with saying, “reason can wrestle and overthrow terror.”  Maybe he knew The Old Testament Scripture, Isaiah 41:10, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Seems logical to me.

Blessings,

 

 

A trial period of this product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

 

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 


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Categories : homeschool, Logic, reviews, TOS
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Mar
30

Latin Alive!

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I mentioned in another post, that I didn’t have the option of taking Spanish in High School.  I took Latin, in preparation for medical studies in college.  I actually loved it and still recognize many root words, although I did not pursue medicine.  I know that Latin is not a dead language, because it lives in the languages we speak today.

I’ve known many homeschooling families that use Latin and Greek courses.  There was always a part of me that wondered if my children were missing out on something beneficial, but feeling ill-equipped to teach Latin, I set the thought aside.

 

Classical Academic Press believes “Latin trains a student for grammar, how a language works and how to think critically.”  They make it possible for me and you to teach Latin.

I wanted a curriculum that would benefit my older students, before they graduate, but I had a serious concern that it would be a difficult fit because they had no previous Latin foundation.  Classical Academic Press has several courses to choose from:

Click the graphic for a PDF Catalog of Courses

Latin, Spanish, Greek, French, Logic, Bible and Poetry

They also have different levels of instruction – Song School Latin, Latin for Children, and Latin Alive! will take a student from Kindergarten through early high school.

When I read that Latin Alive! is “both an introduction for the upper school student who has not yet studied the language, and an excellent, deeper continuation of grammar school study,” I knew it was the right choice for us.

I was given the  Latin Alive! Book 1 bundle ($139.95), for this review.  This includes the Latin Alive! Book 1 Student Text ($24.95), the Latin Alive! Book 1 Teacher’s Edition ($29.95), and the Latin Alive! Book 1 DVD & CD Set ($114.95). This is the first text in what will be a 3 year study.

 

 

Latin Alive! is a thorough course.  There is a Latin for Teachers DVD Series – a 16 hour, professional, Latin video training course.  At this point, I opted out of the teacher training and I’m learning Latin with my students.  I get to hold the Teacher’s Edition, though.  

Latin Alive! starts at the beginning and assumes no previous Latin knowledge.

  • Thirty six weekly chapters including twenty nine new content chapters and seven review, “reading” chapters.
  • Pronunciation Guides
  • Weekly introduction of vocabulary
  • Thorough grammar explanations including all five noun declensions and cases, all verb conjugations, irregular verbs, various pronouns, adjectives and adverbs
  • United States state seals and their Latin mottos
  • Extensive study of the Latin derivatives of English words
  • Substantial Latin readings and translation exercises
  • Lessons and stories of Roman culture, myths and history
  • Exercises and questions to prepare students for the National Latin Exam and the Advanced Placement Exam
  • Includes historical contributions from Christopher Schlect, historian and Academic Dean at New Saint Andrews College, Moscow, ID
  • Teacher’s Materials including answer keys, teacher’s helps and additional activities available separately

It has been challenging and at times, even difficult, but as we’ve found a solid rhythm in the day to day lessons, our feeling of accomplishment has grown, we’ve become more confident (and competitive) and it’s also, fun!

 

Click text cover to view Sample Pages

 

Classical Academic Press offers Free Resources and answers to specific, individual questions, when you Ask the magister (teacher).

More Latin

A Yahoo group chats about Latin Alive! It’s  “a place to discuss anything related to the teaching of Latin Alive!”  Questions, ideas and resources.

Author and Latin One teacher, Karen Moore, has a blog page for Latin Alive!

There’s also my favorite place –

A game and activity website that corresponds with Classical Academic Press materials…

Just a click away from the most Creative Practice!


Classical Academic Press is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, with specials and discounts on some of their products.  Don’t miss a thing – become a facebook fan.

 

Click to access facebook

 

Several of my TOS Crew Mates had an opportunity to review curriculum from Classical Academic Press, too.  Click on the banner below to read what they have to say.

Blessings,

 

 

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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Categories : homeschool, Latin, reviews
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Jan
21

Hablo español!

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En serio, yo hablo español.  (Seriously, I speak Spanish.)  Only a little español, but a whole lot more than I did two months ago, before I was given Speekee TV online, to use and review.

Speekee is a language learning system for young children, generally ages 2-10 years old AND Speekee is the name of the main character in each episode.  150 minutes in 10 videos, with access to numerous worksheets and downloadable flash cards that reinforce the words and phrases taught; an entire scheme of work for the parent/teacher.

In each of the 10 units you will find yourself in Spain,  en el parque, en el café, o la casa.  Visitar el zoo, la clase, el mercado, la estación, la playa, el jardín y la fiesta!  With Speekee, a Jim-Henson-type purple puppet, his two sock-puppet friends, Dino and Lupi,  real Spanish children and Jim, you will go to the park, the cafe or the house.  You’ll visit the zoo, class, the market, the station, the beach, the garden and the party!  Through the immersion method, with songs and speech entirely in Spanish, your child, and you will learn everyday language, new language and praise words.  My favorite is estupendo!  /esstoopendoh/  Great!

$7.50 per month can be paid using PayPal or a credit card, giving you instant online access, with no minimum period of use or obligation AND Speekee offers a two week free trial.  There is also a full set of PAL formatted DVD’s available for a single purchase price.

Contact Speekee

email:  customer.service@speekee.co.uk

telephone:  01422 820263

fax:  0871 714 2336

address:

Lingua4 Ltd

Swift Cross Farm

Ripponden

Sowerby Bridge

HX6 4LQ

United Kingdom

Me gusta Speekee!  I like Speekee and so do my young children.  I’ve  wanted to learn basic Spanish for years and I’ve wanted my children to speak it and understand it.  Spanish wasn’t even offered when I was in high school.  Our choices were French and Latin, and because I expected to go into a medical field, I chose Latin.  I appreciate the foundation, but it hasn’t helped me talk to my Spanish speaking neighbor.   Speekee is changing that and we’re all looking forward to having a real conversation in the spring.

Several of my crew mates received this program and they’ve shared their views on The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew Blog.

¿Habla usted español?  Do you speak Spanish?

Blessings,

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.


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Categories : homeschool, reviews, Spanish, TOS
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