Recently, my family and I were able to receive, use and review a new Spanish curriculum from TOS Crew: See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish from Flip Flop Learning. For the past several years we’ve worked on French and a little Latin, but I was interested to see how Jackson would do with a new language. I’m looking forward to sharing our experiences with you!
Flip Flop Spanish is probably the most versatile language learning curriculum I’ve experienced, either in my own learning in school or as an adult, or in homeschooling Jackson. Its tagline is “A Full Spanish curriculum for ages 3 to 93.” This is actually true! It is really simple enough that a young child can easily use it and apprehend language…as can older children, teens, and adults of all ages. With just a few lessons each week, students are able to acquire vocabulary, and perhaps more important, they are able to actually USE it conversationally. Lessons integrate activities for each learning style; visual, auditory and kinesthetic, so this curriculum is really appropriate for anyone and is a very easy addition to a homeschool, even if Mom or Dad aren’t fluent in foreign languages! It couldn’t be simpler to set up Spanish lessons than Flip Flop makes it.
See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish comes with a full arsenal of products:
- A teacher’s manual/lesson book containing a full 2-year curriculum (4 semesters’ worth)
- 3 sets of flash cards containing, with pictures on one side and words on the other, Spanish nouns, verbs, adjectives and expressions
- 4 audio CDs that students interact with during each lesson
- A white board paddle (paleta) with a dry erase marker, for writing words and playing games and activities
- Binder inserts (front, back and spine–binder not included)
Each lesson has three parts:
Day 1: Read the manual
Pick out the vocabulary cards
Play the CD and follow the directions (which include use and repetition of vocabulary words, by themselves and together in sentences or phrases).
Day 2: Listen to the same track on the CD and follow the instructions, as in Day 1.
Day 3: Now, without the CD, lay out the cards and make sentences with Mom, Dad or whoever is teaching, pronouncing each word as it is touched. Games reinforcing the week’s lessons are also played here.
Each week, you and your student repeat these three steps, on three separate days. Senora Gose, the author of the Flip Flop Learning curricula, voices the CDs. Her warm and welcoming manner is both pleasant and encouraging while clearly teaching the lessons of the day. She instructs the students in Spanish followed by English, so that they are learning even more than the vocabulary for the week: for example, she will say “Te toca a ti!” followed by its English translation, “It’s your turn!” Or, “Toca la falda,” “Touch the skirt.” So even though “la falda,” or “skirt,” may be the vocabulary, students are learning additional words and phrases by the way Sra. Gose teaches her lessons. And the CDs ensure that you and your child are correctly pronouncing the Spanish words as well as tuning your ear to the Spanish language.
In addition, Sra. Gose encourages parents to interact with their children on Day 3 during the lesson, so that in actuality both children AND parents are learning the new language. I think this is wonderful for a number of reasons; because parents are also able to learn alongside their kids and because it makes the experience even more fun and relational. This also opens the door for language games. It’s been a fantastic refresher for me, because I haven’t taken Spanish lessons since junior high school! I love being able to learn alongside my child. In addition, Sra. Gose includes a game in most weeks’ lesson, plus additional ones can be found at Flip Flop Learning. There, you can explore a broad range of games including bingo, the Shell Game, telling time and other helpful language learning tips. All of these games reinforce the words and phrases taught in the lessons, or introduce new ones that can be added to the language already learned.
In the first six lessons (weeks) alone, you’ll be amazed at all your child can learn while using this curriculum:
- How to say “I like” and “I need”
- Names for plates, bowls, utensils, foods
- Animal names
- Directional phrases like “Where is” and “here”
- Parts of the body–arms, legs, head, etc.
And students aren’t only learning the vocabulary–they are learning how to form words into questions and statements, so that actual communicating is going on, not just word repetition! Grammar is included in these lessons, so that students are taught about masculine and feminine nouns, tying articles appropriately to those nouns, and other rules necessary for clear communication in a foreign language. The grammar lessons aren’t taught in a burdensome way at all; just as little additions that explain why the Spanish language works the way it does. So these rules are absorbed easily along the way.
As I mentioned, this curriculum is appropriate for ages 3 and up. Because Jackson is 11, we added a little extra (as Sra. Gose recommends). For older children, you can, if you choose, complete two full lessons (equivalent to two weeks’ worth) in one week, and you can assign additional writing. Jackson has started (another Sra. Gose recommendation) a language journal, so he’s getting extra practice in writing his new Spanish words. He’s also written a few vocabulary flash cards for himself (like pero and y). He has been excited every time we’ve gotten to Flip Flop Spanish in the day; he says it is fun! That is a delight to any homeschool mom’s ear; we want to make all our lessons interesting and exciting, but (at least in my household) that’s not always possible. So when my student is eager to do a lesson I am always thrilled!
I also have to say that Sra. Gose is not only an excellent teacher and instructor in her language lessons; she is a delight to interact with via email as well. We experienced some shipping difficulties in receiving the curriculum that were NOT Sra. Gose’s fault or doing; however, when we emailed to let her know about them she quickly and graciously handled, and solved, every issue that was raised. And, solved them quickly and efficiently! Also, she mentions at the beginning of the Flip Flop Spanish lesson book that older students may type their sentences and email them to her to check for any grammar concerns. (This can be a great comfort to parents as well, who may not be as fluent in Spanish as they’d like to be!)
See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish is available from Flip Flop Learning for $99.95. (The CDs and lesson book are also available in mp3 and pdf versions.) Senora Gose proves with See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish that learning a foreign language doesn’t have to be difficult or burdensome. It can be learned easily and pleasantly, even for a teacher (read: homeschool mom) that is not experienced in linguistics! See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish is truly a simple and effective way to learn this language, for all members of your family. We’ve enjoyed using it and look forward to continuing on with our lessons. It will make Spanish language learning enjoyable, easy and fun—for you AND for your children!
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