Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Whistlefritz a Homeschool Review Crew – Review



My 14 year old daughter has wanted to learn Spanish for awhile. She has a lot of learning disabilities and trying to find a program that works for her is difficult. I love the immersion method as I feel it’s effective and has worked well with my daughter in the past with learning Hebrew. I was excited when the opportunity to review the Educator’s Spanish Collection from Whistlefritz.

Whistlefritz is an immersion foreign language program that is intended for children from ages 1-7 years old. For me it’s a great fit for my older daughter with learning disabilities.

The Educator’s Spanish Collection comes with:

Lesson Plans Book
5 DVD videos
3 Music CDs
Matching Cards Game

There are also some extra downloads for Translation Guides, song lyrics, downloadable lesson plans, and much more on the website.

Whistlefritz was created by a mom in 2006 who wanted to teach her own children Spanish. After researching the best way to teach her kids to no success she decided that she would come up with her own Spanish immersion program. She wanted it to be fun, hands on activities, have repetition, some animation with real kids speaking, and engaging videos.

Currently there are two foreign language programs available:


The Lesson Plans Book has 277 pages. There are a total of 40 lessons in all. It is filled with lots of things to color, cut out, crafts, memory cards, and much more. The pages are black and white.

You can copy the material for individual use in your classroom. There are restrictions with it being used in an entire school.

I love the ease of the Lesson Plans Book.  All the lessons are taught in the same format.

At the top of the page is a basic overview of what will be taught. An example would be Lesson 7 which covers, “Where I Live” written in both Spanish and English.

 Description of the Lesson – covers the names and places of where people live and where they live. It also reinforces color vocabulary.

Objective- This lessons they child needs to be able to identify names of places where people live and identify where they live. They will be using some fine motor skills.

Vocabulary-This list the names in both English and Spanish which are taught in this lesson.

Materials- This section tells me that I need the “I Live” flashcards. There are some basic recommendations that you could do. Also the “I Live Worksheet”. It lets me know that there are 4 variations to choose from, and then it tells me I need crayons.

Time: It gives you an approximate time for the lesson. The lessons are usually around 30-40  minutes.

Activites-are scripted for the parents in both English and Spanish. Teachers Input tells you what to do and say.

Guided Practice- this is another scripted section for parents to help teach lessons.

Independent Practice-this is where you assess the child’s knowledge that was learned in this lesson.

Closure- this section you ask your child questions to finish off the lesson. This is also scripted.

Extension Activities-This varies from another worksheet, watching the video again, songs, and lots of variations.


DVD videos are engaging and fun. Each one uses Spanish speaking adults and children all using the immersion method. The animation is the mouse Fritzi and a few other things. There is a lot of repetition throughout each video. Every video has a theme or a set of vocabulary. The videos ranged from 15-30 minutes.
The  translation guides are available as a PDF online.
The DVDs are:
  
Los animals
Vamos a jugar
Adentro y afuera
Las estaciones
La fiesta de fritzi

The 3 CD's are companions to the DVD's and lesson plans. The songs are lively Latin rhythm songs to help with the vocabulary.
The CDs are:
¡Sabor!
¡A Bailar!
Cha, cha, cha

Matching Cards Game has 50 cards. The cards are a thick glossy paper. The cards are colorful with vibrant colors. There is a pair of cards with the Spanish vocabulary word on the bottom of the card. You can play memory, Go Fish, and other card games are within the lessons.

How did I use Whistlefritz in my Homeschoo?

I used this with my 14 year old daughter who has learning disabilities. My 11 year old son liked to watch the DVDs with her.
 
After looking over the Lesson Plans Book I started with watching the videos as I knew it would draw her into the program. After she got comfortable with the videos after a week I introduced the lessons from the Lesson Plans book. We started with Lesson 1 and I played the DVD for her again. Since my daughter is much older she didn’t want to do the hands on activities for coloring, crafts, and cutting out items. She did enjoy playing the card games. Her favorite was doing the memory game and playing Go Fish.

We did one lesson for three days. I didn’t want her to be overwhelmed. It’s been a slow process but, she has picked up several words. She has watched the DVDs outside of lessons. She really likes Fritzi the mouse and laughs at the videos. She will say the words when she is watching the videos outloud.

I asked Bug what she thought, “I’m learning Spanish mommy and it’s a real fun way to learn it.” That makes me happy that she is enjoying it and even learning Spanish.

Overall, I’m real pleased with all aspects of Whistlefritz. It’s a well made program for young kids and I feel that it is a good fit for older kids with special needs.

The only that I got stumped on at times was that I wasn’t sure if I was saying words correctly from the Lesson Plans Book. I know some basic Spanish vocabulary myself but, I’m far from being comfortable using it and it’s been 27+ years since I’ve learned Spanish myself. I’m not sure how to remedy this but, a pronunciation guide would be helpful or a CD with just the words by themselves. I ended up taking to the internet to make sure we were saying the words correctly when I wasn’t sure.

A very fun and engaging way to learn Spanish,

Other Homeschool Review Crew is reviewing the Educator’s Spanish Collection and the Educator’s French Collection. Don’t forget to stop by and see what other’s have to say.

Social Media:
 
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/whistlefritz  Tag:   @whistlefritz   
Twitter: https://twitter.com/whistlefritz    Tag:   @Whistlefritz   
  
http://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/spanish-and-french-whistlefritz-reviews/

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