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Switched on Schoolhouse Elementary and Secondary Spanish Review by Lisa Barthuly & Family

Alpha Omega
http://www.aop.com

The latest version of Switched on Schoolhouse is packed with features that make learning Spanish fun and relatively simple for children! This 65-lesson CD course can be done at the child's own pace and is geared for a child in grades K-6. It's a learning experience for the parent-teacher as well if you aren't familiar with SOS, like me. Getting to know and learning to maneuver around the software took me a bit of learning myself. Once I got the basics down, it was easy to work with. My children have enjoyed this program, most certainly because it allows them freedom to learn at their own pace, and to them, much of it appears to be play on the computer, when I know better, they are learning Spanish! Since there is no prior Spanish knowledge required to dive into this program, we did just that. AOP uses songs, animated characters and exercises, puzzles and games to teach the basic grammar and vocabulary of Spanish. The children follow along with "Grandpa Glen" as he recalls his memories of when he and his sisters spent time on La Isla de la Providencia with his grandchildren, which makes the lessons almost like listening to a story. Children will listen and learn through these lessons. My girls really liked this! SOS Secondary picks up where the elementary leaves off, seamlessly. Geared at students in seventh grade and up, this level uses many of the same teaching techniques, such as memorization, songs, and games, but introduces on a deeper level writing, speaking, reading, and listening skills in a variety of situations. These CDs also feature audio recordings and provide lots of cultural and historical information for the student.

If I could change one thing about this program it would be that it came with an easier, more simplistic tutorial for the parent-teacher. When I was trying to figure this out (and I do have some PC and program knowledge, although not a HUGE amount), I felt as if I needed a class myself just to get my children started! I think it has literally taken me more time to figure it out than for the children to dive in and learn basics. Once that was accomplished, the program has been a treat to work with and the children thoroughly enjoy it.

Would I recommend this program? I surely would ... just be prepared to have a bit of patience to learn your part, Mom and Dad. The children will love it, have fun with it, and learn their Spanish ... and that's what really matters!

Product review by Lisa Barthuly & Family, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2006

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