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Kids Love Spanish, Volumes 1-7 Review by Camilla AndersonBrock Sisters Productions
The Kids Love Spanish educational DVDs are intended to teach the Spanish language to children between the ages of 1 and 8. The DVDs are available individually by topic or as a seven-volume set. The seven topics are Basic Words, Alphabet and Numbers, Family, Food, Colors and Shapes, Animals, and Basic Phrases. Each DVD has a running time of approximately 30 minutes.
The DVDs were created by two sisters, Krisse and Julie, who grew up speaking Spanish in southern California. Each DVD follows essentially the same format. The sisters open the show with a catchy theme song, and then they begin speaking Spanish words or phrases directly to the camera. The word or phrase is repeated first by Krisse or Julie several times in a row; then it is reinforced with additional repetition up to 25 times using varying video clips of the item or the action, different children speaking the word while holding the item or doing the action, or the word appearing on the screen with the item. Sometimes a small animated sombrero-wearing cactus pops on the screen to repeat the word or phrase.
Volume 4, Food, covers 29 terms during its 30-minute run. Children will learn the Spanish words for Food, I'm hungry, Milk, Juice, Bread, Cheese, Eggs, Hamburger, Fruit, Apple, Banana, Orange, Grapes, Watermelon, Lemon, Pear, Strawberry, Vegetables, Carrot, Lettuce, Tomato, Corn, Onion, Potato, Asparagus, Beans, Cookie, Ice Cream, and Candy.
The graphics and organization of the DVDs are done well. Krisse and Julie are bright and energetic, with captivating smiles and engaging personalities. Their children, as well as all of the children on the DVDs, are adorable. The pictures are done well, and the DVDs are edited well. The music is catchy, and the consistency of the teaching method is effective.
The only downside: we found it boring. And that is not because we have been studying Spanish in our home for several years. I say that because, for one, my three-year-old thought it was boring. It was too slow for him. He could have handled double or triple the pace (say, 60 or 90 words in 30 minutes). He learned from it, but he definitely did not become engaged or interested. It might not bore my one-year-old, but I'm not inclined to leave him in front of a TV for any length of time at this point. That doesn't mean I've ruled out playing it for him some time. It just hasn't worked into our daily routine so far. I'm undecided.
I do think the product would be much improved if it simply picked up the pace. My toddler did love the children on the videos. They were very "real" to him, and he enjoyed watching them. But by the 25th time a word was repeated, he was yelling at the TV, "You already said that!" If the videos had three times the content in the same amount of time, they would be ideal for toddler learning. My daughter started Rosetta Stone when she was eight years old without a problem. But because this set had so little content, she found it uninteresting. She liked the songs, the children, and the video clips, and she would enjoy these DVDs if they simply moved through more words.
For the $99 price, I don't think Kids Love Spanish packs a punch in content. However, the reviews on the website indicate that many families have found it helpful, so you may want to check out the site. The DVDs definitely gets an A+ for production! They really are done well--clean, clear, simple, and engaging. If the Brock sisters ever decide to do a revision to increase the content, or if they produce another level or two using the same format, I would definitely consider purchasing it to keep as a Spanish supplement for the younger children in our home.