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Spanish 1a with Phonics (CD-ROM) Review by Jenny Thompson

Help Me 2 Learn Company
12033 4th Street, Suite 3
Yucaipa, CA 92399

Spanish 1a with Phonics is a comprehensive CD-ROM program that will help your child learn the basics of the Spanish language. You can either use the CD-ROM each time to load the program or install the program on your hard drive. Pre-Tests and Post-Tests are included for each topic in order to give you an idea of how well your child masters the skills he has learned. Included with each topic is a lesson that includes a song and a game to help reinforce the skills. There is also a minute-long speed round for each lesson where, after the Spanish or English word is heard, the child has to find the correct match in the opposite language. For instance, the child hears the word bear in English and then has to click on the word oso in Spanish to make a correct match. To help motivate them, students earn silver and gold stars as they go along. There is a teacher/parent section that includes instructions for using the program, along with printable song lyrics and activity sheets. This section can also be used to manage your students and monitor their progress. A user guide that also contains lesson plans can be downloaded in PDF format and printed out.

This program was designed for classroom use but is completely adaptable for use in your homeschool. The interface is very easy to use, and once a child has been shown how to go through the program, he can do it on his own. As the parent, you can go in and lock certain features and sections so that your child will be forced to work only in the areas you dictate. The target group for this software is K-5th grade, but anyone who is over the age of 4 can use this program to help them learn Spanish. The software is completely bilingual, meaning that children who are learning English can use it in the same way. Children who speak English, but have had trouble with phonics, will also find this feature helpful.

The Help Me 2 Learn Company has done an excellent job with this program. The graphics and sound alone are outstanding. When you factor in the way that the software teaches the Spanish language in such a fun, rewarding way, you are looking at a program that cannot be beat. My 6-year-old daughter loves the songs she has learned, and she is so happy to add some new Spanish words to her vocabulary. She has a young cousin who will grow up in a bilingual household. Spanish 1a Phonics will be the perfect teaching tool to help build my daughter's foundation in the language so that she can communicate with him. This is something that he will also be able to use as he gets a little older and is learning his numbers, letters, and color words. I can foresee the two of them working happily on the computer together! I like the comprehensive nature of this software, in that it feels complete. It can be used as stand-alone curriculum for a basic Spanish study. After the child masters this program, Help Me 2 Learn has many other titles that build upon the skills taught in this CD-ROM.

I cannot say enough good things about the Spanish 1a Phonics CD-ROM. If you are interested in teaching your child to speak Spanish, this software is a must for your homeschool curriculum. I will definitely be looking to buy more titles from Help Me 2 Learn in the future.

Product Review by Jenny Thompson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2010