The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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Calico Spanish Stories Review by Amy ButlerSara-Elizabeth Cottrell
Kids Immersion, LLC.
P.O. Box 498
Mt Hood, Oregon, 97041
Here in the United States, learning Spanish is more than just a hallmark of a well-rounded education. The skill of speaking a second language is now a workplace advantage, a necessary community builder, and a wonderful opportunity for our children to change the world through communication. Calico Spanish Stories program from Kids Immersion, LLC. is a language curriculum designed to ‘teach children to speak real Spanish to real people,' through a variety of engaging resources.
A family subscription to Calico Spanish Stories is $16 per month, $42 per quarter, or $89 per year. This subscription grants online access to four levels (A, B, C, and D) of elementary Spanish resources that include eight units each, video stories, music videos, dialogue videos, songs and stories audios, games, digital and printable flashcards, printable posters, printable worksheets, and teacher materials. For this review, we received physical copies of Level B Flash Cards, Storybooks, and Posters. These are glossy, colorful, and aesthetically appealing. All levels of these physical elements are not vital to the curriculum’s effectiveness and not included in the online subscription but are available for purchase on the website.
The educational design of this program is to immerse the learner in real-life scenarios through reading, writing, audio, video, and gameplay. Throughout all four levels, learners are introduced to animals, colors, numbers, days, months, greetings, families, activities, telling time, weather, and seasons. The website is user-friendly with multiple ways to access all the activities and information. By clicking on a particular level, you are taken to a complete list of the level’s units with links to all teacher’s materials, activities, and resources so that the entire level is accessible at any time. Each unit has around eleven lessons with every days’ tasks lined out. A day’s lesson might include a video story, flashcard game, speaking practice, a music video, and a worksheet, all of which would reinforce the same subject and phrases. By clicking on the Resources link you are taken to a page with all four levels organized by category (video stories, activity sheets, etc.). This allows for alternative lesson planning if the provided order does not work for your family’s needs.
Calico Spanish Stories aligns very well with a typical homeschool setting where the potential for multiple elementary-aged children learning together is high. The framework is structured for those who thrive there, but there is also high flexibility where necessary. It adapts well to multiple learning styles with all the different activities incorporating different senses. At this writing, my children are nine, six, and three years old. Especially with the use of physical books and flashcards, all of them were able to participate and gain positive exposure to the Spanish language with this program. As an educator, everything you need is provided for you from printable posters to daily preparations. There is no need for the parent/teacher to have a Spanish education or background to use this curriculum. With the entire program accessible online anytime anywhere, this is a curriculum that you can revisit in multiple ways over time.
With unique stories and songs, students are invited into the Spanish language in brand new ways. Calico Spanish Stories builds a great language foundation that encourages learners to use in daily life and expand from as they get older. I would recommend this program if you are considering adding an elementary Spanish curriculum.
-Product review by Amy Butler, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2020