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10 Spanish Curriculum Options for Homeschoolers

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(Updated February 3, 2012)

¡Hola!

If you are looking for some great ways to help your family learn Spanish, I compiled the following information in the course of my own research into various programs. This list should give you some great ideas and information whether you are just beginning Spanish, or you are looking for supplements to your current curriculum and materials. Obviously, I haven’t personally used all of the items listed below, so if you have suggestions or additions, or see something that needs clarification or updating, please let me know! I am attempting to keep this site as up-to-date as possible, so I always appreciate a heads-up if I’ve overlooked something. Check back for additional options – I add them as I find them!

Click here to see my introduction to this topic, along with a few thoughts on how my family will use these resources in our studies.

    Elementary Spanish:

    • This curriculum is a video based program designed to teach Spanish in grades 1-6, without requiring a teacher who knows Spanish.
    • You can get it three ways: 1) Purchase DVD’s from the University of Northern Arizona for approximately $550 per year. 2) If you are a Dish Network Subscriber, you can view episodes for free on the UniversityHouse Channel (will still need to purchase workbooks, if desired, and will need to keep up with their viewing schedule). 3) All years of Elementary Spanish (as well as downloads of all workbooks/manuals) are available as part of the Discovery streaming online subscription package. (Currently retails for $265/year for homeschoolers, BUTHomeschool Buyer’s Co-op often has steeply reduced-price group buys for this product. Also, a handful of states appear to have free access to Discovery streaming via their state PBS affiliate. Definitely check with Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op if you are interested in purchasing.
    • Approximately 50 1/2 hour video lessons per each grade level/year, with worksheets and activities for each lesson, and bulletin board cut-outs, etc, for each unit.

    All Bilingual Press:

    • Two Spanish programs (one for younger, one for older children), plus an impressive selection of bilingual storybooks to supplement any curriculum.
    • Español para chicos y grandes (An Interactive Spanish Course for Children and Parents) covers 700 words in about 24 lessons, and consists of a textbook, an audio CD, and a grammar and exercise manual, for a total cost of about $36.60.
    • Español para los chiquitos (An Interactive Spanish Course for Young Children) is designed for children who do not yet read (about K-1st grade). The program includes a textbook, 2 audio CD’s, 1 activity book, and 1 parent/teacher manual for a total cost of around $50.
    • They also stock about 10 different bilingual story/grammar books, available with or without audio CD’s, that you could use to supplement any curriculum.

    Spanish for Children:

    • Newer program that includes text, audio CD’s and DVD’s.
    • From the publishers of “Latin for Children”, this curriculum combines classical methods of learning languages (like in-depth grammar and chanting) with immersion based techniques.
    • Designed for grades 3 and up
    • See one discussion of this curriculum (w/ response from a company rep) at this Well Trained Mind Forum.

    Salsa:

    • Similar to a Spanish version of Sesame Street, this program (produced by Georgia Public Broadcasting) consists of 42 puppetry based episodes themed around classic children’s stories like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” or “Little Red Riding Hood”.
    • Extremely useful as a stand-alone program for pre-schoolers, or to supplement other Spanish curricula for early elementary school aged children.
    • UPDATE – 2/3/2012 – GPB seems to regularly change the links to access these episodes.  Here is the current link to the complete episode list.

    Rosetta Stone:

    Power Glide:

    • Computerized Spanish instruction that incorporates games and adventure stories.
    • Versions available for elementary, middle school, and high school levels.
    • Prices start at around $100 for 2 semesters.
    • Transcripts and teacher support available at additional charge.
    • Mixes Spanish words into English sentences, which some people like and other people hate.
    • You can read reviews of this program here.

    La Clase Divertida:

    • Update – 1/3/2011: I have purchased this program to follow up Puertas Abiertas. Although I bought it in the fall, we were finishing up a live class, and so haven’t had a chance to get into it yet – we’re planning to start off the new year with it. I was pleasantly surprised when Senor Gamache called me over the holidays to wish us Feliz Navidad and make sure things were going well. He also pointed out to me some activities in one of the later lessons related to Christmas in Mexico, so that we would be able to do those at the right time of year. He seems to be an extremely interested and nice fellow, and at the local convention where we purchased it, he took time to patiently (and kindly) speak to my children en Espanol to determine the best level for placement.
    • This DVD based program covers 15 lessons in introductory Spanish for level 1. (There are two other levels, as well.)
    • Also included are an audio CD, workbooks (for two children), and a craft kit (for two children).
    • Cost for Level 1 is $110.
    • For those who are interested either way, there is some Christian content to the courses, although it looks to be fairly minimal until Level 3. (Anyone with more information about specific content, please let me know so that I may be as accurate as possible.)
    • You can read reviews of this curriculum on HomeschoolReviews.com and Cathy Duffy.

    The Learnables:

    • Book and audio CD based program, where student associates pictures with Spanish words. (A couple of the products are also available in CD-ROM versions.)
    • Suitable for use beginning as young as age 7-adult
    • Price begins at $55 per book (It looks like there are about 2 different books per level.)
    • You can read reviews of this program here.

    Puertas Abiertas (Open Doors):

    • DVD based curriculum for all ages (as young as three), containing 5 DVD’s, 3 CD’s, a 212 pg Student Workbook, and a 105 pg. Facilitator’s Guide for $135 plus shipping.
    • For some homeschoolers’ opinions of this program, check out the discussion at this thread on the Well Trained Mind Forums.
    • As of 4/3/08, their customer service emailed me that they are currently at work on Level 2, which, from the description they gave, appears even more extensive than Level 1, including some work with various verb tenses, as well as numbers, house and furniture, family, chores, daily routine, calendar and seasons, visiting the doctor, and ordering in a restaurant. They can not yet guarantee a release date for this more ambitious release, but are hoping for sometime in Fall of this year.
    • As of 1/3/2011, Level 2 is still not available. The last time I heard from them, they had added to their family and were not sure when they would be able to continue production. I still love and recommend the first half of the program as a wonderful introduction to Spanish for young children!

    The Fun Spanish:

    • Click on “The Fun Spanish” at the top of the page linked here, for links to samples and to purchase this program.
    • This E-book program works as a supplement to any Spanish curriculum. It teaches 1 new sentence a day for 4 days, then reviews on the 5th. The sentences involved are funny and descriptive, and involve activities like copywork or drawing pictures that correspond to each picture. This workbook is designed to provide extra practice in a Charlotte Mason/classical style format.
    • Suitable for children who are comfortable reading and writing in English. (3rd grade & up?)
    • $15.95 for a 218 pg. download
    • 2 week sample download available for free
    Photo Credit: Palenque mayan Ruins by Daniel Andres Forero

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