Thursday, December 3, 2009

Teach Me Tapes (Review and Discount Code)

We are using Teach Me Spanish as our foreign language homeschool curriculum this year. I've listened to numerous bad cds, watched many bad dvds, and finally came across Teach Me Spanish. I've honestly not found anything that compares to it as far as teaching young children a foreign language. I was surprised that in spite of all of the research about children picking up a language easily at a young age, it was so hard to find something. I'm very happy that we came across Teach Me Spanish though; we love it!

Teach Me... offers a series of engaging books with CDs that introduce children to new languages through familiar songs and stories. Along with Spanish, they offer a variety of other languages as well. Someone on a homeschool message board recommended the Teach Me series to me and I first checked out the CDs from our local library. Lucy and Julia were both engaged in the lively familiar music and I was impressed with the quality. We have since purchased the CDs and have been using them as part of our Spanish language learning. (The other part consists of watching Dora DVDs. Really, they have picked up quite a few new words from Dora and we don't watch TV otherwise.)

The Teach Me Spanish CDs have a fun selection of familiar songs sung in Spanish and English, as well as short narrative sections in Spanish. I like that the narration is included because the girls get to hear a person actually speaking the language rather than just a word or two from Dora. They don't understand it at this point and I haven't translated much of it for them, but I do like that they are hearing it. There is an English translation included in the accompanying book. The songs are popular children's songs (Old MacDonald, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Oats and Beans and Barley, etc) so once the Spanish versions get stuck in your head, you end up learning quite a bit.

We have the older versions of Teach Me Spanish, but recently had a chance to review one of the new Teach Me Everyday Spanish books and CD, as well as the Christmas book and CD, Feliz Navidad: Learning Songs and Traditions in Spanish. I really like the updated format - a hardcover book with full color illustrations and translations. The pictures are well done and the translations are easy to read. Each book of course includes the music CD that goes along with it.

The Christmas book and CD is also very well done. I think it will be wonderful to pull this out every year and listen to it. There are classic Christmas songs, as well as traditional Spanish songs and stories included. At the back of the book you will even find a couple of fun recipes to try. For now, my girls are just interested in the music, but as they get older we'll dive more into the cultural aspect - making the recipes, reading the stories included, etc. When I put the music CD on, the girls both immediately grabbed a stuffed monkey (their usual dancing partners) and started dancing around.

As far as purchasing a foreign language curriculum, the Teach Me series is well priced - $15 to $20 for a book and CD. You can start with one book and purchase more as you go. If you are interested in purchasing something, Teach Me Tapes is offering a discount code. Use the code "FF09L" for 20% off and free shipping! I highly recommend taking advantage of this great offer. Thanks, Teach Me Tapes!

See here for more homeschool curriculum reviews.

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