Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Free Spanish Textbooks Online

I wanted to share another Spanish resource with my readers.  If you follow MommyMaestra, you may have seen her post on this topic (that's where I found out about it!).  This is a website produced by the Mexican government with online textbooks available for viewing, download, and print.  The books range from preschool to 6th grade.  The link to the site is:http://basica.sep.gob.mx/reformaintegral/sitio/index.php?act=buscadorlibros 

The first pull-down menu allows you to choose among student (alumno), teacher (maestro), and parents (padres).  The teacher selection takes you to teacher's guides to go along with the text books.  The parent selection takes you to a monthly calendar with suggestions for activities and themes to go along with each month.  The student option allows you to choose the school year, then grade level.  Once narrowed down to grade level, there is the option of downloading a pdf of the book or viewing the book online.  If you choose to download the pdf, prepare to be patient.  The files are very large and take several minutes to download.

There is only one text for the 3 preschool levels featuring games and activities.  At the first grade level there is a separate text for Art, Physical Education, Spanish, Nature and Society, Math, and Reading.  Science is added in third grade, history and geography in fourth.  I found the texts to be full of delightful artwork and beautiful pictures.  They seemed to cover broad topics, leaving the teacher to fill in with specifics.

If any of my fellow bilingual homeschool families end up using these resources, I would love to hear how they worked for you.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Educazion.net--A Comparison of Preescolar 1 thru Primer Grado

A reader asked if I could describe the contents of Preescolar 2 vs. Preescolar 3 through the Educazion.net (Also known as escuelaenlinea.net) online curriculum.  When I first enrolled my sons, I didn't have any information to help me choose a level in which to register them.  I made an educated guess, and it turned out ok.  But I thought it might helpful to all my readers if I gave a synopsis of each of the four levels I have personally experienced.

Each of the 3 preescolar courses are organized by month.  There are 10 months worth of lessons; however, we finished them in 3-4 months. Weekly activity sheets are available to download and print to go along with each month's lesson.  Each month there is a multimedia online review consisting of approximately 13 activities.

Preescolar 1:

This level mainly covers vocabulary, shapes, colors, numbers, ordering and sorting.  The worksheets that go along with PE 1 are mostly coloring, such as coloring the word "amarillo" and a picture of lemon.  The monthly review contains the following types of activities:

  • Several pictures of various fruits and the instructions say, "Seleccione a todas las pelotas rojas."
  • Several pictures of animals and the instructions say to group the animals according to male/female.
  • Several pictures of objects and the student must group them from biggest to smallest or vice-versa.  
  • A puzzle
  • A pattern on a grid that must be duplicated on an adjacent grid.

Preescolar 2:

The first five months are dedicated to numbers 1-10, spelling the names of numbers 1-10, and Mexican coins.  Month six begins the study of vowel sounds.  The worksheets that go along with PE 2 are more in-depth than those from PE 1, containing pre-writing skills and practice with colors, numbers, shapes, and vowels.  The monthly review contains the following types of activities:

  • Identifying numbers
  • Spelling number names
  • Duplicating numbers on a grid
  • Locating number names in a word search
  • Identifying Mexican coins
  • Filling in missing vowel sounds in words
  • Matching initial vowel sounds with images

Preescolar 3:

From what I can remember of PE 3, it focuses on adding/subtracting to 10, and more heavily on phonics.  The worksheets that go along with PE 3 are very helpful, containing many phonics activities.  There seemed to be an excessive amount of pre-writing exercises in the worksheets, so I just opted not to print several of those pages.  The monthly review contains the following types of activities:

  • Listening to a word and then spelling it
  • Unscrambling words
  • Adding/Subtracting to 10
  • Matching pictures with beginning sounds

Primer Grado:

1st Grade is organized differently from the Preescolar classes.  There are 4 subjects, Spanish, Math, Science, and Bible Writing.  Each subject is organized into a 36-week course.  

For Spanish and Science the week begins with a reading assignment. The reading assignments are fairly lengthy, about 1/3 page.  Each week there are worksheets for each day of the week to go along with the reading assignment.  An online assessment activity is available at the end of the week.  

For science there is also a recommended activity to go along with the text.  

The Spanish reading assignments are from the Bible, and the practice sheets review relevant vocabulary and practice grammar concepts (punctuation and capitalization).

Each week in Math contains an online activity to introduce the lesson, daily worksheets, and a weekly assessment.

I'm not sure how the Bible Writing is organized.  We opted to not participate in this aspect of the course because I feel we get enough writing practice in other areas.

I hope this helps anyone considering Educazion.net to figure out where their child should be placed.  Feel free to contact me with additional questions regarding our experience with the school!