Calico Spanish

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  • Reviewed on Saturday, February 9, 2013
  • Grades Used: K-6
  • Dates used: 2008-2013
Calico Spanish is a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on student-teacher interaction. It is designed for fluent Spanish speakers and provides a framework for teaching excellent communication skills to elementary students.

Things to know about Calico Spanish Teach-At-Home Program:

1. It is for FLUENT SPANISH SPEAKERs! It is a very supportive program with scripted lesson plans and fabulous outside resources (you should check out the YouTube channel - it's awesome!). Still, a lot of people buy the homeschool version thinking that they will learn Spanish with their kids, and that's just not what it's really about.

2. The lessons are phenomenal. There are two levels: Level 1 is for students being introduced to Spanish for the first time, and Level 2 is for those ready for a more intermediate level. Each level breaks down like this:

Level 1 - Kindergarten to 5th grade

Calendar Concepts
Numbers 1-100 (fluency with 1-20)
Colors and Shapes
Key Verb Phrases and Action Verbs
Skip Counting with Coins
Interesting Action Games
Parts of the Body
Classroom Objects
Traditional Songs and Poems

Level 2 - 2nd to 6th Grade

Mi rutina (Routines)
Mi familia (Family)
La comida (Food)
La comunidad (Community)
Celebraciones y Tradiciones (Celebrations and Traditions)
Estaciones y el clima
(Seasons and Climate)

3. Total Immersion - Be prepared!! This is a total immersion program, so you need to be prepared to turn your home into a full-time Spanish classroom. The curriculum is cool because they send you all the stuff to set up your school-room to look like a classroom (posters, etc.). I only wish there were more of them!

4. Lots of outside resources. A lot of home-school moms I know who use the program first found out about it from their YouTube channel. They have all these really great, cute songs that my daughter loves. The curriculum comes with other resources too: flash cards, verb cards, a copy of the Mi guitarri music. They also have online games for each lesson, although they can be kind of repetitive.

I really like the curriculum because it is so focused on interaction. I have been using the old school DISTAR book to teach my daughter to read, and I am surprised at how similar the structure is between the two. It is a really highly-researched program and the results are impressive!

On the other hand, it can be a little spendy. I think it costs around $300 for the whole set. Since I only have one child, it was kind of an investment, but the cost is per teacher, so I think it would make more sense if you had a few kids to teach. Also, the lessons are PACKED with information, so I am pretty sure I will be able to keep teaching the level I bought for at least another year. We're barely through the first 60 lessons!

Overall, I would give this program an A-. I think it is a really great teaching tool that kids love, but it can be on the expensive side.