"How exactly is Flip Flop Spanish Charlotte Mason-ish?"

Being a linguist, I love it when people use "-ish." It shows recognition that there's not quite a word to formulate or express the actual thoughts in their mind, but they need to say something, so they choose the closest word they can find and add "ish!" Grace and linguistics exist all at once.

I get this question a lot, and I love answering it in person - but since I don't have space for each of you in my living room, and I don't run into all of you at the local homeschool hang out, where I had the latest Charlotte Mason Language conversation: at our Sam's Warehouse Grocery Center (LOVE THAT!), I'll do the next best thing! A blog post!

This blog is focused on how the Whole Family Spanish Set: See it and Say it Flip Flop Spanish fits into Charlotte Mason's Foreign Language acquiring methods.

First, Miss Mason believed that students should hear the words before seeing them. With See it and Say it Flip Flop Spanish (affectionately called SiSi) flashcards, the photo cue stands alone on one side, while the students are listening and repeating the words with the provided CDs. The audio downloads are also available - just contact us (help@flipfloplearning.com), and we'll get you a link. We just need your last name and approximate date (month) of purchase.

 The problem with Miss Mason's theories and methods are often, the mother/teacher/father does not have a confident command of the language. And there we stop. We feel, well, we can't. It all seems quite daunting. I circumnavigated this problem by breaking the language down into usable chunks, presented in a manner for ALL members of the family to learn. The adults really need or want to see it written out. And the children will do better without that part. So the flashcards serve both types and ages of learners. The children learn more quickly and don't need as much repetition, but the adults do. How do we create the time for the adults? Again, the flashcards are a size that can travel in the car, or a purse. Reviewing them is quick, and easy, and can be done anywhere, so help maintain and promote more memory and confidence.

Buenas noticias.... (good news; bweh-nahs noh-tee-see-ahs) - it gets easier. As you learn, your brain learns how to learn. You create a habit... (sound familiar?) and you get better and better at absorbing more of the language more quickly. Charlotte Mason Soireé has a great blog post on the WHY and HOW behind Miss Mason's methods as well, along with excerpts from her teaching volumes.

SiSi girl with cardsSecond, SiSi provides the ability to change your sentence, yet use repetition. This Mason method is immediately evident - from the first lesson (8 minutes long) the students (and parents) are using sentence starters. They begin with "I need," or "I like," and then change the ending, becoming more complex as their vocabulary increases. This method is mostly used audibly with Miss Mason. However, since we have visual learners, and many distractions that weren't around in the "olden days," the visual stimuli adds another layer of understanding and eagerness. Being able to physically manipulate the photos on the table translates to being able to see the communication in their heads, and thus grow in confidence, and therefore speech. It's one big snowball of encouragement, step by step, for all ages.

Third, just having the SiSi cards laying around speaks to the "learning lifestyle" where curious children are able to flip cards over and read and sound out new words, since the phonetic spelling is also listed on each card. (I recommend stashing them in your silverware drawer! Every time you open that drawer, you have a physical reminder to speak a bit of Spanish again to your family.)SiSi Paleta

Finally, short lessons! Lessons are 10 minutes or less, and then allow for play time at the end, moving cards around, feeling, repeating, laughing. Copy work is available too, by simply flipping the cards over and copying those words in order in either or both Spanish and English. When you capitalize your line of words and add a period, a complete sentence magically appears!

See it and Say it Flip Flop Spanish is a  two-year curriculum and involves the whole family at once (ages 3 to 93) and all learning styles. I recommend three times per week, each lesson lasting one week, for maximum absorption.

I'm currently working on The Bridge - adding in more phrases that aren't available to make into flashcards, but also in the Mason theory. This will be a 12 week lesson, one that you can add to any curriculum, or use between SiSi 1, and SiSi 2, which will be out in the Fall of 2018.

A huge gracias to all my Charlotte Mason sisters who keep encouraging me in my own homeschool and my endeavors to help you all improve in the areas that I excel, as you encourage me to improve in all the others! A gentle feast, indeed!

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