About Señora Gose…
Thank you for visiting our page. This is the fun part where I get to share with you who I am and why all this exists.
I am a certified Texas Public School Teacher who thrived on teaching in the Public school system before we began our family. I stayed home with our first born and missed teaching so much, I reached out to our local community to tutor or host a small Spanish class. After that initial email, I received 42 replies the very next morning! So for 15 years now, I have been teaching Spanish and public speaking to homeschool students weekly in a classroom setting, most recently at the Community Homeschool Center in Bryan, Texas.
I am a happily married mother of five children, small business owner, as well as a founder & board member of the Community Homeschool Center.
My family and I love living on our small 15 acre farm here in Central Texas with our goats, chickens, ducks, and rabbits. I thoroughly enjoy teaching my weekly Spanish classes, supporting homeschool endeavors of the community in any way possible, and striving to keep a happy, well-organized home.
So...how did all these products come about?
The Workbooks: When I first began teaching Spanish to homeschoolers I searched for products I wanted to use and found none. (That's what I was trained to do - find a textbook and follow it.) Since all I found were, well, just a little silly, without direction, I made my own lessons each week, based on the interests and needs of the different ages in my classroom. Year by year, my student base grew and the idea of paid private classes for homeschoolers became more common as well. At the time, I was holding class and paying weekly rent at Jacque's Toys and Book, in their tutoring room. Jacque, the owner, was such an encouragement to me in those early times, as having specialized classes in the middle of the day simply wasn't the norm. Homeschoolers still expected to mostly be, well, at home!
As the years went on, my Spanish classes for ages as young as 3 to age 18 became more popular. Several mothers contacted me, and explained they couldn't make the weekly commitment, but had heard great things about the assignments and homework packets I handed out - that they were simple, effective, and easy to follow. "Could I just buy a set of those packets?" I charged $40 and printed out the year of packets for them. You can imagine how easy it was to find the time to do so, during these years of preganancies and diapers and lots of toddler trials.
After the tenth or eleventh request for just the packets, my supportive husband mentioned that maybe I should get my Spanish homework packets published. I shook my head, "Not without a CD."
"Ok, so let's make a CD," he replied simply. My father in law is a professional musician and had a recording studio in a nearby town, so that was a pretty easy fix.
Finally, my last and biggest issue was that the students needed some sort of built-in review if I wasn't going to be there in their home, teaching them. (In my experience, they simply won't review on their own, they just turn the page!) So we came up with the every-other-page is upside down - they see what's coming, but only focus on the activity of the day. When they flip the workbook over and work back toward the front, they get to revisit, even for a moment, all their previous work. That's JUST enough for these young ages, to keep the old vocabulary fresh in their heads. And THAT is where the name Flip Flop Spanish came from. (It didn't come easy, but I still love it!)
What about the Flash Cards? Just like most language teachers, I love flash cards. Many hours were spent online and in stores, looking for the BEST ones for my classes.
Students would ask: "What's that?" when the flashcards had drawn pictures on them, and would go into a discussion of how they would draw it and why it was better or worse than the one on the card... Having an art critique was NOT my primary goal. So. I needed photos, not drawings.
...the words should ONLY be on one side, the photo on the other. THIS is the way to create recall. Otherwise, it's just a crutch.
The second issue was the words on the same side as the picture. As I train the students to think in Spanish, not just read, I had to cover up the word on the picture side. I used masking tape, sticky notes, my fingers, other cards, you name it. Finally, I realized, the words should ONLY be on one side, the photo on the other. THIS is the way to create recall. Otherwise, it's just a crutch.
The last flash card issue was size. With little hands, the students like to bend the cards. They needed to be thick enough to discourage bending, but thin enough to easily pick up and lay down and make sentences; they had to have some flex. If they were too big, they became a "book" immediately, and were bent in half. But of course you want them to be big "enough." Set after set, index card after index card in different sizes, I brought to all my classes, ages 3 years old to 18. And we got the size right. Playing card/ baseball card size was the winner. Finally the search was on to find flashcards with:
- correct size: I found two or three brands (most were too big)
- photos: I found ONE brand
- no words on the photo/picture side: there were NONE
- phonetic spelling: Also NONE
I was frustrated. I vented to my husband about it. This had been a project of MONTHS. There were NO flashcards I could recommend to my students' families! He shrugged and said, "Well, why don't you make them?" Goodness, he's smart
Because I was constantly adding "sentence starters" to the flashcard games in my classroom, I knew exactly what I wanted as far as words. No categories, no sets of nouns or themes. They need to make sentences right out of the package. I was THRILLED with our first set: Flip Flop Spanish Flash Cards: Verde.
As more teachers and curriculum writers saw the set, it became evident that THIS was the best way for truly EVERY learning style. So parents asked for pointers, "How do we use the cards?" I wrote a manual. "But I'm still not sure I'm saying it right..." I made the audio CD's. And thus, after a full year of testing on local families, we finally were able to produce our flagship product: See it and Say it Flip Flop Spanish.
Ongoing Endeavors... Sra. Gose includes Spanish in her every day life through music, television, conversation at the local grocery store, and of course reading, writing, and teaching. Currently, she and her family are taking on the challenge of acquiring German as a third language!
Living in Texas, it is not a difficult task to find opportunities to keep increasing Spanish vocabulary and practicing to stay up to date on the local slang, idioms, or simply invented "Texican" or "Tex-Mex" words for our region.
Simply remember, language teachers are not immune from the "use it or lose it" adage. Practice your Spanish words every opportunity you have in order to train your brain to accept new vocabulary and grammar rules with more ease.
- As a former public school teacher, current private class teacher, and homeschooling mother of five, I need results from our curriculum. I do my best to make sure EACH item we offer will get results and will also be simple to use.
- Each item came out of my Spanish classes - I designed them for my students, and my supportive husband would see the design, and how I used it, and always responded: "Hey! Other people could use that. You should publish it."
- We are located in Central Texas and have been slowly adding products to the Flip Flop Spanish series since 2006.
- You can reach me via email or Facebook. (firstname.lastname@example.org)