Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Flip Flop Spanish - A TOS Crew Review

In August I was pleased to learn that I would be blessed to receive a copy of See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish (by Flip Flop Learning) for purposes of review. [While my son isn't sure whether it matters if he learns Spanish, I am convinced that it would be most beneficial to him not only to be bi-lingual, but for Spanish to be his 2nd language
-- that is, if he only learns two languages. I am more inclined to want him to learn more than two languages, but I digress...]

I received, in August, a pale blue box containing everything I would need except for a binder.
This program is so well thought out! On opening the box, your eye glances over a page that draws you in:
  • "3 Easy Steps to Get Started Now:"
  • "What's in this box?"
  • "How often do we do this"
  • and most importantly: "What do I do with all this stuff?"
The first thing I was directed to do was to set up my binder. I used a 1" binder I had handy, but I'm going to have to look around and see if I have a 1-1/2" binder somewhere, because that will be a better fit.
I especially love that it not only has a front cover (to slip into those clear-pocket binders they sell now), but also a back cover and a spine! (I can't tell you how much I appreciate that! --no, wait! I just did! :)
Here is a look at the back cover:
After the inserts were in, I put the pages inside. There are plastic sleeve pages for the CDs--two front, two back. Very nice!
Then I turned back to the box. At this point it occurred to me that I hadn't checked the box's contents, so I did this now. I discovered that the "Card Holder Pages" were missing. I contacted the vendor, and she responded promptly. Her email was prompt, and the card holder pages arrived in the mail in a few days. Everything else was there, including a "WOWO" paddle ("Write On, Wipe Off"); dry erase marker; four CDs; the Curriculum Manual (150 pages that covers four semesters of learning); and three sets of flash cards, totaling 135 cards.

My son and I began working our way through the program. We were able to listen to the CD while we read along in the Curriculum guide. The audio CD helped us pronounce things correctly. Each lesson was different. Some were, "Look at the picture and say the word. Turn the card to check your answers." Some were, "Touch the Skirt" (instructions in Spanish, which has been explained first in English). Then there was, "Make a sentence putting an action word together with a noun" (not exact wording, just going from my memory of the basic idea). Poco a poco (little by little) the program builds upon itself, introducing adjectives, adverbs, and more and more nouns and verbs... And before you know it, painlessly you (and your child) are understanding and using Spanish!

Can I say I love this program? I have been working on Spanish personally for over a year now, on and off (more "off"... than "on"). I know the "immersion" style of language is the best type, according to studies. But it has become my opinion that there is immersion, and there is immersion. I have been through a couple of immersion methods that just left me constantly replying, "Yo no sais..." (I don't know) in answer to questions. In a sink or swim method of language, I felt like I was sinking much more than I was swimming.

Flip Flop Spanish has come into my life like a breath of fresh air. The difference is like... oh... one method takes the approach of an adult landing in Madrid and having to figure out how to communicate with other adults on a trial and error basis. The second method is still immersion (Flip Flop Spanish), but is much more like the way our children learn our native language ("Touch your nose. Good! What's this? That's right, it's an eye!")  What a lovely language program! 

My son, who is the very worst critic I know, has been asking.... asking! to play and do Flip Flop Spanish! This does not happen with my son! But it is happening with Flip Flop Spanish, and I am amazed and pleased!

Each section of the program works on intially six language cards, and then reviews those six cards while pulling in another four cards, to work with ten cards at a time. Later lessons introduce some new words, while reviewing some words, in a rotating fashion. The activities vary, and the program keeps hopping and changing, staying fun and interesting. There are simple activities (name the picture, then turn it over to make sure you got it correct) and sentence activities (put the nouns and verbs together to make sentences that work: "Necesito el tazon" - I need a bowl). There are easy activities ("Toca el perro" - touch the dog), as well as card games and Pictionary-type games where you draw the item and the person has to name it correctly.

 I absolutely love the program.

That said, here are some things that I would suggest could improve the program (imagine that -- even though I love it, I think it could be better!):
1) The vocabulary cards cards come in three packs: Red (Roho), Blue (Azul) and Green (Verde). Look at the photo above -- the skirt is from the blue deck (see the blue line over "the skirt"?). Once you crack open the packages of cards, the only way to tell which deck each card is from is by that little colored line. In the curriculum pages, Sra. Gose refers to the cards by their color and number, such as "V-21" for Vert-21 (green deck, #21). The bottom of the cards have the number, but not the letter V, A or R ("Verde", "Azul" or "Roho"). I'd like to see the cards have the letter designation as well as the number. It would make it so much easier once the packages of cards get opened.
I marked my own cards that way (see below), but my ink did not dry quickly and often smeared, so now I have a lot of smeared cards in my set. ::sigh::

2) This one is probably more a suggestion to the user as a time-saving hint. The issue started because I was finding it a real pain dealing with the open decks of cards at the beginning of the curriculum. They kept sliding and scattering, and making a mess. (I later saw that another mom had bound the three decks with rubber bands. Well, I hadn't thought of that.) I had the slipping opened two decks (vert y azul - green and blue) sliding around in the box that I was trying to set on it's side on the bookshelf beside the notebook.

I decided that I wanted to go through the lessons and get the cards set aside for each lesson in page protectors, so they would be pulled in advance, and could also be stored in the notebook instead of in the box. It's not as neat as the Card Holder Pages that came with the program, but it does the job. I would have used more Card Holder Pages if I had a box of them, but I didn't. I did have loads of available sheet protectors, so I used them.  I set the cards for each lesson aside, filed at the beginning of each section of the curriculum where new (and review) cards were listed.

3) I discovered this third suggestion when I was doing working on suggestion #2. Each section of the curriculum lists the cards that will be used in the next group of lessons. Some of the cards sometimes are repeats from the previous lesson, and others are new cards. It would be much easier to find the cards for the lesson if the ones that are repeats were marked as repeats or "review" ("R"), so I would know whether to find them still in the deck or in the cards that have already been introduced. I marked my page this way:

4) Some of the lessons, the curriculum asks the user to make home-made cards for the word. If the vendor wants us to make home-made cards, it would be really nice if they would provide some blank cards made of the same nice, hard, slick, well-cut card stock as the printed cards that came with the program. Just some blank cards, however many we need to make home made cards, or maybe a few extra to allow for mistakes. Just a thought.

5) The last issue I had was with the paddle and the marker. At first I stored the paddle in the back side of the notebook (fuzzy picture warning!):
Doing this, though, I still had no answer for my marker, which kept getting lost or in the way. I finally remembered I had some inexpensive notebook pencil pouches, and I found one to use for the paddle and the marker:
So, while I was at it I switched it to a larger notebook, and now my program is all contained in the one notebook, which makes my life easier.
So, in summary:

Flip Flop Spanish by SeƱora Gose:
  • Me gusta! (I like it!) My son likes it, too!
  • For ages 3 "to 93"!
  • Two-Year Curriculum, containing four audio CD's, 3 sets of flash cards, a curriculum manual with notebook inserts, a dry erase paddle, dry erase marker, and various storage sleeves;
  • Price is $99.95 (regularly $129.95)
You will like it sure, I'm betting.

To see reviews by other members of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew, click below:


  1. This is a great review, I was going to try this program for my kids, after reading this, I think I might. I usually get all my supplies from , where would you order school supplies, because I have not found any place with better prices.

  2. Thank you for your comment, and thanks for reading my blog.

    School supplies... I usually get mine from a local office supply store called Staples. My husband gets a big discount there because they have an agreement with his employer... some sort of affiliation or agreement that gets a big discount on many items we use for school.

    This Spanish course really can be done with just a 3-ring binder and the items included in the package, plus maybe three rubber bands around the cards. I was just telling what worked for me. I used what I had around the house -- I didn't spend a cent to implement the program.

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