Sunday, September 9, 2012

Speekee Review - A Fun Way To Learn Espanol

Speekee TV is designed so that children can learn Spanish on their own time and at their own pace. The program uses an immersion approach to learning (which I love).

A moms review:
Hola! ¿Cómo te llamas? Me llamo Kathy. 

Learning a foreign language is something we definitely feel is important to incorporate into our homeschool journey. There are so many reasons it is important for our children to learn a foreign language at an early age: it helps intellectual development, it helps them to better understand their native language, it helps them communicate with people they might otherwise never met, it opens learning to various cultures, it helps them appreciate and understand people of other nations, it helps with listening skills and of course down the road it will help them future college endeavors and jobs. Spanish is the language we have started focusing on.

I was thrilled that we were able to review Speekee and add yet another fabulous resource into our curriculum this year. Speekee is a program that utilizes videos with catchy songs, great colors, adorable puppets (Speekee, Lupi, Dino), real Spanish speaking children and real Spanish locations. Oh and Jim a very friendly, enthusiastic man with a love for teaching children. It is perfect for children age 2-10 yrs old and works well for all learning styles. The program is great for on the go families (yes we often do hoemschool lessons at the park, in the car, etc). We own Android devices (phones and tablet) and the program works great on them both. I have also noticed other reviewers mention that the program works on iPads.

The program is entirely in Spanish with English subtitles and teaches Spain Spanish. I read the subtitles to the kids the first time they watched a new video. After that I would let them watch the videos and clips on their own. Even if a child cannot read the subtitles they will still understand what words and phrases are being spoken based upon what is going on in the video. The videos are very well done and its easy to follow what is occurring. The videos and puppets are very much like something you would see on Sesame Street.

The songs are VERY addicting!!! I would often hear the kids singing them throughout the day. Okay I will admit it so did I! It's like learning Spanish via brain washing, lol. Habla Espanol, Habla Espanol, Habla Espanol.....

When I first logged in I was a little confused. All I saw were videos and clips. We watched the amazing video but I didn't understand what were supposed to do next. Then I scrolled down to the bottom and saw the FastTrack link. I fell even more in love with Speekee.

Speekee offers a 40 week curriculum plan which is included in your subscription called FastTrack.
The FastTrack plan offers four lesson plan activities per week. Activities include video segments, PDF activity worksheets, skit, crafts, and PDF flashcards. The FastTrack layout is wonderful and all your planning is done for you. This is great for us BUSY homeschool moms! Just click on the activity for the day which is hyper-linked leading you to a more detailed explanation of the activity. Videos, video clips and PDFs if applicable are located on the right side of the screen next to the activity and also hyper-linked for ease of access. PDF worksheets are noted with a little paper and pen graphic. To make things even easier for myself I went through the first 3 months and printed off all the PDFs (flashcards and worksheets) and placed them in a binder. Because of our eclectic/relaxed homechool style this has been taking us a little longer to get through because we only average about 2-3 lessons a week.

Each activity takes about 10-20 minutes to complete. Speekee uses lots of repetition to reinforce learning. The main video and clips are watched multiple times throughout the 4 weeks. I highly recommend signing up for the email alert which is sent at the beginning of each new lesson week. The emails really help me stay on track and remember to log the kids onto Speekee each week.

One of the very first crafts the kids got to make (week 1 day 2) was sock puppets. They had a blast making these. They use their puppets while watching the videos and doing the skits. 

I think its great how the lessons/episodes teach children Spanish words and phrases that they will use in everyday day life situations. And if you are not ready to move onto the next lesson/episode you can always go back through the one you just completed again.

The 10 lessons/episodes cover words and phrases for these places:
-El parque (The Park)
-El cafe (The Restaurant)
-La casa (The House)
-El zoo (The Zoo)
-La clase (The Classroom)
-El mercado (The Market)
-La estacion (The Station)
-La playa (The Beach)
-El jardin (The Garden)
-La fiesta (The Party)

There are flashcards to go with each lesson. I highly suggest printing, laminating and jump ringing these. They are great for car rides! To further our learning when on the go or not in front of the computer I printed up FREE flashcards with the lessons vocab words.

There is also a little reward and email system built into Speekee called immersion connect. This is located on the right side when you first log in. If your children are anything like mine they love getting little rewards. Children will earn Puntos for completing various parts of the program. They can then use their Puntos in the Mercado to purchase various backgrounds for their virtual puppet. Children can also change the way their virtual puppet looks (I assume the more you progress through the program the more accessories you can earn). The email is yet another fun activity where children can read and respond to little notes from Jim, the kids and Speekee. These notes are written and responded to in Spanish (several options are provided for the responses). There are also little snap shot photos with words that are emailed which help to reinforce vocabulary words. My kids thought it was great to be like mommy and check their email.

Okay last thing to mention is that these videos can be watched over your Wii by simply utilizing the Wii's internet channel. Read the step by step directions over at the Speekee blog. If you don't have a Wii you may be able to still watch them over your TV if your TV and laptop have HDMI outputs.

We will definitely continue to utilize Speekee and I am very much looking forward to brushing up on my Spanish as well.

Nos gusta Speekee! Adiós! Gracias por leer mi comentario.

Gwyns review (6 yrs old):
I like the songs they are silly. I am learning to speak Spanish. It's fun.

Rowyns review (5 yrs old):
I like the purple puppet Speekee.

Links to follow:
-Speekee Website
-Speekee Blog
-Speekee Facebook page 
-Speekee Twitter page

Where to buy:
A risk-free Speekee account can be created and used free of charge for 2 weeks.  Afterwards, a subscription can be purchased for $7.50/mo or $60/yr (via Paypal). Subscriptions can be canceled at anytime. 

Click here for more Speekee
reviews from the The Schoolhouse Review Crew.

*Disclaimer - As part of the TOS Review Crew I received a 6 month subscription to Speekee in return for my honest review. Please note that prices indicated in the post are subject to change. I was not compensated for my review and all opinions are our own! Many of the links found on my side bars and in my blog posts are affiliate links. As a result, I might get paid money and I will most likely spend the money on homeschool supplies.

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