Topic: Homeschool Product Review
I'm not going to waste any time with this one. No opening chit chat. I'm getting straight to the point:
We Love Speekee!
I can't say enough about this Spanish program for kids. I had been looking for a long time for a language program for Joshua. He's watched as his older brother has studied Latin and is now, although not very consistently, learning Spanish. He's even picked up on a few things as he sat and listened. When we first got Speekee I knew that this was right up Joshua's alley.
Speekee is a ten part TV type series done completely in Spanish with authentic Spanish children in real Spanish locations. There are also puppets and Jim, the host, that interact with the children as well. In each episode, the children go to a different location. In episode one, they go to the park where they learn traditional greetings, numbers one through five, three colors and are introduced to the names of some of the playground equipment. The puppets then reinforce what has been learned. Subtitles are available if you would like them, or you can use this as a "total immersion" type program.
It's a lot like Sesame Street but at a little slower pace and with not as many things trying to be introduced. This is not the time and place for a discussion on Sesame Street, but I always thought that it tried to do too many things and jumped around a little too much. Speekee has limited things that they introduce in each 10-20 min. episode, and are reinforced throughout the episode.
There are certain things that you see in each show. There is always the introduction, a trip to someplace, a time of reinforcement, and a segment with Lupe and Dino a pair of very cute sock puppets. Each segment is introduced by a very catchy song. You can frequently find Joshua and I singing to ourselves (and even to each other). The "Donde Vamos" - "Where are we going?", "Hablo espanol" - "I speak Spanish" and the "Adios" - "Goodbye" songs have become regular tunes in our home.
Each video also builds on the previous episode. Speekee uses the "spiral approach" where they are constantly reviewing things.
Also included are downloadable fun worksheets that adds to what has been learned that day. There are several for each episode that are to be done following watching that day's video. It has no set time schedule. You can watch each video as much or as little as you want. We usually watch Speekee three or four times a week and do a worksheet or two afterwords. Joshua spends not more than 30 min. each day and loves it. It is amazing how much he is picking up!
Now that I've told you about Speekee, here's a clip from episode four - "El zoo". The subtitles are turned off in this clip, but remember, you can turn them on and off at will.
The exciting songs, characters and children; "just right" pace; constant reinforcing; spiral approach; and great worksheets all make this a fantastic Spanish learning tool for an asperger's syndrome child like our Joshua or for any elementary (even pre-school) child. Although he thinks he's too old for this, John Allen even sneaks a peak now and then. I can't tell you enough how much we like this program.
As a homeschool product reviewer on the TOS Homeschool Crew, I am often assigned online subscription items to review. Most of the time we are given a limited two or three month period that we can access the program and, most of the time, that is it for our family. Speekee is one program that we are going to continue on with for a few months until we complete the entire 10 episodes.
Speekee is a British company that is just branching out into the US market. They sell DVD sets of the 10 episodes, but, because DVD's use a different format in Europe than in the United States, it is recommended that you subscribe to their online program. Each month is only $7.50 a month, but you can keep it as long as you want and end it when you want. There is no set period that you have to subscribe for. They even have a two week trial period that you access to take a look at the program before committing for a month. If you are interested in their DVD sets, you may contact them to ask more questions. To get to the Speekee website, just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. As usual, many other TOS Homeschool Crew members reviewed this product and you can find out what they had to say by clicking here.
One small thing before I close. Speekee teaches European Spanish that you would speak in Spain and not Latin American Spanish. The differences are minor, however. It's kind of like the English spoken in Britain and the English spoken in the United States. There are slight differences but nothing major. Happy Home Educating!
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given a limited subscription to Speekee's online Spanish program to use and review on this blog.