Thursday, September 13, 2012

Speekee TV

¡Hola! There's just something intriguing about a foreign language, isn't there? My kids are fascinated by them. Whether it's watching shows on TV that incorporate words and phrases or hearing strangers in a store, foreign languages are all around us. My kids love to pick up on it and try to repeat it. They even like to speak in their own language and say silly words. It sounds like gibberish and makes me laugh, but they know exactly what they are saying. It's the same way when we hear a real language that we do not understand.

I think it's a good thing to learn another language. Even if you never plan to travel to another country or have no direct need of speaking to someone in a different tongue, knowing another language - even just the basics - can help you better understand your own. So many words have similar root, prefixes, and suffixes or even pull direct words from other countries.

Let me tell you something, while I took 3 years of Spanish in high school and even visited Spain years ago, I cannot remember the majority of the language. Sad, I know! I loved learning Spanish. I remember a decent amount of vocab that when my children ask me to translate a word I can usually do it. I cannot, however, teach them Spanish just from my knowledge. Where I lack skills, the Schoolhouse Review Crew steps right up. They sent someone to my house who is fluent in Spanish! Wasn't that nice? His name is Speekee and he's a cute, purple puppet.        

He taught us on our computer screen using 10 episodes on Speekee TV. Each video is 14-20 minutes long, geared for kids 2-10, and is completely in Spanish. Completely in Spanish. At first I was confused. (And not because I couldn't understand them. Ha.) How were my kids, who knew absolutely no Spanish other than the occasional hola, adios, amigo, and a few other words, going to learn the language? Sure, there are the optional subtitles at the bottom of the screen, but they can't read those that quickly or not even at all. Yes, it has fun, catchy songs. Yeah, it shows real kids in real places. It's full of cute, cuddly puppets. It feels like fun instead of learning. But how was all that going to teach my kids the Spanish language???

Ah, this is where Speekee FastTrack comes in. Every week I receive an email that outlines exactly what to do each day. It includes worksheets and activities and flashcards and games and all sorts of ways to incorporate the videos into real-life learning. The best part about it? It's all laid out, nice and organized, and ready to help you teach Spanish. The FastTrack program contains 40 weeks worth of supplements. It's meant to ensure that your children get a good grasp on the language.    

So, what did my little ones think of Speekee and his sock-puppet friends? Well, my oldest snubbed them half-way through the first video. You know, because 6 is way too mature for puppets. (Don't take it personally, Speekee. He never liked a certain show with a big yellow bird, either.) He did like all the work and learning though.  Go figure. The other 2 children (ages 4 and 2) loved the videos! I cannot tell you how many times one day my 2 year old watched the same episode. When eventually stopped watching it, he still wanted to leave it on as background noise. But, a bigger positive than they're enjoying it, they're learning! It's so fun to hear them sprinkle Spanish words with their English. Gracias, Speekee.    

If you would like to have Speekee come directly to your home and teach your kids Spanish too, the cost for a subscription is $7.50 per month or $60 per year. Could you imagine finding another private tutor at that price?!? He'll even come visit for the first 2 weeks for free and you can send him home and cancel your subscription at any time. 

We weren't the only privileged ones to have Speekee as our tutor. You can read more reviews on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

* Disclaimer: As a member of the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received this subscription in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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1 comment:

  1. Hola Erika, This is Jim from Speekee checking in to say a big GRACIAS for your review. Much appreciated!