Spanish For Young Children

¿Hablo Español?

My family does not speak much Spanish, but we want to learn!  That is why I jumped at the opportunity to review Speekee.

What is Speekee?

Speekee is a set of 10 online video episodes aimed at teaching Spanish to children ages 2-10. It uses “real Spanish children in real Spanish locations”, and Speekee is one of the puppets that talks with the children. I watched these videos with seven of my children, ages 4-13. Each 15-20 minute episode let us “travel” to a genuine Spanish location and begin learning the language using an immersion-style approach. No English is spoken at all (Spanish/English subtitles are available which we used).

My younger children LOVED the colorful puppets, catchy tunes, and cute children in each episode. The awards we “collected” online were inspiring.  My little kids began singing along on the very first video, and continued to sing the songs throughout the day, over and over. Even though I had a year of Spanish in high school, these videos helped ME hone my pronunciation and gave me a better grasp of how to use the language in context. One morning I woke up laughing, because I’d had a dream where I was using the Spanish words I’d learned from Speekee! 😀

The older children chuckled at first at the “little kiddish” puppets and songs, but they appreciated the repetition. They really studied the subtitles and began taking notes on their own, writing down the Spanish words with the English translations. They even pulled out our Spanish/English dictionary and started exploring all sorts of other words they were curious about. All the children have begun interspersing Spanish words into our daily conversations at home.

What we liked:

  • The online episodes can be watched together as a family, with multiple ages, on our own schedule. This is a priority for us in how we homeschool.
  • The episodes are delightful and make it fun to begin learning Spanish.
  • The optional Spanish/English subtitles were a definite benefit for my older children (and me!).
  • The printable worksheets that accompany each episode are helpful in reinforcing what has been learned.  My children begged me to print them out right after we finished a video.
  • The Scheme of Work – it’s currently designed for brick and mortar schools, but as a homeschool mom I loved perusing the resources and suggested activities.  UPDATE: Speekee has developed a FastTrack curriculum designed specifically for homeschooling families!
  • The “Jim” in the videos is Jim Porter, who co-founded Speekee, and he is passionate about making Speekee the best online Spanish course for children there is.  I emailed him with questions a few times during the review process, and received prompt and encouraging replies. I’m really excited to see how this curriculum develops!

Just a few more things you might like to know…

  • The first two weeks of access to Speekee TV are absolutely free.  After that, it only costs $7.50 per month for continued access – it is definitely worth it!
  • There is a set of Speekee DVDs available, but be aware that they are in a format that may not be compatible with some North American DVD players.
  • If you have internet access with download/streaming limits, each episode is about 150mb.  I accidentally went over our limit when we watched too many episodes in a row. Jim at Speekee tells me that if someone has a slow connection, the site will automatically stream a lower-quality (and thus smaller) version of the videos.  So this should not be a problem for most people.  I suggested they offer customers a choice of video resolutions for each episode.

Win some Speekee!

How would you like to win one month’s free access to Speekee TV?  The Homeschool Village is hosting a giveaway – all the details about how to enter are posted there.  The giveaway ends Thursday, February 17th, at 9pm EST.

¡Adiós!

As a member of The Homeschool Village review team, I received free online access to Speekee TV for two months in exchange for my honest opinion. I have not been compensated in any other way, and all opinions are 100% my children’s and my own. 🙂

Linked to:
The Homeschool Curriculum Review Roundup
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