Every year when I sit down and map out our studies, I have dreamt of adding a foreign language to the mix. Adding it in (we’ve tried Latin and German) has not been the difficult part. Instead, it is keeping the kids going and interested in learning that has been the challenge.
Having spent several weeks testing out a new program available in the US over the internet, we might have found a great launching point for the boys. Speekee TV is the streaming video option for those of us living in the US that provides access to the 10 different video shows available to purchase over in Europe. The DVDs they sell are PAL format which do not play on most machines sold in the US.
Speekee uses a mixture of children filmed on location in Spain with puppets to teach Spanish in an immersion approach. Each video has a theme (e.g. El Cafe, El Zoo, etc.) with consistency in format. This repetition within each program helps the kids to learn key words and phrases in a fun manner.
There is a LOT of music in the programs when transitions happen. The target audience is young children, so music is a great way to catch their attention.
When I had just D watch the first episode of Speekee, I thought there was no way this would float in the house. R didn’t come running over to check it out at first since D said “oh, this is some Spanish thing with a freaky character that sings.” But, Little J was present and it took almost no time for him to be hooked. Since their little brother seemed to want more Speekee time, they gave it a second chance. Now they are more interested in learning along with the videos.
At first, 10 episodes might seem like very little and something you could breeze through in a few weeks. However, we have been watching each of the episodes a few times before moving onto the next. For Little J, we have even gone back and reviewed some of them. Plus, there are pdf files you can print out to reinforce the learning by taking it off the screen and onto paper. Honestly, there are so many words being thrown at you in each episode that you need time to really soak them in.
I have a nagging suspicion that we’ll be subscribing for a while after the trial we received is up. Little J goes around waving his hand while trying to say adios several times a day, every day. He will go up to a computer and start waving while trying to say either hola or adios. Yesterday I put Speekee on for him to watch so I could bake bread. When the episode was up he got mad because HE wasn’t ready for Speekee to be over.
Subscribing to Speekee TV is easy. They give you 2 weeks free to try it out and then charge just $7.50 per month for your subscription through PayPal. A slightly older child might be able to pick up a lot in just a couple of months. Compared to buying it on DVD, the subscription would be a lot less money. Besides, if you are like me with no DVD player capable of playing the PAL format, there would be an additional outlay of cash for that player.
So, our family gives this product thumbs up for engaging the boys in learning Spanish. Maybe after this positive start we can keep going with other resources and feel like a second language is in our grasps.
Disclaimer ~ Our family was provided with a short-term subscription to Speekee TV for the purpose of completing this review. No other compensation was provided and the opinions expressed are our own. You can read what other TOS Crewmates have to say about Speekee TV by visiting the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.