A Review of Speekee Spanish

3/06/2012

Speekee Spanish is making waves among homeschoolers - in fact it is "LOVED (not just liked!) by 98% of homeschool moms."  So when Jim from Speekee asked me to review it, I said yes!

I will share some information about the product, share our experience and then offer you a giveaway for a two-month subscription!

I'm going to say up front that I did not LOVE Speekee Spanish. I love the idea of Speekee, but I don't love the program.

I reviewed the DVD collection, and was told upfront that the the DVDs may not play on my DVD player - they did not (without distortion ~ they are formatted for European DVD players), but they will play just fine on computers.

Eliana is watching Episode 5 ~ La clase

There are 10 Episodes on 3 disks:
  1. El parque ~ the park
  2. El café ~ the cafe
  3. La casa ~ the house
  4. El zoo ~ the zoo
  5. La clase ~ the class
  6. El mercado ~ the market
  7. La estación ~ the station
  8. La playa ~ the beach
  9. El jardín ~ the garden
  10. La fiesta ~ the party
A Bonus Disk 4 contains all of the songs from the episodes.

I also received a CD with all the songs.

With the Online program, you have access to printable worksheets that go along with the program. The DVD program comes with a guide book, called The Guide, which contains activities to go along with the Episodes, such as Repeat with Speekee (pronunciation and English translation) and hands on activities.



Each Episode includes a "Dino and Lupi Sketch," with lines, to act out using homemade sock puppets.


My Experience:

My initial impression was not that great - I not only did not love it, I could barely sit through an episode.  I didn't know that the DVD's had subtitles and I couldn't follow along very well in The Guide and I thought the quality was poor. I did later find the subtitles playing around with the menu (the directions to turn them on need to be in The Guide.).  But, I did not enjoy the quality of the videos at all.

However, I love to tie in products with our Five in a Row curriculum any time I can, so I flipped through The Guide and saw that I could tie Episode 6 in with our row of A Pair of Red Clogs. We "played market" for our row and learned that market is "el mercado."

We also learned the Spanish words for eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, bananas and more. To reinforce these new words, we did an activity from The Guide and made a "tortilla," which is a Spanish omelet.


I can still remember "huevos" (eggs), "patata" (potato), "tomate" (tomato) and we learned from Jordan that bread is "pan."  (I added the Spanish olives to the recipe in the book.) Mine didn't come out nearly as pretty - I had a hard time flipping it, but we had fun making it!

Along with the recipe, the lesson also included a puppet show (Dino and Lupi sketch) and other hands on suggestions.

We also listened to a song called "What's in the bag?" and we learned apples, potatoes, and pineapples, but had to look in the back of The Guide to find bananas, oranges and onions (vocab in the video episode, but not in the lesson).  It would be helpful to have the vocab on hand in each lesson for reinforcement, but we did look it up when we went to the kitchen to have a snack.

Things I like:
  • the hands on activities and suggestions (lots of good ones).
  • the Spanish, pronunciation and English translations (although it would be helpful if the Dino and Lupi sketch have pronunciation cues as well)
  • the catchy tunes and that my little ones can easily sing along
  • the songs on the DVD
  • the concept of the immersion approach with subtitles in both Spanish and English 

Things I don't like:
  • poor quality - the videos seem low-budget
  • the cost of the program ~ an online subscription (to Speekee TV) is priced at $7.50 per month or $60 per year. 
  • there is a lot of unnecessary wait in the lessons (such as waiting for the children to all crawl through the tube and long pauses)
  • Speekee uses the immersion approach, but because the scenes do not always reflect what is being said, it is hard to tell what is going on. 
I would add confusing, but I think learning ANY foreign language program would be confusing. :)

Bottomline:

I don't LOVE Speekee. I really wanted to, but I guess I am in the 2% that doesn't! And while there are things that I like about it, if I don't love it, it will be hard for me to make it work. My little ones aren't asking me to do it (although they do willingly participate when I ask them, so they seem to like it). 

My strongest recommendation is to do the free trial to see if you think it is something YOU will love! Just because I don't love it, it doesn't mean you won't!

Go sign up and give it a try! Then come back and VOTE! Tell me whether you LOVE it or LIKE it! I'll give some extra time for the giveaway to give time for the free trial AND a chance to earn extra entries on the giveaway! (This entry is optional). But hurry! You only have two weeks!

Liking Speekee on Facebook (an option in the widget below) will get you a one-month free trial!

The only required entry is to leave me a comment, be sure to click that you "did it" on the Rafflecopter widget on the blog! If you have not visited this post directly, click here to enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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