Speekee Spanish for Homeschoolers

Speekee Spanish is a great Spanish program for homeschoolers! We are loving it and are excited to share our thoughts as well as a great giveaway with you!

{disclaimer ~ Speekee is a blog sponsor and I was given a membership to use for this review}Speekee Spanish for Homeschoolers



Years ago we used Speekee, and we kept our monthly subscription long after our initial review in 2011.  Want to see how long ago?  Here’s a photo, aren’t they cute?!

Speekee

Eventually I let the subscription go, but then Jim from Speekee got in touch with me recently to come back on board as a blog sponsor. I knew they had redone the Speekee website and was excited to see the changes and if it might work for my family.

I was mostly interested in the Fast Track, which is a 40 week homeschool Spanish program with lessons! I figured we would like it but wasn’t sure how much.  We are going through a lot of changes this year and I wasn’t really looking to add another subject to our day.  I figured we could review it for a month or so and then put away for another year.

Boy was I wrong.  There’s going to be NO putting it away, the kids LOVE it!  Seriously, these two beg for the daily lessons!

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What is Speekee?

Speekee is a multi award-winning Spanish learning program​ for 2-11 year olds. It’s the most comprehensive Spanish program for children ever to appear online. Games, videos and challenges are all part of this super fast way for kids to learn Spanish!​ There are 40 videos that form the backbone of this program tailor made for homeschoolers.

 

What is Speekee Fast Track for Homeschoolers?

Speekee Fast Track is a 40 week program for young learners of Spanish, targeted for ages 2-8. It focuses on the first ten episodes in the Speekee series of videos. Each week 4 activities are suggested, with corresponding worksheets, videos, and other activities.

Here’s a peek at the first 4 weeks {clipped from the Speekee website, scroll to the bottom of the homepage and click on the words “Fast Track” to see this}.

Speekee Fast Track Week 1-4

 

How Much Does it Cost?

Speekee is an online subscription service, giving you access to all of the materials with your membership.  You can see current prices here {scroll down to the bottom}.

 

Fast Track is what we are using and what I am focusing on in this review. My kids are ages 5 & 8 so this is a perfect fit.  My oldest is 12 and although he listens in sometimes, he is not participating with us regularly.

Each school day, the younger two work with me on the day’s assignment.  The Fast Track plan does not say to watch the video each day but my kids insist.  So, we do the activities, plus the video each day.

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On day 2 of week 1 you are told to help the kids make puppets to represent Dino and Lupi ~ the adorable puppets in the videos.

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Honestly I didn’t not want to do this.  I wasn’t in a crafting mood.  However, I am so glad I ignored my feelings and just did what the lesson plan said.  They LOVE these puppets.

We now have Dino and Lupi sit with us for each lesson and they have REALLY helped with encouraging natural dialogue.

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Below you can see a bit of the screen showing the puppets in one of the videos.

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They also each have a Spanish notebook.  This is for the printables from the Speekee lessons and a few more I have created on my own to enhance their learning.  I will share these later on my blog, I am not done with them yet!

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I am so glad Speekee came back on as a sponsor and that I was required to dig back into it.  It truly is a perfect fit for my two youngest and they are begging for the lessons each day. We will be continuing on with the Fast Track program this entire school year!

One of you is going to win a 40 week membership to Speekee so you too can enjoy the full Fast Track program!!

Use Rafflecopter to enter to win below.  Giveaway is open worldwide and ends 9/26/14. Be sure to click over to the blog to be able to see the widget if you are reading via email or RSS.

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Lessontrek ~ Review

We have been testing out a new lesson planning tool for awhile now and I really like it.  Lessontrek was introduced to me by a blogging friend and I agreed to a review after I completed their free trial and liked it!  I now have a discount code for you and a giveaway, as well as my review.  Keep on reading!

{disclaimer ~ I was given a year of Lessontrek for this review, they are a blog sponsor, and my affiliate link is used}Lessontrek Online Homeschool Planner Review

I love simple, I love colors.  Lessontrek had me with those two things right away. I needed something very simple, and straightforward to plan our lessons.  Lessontrek is an online planner that is very easy to use. You set everything up online and have the option to print out weekly checklists, which is one of my favorite parts {probably my very favorite part}. I spent time setting each child up, giving them a specific color, and then each subject of theirs a specific color. Once initial set up is done, it is easy to navigate. I also love the flexibility it has. I can add assignments by typing in specifics, or add recurring assignments with a click {once I have entered in the list of recurring assignments}. Once you get started playing around I promise it isn’t too hard to figure out! I have 4 different categories; one for each child {keep reading to see those}, and one for our All Together subjects. Below is a screenshot of our All Together subjects planned out for week one.  Each little colored area can be drug around easily, and also copy/pasted if needed.

Lessontrek All Together Subjects

We do school intensely for four days a week, Monday-Thursday.  Friday is our family day off, and Saturday is a lighter day, with catch-up and extra subjects.  This particular week we took day 3 off to go to Six Flags, that’s why it is blank! I have been sharing a bit on Instagram and people have asked to see more details about how we are using Lessontrek.  I took screenshots of each planner from week one and then a photo of the printable checklist at the end of the week so you can see how we did! The screenshots are from the print mode, which produces the checklist format that you print. It looks different in the compose mode {which you can see a glimpse of at the top in my all together screenshot}

PacMan’s first week of 7th Grade…

This is what he got on Monday, with my expectations for his week.  See his 7th grade homeschool curriculum here.

Lessontrek Weekly Plan

Here’s what his printable plan looked like at the end of week one.  I gave some grace on a few things, and just transferred them over to the next week.  I do not put the plans in far ahead so it is easier for me to adjust each week.  It stresses me out to think we are behind, so instead I go with the flow and just adjust.  For now I am only doing one week at a time.  Setting up their plans on Sunday afternoon to print and be ready for Monday.

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Krash’s first week of 3rd Grade…

Lesontrek 3rd Grade Plans

Here’s what his looked like at the end. He finished all but one math lesson, since we decided not to do any school on Friday {our family day}. See his 3rd grade homeschool curriculum here.

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Ladybug’s first week of Kindergarten…

Lessontrek k Plans

Here’s hers at the end of the week. You can see we have a lot of circles, meaning we didn’t get to those things and I am totally fine with that.  I am completely flexible and will just carry over. I create a plan for her and we do what we can. See her Kindergarten homeschool curriculum here.

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Our All Together Plan…

As you can see we got almost our entire weekly plan done. We all REALLY enjoyed our all together time. See our all together homeschool curriculum choices here.

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I could keep this post going forever telling you exactly how I did things and how to set it up, but honestly it’s one of those hands on things you have to do to understand.  They have a wonderful totallyfree two week trial so you can play around and see if it works for you.  I did the trial before even agreeing to the review. Here is a list showing what Lessontrek is capable of doing now…

Lessontrek Current Features

 

Below are the features in the works! Lessontrek Future Features

 

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Type-B Homeschool Planner Giveaway

The Type-B Homeschool Planner

{disclosure ~ I was given a copy of the Type-B Planner free of charge to review and my affiliate link is used in this post}

My long time friend, Sarah Mae, author of Desperate, has a brand new homeschool planner specifically designed for the Type-B Mommas out there. I am more of a Type-A momma but I know not all of my readers are, and honestly this planner is good for all mommas. When I opened up my PDF copy I was surprised to see that it wasn’t just a bunch of well organized planning pages, but it was a guide. The first 40 pages read like a book, a very encouraging book. It is a 14 day journey, broken into easily digestible bites to get the planning underway.  It is the type of reading you will be doing with highlighter in hand.  It is a heart journey as well as a practical one.  After the 14 day journey, you find TONS of planning pages to guide you.

Sarah Mae shares more of her heart behind this planner here on her blog.

Here’s a peek inside…

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The Type-B Homeschool Planner comes in either a PDF version for $9.99 or a spiral bound version for $24.99. You can see more details here on here. There are sample pages you can download also.  Be sure to download the Day One ~ Vision, to get a feel for what the 14 day journey is like.

Two of you are going to win your own copy of this awesome planner!  You can choose either PDF or Spiral Bound {USA only}.

Enter using Rafflecopter below {come to the blog if reading in email or RSS}. 

Giveaway is open worldwide for PDF version, and US Only for Spiral Bound version.  Giveaway ends 8/20/14.

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Friends and Heroes Discount and Giveaway

Friends and Heroes Discount and CD Giveaway

{disclaimer ~ Friends and Heroes is a blog sponsor and affiliate links are used}

If you’ve been a blog reader here for awhile, you know that we love Friends and Heroes DVDs!  We used them for our Bible focus last year and own all of the DVDs!  We were given the first 2 episodes for review and ended up buying the rest. All three of my kids {5, 8, 12} love these DVDs, and I do too!

I am excited to share their summer promotion with you, so you can save on these fabulous resources. 

Hurry, these discounts are only valid through August 15, 2014

· 20% off all Friends and Heroes Homeschool Curriculum

· 10% off all other Friends and Heroes resources with curriculum

· 10% off all Friends and Heroes Home and Family DVD Collections

 

New Friends and Heroes Music!

We were sent their new CD, What About Love, to review and have a copy to give away to one of you! The people who brought you Friends and Heroes DVDs now bring you fantastic Bible songs for the whole family! Inspired by Friends and Heroes Series 1, these songs will have you singing along to Biblical truths, helping your children to remember stories that will change their lives!

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For information about the music CD, and to see a music video and more, visit their site here.  I love the CD, music is such a great tie in to the Biblical truths my kids learn through the awesome DVDs.  There is an insert included with the CD containing the lyrics, which I love.  Examining lyrics together is a favorite of mine and these are fabulous lyrics to dig into!  You can see the lyrics if you sign up for a Friends and Heroes account {it’s free}.

One of you is going to win this great new Friends and Heroes CD!

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Enter below using Rafflecopter.  Giveaway is open to USA and Canada only and ends 8/13/14. Be sure to jump over to the blog if you are reading in email or RSS.

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littleBLAST ~ Review and Giveaway

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{disclaimer ~ we received our BLAST free for this review and littleBLAST is a blog sponsor}

We are excited to share something new with you, littleBLAST!

littleBLAST science for young children

littleBLAST offers monthly themed science BLASTs for little scientists! These are created for your preschool aged child or can supplement early education (suggested ages 3-7).  I have a 5 year old and an 8 year old and they both enjoyed our projects immensely!

We were sent the Air Pressure BLAST to review and it came neatly in a package with EVERYTHING we needed.  This is a huge bonus for me, as I am not a science-y person and don’t like gathering tiny materials. The all-in-one feature was very appealing to me.

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Each activity in the BLAST includes all the materials needed to complete 3-4 experiments. This includes instruction guides for the adult, all supplies, an adventure map, super achievement badge chart, and badge.  Read more about the BLASTs here.

Ours had what you see below, which was basically all resources for 3 experiments revolving around the theme of Air Pressure.  When I say it was all included, I mean ALL.  I didn’t need to go hunting for a thing.

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Here’s a detailed shot of all included for the first experiment, Air Cannon.

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The guides are very simple and easy to follow step by step.  We were able to clear a table and jump right in quickly.  The kids were blowing the pom pom across the table in no time!

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See the holes in the bottom for the experiment?  They were pre cut like that which made me oh-SO-happy!

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There’s even a recording sheet included to keep track of our results.

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We also completed the Rocket Balloon experiment and this too was a big hit with both kids. Everything we needed was included as you can see, even tiny pieces of tape.

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Ladybug was my coloring and cutting helper to get the rocket ready.

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This one was more hands on for me so I wasn’t able to take as many action shots.

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The only thing not included for this one was our chairs!  We tied the rocket balloon between two of our dining room chairs.

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After the experiment was complete, she continued to experiment and play on her own with the rocket.  It was really fun.

We have one experiment left to complete, which is entitled Barometer.  We will complete this one soon, once we officially begin school!

 

Overall Thoughts…

I absolutely love the idea of littleBLAST and it is perfect for moms like me who dislike gathering all of the materials.  They also have a digital download option for those of you who don’t mind gathering materials but just want the instructions for the experiments.  You can save money and use your own stuff, or spend more and get the all in one kit sent straight to you!  I love that there are choices.

My kids loved the experiments but honestly I think they loved the attention the most.  They loved that we had something special to do together.  They know I don’t like science much {sadly} and were thrilled to know this was a box of “experiments.”  Ladybug calls them “experiences” and I think that sums it up for me.  It is about the experience of doing this together, it’s special.

I do recommend littleBLAST and think it would be a great fit for many families. You can see all of the purchasing options here. You can purchase a monthly subscription or buy individual BLASTS {digital or the all in one box}.  They are adding new BLASTs and currently have the following available…

  • Air Pressure
  • Float-Sink
  • Ice
  • Construction
  • Bubbles
  • Magnet
  • Lubricant
  • Seed
  • Ramp

GIVEAWAY!

I am excited to be able to give one of my readers the Air Pressure BLAST we reviewed!littleBLAST AirPressure

Use Rafflecopter to enter to win below {come to the blog if you are reading in RSS or email}

Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends 8/8/14.

a Rafflecopter giveaway