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?!


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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Our 3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

My middle son is 8 and going into 3rd grade this year. Up until now, we have used Calvert as our base curriculum, you can read here why we chose to change.  Below are the 3rd grade homeschool curriculum choices we have made for Krash!

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used below}

3rd Grade Subjects

These are the subjects only Krash will be doing {the others are listed below in the group subject section}

Krash ~  3rd Grade, age 8

The visual version…

Botany  TT4  Vocab Connections CGrowing with Grammar 2  WS_Junior_D  elementary-kit  First Language Lessons  Home Art Studio

Group Subjects

I also I chose some subjects to do with all 3 of my children together, you’ll see these below.  My kids will be Kindergarten, 3rd grade and 7th grade so I will adjust these subjects to each child’s academic ability as far as my expectations.

    The visual version…

YWAM-Heroes-of-History-U.S.-History-[1] Draw your way through the Bible  Continent-Boxes_thumb9 Whats-in-the-Bible-DVDs-and-Coloring Geography-and-Cultures10 Young-Composers13

Tot School Ideas for Ages 18-24 Months

Tot School Ideas Ages 18-24 Months

Tot School is simply playing with your tot!  The name came from my son many years ago, but don’t let the term “school” fool you, it most certainly is not school in the traditional form.  It is simply exposing early learning skills through focused play with your tot, something parents have been doing for many, many years!  I am a firm believer in developmentally appropriate practice and letting kids grow and develop at their pace, not pushing education too soon.  However, it is usually the MOM who needs an actual plan, idea list, or even a program to follow. For those of you who love to gather ideas for playing with your tot, I am sharing several posts in a series, broken down by ages. Many have asked for this, and finally I am taking the time to do it!

Many of the ideas presented in former posts are also great ideas for this age group. Some are duplicated here, but many are not. Be sure to look back if you haven’t yet!

See our other posts in this series…

Tot School Ideas for 9-12 Months

Tot School Ideas for 12-18 Months

Tiny Tot School Ideas for Ages 9-12 Months  Tot School Ideas Ages 12-18 Months[1] 

All ideas are presented with the understanding that you are playing WITH your baby, these are not all independent activities as some of the items are choking hazards. Please only use ideas that you feel comfortable with and feel you can ensure your tot’s safety.


1. Foam ABC Puzzle

This ABC puzzle has been a long time favorite in our house.  We have the upper and lowercase version, and Krash especially LOVED this puzzle.  We used it almost daily, mostly for hammering letters into.  It is foam and durable.  See the post this photo is featured in here.  He is 23 months old in this photo.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Foam ABC Puzzle from www.1plus1plus1equals1


2. Blokus

Blokus is one of our favorite games to use not as intended!  The pieces are great fine motor work for little tot hands and Ladybug especially loved creating with this.  She is 22 months old in this photo.  See our Tot School post that featured this activity!

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Blokus from www.1plus1plus1equals1


3. Straws

Straws and empty containers {Parmesan Cheese shown below} always provided hours of entertainment. Ladybug was 21 months in this photo, see the rest of the Tot School post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Straws


4. Felt Play

We have many felt sets, most are Betty Lukens, since we reviewed them years ago.  This one is Creatology from Michaels. She loved designing felt scenes at this age.  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, she was 22 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Felt Play


5. Dress Up Play

My tots began to love dress up play during this stage and I LOVED seeing them dress up! Krash is on the right at 22 months, the post is here.  Ladybug is on the left at 22 months, the post is here!

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Dress Up from www.1plus1plus1equals1


6. Matching Favorites

Our theme based printable packs are great for fun matching activities.  Tots love matching their favorite characters to cards with the images.  Shown below are cards from our Cars Preschool Pack, she matched the real cars to her cards. See this Tot School post here, she was 22 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Matching Favorites  from www.1plus1plus1equals1


7. Foam Blocks

Foam blocks are such a great tool for tots of all ages.  One of our very favorites for many stages.  She was 21 months in this photo. See this post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Foam Blocks


8. Cutting Food

Cutting food is a great toy for tots!   Krash was 22 months in this photo, see the post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Cutting Food from www.1plus1plus1equals1


9.  Lacing on a Firm Stick

Lacing is difficult for tots this age when using a flimsy string.  We use firm sticks to lace on at this stage.  Below she is using a heart on a stick bought at a craft store, not even sure what they are called officially, I think they go in plants maybe? The idea is something thin and firm to lace bigger beads on.  Once this is mastered, you can move on to lacing on a pipe cleaner. She was 21 months in this photo, the Tot School post is here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Lacing on a Firm Stick from www.1plus1plus1equals1


10. Spooning

A spoon, a container to spoon into, and small items to spoon are all you need for this simple activity! She was 21 months in this photo, the Tot School post is here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Spooning from www.1plus1plus1equals1


11. Basic Pattern Block Puzzles

These basic pattern puzzles are a great toy for tots this age.  Just challenging enough for most, but not too overwhelming.  Both kids loved these at this age.  Krash was months in this photo, the Tot School post is here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Shape Puzzles from www.1plus1plus1equals1


12. ABC Fishing

We have loved this magnetic fishing ABC set for years. It is great hand-eye work for this stage, as well as a fun way to work on letter names!  She was 18 months in this photo. See this post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- ABC Fishing from www.1plus1plus1equals1


13. Shape Sorter

Any shape sorter will do, and you probably have one or two, they are popular!   She was 23 months in this photo, see the post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Shape Sorter


14. Stickers

Stickers are great fine motor skill work for tots!  Krash was 22 months in this photo, see the post here.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Stickers

15. Tossing

Ladybug had some gross motor delays during this stage so we tossed a lot to help her muscle development.  We often used a laundry basket and any indoor toy or ball that could be safely tossed!  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, she was 21 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Tossing from www.1plus1plus1equals1


16. Sidewalk Chalk

Many tots love the freedom of sidewalk chalk, mine did! See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, he was 22 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Sidewalk Chalk from www.1plus1plus1equals1

17. Poking Pasta

An old cereal box with small holes poked by you in advance and some uncooked noodles make for a great activity for tots during this stage.  I remember Krash playing with this a lot!  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, he was 23 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Poking Pasta in a Cereal Box from www.1plus1plus1equals1

18. Water Painting

I did it when I was a kid and you probably did to!  A bucket of water and a grown up paint brush. Much fun for tots and big kids!  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, he was 23 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Water Painting

19. Instruments

Our instrument collection has always been a favorite of all.  Tots this age love to make noise and explore instruments of all kinds!!  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in, he was 21 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Instruments

20. Chunky Puzzles

Chunky wooden puzzles are great for young tots, consignment sales and thrift stores are great places to find them!  See the Tot School post this photo was featured in {puzzle is here}, he was 24 months.

Tot School Ideas 18-24 Months -- Chunky Puzzles

I created a simple PDF file featuring all of the images from this post on one page.  Back when we were Tot Schooling, I loved to have lists I could refer back to.

You can download the Tot School ideas for Ages 18-24 months here!

I also went back and added PDF files like this to the 9-12 month ideas post and the 12-18 month ideas post!

Tot School Baby Play Ideas Ages 18-24 Months

See our Tot School Ideas for Ages 18-24 Months Pinterest Board here! If you are a blogger and have specific posts for this age group, leave a link in the comments to share with others!

Looking for more ideas, be sure to grab our Where to Begin with Tot School eBook for free here! In the eBook you will find pages with different ages and ideas for that age group!


~ Coming Soon ~

Tot School Ideas for 24-30 Months

Tot School Ideas for 30-36 Months

Tot School Ideas for 3-4 Years

In the meantime, you can visit our Tot School Ideas by Ages!

A Reading Log Printable for My Bookworm

Free Printable Reading Log

My son Krash has become a little bookworm. It developed out of nowhere, as he has NOT been much of a reader until now. He enjoys being read to, but wasn’t like Ladybug who always has books near her and will sit and read for hours.

In the past 5 months or so, something has clicked and unlocked this side of him.  When he read his first chapter book for fun, and enjoyed it, the fire was lit inside of him!  The first chapter book her read was a book I was sent many years ago as a sample copy from Scholastic, Looniverse. It sat on my shelf for years since it was not at a level for any of my kids but then suddenly I remembered it and pulled it out for him.  It was perfect for him…just enough pictures and words, a funny story line and characters he loved. We went on to buy the other 3 books in the series and he read them all quickly, the last one arrived one morning and he had it finished that night!

Chapter Books for 2nd Grade Boys

I soon realized I couldn’t afford to buy his books so we hit the library together.  He chose the A-Z Mystery series and picked out 4 he liked.  He has read 2 of those 4 and loves them.  Thankfully we have many more in the series for him and our library has them all!

Chapter Books for 2nd Grade Boys


I realized too late that we should have had a reading log for him all this time, but honestly his reading enthusiasm caught me so off guard, I wasn’t prepared!  I decided to change that and whipped up a quick reading log printable for him including what we wanted on it.  The title, number of pages, date started and completed,and a place for him to rate the book 1-10.

Reading Log

{click image to download Reading Log Printable}

Here’s his filled in chart, we did the best with the dates we couldn’t remember

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We also have Jigsaw Jones on our list to try next.  Any other suggestions?

Kindergarten with Krash ~ at a glance

Homeschool Kindergarten with Krash At a Glance

As I prepare to teach Kindergarten to my daughter at home, I have spent time looking back at our homeschool Kindergarten year with my middle son, since I blogged throughout his K year.  I wanted an easy place to be able to glance back at his posts, and figured it might help some of you also!  This post has direct links, in order, to all of our homeschool Kindergarten with Krash posts!

Homeschool Kindergarten with Krash

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links used below}

Krash began Kindergarten at age 4 years 11 months, in the spring of 2011, and finished the following spring, right before he turned 6. We used Calvert as a base {very loosely}, You Can Read, Raising Rock Stars Kindergarten, All About Reading Level 1, and themes. You’ll notice we did not do all of the RRSK units, he did finish them I just didn’t blog after he finished Kindergarten {all of You Can Read, and all of Calvert K}.

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In the {brackets} you can see details about the posts, including themes, and specific units of YCR and RRSK.  YCR = You Can Read, RRSK = Raising Rock Stars Kindergarten


Homeschool Kindergarten with Krash

Kindergarten Plans for Krash You Can Read Sight Word Caterpillar

You Can Read Intro and Unit 1

K with Krash ~ 1st post {YCR Unit 2}

K with Krash ~ 2nd post {YCR Unit 3, Birds Theme}

K with Krash ~ 3rd post {YCR Unit 4}

K with Krash ~ 4th post {YCR Unit 5, Dragons Theme}

K with Krash ~ 5th post {YCR Review}

K with Krash ~ 6th Post {YCR Unit 6}

K with Krash ~ 7th post {Camping Theme}

Raising Rock Stars Kindergarten Intro

K with Krash ~ 8th post {YCR Unit 7, RRSK Letter A, Pirate Theme}

K with Krash ~ 9th post {YCR Unit 8, RRSK Letter B, Phineas & Ferb and Rainforest Theme}

K with Krash ~ 10th post {YCR Unit 9, RRSK Letter C}

K with Krash ~ 11th post {YCR Unit 10, RRSK Letter D, Fall Theme}

K with Krash ~ 12th post {YCR Unit 11, RRSK Letter E, Monsters Theme}

K with Krash ~ 13th post {YCR Unit 12, RRSK Letter F, Pumpkins Theme}

K with Krash ~ 14th post {YCR Unit 13, RRSK Letter G, Thanksgiving Theme}

K with Krash ~ 15th post {YCR Unit 14, RRSK Letter H, Christmas Theme}

K with Krash ~ 16th post {YCR Unit 15, RRSK Letter I, Christmas Theme}

K with Krash ~ 17th post {YCR Unit 16, RRSK Letter J}

K with Krash ~ 18th post {YCR Unit 17, RRSK Letter K, Angry Birds Theme}

K with Krash ~ 19th post {YCR Unit 18, RRSK Letter L, Webkinz Theme}

K with Krash ~ 20th post {YCR Review,  Skylanders Theme}

K with Krash ~ 21st post {YCR Review, RRSK Letter N & M, Star Wars Theme}

K with Krash ~ 22nd post {RRSK Letter O, Cats Theme}

Summer Sight Word Work


Other Helpful Homeschool Kindergarten Posts