As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I am happy to bring you another review of a product suitable for the youngest students. With Alphabet Beats your 2 1/2 year old-8 year old learns the proper way of printing letters with Miss Marnie, the TV Teacher. The DVD offers 5 minute lessons on each letter on the alphabet. At the start of each lesson, your child is taught a chant that teaches the correct way of writing the letter. This chant is combined with vocabulary starting with the letter being learned and other visuals while Miss Marnie repeatedly shows your child how to write the letter.
Morgaine quite enjoyed Miss. Marnie (she’s quite engaging and personable, I must say) who was able to hold her attention for several lessons at a time. In terms of printing, I found that Miss Marnie did not leave enough time for Morgaine to follow along with her in the lessons and that was a little frustrating for my daughter. However, the chant will be quite handy for when we are practicing printing on our own. Morgaine, as a non reader/writer told me she didn’t know why she had to write letters over and over again if she couldn’t read and for the most part I agreed with her. However, the nice thing about this program is that it is bringing my daughter closer to reading. She’s seen some of the letters we’ve worked on in books we are reading and has said, “Look Mom, it’s an ‘a’. It goes ‘up and around. Back up and down.’ ” This coming from a child who had no idea that letters had anything to do with what I was reading a month ago is HUGE!
Overall, I am quite happy with this program though I would likely buy it more for a letter recognition program as opposed to a printing program. My daughter seems to be getting more benefit out of it that way but I think it would work well as a printing program for those children that can already recognize the letters of the alphabet and need some extra practice with printing. In terms of the ages specified on the DVD, I think that it could be used with a 2 1/2 year old as a letter recognition program and perhaps a printing program if it was kept fun (for example, writing the letters in shaving cream or with finger paints). I’d never expect a 2 1/2 year old to sit with a pencil and paper! I think that the upper age range on this DVD might be a little high. My six year old would not enjoy these lessons very much and would likely find them “babyish” so it wouldn’t work well with him. I think this might be the case with many older children so my age recommendation for this program would likely be mostly for 4 and 5 year olds. However, I don’t know your child so you’d have to check it out for yourself to see if it might work well. The TV Teacher offers a demo on their website which would help give you an idea of what the lessons are like.
***Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.