I was excited because my younger one is entering Kindergarten this year-- like, WOW! Seriously, WOW! I can't believe my baby boy, my youngest, my cuddle bug, is starting a more formal schooling this year. So it was important to me that he be as best prepared as he could.
I was personally really excited about this because we had the privilege of also reviewing Talking Fingers with my kids in the fall. We all liked that pretty well. Now, I get to review this as well.
The biggest con I had with this application was that my son's school computer- his HP PC, which is fairly new, was not supporting it and my older mac was. This I found very odd. Especially since it is used on a website. Customer service did a good job of trying to figure out what was causing the problem and we just went with the flow of it. Eventually, we got it to work well.
My 5 year old absolutely LOVES it!
So what is it?
It is a series of seven interactive books in which tells the story of long ago two sisters creating the alphabet to be able to communicate. They get to learn about different letters and shapes. What I LOVE about this app, is for example, when they learn to write "W" (the letter), they shape a worm in the shape of a "W". It is absolutely genius! It allows them to correlate a letter to an actual item. Then they do varying versions of writing the letters where they have to learn to write the letter without guidance or help from the images.
The other thing that my 10 year old approves of is earning metals and trophies for doing it. So when he was 5, this would have been a great program for him. Every kid is motivated by something different.
What I love about this is it can be use as your teaching method for phonics or help supplement. Irregardless if you are a homeschool parent or not. Why? Because a lot of kids don't know how to read well and sometimes it is just a learning curve. My eldest son was reading fluently by 3-4 years old. My daughter was reading at 5-6 years old. My little one is 5 and I assume he will be fluently reading by the end of the year or two.
Schools don't always have the most interactive intergrated method of teaching phonics, phoenomes and sounds to kids. Some times, they don't do writing with it or reading with it. It is memorization. Not every school is like that, but some are. At the end of the day, their goal is to get a child to read but the state requires them to all be taught the same and more calculated method. I think this does a huge disservice. This is where parents, tutors, and even schools can step in and use a program like this to really motivate a child to want to learn and to want to read. The want is very important and the way they are taught is important. This is so well done. I can't speak highly enough about it.
I love that it can be available for tablets- hoping it won't need WIFI to work, but even if it did, it is definitely worth it and my son LOVES it. I have seen it first hand give my son more self confidence in being able to do the sounds which is a core step to reading.
When it comes down to brass and tacks, this program rocks because it gets back to the root of learning to read but realising phonetic sounds in a word which a younger child can struggle with. This is super fundamental in reading and this program I would recommend to anyone and everyone because it does an incredible job in doing this while making it very fun for the kids.