Monday, April 19, 2010

Alphabet Beats (TOS Crew Review)

We received a copy of the Alphabet Beats "lowercase (Letters)" DVD to use and review in our homeschool.  I was thrilled!  The Smallish Man-Child doesn't form all of his letters properly, and if you watch him write, he even goes about it all wrong!  Plus, the Littlest Drama Princess is learning about letters, so why not let her in on it, too?

Alphabet Beats is a video for your children to watch (with you!) that teaches how to write the letters of the alphabet - each in 5-minute segments.  There are practice segments built right in for your child to write with Miss Marnie, and there are phonics lessons to supplement the writing portion of the program.  So, in essence, your child is learning the sound the letter makes (phonics), the letter's name, things that start with that letter, and how to form the letter with a pencil and paper... all in a television or computer video that is fun.  I don't think they'll even realize they are learning about writing!!

The first time we watched it, the Littlest Drama Princess made us Play. All. The. Letters. Through. (NOTE: this is not recommended by the creator, but this preschooler would not be swayed!) Not only could my kids write more neatly after watching the letters formed in Alphabet Beats, but the littlest one walks around chanting the letters: "candy cane down, line across: F!"  I figure by the time she can actually read, she'll have writing the letters down pat!

The video is fun, engaging, takes short breaks from writing to talk about and show things that start with the letter you're on, and then back to forming letters.  The Smallish Man-Child thinks it is boring (as if!), but he can write better (grin) and the Drama Princess says it would be great for little kids and the chants for the letters get stuck in your head.  These are surely positives!!

The lowercase DVD costs $35 (as does the UPPERCASE DVD), or you can get both for $64.99.  While that may seem a bit steep at first, I assure you the video we received is worth every penny!  Here is a quote from the website: "Children enjoy watching Miss Marnie because she is very engaging and fun, while at the same time she is teaching valuable skills and concepts. The vocabulary words being demonstrated are both educational and therapeutically based: body parts, spatial concepts, opposites, shapes, colors, animals, musical instruments, sensory items, community helpers, cutting, painting, behavior modeling, gross and fine motor activities, daily living skills, and so much more - all in our writing DVD's!"

To see what my fellow Crew mates thought of Alphabet Beats, click here.

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of the Alphabet Beats lowercase Letters DVD for free in order to use and review it. This review is my own opinion of that product, and I have not been compensated for it.

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