Earlier this year we were super blessed to have the chance to review a fun program called Read, Write, and Type from Talking Fingers. We had so much fun with this one, that when we saw they created a new one, Talking Shapes: A Supplemental Curriculum for Early Literacy, I was really eager to try it out. This is an online version recommended for children in preschool and kindergarten. Using this program, our children learn the 40 phonemes, or speech sounds, along with the letters that make those them, but also how to read them and spell them, making words from the sounds they learn.
As letters and sounds are introduced there is a story for our children to enjoy about “two girls who invented the alphabet”. My daughter loved this! She thought it was great that two little girls could make something so awesome as the letters in this program! 🙂 Talk about a fun way to inspire our kids to be creators in life! So, they will listen to a story, which will teach them 6 phonemes and the letters that go along with them. Each letter (as you can see) is a shape. So C is cat. This helps our children to “see” the letters as they learn them. They will also have the opportunity to draw (or trace) the letter so it is good to use a touch screen. We enjoy doing this program on the iPad although we started on our computer and that was not so good! Hard to trace a letter with a mouse. haha My daughter though loves being able to “write” on the screen when she works. There are also fun games to play for each story that is read; these are full of fun activities that help reinforce the letters and sounds and words that are being taught. In some cases they are writing the letters, in others popping balloons as they read and search for words.
I have to say, this was lots of fun! My daughter, though the stories were a bit longer than she was able to attend to, did think they were fun to listen to. She also loved how each letter was something; she is very visual so this helps a ton! She liked the games too and I especially thought they did a great job putting it all together! Aside from the fact that it took quite some time to load the program, this was such a great program. Even my boys who are older (6 and 10) sat for a time to “help” their little sister with her work. ha-ha Some days I think my boys did more than my daughter. They really enjoyed the games; especially for my struggling to read six year old, I was glad to see him wanting to do reading work.
It is so important, I think, for our kids to have a strong foundation when it comes to reading skills. I mean, if you can read, you can learn and do anything in your lifetime. So it really matters to me that they don’t just learn to read, but find it something that is pleasant to do as well. This program does a great job of making reading and writing something our kids can enjoy doing! The characters are fun (and my daughter found them to be great friends – she would tell me all about what they did today) and the stories they tell really encourage our kids to record and tell stories of their own. My boys really picked up on that part of it. How this program is what the two sisters created, so as to be able to share their stories with others. That’s fun!
This really was a great addition to our days! I do think it was a bit more than my daughter (she is 4) was really ready for but it was a great start for her. I do believe this encouraged her to want to learn! That said we will very likely revisit this one in the near future with her. I also loved that my younger son was so involved with this since we are always looking for something (anything) that will help him better understand reading and thus, become more confident in his skills. The variety of ways they encourage our kids to learn in this program is really so good; I love any material that is multi-sensory since my kids are all so different in how they learn. And this program has something for every one of those kids!
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