Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Brainy Baby ABC's - Introducing the Alphabet|
Genres: Kids & Family, Music Video & Concerts
From the leader of developmental preschool DVDs/CDs for more than a decade, Brainy Baby ABC's DVD (45 minutes) guides your child into the wonderful world of letters and language. Explores upper- and lower-case letters, mul... more »
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Shame on Brainy Baby! Terrible way to teach letter sounds!
Mom Of Many Munchkins | Central WI, USA | 04/27/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I'm shocked that this video is getting so many stars. It makes me wonder if the mom's have really listened to it. Just a warning that this is probably my most critical review I've written and it is quite lengthy. If you are considering buying Brainy Baby ABC's then I'd suggest you please read this.
As with the other Brainy Baby (I'll call them BB in the review) videos that I have viewed, there is a long introduction that takes 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Then they sing the alphabet 3 times, once with a fish alphabet puzzle, then with wood letters and then a snake alphabet puzzle. Then kids voices are heard reciting the alphabet. This is followed by a long instrumental of kids at a playground, some of them holding foam letter pieces (this lasts 2 minutes and 8 seconds! How can this hold a kids attention?). I mean, get on with it already!! Finally, 7 and 1/2 minutes into the video, they begin with the letter A.
In case you don't know this, BB was formerly Baby's First Impressions (BFI). BFI has a Letters video and BB ABC's has many of the exact same things in it. I think BB tried to improve upon BFI Letters by showing upper and lower case of each letter and by saying the letter sound. For the vowels they say both the long and the short sound and they also give the two sounds for C and G. Unfortunately they blew it, in my humble opinion, in not being consistent in their letter sounds and by adding that terrible sloppy "uh" sound to many of them. This is really bad. I am no expert, just stay-at-home mom homeschooling my kids. I am teaching my 2nd child to read and over the years I have learned how to make the letter sounds and how not to make the letter sounds. Before BB marketed this video they should have had some lessons. More about this later. But, first, lets start with how BB does the letters. All the letters follow this same basic format. Here is what is said for the letter A:
Big A. Little a.
The letter A makes two sounds.
A, A, A, Ape.
and Aaaaa, Aaaaa, Aaaaa (this, of course, is the short sound that's being said), Apple.
Aaaa. Ants. Amazing Ants.
OK.....sounds good, right? I thought, "hey, this is great that they added in the sounds of the letters. This is better then Baby's First Impressions Letters."
FYI, in BFI they said:
You can see that BB tried to improve on this.
Anyway, as the other letters were said I soon realized I was wrong about thinking this was an improvement. There is a ladies voice that I will call the "Narrator" and also a young girls voice that I will call the "Reviewer". The Narrator started saying the letter sounds correctly but then very quickly began saying the sounds wrong. Some were questionable, such as saying "kih" for K and "Nnnnih" for N. Most were much more obvious, like "puh" for P, "tuh" for T, "vuh" for V, etc. This is so wrong! It's a sloppy "uh" that is added to consonants. No wonder there are so many kids in this country that have such a hard time learning to read. If you teach a child that the letter P says "puh", how can they correctly sound out a word? Let's take the word "pat" as an example. A child would sound it out by saying, "puh....aaaa....tuh (assuming they are taught that the letter T says "tuh".....which is wrong). If they try to blend this together they'll come up with "puh-a-tuh". How are they supposed to know that they change "puh...aaaa...tuh" miraculously into "pat"? It just boggles my mind!
As you can see, this really bothers me. I don't understand why a company won't say the sounds of the letters properly before they put a video on the market that is supposed to teach kids the letter sounds. Get it right first! Try it right now for yourself. How do you say letter sounds such as P, T, V, etc? Think about it....it might take a bit of effort to *not* say that "uh" at the end of the letter. For the letters P and T you say them quite short. Cut them off before adding on that "uh" sound. The letter V can be drawn out a little longer but you just say "vvvvvv" (like a vibrating sound) you should not say "vuh". The letter H is almost like you hear your breath coming quietly out of your mouth (it's difficult to explain but I hope you understand what I mean), you don't say, "huh". The only letter that you can properly say the "uh" sound is for the letter U. To drive home the point a little further, we all know the sound for S. It's like a snake saying, "ssss". No one in their right mind would teach that sound as "suh". So why not teach all of the letter sounds properly? OK....off my soap box a little bit....but not all the way. I'm not done with reviewing this video. It gets worse.
After every few letters there is a review. Here's where it isn't even consistent! The Narrator said "Lih" for the letter L. This is also wrong. You should say "LLLL" and not add on another sound to the end. Then the Reviewer (the young girl) says, "Luh. LLLL. Ladybug. Luh. LLLL. Lamp." The Narrator says, "That's right!!" WHAT? How can that be right? They have just taught your child 3 different sounds for the letter L. I don't know what school they went to! First the Narrator says it wrong. Then the Reviewer says it wrong (but a different wrong way) and then she actually says it right (LLLL) and then repeats herself (the wrong way and the right way, but both her sounds are different from the Narrators wrong sound). How can this be considered "right"??
Maybe by now you are thinking I am being way too picky, but think about it. This is supposed to be teaching the impressionable little mind of our child. Why have them view this and pick up the wrong way to say the sounds of the letters? It could have a negative impact on them when they are ready to start to read. Just *some* of the sounds said incorrectly by the girl Reviewer are: "Buh" for B, "Kuh" for C, "Duh" for D, "Qwuh" for Q, "Vuh" for V, "Wuh" for W, "Ex" for X, "Yuh" for Y. In comparison, the adult Narrator says sounds like: "Bih" for B, "Dih" for D, "Nih" for N, "Qwih" for Q, "Ur" for R, "Vih" for V, "Whih" for W, "Yih" for Y, "Zih" for Z. Both of them say about half of the alphabet incorrectly and it's not always the same letter. Sometimes the girl says it right and the woman says the same letter wrong. Sometimes they switch roles and the Reviewer gets it wrong and the Narrator says the same letter right. Drives me crazy! How can they be teaching one sound and then for the review they say a different sound for the same letter? And, while I am being so critical in this review, I might as well add that for the letter E they end it by showing an eagle wearing a graduation cap. They say, "Un Educated Eagle". Let's really show that we *are* educated, shall we, and say "*An* Educated Eagle" not "un" (unless they are really saying "Uneducated Eagle"....which would fit with the uneducated way they present this video).
As you can tell I have serious issues with this video and could never recommend it to anyone. It really deserves no stars from me but Amazon requires I give at least one. Even though this did have some improvements over BFI (noting the upper and lower case, two sounds for the vowels and letters C and G, better graphics, etc) I'll keep my BFI Letters and get rid of this one (it belongs in the trash!). Please don't buy it. At least see if your library has it first. Please read my other reviews. I promise they aren't this long!
My TWO year old knows his letters, but he's learning the sou
Scrapbookin' Mama | North Carolina | 04/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This review was very difficult for me to write as I have mixed feelings toward the video. As a first grade teacher, I am very critical of anything that requires the very particular and accurate use of phonemic awareness. Unfortunately, as the mom in the last review pointed out, this video has many inconsistencies when the narrator and little girl say their letter sounds. First of all, when saying letter sounds, one NEVER wants to add the sound -uh after any letter!! For example, when saying the sound for "T" we don't say "TUH", we simply whisper it by dropping our tougue from the roof to the bottom of our mouth. Or, we say "W" not by saying "WUH" but by forming the W with our lips, then holding the W sound like wwwwww. Though most of the sounds in this video are correct, they occasionally slip into the "-uh" trap! How on earth are our children supposed to read if they add -uh to every consonant....tell me....for instance, what the heck is puh-a-tuh! (translation without the -uh and you get the word "pat"!)
Now, looking beyond the inconsistencies in pronounciation, I have to say that my 2 year old son LOVES the video!!! I am completely in awe and amazed that within one time of watching it, he repeats EVERY letter as it drops onto the screen. Though I find it terribly repetitive and boring, he is COMPLETELY engrossed!! And you know, HE IS the one who is supposed to love the video (not me!) so I suppose Brainy Baby has hit the mark on that aspect! He sits through the seven minute introduction and is totally aware as each written letter comes on. He enjoys the kids and babies on the screen and it doesn't seem to bother him that there is no real "action" or fun puppets like they have in the Baby Einstein videos. So, as a mother, I am overjoyed that he is enjoying the video, learning his letters AND gaining a nice vocabulary. He is slightly speech delayed, so anything that will help to improve his language awareness is a blessing.
So how do I rate this?? As a teacher, probably no more than a 3. As a mother, I'd have to give this a 5 since my own child is rapidly developing his language awareness just by watching a simple DVD! I haven't watched any other letters video, so if anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!"
My 2 1/2 year old loves it and is learning ...
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I brought this video at the point when my son knew what a letter was, but could not distinguish one letter from another. He loves the video and he will repeat the information as he goes through the video. We have owned it for about a month and he knows about half of his letters. The video starts off by singing the alphabet and the letters are shown through a puzzle. Then the alphabet is said and show just as letters on the screen. Next they go through the alphabet. "Big A. Little A. A has two sounds. A a a Apple, a a a ape, a a a acorn.", etc. They go through about 5 letters, and then they repeat the letters through a test. "Do you know what sound the letter A makes?" "I know a a a ape and a a a acorn." Finally, they sing a song about the alphabet and different objects to help remember the letter sounds.This is not a flashy scene video like baby einstein. For the most part it uses real objects, but does put in some computer graphics that look like real objects. It is not fast paced and it is repetative. It is designed to learn the ABCs and does it very well. If your child is ready to learn the ABC's it is very beneficial. If your child is younger and enjoys looking at children and babies at play or real objects they may enjoy the video. Older children who already know their ABCs and the sounds will probably be bored with the video."
A great video
marly | USA | 11/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a speech pathologist and was surpised by another review that complained about the repetition in this video. That is how children learn -- by repetition!! Remember, this series is designed for the cognitive and learning skills of the 2-4 year old set, not an adult! I have a 3.5 year old who barely sits still, yet the children and action in this video keep his attention. Yes, there are instrumental and singing portions, but that is what kids love. I have several in this series and my kids love them all. Both my kids learned their ABC's by watching this video (along with practicing with foam letters in the bathtub). I find the Brainy Baby series to be much more educational than the Baby Einstein videos. For those of you who feel your children have advanced beyond the Baby Einstein videos, I would highly recommend this series. Great for the preschool age group."