L | WA | 11/26/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This video is awful. Both my daughter and my reading classes have seen the LeapFrog videos several times. I was looking for another video for them that would be fun and educational at the same time. I thought I would try this. Bad idea!
For one thing, it is boring. This lady with horrible fashion sense goes through the alphabet in order and says the names of the letters and the sounds they make, draws the letter, makes a word with the letter, and goes on to the next letter. There is an audience of very bored looking kids watching her but she doesn't interact with them. There is a person in a costume that reminds me of a french fry guy that the lady talks to sometimes and I think that is their attempt to make it fun but it's a pretty lame attempt. My daughter rarely gets to watch television and usually it's a big treat but she actually asked me to turn this off.
For another thing, it's bad teaching!! They teach the letter sound and immediately put the letter into a word. For the letter "a", the kids are supposed to read "at" but they haven't taught the letter "t" yet! And it does not explicitly teach about blending at all. No child could learn to read that way. Save your money! If you don't already have the Leapfrog videos, get those instead; they are excellent."
Sorry I bought it
J. Summerfield | 04/03/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Well first of all it had a cute looking cover and appeared to be what we needed, my son is struggling with phonics some and I figured we'd try a DVD since he learns well from PBS TV programs etc. I bought this DVD and I was quite suprised to find it was an older version of a phonics video, maybe 80's dress and it was kinda outdated to say the least. I could over look that but what I found unacceptable was there were so many letters she sounded out incorrectly!!! That is unacceptable! She pronounced the P sound "Puh" which can be confusing to a child trying to learn sounds......always adding an unneeded uh sound on the end of letters like, n (nnnuh or), p (puh), t (tuh, it was really sad for a phonics teaching tool, save your money!!!! I have ordered Leap Frog DVDs instead to replace this one! While with all that said my son (6yrs) does find it somewhat entertaining because they are not allowed to watch much TV and he is learning a little on how to write the letters and some letter and phonics exposure with it I guess. I will probably have this DVD *disappear* once the Leap Frog ones arrive!"
Truly (if surprisingly) effective!
KidBookFan | 10/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My daughter (4yo) and her cousin (5yo) first "met" Mrs. Phipps and Snoothy when my mother bought a used copy of Learn to Read volume 1 at a yard sale. After seeing just a few minutes of it, my mother almost threw it away, thinking it seemed too boring and unsophisticated for a modern child. To her surprise, both my daughter (then 3) and her cousin (then 4) absolutely LOVED the video! Whenever they visited grandma they begged to watch the video, and often, when the video finished, they rewound it and started it again. And they would sing the alphabet song from the video over and over too (it's a catchy tune; unfortunately so, as I often find myself unable to get it out of my head).
My niece learned to read within just a few months, before her fifth birthday, due in part to Mrs. Phipps, and now, in kindergarten, she reads 3rd-grade-level "chapter books" (I'm not exaggerating). She reads to her cousin whenever they're together, which has sparked a strong desire to learn to read in my daughter. But my daughter seems to think she should be able to learn it in an afternoon, and if I sit down with her to teach her, even if I try to make it into a game, she gets bored within minutes. I didn't worry about it, knowing she already has the desire to read; there's still plenty of time for her to develop the patience and attention span to learn the mechanics of reading. I figured I'd look into Hooked on Phonics when she enters kindergarten next year.
A few weeks ago, my daughter found volume 4 in this series during our weekly visit to the local library. She wanted to bring it home: "It's like Grandma's movie! It's Mrs. Phipps!" So we've started borrowing the whole series. We brought home volumes 4 and then 3 and 5, while waiting for volume 2 to become available. I worried about her watching them out of order, but she especially loves the later videos where the children act out stories while Mrs. Phipps reads the words as they're highlighted on the screen. These later volumes are still beyond her full grasp but her growing ability to read an occasional word, even though she can't read them all, encourages her desire to learn.
Now four, my daughter can write the alphabet, upper and lower cases, and though she hasn't quite mastered reading, she can sound out simple words (non-blend/short vowel) and knows a few more by sight. I figure she'll be reading within a few months if not weeks (it's an exciting time to watch your child right on the cusp of literacy). The beauty is: I haven't pushed her at all, but she CHOOSES on her OWN to play the Learn to Read videos along with her Dora, Maisy, and other tapes.
I got online today to order the whole set of videos for my daughter so we don't have to rely on their being available at the library (when she outgrows them, we'll donate them to the library). Don't shortchange your child by letting an 80s-style hairdo or a cheesy character costume turn you off of these videos. They may not be suited for every child's learning style, but for some kids at least, they work!"