Sunday, April 18, 2010

Alphabet Beats

Alphabet Beats "are fun, educational videos that teach children how to write the alphabet quickly and easily...using a multi-sensory approach of visual demonstrations and rhythmic chants." Ok, so I was more than a little skeptical when, in the intro to Alphabet Beats, the ladies said my child would "love Ms. Marnie." I am about to admit, that, in fact, Babyman (2) did love Ms. Marnie! Middleman (5), who this review was intended for, was not as thrilled with the "teacher," but he did enjoy Alphabet Beats. Butterbean (8) had to be excused from the room, because of his compulsion to be a typical eight year old boy!Middleman wasn't aware that you're supposed to watch one 5 minute letter segment at a time, and he wanted to watch the whole thing in one fail swoop. Being the mostly-child-let-fab-teacher-mama that I am, I longed for a "play all" button. But alas, there isn't one. So, after teaching my five year old how to click on the letters himself to start each segment, I sat down and relaxed to watch the video too.

Ms. Marnie is definitely funny to my 2 and 5 year old viewers. They laughed as she wore a veil and went "off to Vegas" (v). I'm not sure if I was excited or not having to explain what a belly dancer was for b. And they informed me that water was wasted during the washing of hands for w. I was pretty concerned that for m, marshmallow was misspelled.

Middleman asks to watch Alphabet Beats often, pulling out his dry erase markers and board to practice his letters. He occasionally uses the rhymes from Alphabet Beats. He sometimes disagrees with the rhymes, and tells me that's not how he does it! There were a few rhymes I didn't quite get either, like those for s,w and p. Babyman will often be heard chanting "up ound, ittle a."

Overall, we have really enjoyed Alphabet Beats, and I know my littles will continue to watch it. As for teaching Middleman to write, I can't give that credit to Alphabet Beats. I still think he learns better with one-on-one Mommy instruction, and Alphabet Beats has not made him any more interested in writing than he was before. However, the program has given me little tips for teaching printing, at least for some of the letters. Thankfully, I received the DVD to try out, because I probably would not have purchased it myself. It's a little expensive for our budget.
You can download free activity sheets and lined writing paper that go with the videos here. For a demo, click here. You can purchase Uppercase or Lowercase Alphabet Beats for $35 each. Or purchase the set of both for $64.99.

If you'd like to read what other reviewers thought, you can do that right here.

In exchange for my review, I received a free copy of the DVD Alphabet Beats writing lower case letters. I received no other compensation for this review and the opinions expressed herein are my own.

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