Our 4 and 6 year olds have been devouring the Leap Frog videos lately: viewing thirty minutes of cheesy Saturday-morning quality animation on Letter Factory, they learned all the sounds of the letters effortlessly in the space of about 2 weeks. That’s with no effort on my part or theirs. The 19mo watches too, imitating the sounds of the letters. I feel like a bad mother, but it sure keeps them occupied during school time for the older ones, and they are actually learning at the same time!
Once they thoroughly knew the sounds of the letters, they watched more cheesy Saturday-morning quality animation on Talking Words Factory, and learned to put the letters together into simple 3 or 4 letter words. While I’m explaining the finer points of Saxon Math 54 and Math 76 to the four older children, Natalie and Becca run for paper and pencil and feverishly copy words, pausing the dvd player as necessary. The 19mo watches carefully, mimicking her big sisters’ interests and actions. Later, they read what they wrote and compare notes. This is all their idea.
Now, we’re eagerly anticipating the arrival of:
- Talking Words Factory 2 – Code Word Caper (introduces long vowels)
- Learn to Read at the Storybook Factory (sentences and basic punctuation)
- Math Circus (counting to 20 and simple addition/subtraction)
Lest you think I am content to reside in Bad Mother Land, we have also started some regular one-on-one reading and math lessons. These lessons, when done cheerfully and diligently, usually end with a reward: they get to watch a Leap Frog video.