- Reviewed on Friday, September 18, 2009
- Grades Used: preK
- Dates used: 2006
MountainWood Talking Letters isn't really a reading program, it teaches just the sounds of each letter using only lower case letters. It's a bit pricey, but I've seen great results using this with my youngest when she was about 3 or 4. She loved it! Now she is almost 6 and still refers to her "Talking Letters" and will say their sounds the way she learned them through this program. She can remember every single story (each letter has a short story). We still have the poster on the wall and she enjoys looking at it and talking about the stories and sounds.
The program comes in a clam shell case with video, thin workbooks, large black and white flash cards and a colorful poster. Each letter has a picture incorporated into its lower case letter. Here are some examples:
S is a green "Sneaky Snake" that says "ssss".
L (these really are all lower case letters so it is l) is "Little Lady" and she stands straight and tall and loves to sing, "Llllll".
T is "Little Man" (the characters don't necessarily start with the letter sound), he has his daddy's watch that ticks ,"t, t, t".
My daughters favorite sound story is P, which is "Little Lady with her Beach Ball" (the stick part of the letter P is Little Lady, the ball part of the P is her holding her beach ball). She jumps into the water and gets water in her mouth. She spits it out, "puh, puh". My daughter loved to act out every story (beware of a child who loves to act out the Little Lady with her Beach Ball story. If your kid is really into it, like mine, they may actually literally try to spit the water out. Happened many times here. LOL!).
Another favorite is F, "Angry Cat" (the curl of the lower case f is the cats tail and the line across the middle are his ears). My daughter would run down the hallway, turn around, and then run as fast as she can back into the room and then say her angriest, "fffffff!!!".
H is "Little Lady Out of Breath" who got scared by "Sneaky Snake" and is running back home with her dress flying behind her (if you can picture a lower case h, the straight line is Little Lady again. Behind her is her dress flying; the other part of the h). When she gets home she is out of breath and says "Hhh, Hhh".
My personal favorite is "Stocking Doll" (the lower case i). The dot is her little head. If you squeeze her tummy she says ,"iii, iii" in a tiny squeaky voice.
O is another favorite (we really like them all...I could go on and on!). He is "Donut". He is so relieved when he comes out of the hot grease. When my daughter was younger, every time she saw an O she would say, "Ahhhh......it's good to get out of that hot grease!" People would look at us like, "what??" LOL!
U is "Upside Down Pig" (he's on his back with is legs up in the air). He's straining to get up and says, "Uh, Uh."
This really is such a cute program and I actually love it. The video quality isn't the best. There are two ladies who take turns telling the stories. They are nice storytellers with pleasing voices. No sloppy "uh" with this program; which is a major pet peeve of mine (example: t is NOT tuh, tuh, tuh, but a nice short t,t,t).
My one and only complaint is that the a and the g are that funny "old" font. They are written just like all the a's and g's you see in the font of this review. I don't understand having letters written that way in a program that teaches such young children their letters and sounds. It's just a personal annoyance of mine that I'm trying to get over. :0)
I actually heard of MountainWood Talking Letters by reading Amanda's review here (the one and only review at the time). I got my set on eBay and after getting it I realized it was missing a few newly added things that the website said it had. I called the number and talked to one of the ladies that made the program. She was so sweet. I recognized her voice right away...she's one of the storytellers on the video. I ordered the extra missing workbook and she threw in a few free worksheets. She suggested using Alpha Phonics afterwards (I didn't tell her that I didn't care for that program too much.....same funny a and g).
I think MountainWood Talking Letters has been an excellent investment and I'm so glad my daughter started learning her letter sounds with this. It's been really fun and I'm sure my daughter will remember these stories for a long time to come.
- Reviewed on Saturday, March 1, 2008
- Grades Used: K
- Dates used: 2006-2007
My daughter was in a private school that used this program to introduce the letter sounds, so I haven't actually used this myself - but -
I am homeschooling this year for 1st grade and my daughter moved into reading easily and enthusiastically due to this program. She has a very solid foundation on her letter sounds. We did no review of sounds at all - she knew them cold. She would often tell me a character story associated with a letter sound and dance around the room acting it out. It seems very child friendly and resulted in a confident and enthusiastic beginning reader.
- Reviewed on Thursday, December 20, 2007
- Grades Used: preK
- Dates used: 2007, fall
This curriculum has worked great for my 4 yr old son. I had been trying to teach him his letter sounds with more traditional methods, but it just wasn't working. He is right brained, and I think that is the reason traditional methods didn't work.
This curriculum is based on flashcards with a letter printed on one side (in "bubble" form with a little person printed inside it) and on the back is a story. The story makes it easy for the child to remember the sound. For example, for the letter t, it is about a little man who is wearing a hat (the crossbar), and was given a watch by his grandfather. When he puts it to his ear, it sounds like this- "t,t,t." All the letters have a story like this. They really fit well with the letter. Now I can teach my child a letter in just one reading of the story, and he remembers it! When he sees a t, he puts his hand to his ear and says "t,t,t" so I know he is connecting the story to the sound. He doesn't forget the sounds anymore, and I am very thankful.
I have 2 complaints. First, the price is high for the quality of product that you receive. I got mine from Rainbow Resource for $65. A high price, but it is worth it to me that my son is understanding the letter sounds now. Also, a couple of the letters on the flashcard are written not in the way a child traditionally learns his letters. For example, the letter "a" is written just like it is typed. I just taped white paper over the top curve to make it look like a sumwhat smashed normal early reader "a". The letter "g" is also written just as it is typed. I'll cover up part of the curve with that when we get there.
Only lower case is taught, which I like. My older son learned his upper case alphabet in preK, but didn't know his lower case when he started kindergarten. Most reading done is in lower case, so this makes so much more sense. Also, letter names are not taught, just sounds. That is what is most important now, and won't confuse the children with too much info.
- Reviewed on Thursday, October 25, 2007
- Grades Used: pr-k
- Dates used: 2007-present
this program has really helped my son. he has suddenly developed an intrest in listen to the words he says hisself and letting me now the sounds he hears, i am very impressed. he just turned 4 august. i also let him play games at starfall.com which complements this program well, since he likes computer games. i believe the story for each letter has helped him to remember the sounds. just flashing picture cards did not help him remember the sound.