Scaredy Cat Reading system

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  • Reviewed on Monday, March 24, 2008
  • Grades Used: Now using Level 3
  • Dates used: 2005-Now
The new Scaredy Cat stuff is just AWESOME!

We've used the older stuff in the past, and it just doesn't compare! The new DVDs that have a lesson-by-lesson format are great, and my kids love LetterMaster.

We watched the LetterMaster DVD, and everyone enjoyed it. It was so funny to watch. Even I laughed out-loud a couple of times. The kids are really going to remember what letters do what jobs using this video. The children on the DVD sing songs and make the learning fun! I'm impressed!

As a mom, I really like the new Teacher's Manual and Student Book layouts. They are so easy to follow. I know exactly what pieces I need to start the day just from looking at the lesson in the teacher's manual. The new teacher's manual has a ton of teaching ideas in the back of the book and the lesson page even reminds you to pick out additional activities from those pages. I also found out that you can go to the website and get Bingo games!

I love the fact that the big games are in color! Plus they have cute little characters on them. This is going to be fun!


  • Reviewed on Monday, March 17, 2008
  • Grades Used: K/1
  • Dates used: 2008
I purchased the new scrs, it is level 2, and I bought the old one off another mom so I thought I would share a comparison/review for those interested.

I will start with the lettermaster DVD. It is Dan Sinclair as the lettermaster. The letters are children with letters pinned to their shirts. MY first concern is that my boys will have trouble transferring what they are seeing on the DVD to real life. The letters on the kid's shirts are not that large and the children are all dressed differently. After watching the DVD I don't think my boys grasped that the children were supposed to be the letters. Another disappointment with the DVD (for us) is that out of 26 children NONE of them appear to be any ethnicity other than white. It would have been nice to see at least one brown face in the crowd.

Thirdly, the acting is awful, I mean it is bad. Sinclair is over the top goofy, which was amusing for the kids, but a little annoying after awhile. There is a scene at the end where the "vowels" Are sitting in a tree and are surrounded by the consonants and the consonants are singing the "vowels are scaredy-cats " song at them. I don't like it, remember these are just kids with letters on their shirts, so it is like they are making fun of the kids in the tree. Having 2 special needs kids i have worked very hard to teach them it is not OK to make fun of others and that it i snot OK for others to make fun of them.

I would not recommend the Lettermaster DVD at all.

I do NOT have the "old" lettermaster DVD, just the comic. I read it aloud to the boys and I found it much easier for them to understand what is supposed to be happening, since the letters are actually letters in the comic. I cannot compare the "new" comic because I do not have that either, but the picture shows actual letters on it also. I would definitely go with the comic over the DVD.

Onto the teacher's manual.

The old manual is considerably thicker, 91 pages versus 54 in the new. The old manual has a lot more "how to teach" type info, ideas and tips. These seem to be gone from the newer version. I cannot say for 100% that none of it is in there somewhere,however, becuase the order and way information is presented seems to be completely rearranged.

the student book has changed also. It appears to have pretty much the same content, just rearranged. Also there does appear to be some additional teaching tips and info in the old student book, but, as with the teacher's manual, it may be in there somewhere, just the way it has been rearranged makes it difficult to tell.

The phonics reader:

The old version was called "little beginners books-hands on craft and reading project" and the new version is called "Read and Draw". This item I actaully like the new version better.

It is almost identical to the older version, there are just a few sentences that have been "improved".

For example, "Dad has gas" has been changed to "The van has gas."

"Dan and Pat" is now "Can Dan tag Pat?"

The games in the new version are in full color, which I do like better.

The new version has a dvd as opposed to a cd, with lesson by lesson instructions. It is Dan Sinclair on the dvd. He seems to say a lot of the same things that Joyce does on the cd. He has charts and illustrations and whatnot to go along with the lessons. Now, I have not watched/listened to ALL of the lessons, only a sampling of each.

I must say, the teaching dvd is not nearly as awful as the lettermaster.Sincair is still goofy but not as bad. Over all I do like the teaching dvd, but it could have been so much better if it were Joyce teaching the lessons . That is what I had believed I was buying, and was very dissapointed to find out it is not the case.

I personally prefer the "old" scaredy cat and will be buying the old version of level 3 used if possible.


  • Reviewed on Tuesday, January 15, 2008
  • Grades Used: 1st and 2nd
  • Dates used: 2006-2008
I have used several phonics programs and my daughter just wasnt learning. They all seemed to move at a faster pace. I learned about this program at a homeschool convention and at first i didnt buy it because of the cost around $100. But now that i have it i feel it is worth the money. She has come so far just within a year. It has lots of games and flashcards and only a little workbook and she enjoys that. Joyce explains the rules in a way a child can understand. i would recommend this program to children who need a slower pace of learning all the phonetic rules.


  • Reviewed on Sunday, October 22, 2006
  • Grades Used: First
  • Dates used: 2006 - now
I just wanted to ad my 2 cents worth in reviewing this curriculum. I love it! - so far.

We have used the Learning the Alphabet level and it has been so easy to use, and non-"frilly", which I super appreciate.

We put on the Lettermaster DVD most mornings and watch whatever section we are working on. I can even walk away for short stints. I do flash cards for confirmation and prior to that we worked on the alphabet song.

The materials are simple and straightforward and easy to use. Our 5 year old, who is an audio learner, has loved it. Even our 3 year old is learning his letters.

It covers more than one sound on some of the letters, which is remarkable. I teach all the sounds the letter stands for anyway, so this is right up my alley.

I am looking forward to trying the next level.

Best wishes - hope this helps someone.
Shannon G.