I have been teaching my preschoolers at home for 7 years. This review is motivated from my own personal experience with using Leapfrog educational videos to help teach my own children the alphabet, letter sounds, and beginning reading skills.
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When someone asks me for my top recommendations for teaching the alphabet, letter sounds, and beginning reading (vowel-consonant-vowel words, for example), one of the first things I always say is that we used Leapfrog videos in addition to other curriculum choices.
My 8 year-old, Laynie, was taught to read using Leapfrog videos, Bob Books, and A Beka. At age two, I found a Leapfrog Letter Factory video at a consignment sale, and she watched it all the time. She knew all her letters and letter sounds before we even began a Reading preschool curriculum program formally at age 3.
So, since it worked for Laynie, I did the same thing with Lily, my now 3 1/2 year-old. Except I didn’t start with her until age 3 – we have calmed down a bit with homeschool preschool and I won’t even follow a formal program with Lily until age 4 – you know, second child…
Anyway, Lily has been watching Leapfrog Letter Factory and Talking Words Factory off and on since about Christmas-time (soon after she turned 3). I am pleased that although I haven’t done much else with her, except a sticker book here or coloring book there, and 24 days of a homeschool co-op which included a “Letter of the Day” lesson, she already knows all her letters and letter sounds. I attribute it mostly to repetitive views of Leapfrog videos, especially The Letter Factory and The Talking Words Factory. We’ve watch ALL of the Leapfrog videos available on Netflix – but my fave is still The Letter Factory, and it’s not on Netflix, so I’m SO thankful I have the DVD. It my opinion – it is still the best one out of all of them, and the one I use the most!
So, admitting to you that I sat my child in front of videos instead of other methods of instruction this year is not so shameful. It has resulted in my kiddo getting a little bit of a head start for beginning our “official” preschool year this coming fall. I can start from letter sounds and reading 3-letter words, rather than purchasing some 3K box curriculum that I won’t really need because she already knows the skills (we’ll wait and purchase a 4K curriculum the following year and we can just do fun FREE printables this coming year!).
You can purchase my two favorite Leapfrog DVDs (Letter Factory and Talking Words Factory) right now on Amazon in a 3-pack along with Let’s Go to School for $15.09 (FREE shipping if you have Prime!). That makes them about $5 each – a SUPER deal! (THIS PRICE MAY CHANGE AFTER I PUBLISH THIS POST, SINCE AMAZON PRICES CHANGE OFTEN, SO PLEASE CHECK THE PRICE BEFORE YOU BUY)