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-   -   Letter Factory (http://www.mothering.com/forum/50-learning-home-beyond/1274940-letter-factory.html)

Kreeblim 10-27-2010 10:34 PM

I just wanted to say that this is the greatest thing ever. My oldest two are less than a year a part and are totally different learners, so they are actually more like 3 years apart knowledge-wise. My 6 year old can read and had picked up letter sounds all on his own (which we built on with books and starfall and is how he learned to read...not much actual "instruction") but my 5 year old gets angry and frustrated when he sees us doing something like reading words and can't.

I told him that I would help him with his letter sounds if he really wants to learn, but his memory seemed sooooooooo bad. He could do the same letter on Starfall over and over and still not recognise it. We did the "letter a day approach" and just tried playing fun games and using the letter as much as we could, but he still wouldn't even recognise it by the end of the day (and we didn't even TRY learning the sounds since we never even learned what one letter looked like). I know kids learn at different ages, but when we'd try backing off he'd get upset and want to "read" like his brother, so it was a lose-lose situation.

Well, I bought Letter Factory and the first day he seemed to love it. On day 2 he saw it starting up and yelled "Oh no! I need to go get my homework!" and ran to get a pencil and paper, which he sat with in front of the TV and copied EVERY SINGLE LETTER as they did it on screen (mind you, we had never really attempted writing because I wanted him to be able to identify the letters before he stresses over writing them). A couple of the days he just watched, but most days he ran and got paper to write as he watched.

It's now been a week since we first watched and he's asked for it every day. After the video today, he brought me his brother's capital letter flashcard set and asked to play. I was kind of dreading it because just trying to recognise the "A" card a week before had reduced him to tears. I told him that there were a LOT of letter cards, and we were just going to count how many he knew so we could try to beat that number NEXT week. He told me OK and said he was ready.

He not only knew EVERY SINGLE LETTER, but he knew EVERY SINGLE LETTER SOUND. And this isn't even the type of set that has picture clues...it's just black letters on white cards. He even asked to mix them up and go through a second time! And this is the kid who didn't know ANY letters or sounds just 8 days ago!

Then, he wanted to get paper so he could write his letters. I told him to pick 5 and write those ones, and he did, but then handed me the cards and said "you hold these or it's cheating". He then wrote the letters...well...he wrote 5 letters, 2 of which were not from the cards he handed me, but when I asked him what they were he told me the correct letters and sound for what he wrote

Anyway, I almost feel like it's magic. And he's so happy about it that he's not getting as angry at his brother for knowing how to read

I love letter factory!

Naomismom 10-27-2010 10:45 PM

We're actually TV-free here (or were, rather, until we bought Letter Factory) but I recently heard about how great Letter Factory was so we bought it. DD learned her letter sounds after watching it twice! No need for preschool now . I also purchased Talking Words Factory but haven't watched it yet. I wonder if that will help her learn that reading is just putting the sounds together.

Mom2M 10-27-2010 10:48 PM

That's great! I love Word Factory too, it was really good for DD.

MsBirdie 10-28-2010 12:18 AM

That is how both my girls learned their letters and sounds. It transitioned great into hooked on phonics.

Tjej 10-28-2010 12:41 AM

It is a really well done DVD. I like word factory too, although my kids aren't at that stage yet.

Tjej

AAK 10-28-2010 01:50 AM

The element of writing probably helped a whole lot too--esp. since it was self initiated. But it is likely that writing the letters gave him a kinestetic (sp?) element that helped him out.

Amy

sapphire_chan 10-28-2010 09:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AAK View Post
The element of writing probably helped a whole lot too--esp. since it was self initiated. But it is likely that writing the letters gave him a kinestetic (sp?) element that helped him out.

Amy
Exactly what I was thinking when I read the OP.

Kreeblim, as a follow on activity, I'd do stuff like having him write letters in a sand tray, you trace the letter on his back and he guesses what you're writing, ask if he wants to write a story and you help him know which letter to write next.

elizawill 10-28-2010 09:49 AM

we love it too. the letter factory and talking word factory are the best! they taught my kids the basics of phonics effortlessly!

phathui5 10-28-2010 03:37 PM

We love the Letter Factory here too. My 7yo, 5yo and 3yo all watch it together.

Momma Aimee 10-28-2010 03:55 PM

love it -- i resisted for a long time, finally got it for a long trip. Ds1 (5 in 2 wero phonices (attaching sound to letter and regongizing letter) to mastery is 2 veeks. (at 4.5)

and DS2 (just 3 now) is finding the correct written letter when asked and making the phonics sounds attached to them.

DS1 is going to read any day now the change is amazing

umsami 10-28-2010 03:57 PM

We the LeapFrog DVDs. DS1, 2, and DD1 all learned their letters and sounds from it. We have the other DVDs as well... and I find myself singing "Silent E makes the first letter say its name..." Those DVDs are now proving very useful to DS1 as he does his spelling, etc.

There are two math DVDs, as well as a Kindergarten/Get Ready for School DVD, as well which both of my kids have liked but not as much as the letter ones.

MyLittleWonders 10-28-2010 06:02 PM

We love them too! Ds#2 knew all his letters/sounds before he could talk (he was language delayed as he was dx with Verbal Apraxia at 27 months). Ds#3 is now watching them and has picked up all his letters and sounds, and is starting to put sounds together.

Umsami - there's another math DVD? We have The Math Circus, but I didn't know there was another one.

MyLittleWonders 10-28-2010 06:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
We love them too! Ds#2 knew all his letters/sounds before he could talk (he was language delayed as he was dx with Verbal Apraxia at 27 months). Ds#3 is now watching them and has picked up all his letters and sounds, and is starting to put sounds together.

Umsami - there's another math DVD? We have The Math Circus, but I didn't know there was another one.
Ooo ... just looked it up! Now we need to get that one too.

snugglebutter 10-28-2010 06:54 PM

We have the set and my kids love them. I noticed that Costco has a great price for buying one at a time.

pink gal 10-28-2010 07:27 PM

My DD loved letter factory too. My only issue with it was that every time they got to "L" she would ask for a lollipop, every.single.time!

I finally would tell her before even starting it that she could watch, but we weren't having a lollipop at L. She still loved it.

I haven't heard of word factory. I'll have to look that one up.

AngelBee 10-29-2010 02:06 AM

I have never heard of them :


umsami 10-29-2010 01:53 PM

The "new" math one came out last Spring, I think. It's called "Math Adventure to the Moon." There's also "Math Circus" which has been around at least 3-5 years. The kindergarten one, "Let's Go to School" has one of my favorite counting songs. It also covers letters/sounds, the months of the year, animal families (e.g. pride of lions), etc. The songs are all good. I think "Letter Factory" is better for letters, though.

The only one we really don't like that much is "Storybook Factory." My kids love "Word Factory" and "Code Word Caper".

I highly recommend buying all of them at Costco (or other warehouse stores). Big-time savings.

EmmysMama 10-29-2010 06:33 PM

I just got Letter Factory and Math Adventure to the Moon in a combo pack at Sam's Club for less than $10. DD1 loves them. I'll definitely get the others when I go back. I think she'd love to find them in her stocking for Christmas!

I would never have gotten them if I hadn't seen them recommended here, but they are awesome. She's 2.5 and already knew the letters, and a few sounds from Starfall, but now she knows all the rest after watching it maybe 3 times.

Momma Aimee 10-29-2010 07:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmysMama View Post
I would never have gotten them if I hadn't seen them recommended here, but they are awesome. She's 2.5 and already knew the letters, and a few sounds from Starfall, but now she knows all the rest after watching it maybe 3 times.
me too -- i did not have any desire for them till i head so many good things here, over and over

sapphire_chan 10-29-2010 07:51 PM

Anyone considering these, check your library.

pixiemama 10-30-2010 12:32 PM

That's awesome! I also heard about the Leapfrog series here. I'm sure Letter Factory helped my younger son learn letters and their sounds.

tammyw 11-04-2010 01:50 PM

Thanks for the reminder. I've started playing this and Word Factory for my 4.5 year old. He's VERY into it and wanting to learn. What ELSE would be good for him at this stage?

He knows his letters, but he doesn't know the sounds for ALL of them (though Letter Factory is helping with that). He is also VERY interested in writing - he is always writing, copying things from soup cans and boxes, etc.!

Would love suggestions for him.

sapphire_chan 11-04-2010 08:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tammyw View Post
Thanks for the reminder. I've started playing this and Word Factory for my 4.5 year old. He's VERY into it and wanting to learn. What ELSE would be good for him at this stage?

He knows his letters, but he doesn't know the sounds for ALL of them (though Letter Factory is helping with that). He is also VERY interested in writing - he is always writing, copying things from soup cans and boxes, etc.!

Would love suggestions for him.
You could play games where he writes out any letters he likes, and you sound out the new "word". Also works great with the computer.

KaraJMay 11-24-2010 02:28 PM

My 3 year old son loves this show! He watched it 3 times in a row and knew all the letter sounds and names! I couldn't believe it!


KimPM 11-24-2010 03:51 PM

Yes, both of these were great for DS.  He was pretty much reading after Talking Words Factory, there was no stopping him.  That was a couple years ago.  Now he's reading everything, even the paper. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naomismom View Post

We're actually TV-free here (or were, rather, until we bought Letter Factory) but I recently heard about how great Letter Factory was so we bought it. DD learned her letter sounds after watching it twice! No need for preschool now . I also purchased Talking Words Factory but haven't watched it yet. I wonder if that will help her learn that reading is just putting the sounds together.



scheelimama 11-24-2010 08:11 PM

Not to be a downer, but to all those getting ready to buy it, don't be disappointed if it doesn't work magic for your kids.  Everyone I hear says how they're children learned their letters after watching just 2 times or some other equally fantastic claim, but it never worked for my children.  It probably will work for most of you, but...anyway...just sayin'.



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