Yay! Ethan is reading. We have turned the corner and he finally understands how to put the sounds together to make words. He is reading three letter words with short vowel sounds really well. He still gets hung up on the sight word "the", but that will come with repetition. Eli has just begun reading as well, he is just a tad behind Ethan in his ability. Can't remember "the" at all yet and occasionally confuses a couple of the letter sounds. But we are well on our way! We'll move on to silent "e" next. As soon as the next video is available from the library.
Yep, video. We did flashcards and letter tiles for months. Ethan learned all of his letters and most of thier sounds this way, but it was slow going. Eli was still doing "R" - hmmmm that's an "A" and is sounds like hhhhh. Not fun for anyone. Enter the Leapfrog Talking Letter Factory and they quickly and painlessly learned all of the letter names and sounds.
Next we moved to the Talking Word Factory and they were taught to make those letter sounds into three letter words. With seemingly no effort and a lot of fun. Yay for the boys! Yay for me!! I LOVE these videos!
Next is Code Word Caper for silent "e" and then I think there is some sort of storybook one. We are also doing the Explode the Code workbooks now for more phonics practice and will be working on blends soon. But they get it, we are off and running! They know that all those letters combine to make words and they go around sounding out everything they can find and asking what does wtlaf spell as they try to make up words in their minds. It's so much fun to see the lightbulb come on. And so great to be freed from banging my head against the wall with flashcards.
We owned Talking Letter, but Ezra broke it. Now we get them from the library. I would really like to own the whole collection though.
So, if you are struggling with teaching basic reading skills, I really suggest the LeapFrog videos. I will definitely be using them with the next two.