We recently had the opportunity to review Talking Shapes: A Supplemental Curriculum for Early Literacy by Talking Fingers Inc.. This compete, preschool phonics program is designated for 3-5 years olds, though I would say 4+ is a better assessment. We reviewed the computer-based curriculum; however, they do have other options available on their website. We used on our Kindle, as the touchscreen is the best option for using this program; however, it cane be used on a standard computer with a mouse.
The Talking Shapes programs has seven “books” that go in sequential order. The stories are read aloud to the student so they can follow along regardless of their reading level. The stories begin with two sister who, based on their dress, appear to be from Ancient Egypt, who come to the realization that words are made of sound and the “invent” the alphabet. The student learns their letter and sounds along with the sisters.
Each story introduces several letters and their sounds and then explore words that can be made with these letters and sounds. There are spelling and reading games that go with each book. The student earns a trophy for each completed books. The trophies are gold, silver and bronze depending upon the score they earn. The student plays the spelling and reading games to increase their score and can even replay the games if they want to practice more or increase their score further.
The touchscreen on the Kindle was a good option because the student can practice drawing the letters and words, which makes using the mouse a little more challenging so I’m grateful we were able to use the app on our Kindle. We did complete a book on the computer and my 6 year old fine with it but my 3 year old was unable to use the mouse so the touchscreen is a better option for her for sure.
Parents can access progress reports within the parent account on all the books. This can be helpful to see where additional work or focus might be needed. Once the program is completed, the student will have earned thirteen scores including a spelling score for each book and a reading comprehension and spelling score for each of the assessments that the program provides.
Overall, we really enjoyed Talking Shapes with our 6 year old beginning reader son and our 3 year old daughter. The beginning of the program was mostly review for our 6 year old but it gave him the opportunity to review his letters and sounds in a fun way. Since he likes electronic review, this gave him a chance to curl up on the couch with his Kindle and work through the lessons. My 3 year old and I worked together on the Kindle and slowly introduced her to letters, which she thought was fun.
My son liked the spelling games. He thought those were the most fun. The pictures are very colorful and clear and he thought the game aspect of learning the spelling was fun. I definitely like a program that makes learning the letters and sounds fun. The electronic nature is a good match for him and the stories certainly kept his attention. Overall, I think it’s a good program. There were a few glitches in the system; however, I contacted technical support with the company and they were SO very helpful and attentive and we were able to solve our issues. I think Talking Fingers, Inc. is a great company with some great products to work in the homeschool environment.
Be sure to check out Talking Fingers on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. And see what the rest of the TOS Review Crew had to say about Talking Shapes: A Supplemental Curriculum for Early Literacy by Talking Fingers Inc.