Alphabet Beats is a unique, DVD program designed to teach young children to write the alphabet. There are 2 DVD’s: one for uppercase and one for lowercase. The DVD is divided into 5 minute segments for each letter. Each segment begins with Miss Marnie teaching the proper formation of the letter with a picture, her finger, and a chant. This is repeated several times, followed by a short interlude with things that start with the letter. Next, Miss Marnie moves to a chalkboard where she writes the letter while saying the chant a total of 6 times. After another short break looking at objects that start with the letter, the final segment involves Miss Marnie writing the letter on paper with a marker.
I received the Uppercase letter DVD to review and have been using the program with my 3-1/2 year old daughter. While I personally find Miss Marnie to be just a little too perky, my daughter absolutely LOVES the video and asks to learn a new letter almost every day. The chants are memorable and are repeated enough in the segment for the child to memorize them. Just last night she picked up a book that had capital letters in the title and began tracing them with her finger while saying the chants. In addition, my 8 year old son likes the video and gets upset when we watch it without him. However, he is immature in many ways. I do not think a typical 8 year old would like these at all. Also, I don’t think my older children would have liked them much when they were little. They were never very big on repeating anything that they heard on TV. I remember when they watched Dora and she said, “Say Map! Say Map!” they would both look at me with a look that said, “She has got to be kidding Mommy. There is no way I’m going to talk to the TV!”
I think these videos are a terrific way to teach proper letter formation. Whether or not your child would enjoy them is going to depend on the individual personality of the child. I think that my older children are more of an exception, and that most 3-5 year olds would enjoy these videos.
The DVD’s are available at The TV Teacher.com and cost $35 each.