Our Family

Our Family

Monday, October 11, 2010

TOS Review: Talking Fingers

One of my favorite things about being able to review products for the Homeschool Crew, is that I am finding out about great products from wonderful companies that I have never heard of before. I would have never even gone looking for a product like Talking Fingers, but after using The Read, Write, and Type Learning System with my boys over the last several weeks, I can't imagine not having it as part of our homeschool.

Description: The Talking Fingers Read Write and Type Learning system is a reading software that includes phonics, spelling, reading, writing, punctuation and keyboarding. The program uses a multi-sensory and motor approach using the child's eyes, ears, mouth, and fingers. This helps to stimulate learning and is great for a variety of learning styles. The software is geared for ages K-3 but also can be enjoyed by older children and ESL. Some of the features of the program include:

  • Children learn to hear individual sounds and associate these with a letter and fingerstroke on the keyboard.

  • They develop fluency by making phonics associations

  • Children are engaged by the fun and colorful characters Rightway, Lefty, and Vexor the Villain, plus games, stories, animations, and music.

  • There is instant auditory and visual feedback for children to help correct their errors gently.

  • Children sound out, read, and write any word they can say.

  • Progress is assessed and tracked by the program. Children do not move on to the next level until they master the one they are working on. Games and activities are targeted for problem areas.

  • Parents can track children's progress and set up different proficiency levels based on the child's individual needs.

Rightway and Lefty help guide children through 40 fun levels to try to stop Vexor the Villain from stealing all of the letters and stopping the storytellers from writing down their stories. There are 40 levels and after every 4 the children receive a certificate of advancement. In the Spaceship Challenge, Vexor invites children into his spaceship to play fun games that strengthens the skills they have been learning.

There are 2 ways you can purchase the Read, Write, and Type Home Software.

1. The online version. Prices for 1 user is $35 and goes up to 5 users for $100. This price amount is for 5 years of usage. To see the online pricing information click here. The Activity Book, Reading Books and Practice Keyboard can be downloaded here.

2. The CD Version (not compatible with Windows 7 or Mac 10.6) Includes: 1 Read, Write, and Type CD, 1 Spaceship Challenge CD, 1 Activity Book, 18 stories (online), 1 laminated keyboard, and 1 set of stickers for $79. Click here to see this information.

The International CD Program: Contains 1 Read, Write, Type CD and 1 Spaceship Challenge CD for $39. Click here for this information.

Other products from Talking Fingers are Word Qwerty and the K-4 Reading Bundle.

What We Liked: We are using the Online Version of the software, and nothing has to be downloaded to your computer. The price is good for 5 years of usage! The boys (8,6,5,3,and Lily too) love the music and sing the opening song all of the time. They love the characters especially Vexor (who even though is a villain is not scary at all.) They have a great time typing and listening to the stories. They love the games and sending and receiving emails from the email tower. Mistakes are corrected gently by giving helpful hints and through repitition. The program teaches the sounds not just at the beginning of words, but also in the middle and at the end. It is very engaging for children and keeps them interested. I have to set a time limit for the boys or they would try to play it all day. Alex (almost 7) even traded his Wii time one day to play Talking Fingers instead. Alex has made more progress in his phonics and reading in a few weeks of playing Talking Fingers then he did all last year. I am very amazed at how much he has learned and remembers from using this program.

Some things to consider: They program says it is geared for children K-3. I think that age range is off a little bit. Although my K loves to watch and listen to the songs and stories, it is too challenging for him to do on his own. On the other hand, Nick 3rd grade is having a great time with it and I think it could be fun for children who are even a bit older. Even if they have good phonics skills, the games would still be good reinforcement and they could still work on finger placement and typing skills.

My Recommendation: It really takes a lot for a program to amaze me with its results. This one really does. It is a wonderful program! Highly recommended! I already have it on my wish list for next year.

I received a complimentary trial of the Talking Fingers Read, Write, and Type Learning System in exchange for my fair and honest review of the product. I received no other compensation.

To see what other crew members are saying click here.

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