Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Little Champion Reader Phonics/Sight Words/Whole Language, levels 1,2,3

Little Champion Reader Phonics/Sight Words/Whole Language, levels 1,2,3

Spring 2014 DVD
Ages: 3 - 7 yrs.
DVD Price: $98.99

Editor's Note: Our two month testing period is not enough to assess outcomes. However, our reviewers offer the following:

Little Champion Reader Phonics/Sight Words/Whole Language, levels 1, 2, 3 is a boxed set of DVDs, flashcards, and books, plus a CD with 150 printable worksheets. The product website bills this collection as a "3-in-1 comprehensive reading system" and claims that a child could be reading independently in 15 weeks or less when using this packaged set as directed.

The DVDs use simple CGI animation, text on screen, video clips, music and accompanying voice-overs (provided by both adult and youth voices) to integrate phonics, sight-word memorization and Whole Language instruction. The set is designed to help children ages four to seven progress from level to level, first teaching them how to decode new words phonetically; then introducing high-frequency words and phrases, and finally, in step 3, helping to improve reader fluency.

According to packaging material and the website, this set presents more than 800 words, and 500 phrases and sentences, that will help build reading skills and confidence. The DVD production value is bright and the music is bouncy, but the educational mission never gets buried in it. Little Champion Reader DVDs play like an animated textbook. The companion flashcards are made of sturdy cardboard, and each educational booklet is about 10 pages in length and presents lessons through very short stories and vocabulary lists. Each item is clearly labeled so adults will have no trouble understanding how to use the DVDs, flashcards, and booklets together as they present the lessons.

At $149.99, Little Champion Reader Phonics/Sight Words/Whole Language, levels 1, 2, 3 may be a pricey purchase for your average family, although the set is nicely packaged and instructions are comprehensive. However, homeschoolers, teachers, and libraries may find this well-produced and nicely-packaged set to be a reasonable investment.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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Little Champion Reader

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