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This comprehensive system for teaching reading to children ages three to seven, is similar to the well-known phonics systems sold on television. In this case, however, the user receives the added benefits of a visual, interactive computer program.
The Learning Company stresses that Reader Rabbit's Complete Learn to Read System is not intended to be a virtual babysitter. It relies on parent involvement for success. The system's goal is to offer a step-by-step teaching approach that helps kids master phonics and whole word skills as they develop reading confidence.
The Learn to Read System includes a fully animated "Learn to Read" CD-ROM featuring Reader Rabbit and his loyal sidekick, Mat the mouse. The storyline is centered around an amusement park, where the illiterate Mat is intimidated by the preponderant presence of the written word. In a fit of frustration, she wishes there were no words, a wish that is, unfortunately, granted. Mat immediately realizes the error of her ways, and spends the remainder of the story working, with the help of the user, to get the words back. Several reviewers commented on the similarity of the plot line to a 1988 movie starring Tom Hanks, Big.
In addition to the "Learn to Read" CD-ROM, the program includes a "Classic Tales" CD-ROM featuring "Jack and the Beanstalk" (from the previously released Reader Rabbit’s Reading Development Library Level 2), two sets of flash cards (alphabet and common words) and a helpful workbook companion. Seven paperback storybooks, featuring a nice mix of literature and artwork styles, complete the set.
Our child testers enjoyed the flashcards, workbook and storybooks, and parents mentioned that, although these peripherals would not greatly influence their purchase of reading software, they do make nice extras. The workbook contains a nice variety of print activities including some that focus on letter sounds and others that encourage users to practice letter transcription, and the easy-to-read storybooks make great extracurricular entertainment while encouraging kids to practice newly-developed skills.
An explicit facilitation guide provides parents with instruction on use of the product, options for customizing the program, and a section filled with fun reading games and activities. The guide also includes a helpful "Reading Readiness Tool"--a qualitative assessment tool to be used by parents before commencing with the System.
PC: Windows 3.1 or higher, 486 DX/66MHz or higher, 20 MB hard drive space, 16 MB RAM, 256-color SVGA display, Double-speed or faster CD-ROM, Windows-compatible sound card.return to top of page
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