Friday, March 13, 2015

The Critical Thinking Co. (Review)

Teaching my children the alphabet is one of the first things I do as a mom. Having been through this almost three times now, I am always looking for new and fun ways to introduce them to the alphabet and letter recognition. Learning the alphabet song is very simple but adding in the actual letters can be a bit difficult for beginners. For this review, I was given The Alphabet Song Game which is downloadable software. The Alphabet Song Game is produced by a company called The Critical Thinking Co. They have many other programs available as well.

Critical Thinking Company Review

This particular program is for children from toddler age to 1st grade. You know your child and can determine is he/she is ready for The Alphabet Song Game. It comes with 22 easy-to-play games that are fun for the children. In order to use this game program you must have a Windows desktop (it will not work with a Mac but an iPad version is available).

The games are split into three levels: Uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and mixed letters (upper and lower case). The beginners will start with uppercase and move on to lowercase. Once they have mastered both of these levels, the student will go on to the mixed letters level.

Critical Thinking Company Review

Here is how we used it in our homeschool:
  • I started off having Ducky (my 4 year old) play the uppercase letters level by himself. He loved it and did fairly well. It taught him how to use the laptop very well and with great precision. He needed a little help with some of the later levels of uppercase, so his big brother (Bear, who is 6 years old) helped him. They would take turns playing and getting better each time. 
  • After Ducky mastered the uppercase level with the help of Bear I moved them both on to the lowercase letters level. Bear still needed some practice with lowercase letters and this was just the ticket. He did most of the work on this level since Ducky is still in the early stages of learning his letters. He mostly sat and watched Bear play the game and would give his input once in a while of what he thought the correct answer was.
  • Bear flew through the lowercase letters level and was ready to tackle the mixed letters level. He had some difficulty at first but quickly learned how to play. Ducky would help with this level when they asked for the uppercase of a letter. They both enjoyed doing their “computer game” each day.
  • We used The Alphabet Song Game three times a week so that I could limit their computer time. Although, I will say that the game isn’t that long to play and could be used everyday.
An explanation of how to play the game:

At the beginning of each level the “teacher” in the corner of the screen sings the alphabet song as each of the letters appears on the screen. Depending on which level you are on it will show you uppercase, lowercase, or mixed letters.

After she sings the song the teacher will ask the student if they would like to play a game. The student pushes the button to play the game and so the game begins. The game part consists of several letters being displayed on the screen with a prompt to choose the correct letter that the teacher is asking for. For example, there may be a two letters displayed (“A” and “B”). The student is prompted to choose the letter “A”.

After the student chooses the correct letter the game continues on until the teacher says the game is over. At the end of each level there is a percentage displayed beside that particular level of what the student got correct. For instance, it may show 89%. That means that the student recognized 89% of the letters they were asked to choose.

What I liked about The Alphabet Song Game:

I liked that my two older boys got to play this game together. They both learned to recognize more letters than they knew before. They enjoyed their “computer game” each day and were excited when I told them it was time to play the game. I, personally, liked that it was simple. It was not difficult at all for my children to figure it out and that was helpful because I didn’t have to sit and tell them what to do each time. They just knew what to do after playing a couple of times.

I recommend this program for children ages 3-6 years old. It will take a little work for a three year old to get the hang of it but it is doable. The six year old may breeze right through it but still have a blast playing the game.

For a demo of The Alphabet Song Game please visit THIS LINK.

For more information on The Critical Thinking Co please visit these websites:

Critical Thinking Company Review

Crew Disclaimer

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