Q & A

Frequently asked questions about the Phonics Learning System (TM), LeapFrog's unique electronic teaching aid.

What is LeapFrog's new Phonics Learning System?

The Phonics Learning System (TM) from LeapFrog is a patented approach to teaching reading skills that blends phonics, the time-tested teaching method, with microelectronics and a healthy dose of interactive, multi-sensory fun to help pre- and early readers develop solid language and reading skills.

How did the Phonics Learning System originate?

The idea for LeapFrog and its innovative Phonics Learning System product evolved from an impromptu parent-child learning session on a living room floor. The inventor and company founder Michael Wood, an attorney who specialized in high technology law, was trying to teach his 2 1/2-year old son that the letters in his wooden alphabet puzzle make phonetic sounds which can be combined to form words. When Wood was unable to find anything on the market which associated letters with the phonetic sounds they make, he began the process of creating a product that would help children learn to read through phonics.

What are the components of the Phonics Learning System?

LeapFrog's Phonics Learning System is a self-contained alphabet and reading learning center available in the form of a child's desktop, the Phonics Desk(TM) or in a portable, compact travel model, the Phonics Traveler (TM). In both products, children can push down on plastic letters which will say their names. More importantly, in each product, children can press down on letters in the context of Talking Word Cards and hear the phonetic sound those letters make, and the words formed by combining those phonetic sounds. Both the Phonics Desk and the Phonics Traveler include a Primer set of 20 Talking Phonics Cards." The Primer set is the first of 6 integrated lesson sets that teach phonetic concepts in logical order. Beginning with simple letter sounds, card sets move children through increasingly challenging phonic lessons and make learning concepts easy and fun for youngsters.

Were educators involved in the creation of the Phonics Learning System?

The System, consisting of a series of six master lesson plans, was developed with curriculum oversight from Dr. Robert Calfee and Kristy Dunlap, early reading experts at Stanford University's Graduate School of Education in Palo Alto, Calif. Among the country's foremost educators, Dr. Robert Calfee says "Learning to read and write is the door to success in school. To ensure success in reading and writing, parents should read stories to their children and introduce them to the basics of print -- letters, sounds, and words. "LeapFrog's Phonics Desk uses modern technology to help parents introduce the basics to their children in a playful way, while ensuring that learning is effective. Based on fifty years of research, the Phonics Desk teaches letter names (the best predictor of reading success), letter sounds (the second best predictor of reading success), and word families. Children learn to read and to spell at the same time - and it's fun! "Parents will find the Desk an engaging activity and may learn a few things themselves. The Desk complements story reading, and leads the child to a skill level where he or she can not only read but write. And all of this in a hi-tech package within a price range that all parents can afford. I am very impressed with what LeapFrog has accomplished -- and so are the parents, grandparents and teachers who have tried the program with young children."

Who will use the Phonics Learning System?

The new electronic learning aid is designed to help children ages 3 to 8 learn letters, the phonic sound letters make, and how those phonic sounds combine to make words. Parents, teachers and anyone interested in helping children learn to read will benefit from LeapFrog's Phonics Learning System. The System should also be helpful for children with reading challenges who can benefit from a multi-sensory phonetic approach to phonics in reading. The System also may be used by any age group interested in learning to read English as a second language.

How is the Phonics Learning System powered?

Four AA-size batteries are needed to run either the Phonics Desk or the Phonics Traveler. However, the Phonics Desk is AC adaptable, meaning that it can be plugged in to any electrical outlet to be used without batteries. The portable Phonics Traveler only runs via batteries.

Can the Phonics Desk and Traveler be used with a headset?

Yes. Both the Phonics Desk and Phonics Traveler come with a built-in port to be used with a headset.

What is LeapFrog's Letters for Life program?

Upon completion and return of the Phonics Learning system warranty registration card (postage paid), LeapFrog will replace any lost letters from the Phonics Desk unit. LeapFrog will also provide information about its exciting "Learning Club."

How much does the Phonics Learning System cost?

The suggested retail price of the Phonics Desk is $49.95. The Phonics Traveler is available for a suggested retail price of $29.95. Card sets for the Phonics Desk are available at a suggested retail price of $12.95 each and the Phonics Traveler card sets are $6.95 each.

Where is the Phonics Learning System sold?

LeapFrog's Phonics Learning System is sold at specialty toy stores, educational supply stores, major cataloguers and retailers, and at Toys 'R Us stores nationwide.

How can LeapFrog be reached?

For information about LeapFrog's toys, the Phonics Learning System, the Talking Phonics cards lesson sets or the name of the nearest LeapFrog specialty toy dealer, telephone toll free 1-800-701-LEAP (5327).