Studying how to read at home, my 4 year old daughter gets frustrated sometimes. Reading is a monumental task to take on when you’re starting with only the very basics and not knowing most of the rules that make sense of our language. One strategy that I’ve used in teaching my daughter to read is using Rock N Learn DVDs, as I’ve reviewed several in the past. As a certified teacher, I also immerse my daughter in high quality children’s literature, read to her often and encourage a love of reading with fun trips to the library. Even though there are multiple strategies and approaches to reading instruction, which I studied while in graduate school at Vanderbilt, I recently tried out a phonics DVD that completely enthralled my daughter.


Reading Instruction: DVD Review

Starting with vowels, the DVD refamiliarized my older daughter Samantha with letter recognition. My younger daughter Georgiana also enjoyed studying the material, which included the consonants as well as letter sounds. As the DVD continued, it got increasingly challenging. My older daughter responded well to the prompts that encouraged her to independently come up with answers based on the visuals and her knowledge of phonics. Samantha had previously studied letter sounds so she did very well in the beginning section.

Reading instruction DVD

In watching the video, I liked that it explained how when a vowel goes together with a consonant, the reader can make a different sound to combine the two letters. For instance, my daughter studied the sounds li-, la- and le– as well as the sounds te-, ta– and ti-. The DVD was very engaging. I played the video several times, and I was happy that Samantha was completely drawn into it.

As a teacher, I felt that the video was very good at correcting common misconceptions. When the video explained that the letter c makes the same sound as the letter k, I could tell that my daughter was hearing information that was important to her development of literacy. The entire video was filled with helpful tips for young readers. Characters in the video went over each letter, explaining whether the letter usually came at the end of the word, such as the letter x, or at the beginning of the word, such as the letter q.

Reading Instruction DVD Review

Another thing the video covered was the separate sounds that each letter in a word makes. Instead of combining the sounds together, the video sounded out each letter separately, which was helpful for my daughter. The character in the video clearly sounded out each individual phoneme (sound) to help children learn how to read by sounding out the letters. While watching the video, I noticed that it used a lot of visuals to help younger children understand the word that was being shown.

Later, the video showed sight words, such as the sight word it, and then the video combined the sight word it with other beginning letters to make new words. For instance, you could add the letter s at the beginning of the sight word it to create the word sit. My daughter didn’t chime in much when the video asked for the audience to read the words independently, which made me realize that some of the material was too complicated for her. Although the material was challenging, I liked that the video exposed my daughter to material that would help her as she improves her reading skills.

As the video covered double consonants, such as the letters –ss and the letters –ll, my daughter learned valuable information about the sounds that the double consonants create. Another helpful rule was, “Silent E makes another vowel say its name.” I have previously taught language arts, but I taught the content area to 5th graders. Covering reading instruction with my homeschooling 4 year old daughter can be difficult. Preschoolers have so much to learn to become fluent readers. I was appreciative that the video helped as a curriculum to guide my daughter’s learning.

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About The Author


Theresa has been writing since 2010 in magazines and online. Her lifestyle and parenting expertise has been featured in publications, including ShopSmart and Scholastic. She earned an M.Ed in Elementary Education from Vanderbilt as well as a BA in History from Flagler College, and she is a certified teacher.

6 Responses

  1. Sharon Kaminski

    I would like to try the Spanish because I do spend some time in Mexico.

  2. Nicole Lancaster

    I would like to try the Learn a Language DVD the most because it has a variety of different languages, So my child gets a taste of each one.

  3. Natalie Brown

    Hi! These DVD’s are really neat! I would most like to have their Colors, Shapes & Counting DVD because it would be perfect for my grandson’s age. Thanks!!

  4. Emily R.

    I would like the phonics volume 1 one because my son is learning to read.


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