Educational children’s company Rock N Learn has a large variety of DVDs to help teach children kindergarten readiness skills, reading, math, science, and writing. Correlated to Common Core state standards, the DVDs caught my attention as a fun method to help my oldest daughter learn to read. I’m currently homeschooling my daughter, and I’m trying to teach her basic print skills as well as how to sound out words. As a recent graduate from the rigorous, highly ranked Master of Education program at Vanderbilt University Peabody College of Education, I know schools have a big push to teach literacy, so I chose the ‘Letter Sounds’ DVD for my 3 1/2 year old daughter. My decision of which DVD to get was based on the educational content of the DVD. Literacy is key to students’ understanding of other content areas. I felt that if my daughter could learn letter sounds, she would have a better chance of learning other material too.
Educational DVD Review: ‘Letter Sounds’
When I watched the DVD, I was really excited about how my choice fit my daughter’s interests well. ‘Letter Sounds’ has musical characters, with the lead character being a guy who plays guitar. My daughter adores playing the guitar since she was an infant. Regarding the academic content of the DVD, the recommended ages are ages 4 to 7. My daughter is turning 4 in late March, so I knew the content would require some scaffolding for her.
I really liked how the DVD went over the alphabet letters to activate kids’ prior knowledge of letter recognition. My younger daughter, who watched over the older sister’s shoulder, could have been gaining some basic understanding of the content. My older daughter needed to refresh her memory of letter recognition to help with her accuracy before getting into more sophisticated content. After covering letter recognition, the DVD progressed to harder material. Because I know my older daughter is competitive, I liked that the DVD used games where kids can try to make a guess before the host gives the answer. Using the setting of a concert, the DVD covered phonetics to teach letter sounds, and it worked on blends to help children sound out words and read sentences.
Because I have a background in education, I would recommend that parents make the DVD more interactive by participating with kids. Personally, I encouraged my daughter’s higher order thinking when I paused the DVD to ask how she got her answer. I also paused to go over the directions to help with my daughter’s accuracy and independence. Parents should remember to use DVDs to supplement hands-on teaching, as kids can’t learn without some interaction. I used the DVD to supplement other activities, such as having my daughter write the letter “S” in the dirt to work on spelling her name. I’m already considering purchasing other DVDs to use with my daughters throughout her schooling. As a writer, I’d love to sample the ‘Writing Strategies’ DVD, which I bet would contain some great information for middle schoolers and high schoolers.
After a week of watching the DVD, my daughter surprised me. I was holding story time in the playroom, and I gave my daughter her choice of books. When my daughter brought me a book, she began sounding out the title! I was genuinely excited to see progress as I was able to witness learning taking place. I learned in a psychology class in grad school that teaching doesn’t mean that learning happened. After trying the DVD out, I can say that I saw evidence of learning, which is why I plan to continue using the product to help my daughter learn to read. As a thank you to my readers, join me at Theresa’s Reviews on Facebook for the announcement of a giveaway launching on December 11, 2013, and remember to use discount code JQ7711 for 25% off your order. (THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED)
I received a free product, but it in no way influenced my opinion.