Friday, February 26, 2010

Let TV Teach The Children

Taking Jack and Aidan out of their preschool has been a great decision. I love having them around all the time. They love not being in a crazy school all the time. I know it was the right thing to do.

However, we have struggled a bit with the learning aspect. My philosophy is more in line with letting them explore things they are interested in. We have learned so much about trucks, trains, and the Civil War. We explore and explain all the time. It hasn't really bothered me that there are things they don't know- even basic things- like letters and numbers. I figured it would come when they were ready.

That being said, they *will* be starting Kindergarten in the fall, and I don't think it is fair to them or their teachers to send them totally unprepared for that experience. There is a knowledge base they are expected to have when they start school. I don't necessarily think the school *should* expect those things, but they do, and to have my kids be successful, they need to be able to adjust and learn at the same level (or close to) as the rest.

So, yes, it bothers me that they weren't learning their letters. I wasn't asking them to create complex sentences- I just wanted them to identify "A" from "Q". And it wasn't happening. After almost 3 months at home, they could identify about 7 letters. Ugh.

Many different people had recommended a video:

Letter Factory from Leapfrog. I had to be hit over the head several times before I realized we should try it.

Friend One: My kid learned letters and sounds by watching this video- you should try it.
Me: Yeah, sure (I don't need some stupid video to teach my kids! I can do it myself!)

[several months later]

Friend Two: My kids and my other friends kids learned their letters by watching this video- it might help you.
Me: Yeah, sure (I really don't want to spend the money on that stupid thing. I still think I can do it myself!)

[several months later]

Friend Three: My kids learned their letters and sounds from this video. I bet it would work for you too.
Me: Okay (seriously, they are only a month away from being FIVE, and still only know 2 letters. My way isn't working, and I will try just about anything at this point. Where is the nearest Target?)

We watched the video about 4 times a week for 2 weeks, and they know every letter and every sound. EVERY.SINGLE.ONE. They now know every letter. AND every sound. I had given up on the sounds, people! I wasn't even trying to teach the sounds, just trying to get those letters in their heads! And now they know them all. ALL.

And they enjoyed it, which is more than I can say for my methods.

15 comments:

Rebecca said...

I've heard good things about this video too! And yet, I don't own it :) Glad you found something to help you!

Rachel said...

Yup. Been there, done that. We have the letter factory and the talking words factory. I'm all for this method! :)

thetallgrl said...

Whatever works! Just because it's not traditional doesn't mean it's not applicable. I am learning this, too. Caralie learned SO MUCH from watching the Baby Einstein videos, it was unbelievable. When you realize that they are growing up at a time when media is everywhere and is a part of the learning process, it just makes sense.

thetallgrl said...

Whatever works! Just because it's not traditional doesn't mean it's not applicable. I am learning this, too. Caralie learned SO MUCH from watching the Baby Einstein videos, it was unbelievable. When you realize that they are growing up at a time when media is everywhere and is a part of the learning process, it just makes sense.

Kayleen said...

Love this video and the word factory as well. My two year old knows all sounds and letters because of it.

Jamie said...

I think I'll try this..my kindergartner has had such problems learning letters and sounds because of a speech problem. When I try to help ~ sometimes he wants to do extra work after school, but most of the time he's tired of it. This might really help. Thanks Shannah and will let you know.

erika said...

We LOVE the Letter Factory at our house! Genius I tell you.

ali said...

there's something there for sure. I still can see the videos about letters that I saw in kindergarten in my head. I loved those!

I should get this for Greta...

mandamike said...

The word factory is great! WE have that one, and also the Complex Word Factory :) They really are good ones for kids.

Melinda said...

ok...I'm buying this too :)

Jennifer said...

I have and love both dvds. But I didn't show them that often. Maybe I will do that for Savannah. Good going! Way to go TV!

Mandy @ The Party of 3 said...

:) Just stopping by to say hey! I came across your blog today! Love it!

The Petersons said...

I'm so glad you posted this! I was thinking of trying this method myself. I had wondered if the video would be boring. I'm sure if your boys liked it, mine will too. :) I'll be buying it tomorrow. Whatever works!

Valeni said...

So glad you were able to find something that clicks with the boys. I haven't heard of this but would love to see how it works. So good to know that everyone picks up things in their own way.

Lisa L. said...

I tried to teach Ellie sign language for 6 months ans she never did one sign until I let her watch the Baby Einstein "Baby's first signs". I'm all for tv!