REVIEW WRITTEN and GIVEAWAY BY
Brae Craig at
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I am very proud to be the newest reviewer of Rock N' Learn educational videos!!!
About 5 days ago, I received Rock N' Learn's new "Letter Sounds" video in the mail, specifying it's target audience as ages 4-7. I thought this was perfect, since I have children ages 4, 5 and 6! Awesome!!!
As is my usual habit of watching things before I let my kids watch them, I put this into my player after they were asleep.
I have to admit here that I was a bit disappointed. I expected catchy songs (you know, "rock" and learn...kind of implies it.) and lots of music, and some kind of story line. There was SOME music, but it was actually quite tame, a bit quiet, with slow rhythms, and there wasn't much of a story. I wasn't really sure if my kids would get the kick out of it I had hoped.
HOWEVER, after my oldest two got home from school the next day, I put on the video, and to my surprise (AND DELIGHT!) they ALL enjoyed it very much!
(This is a picture of my 1 year old, who, clinging to my legs as I made dinner, heard the video and crawled over to the banister, where he stared at the video, and even bounced a little, dancing along.)
The Rock N' Learn video included several themes.
1. Letter sounds - there were a couple different versions of these.
One was a really long, and fairly monotone song, which I didn't care for, but my children seemed mesmerized by. It said the name of the letter, and then, to a rhythm, made the sound of the letter repeatedly.
Second, a character in the show would read a sentence that was displayed on the screen. In the sentence, every word began with the same letter. There was a 30 second time clock that gave the kids a chance to shout out what the beginning letter was. My kids, who all read by this point (on age appropriate levels) LOVED this part. It gave them a chance to exercise what they knew already, and gave a semblance of interaction with the video.
Third (and my favorite), there was a part (Pictured below) that showed the letter (upper and lower case, which I LOVE because too many videos only show capital. I hate that.) and a picture of an item that begins with that letter's sound. The very BEST part was they also showed a little video of a mouth saying that letter and it's sound. To me, this is the best because it's a very natural way to learn to speak. When babies are learning to talk, they don't just listen to your voice, they watch your mouth to see how you form your words. Don't believe me? Next time you talk to your baby, watch his eyes! You'll be surprised!
Also, I think this is especially cool with kids who mispronounce their letters. Vision trumps sound every time, and they will be drawn to look at the mouth. A child who says the "w" sound for L, or the "th" sound for the "s" might very well figure out how to correctly pronounce a sound by watching this type of thing!
2. Rhyming words - Through the act of a gameshow, the characters on this show changed the first sounds of words to show what rhyming means, and how to do it.
This is something my 4 year old was really interested in. She is reading 1 vowel words already, but rhyming is something they are studying in her preschool class. She loves doing it, and sometimes she gets a bit confused.
3. Blending words.
This section took 2 or 3 syllable words and separated them into sound parts. For example: Clock. 3 squares would appear on the screen, and the narrator would say Cl (Cl would appear in the first box) ah (and an o would appear in the box) ck (and the ck would appear in the 3rd box) Then the boxes would disappear and the word would blend together.
I found this a PERFECT section for my 5 year old. He is in Kindergarten now, and reads wonderfully- if he's not in a hurry. If he's in a hurry, he won't sound out his words, and just guesses. It can get infuriating for a mom when he would rather be playing with his Bat Cave he got for Christmas!!!
In this part, the narrator would say a word, for example, Golf. She would say "Golf. G- ah-l-f. Golf" - then the 30 second timer would appear again, and give the children a chance to spell the word before the narrator did it. I really liked this because, in breaking it down into sounds, it does teach spelling.
This was for my 6 year old. She's in first grade, and reads on about a 12 year old level. She's still learning, though, the 6 year old age appropriate skills, and doesn't always know how to spell things. The English language can be very confusing. I like that this type of program can better arm her with the ability to think about separating the sounds of a word before she tries to spell it.
Of course, I looked at the website, and I am impressed. Rock N Learn also offers videos on Shapes, Math, Sight Words, Science and Social Studies, and even caters to age specific groups. I would really like to try Math and sight words, as those are things that two or more of my kids are studying at any given time.
I was disappointed at first, but I'm glad I didn't let that get me down- because after seeing how much my kids enjoyed this video, and taking time to realize how well this can benefit them, I really do like the product and I do recommend it.
Now, for the best part of all!!!
Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win YOUR CHOICE of any CD or DVD on www.RockNLearn.com!!! Don't forget, our readers can also receive a 25% discount off of their entire purchase by using the coupon code JQ7711 at checkout! Contest ends at 12:01 am on January 16!
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