Which educational/teaching DVDs do you recommend for a 3 year old.

Dana - posted on 02/17/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I have a 3 year old and a 2 year old. I am trying to get my 3 year old ready for preschool. I have researched some DVDs like www.preschoolprepco.com and Barnes & Nobles "Rock n Learn" I am stuck on which one to buy. Rock n Learn goes way beyond preschool but I would have to buy my own teaching aids/ workbooks. Preschool prep comes in bundles with all I need for the basics Letters, Shapes, etc. What do I do. And is there any others out there I don't know about? Help!!!!!!!!!

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[deleted account]

I read through this conversation...love the way you debated, Sara and Dana!

Anyway, I think most kids enter kindergarten unprepared because parents don't work with them. It's unreal how many children don't know the proper way to hold a book. If they can't hold a book properly do you think they know half the things your three year old knows? If you just deliberately spend a little time each day with your child...reading, playing "I Spy" with colors or letters, counting green beans as she eats them...she'll be more than ready for Kindergarten. By the way, I've also studied education and was a teacher before I was a SAHM.

If you are looking for some activities, this is my absolute favorite website. http://www.icanteachmychild.com/ It is written by a former first grade teacher who now stays home with her children. All the activities are hands-on, age-appropriate, fun, and can be done with objects already found in your home. You would probably really enjoy reading the "Domains of Early Childhood Development" posted on the right hand side by a blue crayon.

Louise - posted on 02/17/2011

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I would carry on teaching her as you are but stimulate her with trips to the library and sea worlds and science museums designed for children. I can see what you are saying but as a mum of a gifted and talented son I can see both sides as I also worked in pre schools for years. If you over educate your child then they will be bored at pre school and you are more than likely going to have problems with him. My son was reading alone by 4 and able to count in french and german but he was a social outcast because he was very intellectual and children his own age did not know how to deal with him. My daughter is now going the same way and I will be taking her to more places to broaden her inteligence and I fill her day with crafts and role playing and she does watch some tv for the under fives but not alot. Children learn by play and repetition and are like little sponges absorbing information on a daily basis.

All your child needs to learn for preschool is social skills and the ability to concerntrate. These skills are learnt from reading books and experiencing lots of different activities.

Some DVD's I do have are Dora the Explora and Mickey Mouse Club House and I do like Sesame Street but it is not on in the UK any more. My daughter watches these films in the car on the way to Grandmas or something.

[deleted account]

Honestly, I wouldn't buy any. A three year old is not ready to sit down and do workbooks. It may make them not like to learn. Instead, make learning fun and use things your child is already interested in. For example, if your child likes dinosaurs and you want to help them learn to count. Then play with the dinosaurs and just casually say, "I wonder how many there are? 1,2,3..." Learning is not supposed to be sitting down and doing worksheets (although many districts do this unfortunately). Learn while doing everyday things. Go outside and find shapes and colors, etc. Your toddler will get so much more out of that then watching DVD's.

Mariella - posted on 02/20/2011

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Preschool Prep is fantastic! I just started using the videos with my 1 1/2 year old. He really likes it and is picking up on it.

Catherine - posted on 02/17/2011

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Although I don't think the answers you've gotten so far are the ones you were looking for, I have to say that as a high school teacher, I agree 100% with what everyone has said so far. In my experience, the brightest and most successful students I had were usually the ones with the most depth of life experience -- extensive travel, experiences with museums, zoos, etc., and training in the arts. If you have interesting modern architecture near you, it can be a great tool for teaching shapes, and music is actually an exceptionally powerful tool for teaching numbers and math. By teaching through experiencing, you'd be giving your daughter a fun, engaging opportunity to expand what she knows, something that will stick with her for a lifetime.



I will say that I never use workbooks in my classroom as I think they are completely ineffective (with the one exception of teaching the physical art of writing, which is not something I teach at my level). I've found memorizing vocab and spelling to be a waste of time, as most students have forgotten everything by the day after the test, so all that studying was a complete waste of time. An example from my classroom: in our school, we teach 9th graders what a sonnet is. Now, I could make them memorize and recite the definition, but that's meaningless. Instead, we read examples, and then they must write their own. If they memorized and wrote the definition on a test, then they'd forget it the next day; however, after spending hours trying to get their poem into 14 lines of iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme, they never forget what those things are. Another example: our music teacher teaches music history and when he gets to the classical era, he has me bring my violin in to play for the kids, explain the instrument to them, and let them hold and try to play it. Now, he could give them a worksheet and have them label the parts, but that has no meaning -- holding an instrument does. They can feel the vibrations under their fingers, touch the horsehair on the bow, feel how light it is, and that is something they will never forget. That is the value of experience.



The other thing to remember is that the companies advertising "preschool prep" material don't care about your child's preschool readiness, they care about lining their own pockets. Education is big business -- every year there is a new spelling theory, new way to teach long division, etc. and schools buy new materials. In the end, it's all the same, but each "new theory" makes someone a ton of money. Also, be wary of the statistics, they're often meaningless. The latest study I read from the National Board of Education stated that parents and kindergarten teachers don't hold the same beliefs about what defines kindergarten readiness, but that doesn't mean kids aren't ready for kindergarten.



Also, personally, I don't use DVDs in my classroom very often as I feel they have little to no educational value. Watching television, while fun, is a passive activity, whereas kids learn the most when they are interacting and actively engaged.

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[deleted account]

Dana, as her mom, YOU are her best teacher! And the fact that you are concerned about preparing her is fantastic. It means that you probably are already doing what you need to be doing with her. Just keep at it. =)

Mariella - posted on 02/20/2011

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BTW, I used to be a preschool teacher. I don't agree with "plopping your child in front of the tv" however, there are times during the day that my son wants to watch tv and instead of putting on mindless cartoons I can put on DVDs he can learn from and enjoy.

Dana - posted on 02/20/2011

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Thank you Sara Hopkins. I really love that site. I think this could help me be better at teaching her. And I love the I spy game you suggested. Her father has a photographic memory and I think she has the same. Thank you thank you thank you.

Sally so sorry if I belittled you that was not my intention and sometimes words written do not come across as well as speaking them. I get in trouble all the time when I type. I guess I come across as a cranky b*t*h. Thanks for your help anyway. Thanks to you all ladies. I will think next time before I type.

[deleted account]

Lol! No you didn't. It was a good discussion. It sounds like your daughter is doing great so whatever you are doing now is working! I would keep that up.

Sally - posted on 02/17/2011

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It depends on what sort of "kindergarten readiness" you are looking for. Most parents think it means knowing letters and numbers. Most teachers would prefer kids who can potty by themselves and put on their own boots. To me it's a useless idea because we use a child led version of home schooling.
I have never bought my 6 year old a single "educational" item that she did not ask for. (I sometimes wish she'd be a little more forthcoming. She hinted about a learning deficit for months before finally admitting she wanted a math book. When I bought it, it was ignored for months. Then she did the whole year's workbook in a week. Sweet, silly child.) I have never made her do an "educational" activity that she did not agree to. (I occasionaly suggest opportunities that she wouldn't have found on her own, but she is never forced. Every term, she is given the option of renewing her dance and swim classes.)
While she is still at a kindergarten level in writing because it bores her, she also reads high school science texts to herself because she enjoys them. In most subjects, she's at grade level. While her friends are faking illnesses to avoid school, she's in the back yard learning all sorts of useful things from being a kid.
Even if I wanted her to have a mainstream education, I still wouln't waste money on preschool DVD's. Small children learn far more from the real world than they could ever get from a TV screen. Besides, I've never seen one that didn't talk down to the kids to the point of insult.
I hope you find what you are looking for, but please don't belittle those who disagree with you.

Dana - posted on 02/17/2011

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I totally agree with all that. You feel the same way my husband feels and is the single most reason why he left education. Congratulations on getting the most out of your education and I wish you lived in my city. You are just who I would want my children to be learning from. You make lots of sense. I like your style and your bluntness. Thanks for your opinion. I am for one glad that you didn't go to a cookie cutter University to get your degree. There are too many of the kind neither of us like in the education system. I hope people like you can change the way it works. Like I said I will be forgetting about those dvds and find other ways to teach my girls at least until they enter private school. Thanks Sara hope I didn't piss you off too much. I like you. My kind of woman.

[deleted account]

My college goes by the Reggio Emilia approach and is one of the top schools for education in my state. We focus on child-centered teaching because that is what is most successful for young children. It's not one way. It's many different ways of learning. It's just not sitting down and learning because that doesn't work for young children. So no, I won't "open my eyes" to teaching my daughter (or any other child) that way because it's boring and it doesn't work. That's why children are behind. Teachers have to teach to standardized tests and only teach to the children in the middle. The children that are ahead or behind are just out of luck in many school systems. I didn't learn from textbooks in college. I learned from hundreds of lab hours and student teaching experiences. My professors taught the way they wanted us to teach. Being "dedicated to studies" is great when they're older.

Dana - posted on 02/17/2011

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I have also spent 2 years studying early childhood education and decided to go another way, and my husband taught 7th grade. My husband and I also find it very important to expose our children to the outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, tennis in combination with other educational productive activities such as Zoo, museums, libraries etc. I do that stuff. We love that stuff. My husband and I do not work in the preschool system and are finding ourselves a little lost with what we should and shouldn't do concerning tools. So you guys are saying that educational DVDs are not an appropriate tool to use to teach my children the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors. I am glad to get the input from professionals. I feel as if my Blair is already heading in the right direction for preschool as she already has the basics. I will continue with what I am doing and forget about the DVDs.
Sara I don’t disagree with what you are saying but just open your eyes to other methods. I guess what they say "Your Professor's" "The text books" is right just because they said it. In your "experience" How many children does the system fail? They learn by seeing and doing. Children learn in many different ways and blanketing all of them with a style that “they” say you should do doesn’t work. Fun and play doesn't take the place of dedication to studies. I am sorry for the rudeness but few too many psych and math classes don’t impress me. We will have to put this debate to rest Sara.

[deleted account]

Funny since I have a degree in Early Childhood Education (prek-3rd grade). DVD's are not an appropriate way to teach a preschooler. Children learn best through play and everyday experiences. As others have said you can take her to the zoo, library or museum. Plopping her in front of the TV is not going to prepare her for kindergarten. Sorry for the bluntness, but your comment was rude especially since I spent 4 years in college learning appropriate ways to teach young children.

Dana - posted on 02/17/2011

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Sara and Sally thanks for your input. Blair will be 3 1/2 in April. She knows her numbers from 1-10 in English and Spanish colors in eng/spsh. Shapes and working on her letters. She genuinely loves to learn. My question was how to take the next step to prepare her and stimulate her. I would like to feed her the knowledge that she craves. Statistics show that most children are not prepared for Kindergarten. With your attitudes toward learning I can see why. Fact is if you don't introduce it then how will they know it exists.

Sally - posted on 02/17/2011

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The most educational thing you can do for a 3 year old is to include them in your life, answer their questions, and gently encourage their interests. Don't waste your money.

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