I mentioned some time back that I ordered some educational resources over the internet which included the Tweedle Wink educational DVD series from Right Brain Kids. We finally got the DVDs and I started Gavin on them a few weeks back. Here is a little bit more about it:
Before I tell you about the DVD series, I think it helps to explain where the Right Brain Kids’ philosophy stands. The ideas and concepts are pretty much the same as those taught by Glenn Doman and Shichida. The main difference between the three (i.e. Glenn Doman, Shichida and Right Brain Kids) is the recommendation on the number of times you need to show the materials to your child. Shichida believed that it is only necessary to show a child material once for the subconscious right brain to record it. Glenn Doman recommended that the child view the material three times a day over five days before introducing new material. Right Brain Kids have have found that 1-3 times is sufficient to satisfy the right brain without unduly overstimulating the left brain (which generally learns through repeated exposure).
The Tweedle Wink DVD series is basically a series of flashcards recorded on a DVD with a voiceover telling you about the cards. It is designed for children aged between 0-6 years. I watch the lessons with Gavin and honestly doubt I could ever learn anything this way but then my brain doesn’t exactly work like a child’s between the age of 0-6 years.
The Tweedle Wink DVD series comes with the regular lessons which is recorded over 6 DVDs (four lessons per DVD).
Each lesson is no more than 8 minutes and includes the following:
- Affirmations – which reinforce that your child is well-loved. I like that they also reinforce to the child a positive attitude and that there is no limit to ability.
- Visual tracking – they record a moving flower and you are suppose to follow the flower with your eyes.
- Art – they show works of art by specific artists and name the art works.
- Science – this can be any basic topic encompassed by science, e.g. the human body, solar system, how a plant grows, etc.
- Cultures – this is usually anything related to a specific country, the flag, the map, tourist attractions, cultural images, etc.
- Speed Reading
- Perfect pitch – introduces specific music frequencies to the brain. They play the sound of each musical note, show where the key is located on the piano, etc.
- Vocabulary builders – essentially flash cards with pictures and the printed word.
- Math – counting objects or dots in sequence, and in later lessons they have geometric patterns and equations.
- Early literacy – learning to read using phonics.
- Word building – how words are formed.
- Whole words – to encourage early recognition of words.
- Visual stimulation – “photo eyeplay” which stimulate the eyes with strong dark/light colour contrasts.
- Poetry – usually they select a verse from a poet and read it out aloud. The intention is to stimulate your child’s brain with rich samples of the spoken word.
- Alpha Wave music – which is suppose to bring your child’s brain to a receptive state.
Ideally, the recommendation is to play one lesson, three times a day and continue with a new lesson the next day. Of course, it is important that your child enjoys the lesson so if this is too much, they suggest reducing the frequency. It could be once a day, once every two days or once a week – depending on what is comfortable for your child.
Having started Gavin on the program now that he is nearly two and a half, I find that it isn’t easy to focus his attention on the program. Being used to much more engaging programs on TV, he is easily distracted from watching. I’ve tried removing all distractions but find he sometimes doesn’t want to watch it. A good time to show him the program is when he’s nursing just before bed time. Alternatively, I play for him in the background while we’re playing. That’s not ideal, but he does look up from time to time to see what’s going on – which I think is better than not watching it at all. At the same time, he can derive the benefits from the auditory component.
I’ve been showing the lessons to Gavin rather sporadically over the last few weeks so I guess it is difficult to say what he is learning from it. I have wondered if it would have been better to start this series when your child is still under one and not yet affected by other influences. Perhaps learning would be more conducive then. I do intend to play this program with our second child and I’ll tell you how that goes next year.
Tweedle Wink also comes with a specific DVD that teaches phonics – the sounds made by letters so that your child can eventually learn to read new words on his own. This is covered in the regular lessons, however, since they only have 6 volumes currently (they are still in the process of making more), they created this DVD for completeness.
Tweedle Winks also has a Math DVD which is intended to provide a more thorough coverage of the subject. Again, once they have completed the entire series for the general lessons, this DVD will no longer be required.
The final additional DVD is one that covers an introduction to six world languages – Japanese, Russian, German, French, Spanish and English. This is only an introduction, so they only cover basic words like names of animals, colours, shapes, etc. This is the only one that is not included in the general Tweedle Wink lessons. It’s a great way to stimulate the language centers of your child’s brain and keep the pathways active for easier learning of languages when they are older.