Quite some time back I bought Gavin a whole series of early childhood education DVDs with the intention of starting him on a home schooling program. Although we ended up going the way of the playschool, I’m glad to say we still use the DVDs.
Gavin’s initial response to the material wasn’t quite as hot as I’d hoped, but I kept it light and continued to play them for him on and off. If I felt he was getting tired or bored of them or if he was resisting them, I’d put them away for a while. Then, every so often, I’d take them back out and play them for him, but usually during the times when I felt he was least likely to object to watching them. For instance, just before bed time when he’s nursing, or just after he wakes up from his afternoon nap and is nursing. I find that these are the times when he gives it his fullest attention.
What I usually play for him:
Because Gavin has always been more receptive to the “Your Baby Can Read” series, I tend to play that one more often and even during times when he is less likely to pay attention.
Though Gavin’s initial response to Tweedlewink and Wink to Learn was rather lukewarm, I’m glad to say that he appears more keen on the programs now. I’m afraid I don’t know whether it is because he’s finally gotten sick of watching all the old DVDs I bought him (Thomas and Friends, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Little Einsteins, Tigger and Pooh, etc.) or whether he’s developed a growing appreciation for these educational DVDs, I can’t really tell.
There are sections on Tweedlewink that he is usually most attentive to – like the Math section. If his attention has been distracted for a while, I notice he’ll usually look back at the TV screen when he hears the Math section coming on. He also likes the “speed reading”, although I suspect he enjoys the stories more than idea of reading. Lately, he’s also starting to repeat the Phonics section, too, so hopefully he’ll get the hang of reading soon.
With Wink to Learn, he likes the “right brain training” segment best. That’s the part when they run through all the flash cards in super-speed. I honestly don’t know what he picks up from section that because I can barely register what’s being shown at that speed, but he seems to enjoy it. About the only Mandarin word he’s learned is “doll” – at least that’s the only one he’ll repeat.
Is he learning anything from watching flash cards on DVD?
Honestly, I don’t know. I haven’t tried testing him because I don’t want to discourage his budding interest in the series. I am acutely aware of what Glenn Doman wrote in his book “How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence” about not testing your child. Simply put, children hate to be tested just as adults hate it. If you try to test your child to discover what he does and doesn’t know, you risk putting him off the whole learning process.
Right now, I’m more interested in cultivating his love for learning so I’ve shelved the need to test him to see what he’s learned for the time being. I’m sure school will do plenty of that later on. As long as he’s enjoying watching the DVDs and he’s being introduced to new material that engages his mind, I’m happy. If he absorbs it, great. If he doesn’t, well, at least we had fun watching the DVDs together.