A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this DVD is aimed at children as young as 15 months, but both Common Sense Media and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest no screen time at all until age 2. This instructional DVD is designed to augment pre-k and kindergarten reading lessons, not to stand alone as entertainment. The repetition may torture parents, but there's no denying the elegant simplicity of the approach.
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What's the story?
Preschool Prep already has a following with its Meet the … series for shapes, colors, and numbers. Now, with MEET THE SIGHT WORDS 1, the company is applying its proven approach to sight words, also known as "high frequency" or "star" words, that are the bane of many a kindergartner's existence. These words, including "that," "to," "play," "said," "in," and "you," defy basic decoding rules and must be memorized by early readers. In Meet the Sight Words, a single word is transformed into cute, animated letter characters doing something in context, thereby drawing kids in more than they might when reading black letters on a white page. For instance, the word "play" becomes both batter and catcher at a baseball game, and "Take Me Out to the Ballpark" accompanies the onscreen image.
Is it any good?
The DVD keeps its approach simple, and if kids can put up with the utter lack of action, it certainly would underpin more comprehensive reading lessons. Meet the Sight Words is organized nicely for parents and teachers, including mini-lessons of four or five words, video flashcards, and games to build confidence in recognition. The constant is that each sight word is always associated with its animated version to jog kids' memories.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the short lessons after watching them together. They can also try other ways of reinforcing recognition of the sight words in ways that hit all the senses: spotting them in a newspaper headline or billboard, tracing them in a sandbox, writing them in chalk on the sidewalk, and bouncing a ball onto a sight word that Mom or Dad calls out.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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