We don’t have a lot of screen time in our house, but when we do, it’s usually television. And it mostly involves a princess, especially Sofia the First. Yeah, we should probably have Squish watching all educational TV, but … we just didn’t start out that way, and it’s hard to change direction two years later.
I was really inspired by Niké Anderson (an amazing homeschool mom with a great blog – check it out!) when she posted earlier this year about educational YouTube videos. This definitely changed Squish’s screen time because she really likes some of the YouTube videos (actually, all were suggestions from Niké’s post).
You have to be really choosy on YouTube, because there is a lot of weird shit on there. But there is also a lot of good – good videos your kids can learn things from and which you might enjoy watching with them.
(Yeah, I’ll get to that phonics song in a minute…..)
Let me first share four of Squish’s favorite videos – and now that Puff has seen the Solar System song a few times, too, she requests “Sun! Sun!” often as well, although we don’t let her have screen time as a habit. Try these and other videos from the channels, and your kids might love them, too! (And hey – did you know Uranus is the coldest planet? Me neither! I would’ve assumed it was Neptune….)
And here is a phonics video that has a very, very catchy tune. I guarantee you will be humming this while doing dishes, showering, and pretty much everything else. Be sure you do memorize that tune, because …
… it forms the basis of the ONLY PHONICS SONG YOU’LL EVER NEED TO TEACH YOUR KIDS LETTER SOUNDS!!!
I’ve read plenty that putting information in a song helps kids remember it better, and I believe that personalizing songs helps them even further. So, here’s my trick: instead of using everyday words like apple, ball, cat, etc., use the names of your family and friends (plus a few special noun words thrown in). I promise that your kids will memorize the song instantly and learn the letter sounds faster than you ever thought possible!
For example, say in your family you have an Aunt Alice, Grandpa Brad, daughter Cate, Grandma Emma, your last name is Holt, your dog’s name is Indy, and everyone in your family adores Jell-O (yikes). Therefore, your song would be:
A is for Alice, ah-ah-Alice!
B is for Brad, buh-buh-Brad!
C is for Cate, cuh-cuh-Cate!
D is for dad, d-d-Dad!
E is for Emma, eh-eh-Emma!
F is for family, fuh-fuh-family!
G is for grandma, g-g-Grandma!
H is for Holt, huh-huh-Holt!
I is for Indy, ih-ih-Indy!
J is for Jello, juh-juh-Jell-O!
And so on through the alphabet. Yes, some letters are tough, unless your son’s name is Quaid or Xeres, but you can always use quilt and x-ray. We also use some Sesame Street names (because my girls are recently super into Sesame Street), such as Zoe and Grover. Any other movie or TV character’s name would do.
Isn’t that catchy? We think so … and we sing it off and on daily. I guarantee your family’s version will be equally a success!
What do you think of this personalized phonics song? Do you sing a similar song at your house, or do you have a special learning song you’ve created?