I recently began homeschooling my preschool-aged daughter, and I'm always looking for fun and engaging learning experiences for her. I was excited to introduce her to the Rachel and the Tree Schoolers series.
One morning I told her we were going to do something a little bit different for homeschool, and I put the DVD in. My daughter was intrigued, from the beginning. She didn't just stay on the couch, but got up to dance to the catchy songs about lightning and thunder. She quickly picked up on the sign language that Rachel taught the children. There was a simple "game-show" portion of the movie, and my daughter was guessing the answers and pointing to the different pictures. I was impressed by how engaged she became. She is usually a T.V. zombie while watching a movie, but she was interacting with Rachel and other characters during the entire show. Even my 18 month old son, who has very little interest in movies, was dancing and trying to sing along with the characters. Now my children always request to watch this show!
Even more important than the entertainment value, I feel that the way the material is presented is very conducive to the way young minds think. In the movie Rachel, begins each question with the phrase, "I wonder." I have found that my daughter has begun phrasing her questions that way. Rachel and the Tree Schoolers also asks several different questions about a topic to add depth to the knowledge. For example instead of just explaining what weather is, they also explain what clouds are made of, why it rains, the simple science behind lightning and thunder etc. I felt that all of these topics were discussed very well at a preschool level.
After watching the DVD, my daughter has shown a new interest in the weather, she is excited to discuss the weather with me. She, also, has excitedly told friends and grandparents all that she knows about clouds and the weather. The DVD was a great segway into some fun and educational crafts. For example, we used cotton balls to make pictures of the different types of clouds discussed in by Rachel and the Tree Schoolers. The characters on Rachel and the Tree Schooler are very well done. Rachel is warm and friendly, and each animated character adds a fun new perspective to the learning.
The DVD also came with a CD. I love this! My daughter loves to sing the songs from Rachel and the Tree Schoolers, but I don't want her watching the DVD 10 times a day. I just pop in the CD, and she can sing to her little heart's content. The CD also contains sing-along tracks. These are great for preschoolers that are just learning the songs. The DVD also comes with a FREE teachers guide and a parents guide. The guides include the lyrics to all the songs, a list of fun activities and books to continue learning about weather. The DVD also has an auto-play feature that would be especially helpful to daycares or settings with many children.
I would highly recommend this DVD learning system to parents and teachers alike. I think it would be great for a daycare, preschool, or just a fun, educational DVD for home use. It will entertain preschool-aged children, while it opens them up to new ideas and teaches them more about the world around them.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.