As home educators, we tend to be a spoiled lot. The curriculum bounding on the market is getting better and better every year, and we are accustomed to high quality products.
Perhaps it is because I have at my disposal some pretty wonderful teaching DVDs, perhaps it is because I just like things done to a higher standard, but whatever the reason, Pocket Snails Aquaphonic Adventure did not meet the criteria our family has come to expect over the years in an educational video production.
First of all, the computer animation is simplistic at best. We make a regular attempt to expose our children to art and graphics done well, but we felt these computer-generated graphics are rather poorly executed.
The music is computer-produced as well. Maybe my BA in Music makes me jaded, but golly, I just couldn?t bear more than a few measures of the theme song. To its credit (and my dismay), both my four-year-old and six-year-old came out of the family room singing a song from the video. Repetition is a proven teacher; that is certainly something that Pocket Snails Aquaphonic Adventure has going for it.
I can overlook the aesthetics of a video if the content is stellar. However, I am concerned with any educational attempt to teach phonics to beginning readers that only presents one phonogram (sound) per letter. How confusing for the child! If you?re looking for a presentation of the alphabet with one phonogram representation per letter, this might be your video. Otherwise, old fashioned flashcards and a smiling mom may be a better fit for your homeschool.
Afraid I was being appallingly negative; I checked the Pocket Snails website (http://www.pocketsnails.com/awards.html) where there are glowing reviews by notable magazines and book reviews. Huh. To be fair, I think you might want to read the other reviews for yourself. Perhaps Pocket Snails Aquaphonic Adventure is just the thing you?re looking for, and I have overlooked its better qualities. Still, in our homeschool, Pocket Snails won?t be making a regular appearance.