The Fundamentals of Baseball and The Fundamentals of Soccer
Videos are almost always a hit with my children, but my husband and I are much harder to impress. I asked my husband to help me review these videos since he loves sports and coaches our son's soccer and baseball teams. His overall opinion is that these videos are very well done and informative. Live action with a real coach and real children is interspersed with an animated Coach Laroo and his sidekick, Stinky Shoe. My husband appreciated the real coach's knowledge of the necessary skills and how he explained them to the children on the video. I liked the respectful attitudes of both the coach and children. We both found the animated characters a bit too silly, but our children were immensely amused, and the animation kept even the littlest ones glued to the television set. And since children are, after all, the target audience, I can hardly say this is a negative. Each video runs about 30 minutes, with 20 minutes of instruction and 10 minutes of animation. A lot is covered in a short amount of time, so you will probably need to view them more than just once or twice if you want to practice the skills shown. My husband says that the videos assume a little knowledge of the sport, so they might be too advanced for an absolute beginner. Our eight-year-old son has played soccer and baseball for two years now, and these videos are just ideal for him. Even his little five-year-old brother showed me how to dribble a soccer ball through the living room after watching the soccer video, and he did a pretty good job! But the biggest testimony of all is that our ten-year-old princess gave her daddy a coupon for his birthday saying, "I will play soccer with you ten times." The Stinky Shoe folks (A.L.L. For Kids) say, "If the child feels confident to get off the couch, go outside and give the game a try, we have accomplished one of our goals!" My husband and I would say that they have succeeded with our family. Check out the website at www.stinkyshoe.com, and add a little fun physical education to your homeschool.
-- Product Review by: Michael and Heather Jackowitz, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Get Active with Stinky Shoe & Coach Laroo
The DVD Get Active with Stinky Shoe & Coach Laroo is produced to teach children about exercise, imagination, and attitudes toward life. The video is interspersed with real children and counselors at a camp, and the animated characters of Stinky Shoe and Coach LaRoo.
This video exhibits lots of slapstick children's humor, which kept my children laughing out loud. There were quite a few "play on words" moments. For instance, one on the counselors claims to not want to hit a ball or any object because he is a non-violent person. He was a little too goofy and clumsy for the older child, but probably quite amusing to a younger child.
The lack of cohesiveness from the real scenes to the imaginary scenes made it hard to have children actually follow and do the activities. The need for space was too great for a video, but the imagination was stressed so the children made some of the activities work.
The video is great for introducing various physical activities and encouraging the children to have healthy bodies. It points out that many forms of movement are actually exercise, such as walking, cleaning, jumping rope, etc. I loved the cleaning point, but I don't know if my children are quite convinced. Moreover, making a game out of our work was stressed, so a task we would rather not do can be fun based on our attitude.
Stinky Shoe, Coach LaRoo, and the camp counselors all discussed important issues that will take children far: personal goal setting, cooperation with others, patience with self and others, respect for people and property, and doing your best. The camp imagination challenge at the end of the video makes you want to go outside and move, which is the driving force of the video.