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Fundamentals and Fundamentals 2 DVDs Review by Jennifer Loucks

The First Wave
917-620-2422
P.O. Box 1038
New York, NY 10024
http://www.thefirstwave.com/

Fundamentals is a unique educational video. While many children's videos feature cartoon characters in the form of kids or animals, these videos are narrated by a mom. She's not a model or an actress, but an ordinary woman, one of the company's co-founders. The website states, "The company believes that a young child has a tremendous ability to comprehend and process information. It presents concepts to young children with clarity and simplicity." They have certainly accomplished this goal.

The videos feature the motherly narrator in an upper corner of the screen narrating animated or live action scenes. She speaks in a very rhythmic, almost sing-song way, and pronounces words very clearly to help children enunciate. Twelve animated stars are periodically featured in the short segments introducing letters, numbers, shapes, colors, body parts, music, and much more. Fundamentals 2 introduces writing, categorization, analogies, and emotions, among other things. The music is very simple and age-appropriate. The first video is for ages six months to four years, and the second is for ages 1-4 years.

Parents who don't want flashy programs, pop music or cartoon characters will approve of these videos. It took me some time to get used to the narrator's voice and the format. It's rather like watching a narrator read a book aloud, except she's looking at you, not the book. My daughter was four when we watched the videos, and they were definitely too introductory for her. I'd like to see how younger children respond. The company states on their website that the videos are meant to supplement, not replace, one-on-one interaction with young children, and I appreciate that. While watching, parents can also pick up tips about things to talk about through the day with their babies and toddlers. I think the videos are a very nice re-creation of what homeschool parents are already doing: simply talking with and reading to their children.

Product Review by Jennifer Loucks, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May, 2009

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