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Great Strides For Literacy Made by Youtube?!

Updated on March 29, 2012

Teaching phonics to preschoolers has never been so easy, because free music preschool videos are rampant, no, viral, on Youtube, of all places. If like me, you can remember a day when a video designed to teach youngsters how to say their letter sounds was only available for $149.95, with shipping and handling through a special infomercial on television, you are not alone.

Back in the day (there, I said it once, I won't say it again, I promise!), educational materials were not readily available in the public domain. And that's because the public domain did not even exist, electronically. If you wanted access to phonics teaching materials, you paid for them. Nuff said.

But not any more. In case you are not one of the 60 million or so Youtube viewers who have viewed children's educational videos such as the Letter Sounds song or The Wheels on the Bus, you are truly missing out on an oh-so-accessible preschool teaching moment with your children.

It helps to know some favorite music educators, like Hap Palmer, but even this is not necessary. if you begin searching for your favorite preschool songs, nursery rhymes, and stories, you are likely to find them with great ease and in many iterations, free on video. Or just look for the App! The prevalence of free music for young children is simply flabbergasting. As a not-so-young mom who has dabbled in homeschool preschool education for over 12 years, I've seen some remarkable changes to materials available to homeschool preschools in recent years.

Now, with just a cheap acer laptop computer, the cable from my "old" desktop video monitor, and my digital television, I can hook my laptop up to my computer and show those videos in my living room to my toddler and preschool-aged child who are learning their letters and learning to read, right there on the big screen. Of course, this will never replace lap reading.

Songs and music are an important part of preschool education, and now I can easily incorporate a music video with onscreen images to my Joy School or homeschool preschool curriculum. So many traditional songs, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and fables are in the public domain, that Youtube video producers have made this field a lucrative place to advertise children's products and a natural place for a community of educators, songwriters, and parents to share a large wealth of teaching resources absolutely for free.

I think another explanation for this phenomenon is the Teaching English as a Second Language scene. Many Teachers of English also use Youtube videos to supplement their language lessons.

This Phonics Video Has 63 Million Views

Will Youtube Replace Preschool Education?

Of course not, silly! Early childhood education is an important area of study and hats off goes to the many university-level educators who study linguistics, early childhood development, and literacy teaching practices to make classroom teaching a better experience.

But many of the freely available preschool songs in the public domain are offered by artists who are promoting their products and simply seeking free advertising in trade for some free product. It is a good trade. On Youtube, parents have to be careful to sort out read educational material from satire pieces like the "I hate Elmo" movie that shows the poor little preschool doll getting run over by a car tire. But if, like me, you are involved in a homeschool preschool and you are looking to enhance your singing and circle time, Youtube may be a surprisingly rich resource, and even little "old-school" me has to admit that it offers a lot to homeschooling moms.

The Flip Side: Everyone's an Expert on the Internet

The alternate side of this argument stands for anything you read on the internet. The argument has been made for information you might find on a site like Wikipedia, or even HubPages. Free advice is free advice, and you get what you pay for. So buyer beware!

WOW! 5 Little Monkeys Over 50 Million Page Views!

More Preschool Articles by Wannabwestern

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried EngelmannStart a Home School Preschool Co-OpUsing Music Education Techniques in Your Toddler/Preschool StorytimeStart a Preschool Storytime Program/ Story Hour at Your LibraryPreschool Story Hour Ideas: Using Storytime Themes In a Sample LessonGreat Read-Aloud Children's Books with Reviews and Sample Lesson PlansGoldilocks And the Three Bears Preschool Creative Drama ActivityMusic Education Techniques to Use in Your Toddler/Preschool Story Hour

Over 40 Children's Books Reviewed

I have written over 40 reviews of my favorite children's books here on HubPages. Please feel to explore some of my favorite children's books listed here!

Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing by Judi Barrett · A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams · Babies by Gyo Fujikawa · Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See by Bill Martin and Eric Carle · Charley Harper's ABCs by Charlie Harper · Christmas Cookies: Bite-Size Holiday Lessons · Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes · Daughter of a King by Rachel Ann Nunes · Excuse Me! By Lisa Kopelke · Gregory the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat · Harry and The Terrible Whatzit by Dick Gackenbach · Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson · I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll · I'd Choose You by John Trent · Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback · King of Kings by Susan Hill · Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis and David Soman · Lily's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes · Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney · Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney · Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle · No David! by David Shannon · Olivia by Ian Falconer · Out of the Ocean by Debra Frasier · Snowballs by Lois Ehlert · So Much by Trish Cooke and Helen Oxenbury · Souperchicken by Mary Jane and Herm Auch · The Gingerbread Boy by Paul Galdone · The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle · The King With Six Friends by Jay Williams · The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah by Leslie Kimmelman · The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges · The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell · The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy · The Red Shoes a Fairy Tale by Gloria Fowler and Sun Young Yoo · The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats · Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel · Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White · Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak · Yoon and the Christmas Mitten by Helen Recorvits


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  • wannabwestern profile image

    Carolyn Augustine 5 years ago from The Land of Tractors

    Phonics is teaching children to read phonetically, using the letter sounds. So, when you are teaching a young child the alphabet, you make sure that when you sing the traditional ABC song, that you are saying the letter names. Phonics goes a step further and teaches that each letter has a sound. For example, "C" has two sounds: the sound that starts cat and citrus. Most vowels have at least two sounds, but sometimes more. And then there are unusuals words like the word "a" which sounds like "uh".

  • diogenes profile image

    diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

    What are "phonics?" Seriously, I don't know and am not being clever at your expense, a thing I avoid doing on here. I mean, i grew up with "phonetics," Pleade edify this old fossil.