Monday, January 31, 2011

Reading, Maggie's way

Its definitely obvious I've neglected the blog here a little bit. Being a mom to four girls definitely leaves not much room to blog all of the time. I do enjoy doing it though when I get a moment of time to do it.

So far we're almost in the month of February and Maggie has made great strides with reading. We began our journey with reading on December 31st of last year. So today has been one full month of learning to read. Granted Maggie is going to preschool she still loves to read with mommy at the end of the day. It usually starts during her potty time and goes right into bed time. She loves to sit on my lap and look at the books that I've made for her using her flashcards.

I had to get a little creative since just using flashcards wasn't cutting it every time. I did see how much she loves her Your Baby Can Read flapbooks so an idea was born.
I took those words, cut them and put them on colored construction paper and voila' Maggie's flashcard books were born. She thinks she's reading a book and in reality she is going over her words in flashcard form. Nothing like a little switch a roo, right?
Of course there are pros and cons to my flascard books:
The pros:
she thinks she is reading a book. This has boosted her self confidence and really follows Doman's advice as to getting books into a child's hand at this stage of the game in teaching children to read at this age level.
She can cuddle up on my lap while we read the 'books' .. with using flashcards my daughter has to sit across from me so I can flip them.
We like to hold the words in our hands. Some times Maggie loves to look at the computer. Sometime she likes to watch YBCR on the tv , and sometime she is just like me and loves to hold the book in her hands. So

The only con that I found with this book is we can't retired words. So it makes it hard to add new words and retire ones she already knows. It is a con but a plus because she loves to read the words she already knows. Just I have to make more books.

I am currently coming up with an idea with using a binder and some page covers. I'll post more on that later on. This may save me on construction paper. He, he.

Of course my 7yr old has joined in on the fun. She reads fairly well for a 7yr old that has never been taught reading using Doman method. Hannah learned to read using phonics. It made sense to her but once she got up and reading I think we started leaning more towards whole words. So at 7 using whole words only makes sense. I was also amazed at how the Your Baby Can Read videos seemed to work with my 7yr old as well. She knows most of the words but there were some that she didn't know , such as chimpanzee, rhinocerous, hippopotamus, crawling, bouncing, comb... etc. I think the very fact that her 4yr old sister knew these words and she didn't motivated her to sit and watch the videos and sit with us while we did flashcards. I've already noticed a big difference with Hannah's reading. So even though Hannah is considered 'over the hill' in brain development. I don't ever think its too late to stimulate the right brain.

Okay, back to Maggie. To date Maggie is reading 129 words on her own. Which is an amazing accomplishment in one months time. She is just soaking up words like a sponge. Of course 129 words in the English language is a drop in the hat since there are about a million words in the English language. I will say I am excited to see how many she gets to this month. It seems every day she is picking up between 8 to 10 new words now. Its just totally amazing. Not all of those 129 words are from Your Baby Can Read either. I have found a gem called Brillkids. Love it, love it. Of course its geared towards little ones but Maggie seems to like their program called Little Reader. We tried out their Little Math and she isn't as enthused with it as Little Reader. But I like it because it exposes them to quantities and numbers. Anyways, the thing she loves the most about Little Reader is the fact that it includes learning words in foreign languages. You have tons of languages right at your finger tips. Maggie seems to really like Spanish, and Polish. Not so much the Chinese at the moment but I think that's pretty neat. I do plan on investing in Little Reader if not for anything else but the foreign language. I will admit I do like the fact they have flashcards that you can print out. They are all ready made. As much as I love making my own stuff, sometimes I just want something already done for me. Especially since I had homeschooled for so long and had to create much of my own resources. Now is a good time in my life to say .. let someone make it for me.

All in all I am very happy with Maggie's progress with reading and even more so that this helps Hannah with her reading too. I will admit I wish I had know about this a very long time ago when I had my first daughter. This would of helped them to excell so much in school. I guess in the end you live and you learn.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Early Learning

I will admit. There is so much out there that is available to parents today for children. I've found that there is an ever increasing amount of material now out there for babies and young children too. When I first had Marilyn much wasn't available. You had Sesame Street, Barney and so on to teach your chilren early learning skills. Little did I know that my oldest at the time showed much potential in learning. I knew she was a smart cookie but I didn't know that I could have done more to hone in on her abilities. I didn't know much about teaching to begin with. It wasn't until Marilyn was 4yrs old that I even learned about homeschooling. Don't get me wrong. I didn't set her in a crib and walk away, though that would have been extremely easy to do with Marilyn because she was my most content child I had too. Marilyn showed her abilities to learn to read at the age of 3. At the time I worked in daycare so my days were busy watching other people's chilren. My girls (Katie and Marilyn ) came with me and they stayed in their rooms. Marilyn's teacher was the most impressed with Marilyn though. She adapted to preschool the very first day she went. Eventually after time she became the helper as they found she was reading the chilren's names on the cubbies. According to her teacher Marilyn was the only one in the room doing this. Marilyn also had ( and still has ) a great memory. She would just soak up stories and memorize them completely. It was amazing. I wished I would have known at the time that I could of done more with that in teaching her to really read. It wasn't until Marilyn was about the age Maggie is now (4.5) that I learned about homeschooling and the very thought just brought much excitement in me because in those early years I read, and read and ready to my girls. I still do and we have tons and tons of books laying around my house, shoved into shelves to prove that. Sadly enough I really didn't learn about teaching young children ,even babies to read until last year. Even then I figured that the Your Baby Can Read was another useless thing that people unwittingly purchased, and wasted money on. It was last year that Maggie saw a commercial for Your Baby Can Read. It was my older girls who noticed the commercial along with their sister as I watch t.v on the fly. With that Maggie told me she wanted that, and I thought , oh yah, I've got tons of money to waste. So I ripped out my Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons book because as all homeschoolers like to point out.. Phonics is the right way, the only way to teach reading. So I slowly "tortured", I mean taught Maggie with phonics. I began to slowly torture myself once again. It reminded me of Marilyn all over again. Marilyn never took to phonics very well in the beginning. If I had had something like Your Baby Can Read or BrillKids she would have flourished for sure. So instead of torturing myself and Maggie like I did with my oldest child. I gave in and bought the Your Baby Can Read. It was the best investment I could have ever made. Its only been three weeks , we are going on to week 4 and my daughter has blown through the first two DVD's and can read and recognize 33 words , albeit on the television, the computer, on flashcards that are already made or even if I've made them myself. I can point out the words in books and she knows them. So its amazing as Maggie seems to be a visual-spatial learner. Which I know have learned Marilyn must be. Hannah and Katie were very much wired to learn reading the phonetic way and that is just the way they are. I've read quite a bit of literature both in books and online about the subject of teaching early reading. So since I have the opportunity to do this with Maggie I will. I love to see the confidence that she has now with reading. She gets so excited (as you can see in our video) when it comes to reading. She loves it when she sees a word she knows. At the rate she is soaking up learning new words that she will be up and reading very soon. Babies and young children love to learn. They love to learn to read. It gives them a sense of confidence that they CAN do whatever it is they put their mind to. Of course parents are and need to take a roll in this. You can't sit your child down to the t.v or computer and think that they'll just absorb it on their own. There maybe some that do. But children need the loving encouragement from their moms and dads to know what they are doing is good. So of course the homeschooler in me I had to find out if there were more programs out on the market. No one ever hears about early reading. Its not talked about in mommy circles. Its not encouraged by school teachers, beacuse woah is the child that reads well above their peers in school these days due to No Child left behind. There is just no money or funding for children like that nor do teachers have the time to do extra stuff with them while they are teaching those who struggle. Its rare you find a school that will challenge a child. So with my findings I found quite a few. Though pricey are so worth the time and money you put into them because from what we've found here in our home is that they actually do work. So you ask , what did you find? I'll share this with you. The first of course is Your Baby Can Read. This is a fun program using DVD's, flashcards and flapbooks. YOur child watches the DVD that has the word, then pictures of children ( who you will see featured on YBCR website), animals etc doing the actions to the words. The words are flashed on the screen and repeated three times, in between giving children 'breaks' with fun songs that they know like " Twinkle, twinkle little star", " Itsy Bitsy Spider" " Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" , " If your Happy and you know it" and so on. Maggie loves these songs and dances to them all of the time. So its visual, fun and interactive. Your Baby Can Read , reviews words from previous DVDs in the next adding more. This gives children variety. It is worth getting the full curriclum. If I would have had the money I would have gotten the entire program as Maggie REALLY enjoys Your Baby Can Read. When your child is finished they will be able to read 200 words. You can purchase single volume, three volume, four volume and the full 5 DVD Volume sets. You can purchase Your Baby Can Read programs from places like Walmart( and, Toys R Us and even full programs on ebay. The only draw back is purchasing from the Your Baby Can Read company themselves. For some reason they seem to have complaints from consumers that have ordered from their website not recieving orders, getting charged the full amount and not getting money back when they were not happy with the product. So my suggest if you want the Your Baby Can Read is to purchase it from Walmart, Ebay , etc. Your Baby Can Read seems to be very pricey though and there really are other programs out there that do the same thing and cost much less, and you get much more. The Your Baby Can Read costs around $200 and right now comes with Your Child Can Read which is a new program that teaches your child about 800 more words after using Your Baby Can Read. The next I came across was Monkisee. This a cute program. Again a DVD program like Your Baby Can Read. You get 6 DVD's, 5 sets of full flashcards, and 2 books for $139.95 right now. Which is MUCH less than Your Baby Can Read and you get quite a bit more. The vidoes are fun and interactive.They remind of something similar to Baby Einstein with the use of puppets, etc to keep children's attention. The Monkisee videos will teach your child a whopping 800 words in a 7 month period versus the 200 Your Baby Can Read. Though if you purchase Your Child Can REad it will give you 1000 words. But you will have to pay more to get 1,000 words. With Monkisee you get 800 words right off the bat without having to purchase another program. I'm not familiar to much with the program other than that. I don't see where words are reviewed on other DVD's like with Your Baby Can Read. They could be but I just may not know about it. If not I don't see how this can keep children's attention constantly because I know with the Your Baby Can Read my daughter has seemed willing to watch a video for a week or less before wanting to move on to the next one. If I'm wrong though I'd love for someone to leave me a comment and let me know. Also another nice feature is you can find replacement stuff online for Monkisee. For example our Your Baby Can Read didn't come with the number 5 volume. So I'm going to have to purchase the number 5 from Sadly it only comes with the video and slide cards, but no book. Maggie really enjoys the books a lot. So I've been searching high and low for just the book because they do not sell the books to the YBCR set seperately. But with Monkisee they sell their products seperately. So you can purchase a little at a time or get the whole product. Something I really like. I have read very good reviews about their customer service as well online. So you really can't go wrong with this product at all. I do plan on purchasing some things from them here in the future. The next program I came across I believe in the holy grail in infant/toddler reading programs. This is Brillkids Little Reader program. This is actually a whole community of families from all over the world that are committed to teach their infants/babies/toddlers/ older children to read. Its amazing and their product I believe really can't be beat. Little Reader consists of Powerpoint presentations. Easy enough for anyone to set up in their home, but its all put together for you. Brillkids literally is unlimited in the amount of words it teaches. It says 3,000 words but you can download tons more slide shows created by families all over and use them to add even more. So its really an unlimted resource. The Little Reader package includes your download material and you can personalize it. No need to use what's already put on there. If you are teaching your child words such as : Mommy, Daddy, sister, brother, grandma, grandpa, you can insert pictures, videos of everyone in your family and it makes it so fun for the kids. I did this for Maggie and she LOVES seeing pictures of herself, her sisters and other immediate family. You can do the same for pets, household items etc. This program seems to follow the Doman method of reading, which I will eventually write about this as I'm finishing his book recently. Another neat feature of Brillkids is that you can download their Little Math program and work on Math concepts and you can even download word slideshows from other languages around the world. I even downloaded a version of Your baby Can Read, Spanish and Chinese. Maggie thought it was pretty neat. I haven't bought the program yet but I sure want to. It gives Maggie variety in learning the words. Sometimes she feels like watching the t.v and sometimes she just wants to do the slide shows on the computer. Some days like today she does both! LOL. At the moment I don't think you can beat this product as far as price, supplies and everything else goes. Everything, and I mean everything is done for you. Their delux reader kit includes 2 Brillkids Presentation Binders, 40 customizable flapcards, 20 customizable flash cards, 160 sheets of words and picture prints, 5 story books, 2 weekly lesson planners, 10 sheets of sticker lables to play the label things around the house game, and access to unlimited amount of words, and full access to customer service and their forums for $250.00 You can't beat that , you really can't. Of course you can buy just their small Little reader package in which they offer a payment plan for. They don't offer a payment plan on their deluxe packages which is a bummer since I don't have $250 to drop out of my hat. Of cours my daughter is SOOOO worth it, but I just don't have that kind of money all at once. Also if you purchase anything, or sign up on their forums be sure to use my coupon code which is on my side bar on the right hand side here. Brillkids has a neat system in which they give you points , and the more points you earn the more you can download onto your Little Reader/Math system. One last thing, is they recently made it possible to download the Little Reader and Math system on the IPad and IPhone. The next one that I have looked into is Preschool Prep. These cute DVD's teach color, numbers, letters, shapes and sight words. These DVD's are cute. Priced fairly and you can purchase them seperately or as a full package. The company offers books, coloring books , placemats, flap books , board books and flashcards. I would say their prices are comparable to Your Baby Can Read. Also I hear that some children like the vidoes and some don't. They do have samples of the program on their website. All children are different and it either holds their attention or it doesn't. I would think they would be very effective in teaching the sight words since its an isolated dvd. Another program I came across last night was from a company called Wink to They too also follow the Doman method of teaching children to read and learn. This company is located in Singapore so you will have to convert prices to American money on their website to find out how much everything costs. I was really impressed with the vidoes. They offered learning to read not only in English (not American English though )but in Chinese(both traditional and simplified, Korean, Japanese, Philipino and Malay. They offer dvd's on teaching children the different languages in song and I was extremely impressed in the Encyclopedic DVDs they have on Zoo animals , Rainforest animals , Jungle Animals , Threaten species, African animals, Australian animals ,and the Wetlands. These I am VERY intersted in. This website definitely is worth looking at and considering when teaching your child to read. As when they are little learning other languages are much simpler for children. I wish they had something like this for Polish. He, he.. Another nice feature is if you have an Iphone or I pad you can access the programs on these. Nice for those that own these or may live in isolated places without computers. Last but definitely not the least at all is Signing Time. This is a great DVD program for those who want to teach their young baby to sign. A neat little feature to this program is that it also can teach them to read! So if you have a hearing impaired child this program is wonderful. It is a little bit pricey and you don't get much bang for your buck so to speak as in getting the extra stuff. But you do get the vidoes and flashcards. You can buy bundle packages that are as little as $150 to almost $$800 for the whole complete program! You can also buy DVD's and other items seperately as well. I'm sure as I continue learning about early learning I will come upon more intersting proudcts and websites. For now these are the ones I'm currently aware of at the moment and they are all worth looking into because what I may see as awesome for us maynot be so for you. The important thing is that the information is out there and you can make an informed decision. For us the DVD route seems to be the better route as Maggie seems to learn better this way. It also makes a great use of her time she is on the potty doing her potty time. Maggie has to sit on the potty longer than the average kid due to the way we have to do potty. So if she is going to sit there I can fill her mind with educational information. Which seems to be working REALLY well. So there you go folks! Video of Maggie , 3 weeks into using Your Baby Can Read and Little Reader on the side :>) To date she reads and recognizes 33 words.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Your Baby Can Read Schedule

I've noticed quite a bit lately from reading posts on the YBCR facebook page is that some of the kits that you buy at the store come with schedules and some do not. I've also noticed the " What is the schedule?" Question become very common. So I thought I'd type it out for those who do not have this. Of course you can go to the Your Baby Can
website and purchase it there. But if you have everything else in the Your Baby's First Teacher pack, such as the workshop DVD and so forth this is kind of expensive.
So I'll be kind enough to post it here and please remember that this schedule is not a steadfast rule. Some children need more time and some children need less time in viewing the videos. I've seen stories where children as young as 9 months old plow through all 5 DVD's in a matter of 2 to 3 months, and I've also see stories where parents go through it slowly with their little ones and they aren't reading until 14,15 16 months old. It will depend on many factors. The age of your child, the interest of your child ( some children just aren't interesting in learing to read quite yet), and the time and commitment you put forth with your child and the program.
So if you have a child that is learning the words quickly and you feel confident your child has grasp the words, then by all means move on to the next DVD. My 4.5 yr old daughter caught on very quickly with the 1st DVD. She watched it for the first 4 days and that was it, she was ready to move to the 2nd. The 2nd DVD has more words so I see that she is going to take a bit more time with it. Possibly. Lately she has just been eating up learning to read. So who knows?
If you have a child that is taking longer then so be it. Move on when you feel confident they have learned the words.

The Basic Schedule: This is according to the YBCR Parent's Guide...

Start with Volume 1 regardless of your child's age....
Also children who are learning English as a second language may progress at a slower rate than children who's first language is English.

Age 3 months to 12 months old
1st DVD- watch for 1 month , twice a day, move to volume 2 after 1 month. Baby may not recognize all words but that is okay because volume 2 repeats words from volume 1. After a couple of sessions with watching the first DVD you can use the sliding cards and books, play with them for a few minutes several times a day.

In months 2 and 3 , Watch Volume 2, twice a day for 2 months, review during the week occasionally watching the first DVD, play with cards and books from volumes 1&2

In months 4&5, Watch Volume 3. Follow this for 2 months , move to the next dvd according to the schedule, even if they don't know all of the words after two months. Your child will have more opportunities to master the words later. Watch DVD twice a day, review with Volume 1&2, a few times a week, play with books and cards for volumes 1,2&3 several times a day for a few minutes.

In month 6 , Watch Volume 4, will combine words your child has already seen in previous DVD's along with new words.
Watch DVD twice a day, watch volumes 1,2& 3 few times during the week, use cards and books for volumes 1,2,3,4

In month 7, Watch DVD 5, this DVD combines words from previous DVD's with new words for a total of 164 key words to review and learn.
Watch the volume 5 once or twice a day. This DVD is longer so feel free to watch it in two or more sessions.
Watch the volume 4 dvd , several times a week, occasionally review DVD's 1,2,3 , use books , cards for all volumes, 1,2,3,4,5

At the end of the month 7 if your child is reading most of the words from the DVD , they are ready for Your Child Can Read series. You can also expose them to different words to increase their vocabulary. If your child isn't fully recognizing all of the words yet, continue with the schedule for month 7 for several more months, but randomly select any of the 5 DVD's rather then focusing on volumes 4&5. Continue with showing your child the books and sliding cards.
Go to the library, check out books, teach your child to point to the words while you are reading to your child. When you come across a familiar word have them read it. Reading to your child will help give them an appreciation and love for learning.

Ages 12 months to 3yrs old: (follow instructions above for when to introduce books, cards and previous DVD's)

Volume 1 for one month,,

Volume 2 for months 2&3,

Volume 3 for one month

Volume 4 for one month

Volume 5 for 1 month

Ages 3 to 5yrs old; ( follow instructions from 3month to 12month schedule as to when to introduce books, cards and previous DVD's)

Volume 1 for one month,

Volume 2 for one month,

Volume 3 for one month,

Volume 4 for one month,

Volume 5 for one month.

You may find with this age group that you can accelerate MUCH faster than this. This of course depends on the age and ability of your child. Some children may need longer. Go by the lead of your child. My daughter seems to be speeding up with this program, but your child may need a full month or more. You will know when they are ready to move on. I also know that my daughter was sooooo ready for this that she wanted to play with the books and cards that very day. She does well with this and I'm fine with that. If your child wants to look at these things , especially in this age range its absolutely fine. I think its encouraged my daughter more to look at those flashcards the day I introduce the the new DVD. Plus at this age they also may like writing out the words. My daughter knows how to write her letters so she loves to spell them out on her dry erase board or on paper as much as she can. She loves the card games. So with this said, at this age level do what makes them happy and wanting to do more.

I hope this helps some. Just remember its a basic guide and a guide only. This is not meant to be set in stone. You may have a much younger child that can follow a schedule of a 3yr old and you may have a 3yr old that may need the schedule of the 3months to 12 months range. Children are different and they learn at their own God-given pace.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Your Baby Can Read

Hello all, thought I'd write a review of my own on this since I've had some ask us about it. We bought Maggie the 4 DVD version of Your Baby Can Read for Christmas this year. She has been wanting this program since she and I first saw the commerical about a year ago. I held off because I've had many tell me how inferior learning to read using the whole words approach is and how superior using phonics only is. To be honest I'm not sure why I listen to other people. If and when I do, I, for the most part get some kind of resistance from my children. Plus I thought maybe Maggie would take to the phonics approach like Katie and Hannah did. Alas, she has not and Lord knows we tried, but I'm finding that the Your Baby Can Read approach works much better for her.

We began the program on 12/31/10 so we are only really 5 days into the program now. From what I have witnessed with Maggie is nothing short of a reading miracle. Even that first day she was learning to read words. After her second viewing she knew how to read about 2 or 3 words. We are on day 5 and she knows about 14 of the 22 words on the first DVD. This is with making our own flashcards and using them, randomly giving her words to make sure she just isn't memorizing the words in order and so on. I can see us going through this program much quicker than the schedule allows for the program.

Your Baby Can Read is geared towards children ages 3 months to 5 yrs of age. The 'window' of opportunity in teaching children to read. Dr. Titzer is the creator of the program and I was able to watch a little bit of the Workshop DVD before it went all wonky on me. I'm not sure if there is a scratch on the disk or what but I didn't get to see it all unfortunately. The program was actually created out of love. Dr. Titzer found he wanted something stimulating for his daughter while she was in daycare during the day. So he created a video and learned himself that she was learning from them. So he turned his focus away from adult learning to how infants/toddlers learn. You can go onto the Your Baby Can Read website and see testimonies from parents and watch their young children actually read. These are real people with real testimonies. In all actuality the idea isn't really a new one at all. This has been common knowledge in China. Dr. Titzer described how he was once a judge in China for a baby reading contest. That they literally hold contests with young babies and children in reading. So here is my run down of the program: The Your Baby Can Read comes in sets that contain 3 to 5 DVD's. The set with the 5 DVD's is the full program of Your Baby Can Read. Walmart carries the 3 and 4 disk program. They also carry one volume each on (some Walmarts may have these in store as well)if you just want to give the first one a try. Your Baby Can Read website , Ebay and carry the 5 DVD sets. The kits come with a Parent Guide, Workshop DVD, 3 to5 boxes of sliding word cards, 3-5 books and if you have the full set already made flashcards.

The program works like this: Your child watches the 1st DVD, twice a day, every day for a full month. After a few weeks of watching the DVD you can pull out the cards and books. Now of course this depends on the age of the child. An older child can really start using the books and cards the very first day versus a young child who may need those few weeks for the words to soak in. We used the DVD, the cards and the book the very first day. It also says for your child to watch the video twice a day for a month. Again depends on the child. I've heard of little ones blowing through all 5 DVD's in as little as two to three months, and some have needed to follow that full month schedule. Just remember to follow your child's lead. Depending on the age of the child you will watch DVD's 2 and 3 ever day for two months. An older child ages 3-5 can go through each DVD in a month if they need to. Of course again this all depends on your child. After 5 days doing the 1st DVD I can comfortably say that I will start DVD 2 this Friday with her ( that will be 1 week from where we started). Of course you have to slide in DVD 1 during the next week. You continually review the other DVD's as well. You don't use one then leave and go to another. How are we using it? Just like the guide suggest. Watch the DVD twice a day ( though since she has started school I have only been able to do once a day with her, and I'll do them twice on the weekend. Then after she is finished watching the DVD we play some card games or use the books and read those. It doesn't take us long and its a good thing while she has 'potty time' and has to sit on her potty for a while. I'm hoping this schedule will work just as well as watching it twice a day everyday. I did try to see if she'd watch the video before school but she wasn't up to that. So we just played card games. Maggie also likes to write the words on her dry erase card that comes with the sliding word cards. The sliding word cards are really neat. Maggie likes them because she can see the word first then slide a picture of the word on the side of the card if she forgets. The book does the same thing pretty much. It shows the word , then you open a flap and the picture is on the inside. The program is not time consuming, but it does involve parental involvement. You can let your child watch the DVD but you need to follow up with the flashcards and reading the books along with your child. In the end Maggie is reading about 14 of the 22 words from the 1st DVD.
Maggie 4 years 5 months, reading words on 1/4/11(words are randomly given)

and loving it. My plans are to let her do this program, then go on to Your Child Can Read, and follow that up with Preschool Prep I'll also throw in there , Progressive Phonics and Literactive to finish it off with some phonics. The Your Baby Can Read does teach phonics but with the idea that your baby will and can figure out the phonics patterns. It also includes phonics teaching ideas in the Parent's Guide. So its not a totally whole words approach.

My opinion is I think this program gets children off to a great start in reading. The younger you can start them the better off they are. I wished I had known about it when Marilyn was little and was able to start Maggie sooner with it. The program really does work and is well worth the money.

I also had a few people ask questions about the program, here are my answers:

Q: How do they do the program?
A: The child watches the DVD. The DVD's show the word, has a little pointer that goes under the word, twice, then they show a short clip of a child, animal, ect doing some kind of action with the word. For instance the first word on DVD 1 is "hi" they show and say the word twice, then show a short clip of a little boy named Grahm and he says " Hi, my name is Grahm and we're going to learn to read!" And the video goes on. There are about three breaks in the video. Two of them will have familiar songs. Such as Twinkle, twinkle little star, and Itsy Bitsy Spider while they flash the words to the song on the screen with cute video. Then there is one poem in the video , the first one has " The Zoo" with a child reading the poem as the words and pictures are shown on the screen. Maggie really likes these a lot. They are still learning but don't realize it. There is a schedule for the different age groups in the Parent's Guide that it comes with.

After they are finished with the DVD , depending on the age of your child , they can can use the slider cards, flash cards and books that go along with the DVD after that day or in as long as a few weeks after starting the DVD. That's about it. No fuss, no muss. It really doesn't take long to do at all. And the reward is great.

Q: Can I use this with my hearing immpaired child?

A. At first I wasn't so sure but I think I can say you can. With some modification on your part. Young babies I've seen as small as 9 months on video reading and they aren't verbal yet. So they use simple signs to relay that they know what that word is. Of course they can hear the video so it doesn't take to much effort on the parent. With that said I'm sure that the parent would have to sit there and reinforce the signs. So I would say , yes you can use this program but you the parent will have to sit and show your child the proper sign for the word. Once they start learning the word and know the sign I can say you can sit them in front of the video on their own. There is also a company that has videos to teach children ASL and they have the word, a picture, etc. The name is called Signing Time you could also create flashcards and make your own books to go along with it and it would be the same as Your Baby Can Read. Either way if you want to put the time and effort to modify it, you can do it !

Q: What is included in the package?

A: The complete pacakge that you can get off the Your Baby Can Read website, Ebay and is a 5 disk program. This program comes with the 5 DVD's, 5 books, 5 sets of sliding card, parent guide, parent workshop, and flashcards.
If you buy the sets from Walmart they usually come in either single volumes that only include the DVD and sliding words cards, or they also sell the three disk version and 4 disk version(what we have) and they come with the DVD's , books, sliding cards set and workshop. This does not contain disk 5 volume or the premade flashcards. Either way , it can get you up and going. Just depends on how much you want to spend. The complete kit from the website costs around $200.00, you can go to Ebay and find it for less and even I wouldn't worry about getting costumer service or anything. As great as a product this is , they unfortunately have a really bad customer service problem that I hope at some point will be addressed. So get the program whereever you can for whatever you can afford.

This Review is linked to Homeschool Curriculum Review Round Up