Thursday, February 24, 2011

Monkisee Review and Give Away

The one thing that I and any parent out there wants for their child is the very best. To give them the best life, the best education, the best of everything they possibly can give. Glenn Doman set out to prove to the world a little bit at a time that young children are capable of much more than then they are given credited for. This is why he founded the Institutes for the Achievement for Human Potential. His philosophy and the philosophy of all parents who are involved in early education is that learning should be a joyus, pleasant experience for the child. That babies and young children can learn anything that is taught to them in a joyous, factual and honest way.

With this said this leads me to my review of Monkisee. When I first learned of the product Your Baby Can Read I was super excited. Here was something that was educational that I could present to my daughter. The purpose was actually two fold as my youngest has to sit for a while on her potty for potty time. This being because we do enemas to keep her artificially contient due to a birth defect that she was born with. Previously I had let her watch tv to pass the time away. I bought her a little desk to let her color on or eat snacks. The one thing I had noticed though was she was watching WAY to much of nothing. I wanted something fun for her to watch yet educational. Thus Your Baby Can Read was bought for her at Christmas time and Maggie was super excited. She ate the program up, and literally went through it in one months' time. Her reading was just amazing and her confidence totally soared. Unfortunately we had gone through all 5 DVD's in such a short period of time and I didn't want to end it there. Some days Maggie loved watching her DVD's. Some days she did not want to watch them and she loved her books. Some days she wanted to play with the flash cards. Teaching 'older' young children to read requires some creativity to keep those juices flowing.

So along came Monkisee. We were excited to get our box in the mail. My daughter had seen some previews online and she knew right away that she would love " Monkey".

Our box included :
1.all of the DVD's , Baby's First Words, All About Colors, All About Shapes, two Memoflix DVD's, and the Teaching Baby to Read DVD.
2. We also recieved three boxes of flashcards
3.and two of the Monkisee books to read

The first DVD I viewed was the Teaching Baby to Read DVD. If you do not get the program this DVD can easily get you started in teaching your child to read without having to even buy the rest of the DVD set. The creator of Monkisee ,Krista Guerrero nicely presents how to teach your baby/child to read. She presents all the information clearly and its easy to understand. I think my favorite part of the DVD was the creative ways to get your child to read. She presents how to make flashcards,books, and gives ideas for games to play to keep your child engaged in learning to read. Some ideas I had already known about and read about, and some I did not. I loved the idea of using folders (with prongs in the middle) to make books. Maggie enjoys using them to look at when she copies words on her dry erase board.

The first DVD that we watched was the Baby's first words and I think had Maggie not known the words she would have been interested in it. Since she knew but maybe two or three words she lost interest. The same for the colors DVD. She knows most of the color words except for the advanced color words like gold, silver etc. that she was interested but not because the words she didn't know were more towards the end. It had nothing to do with the DVD but with the fact she knew how to read most of the words. She did like watching it though. The DVD she was most interested in was the shapes. She loves Howie and Skip and loves to sing the Monkisee theme song. The Color and Shape DVD are fun for children to watch. I would say they are between a Your Baby Can Read/ Baby Einstein/Sesame Street all rolled into one. There are words flashed on the screen like Your Baby Can Read, puppets and children. I can honestly say my daughter loved to see the kids. The DVD really has held her attention and in a short time my daughter has learned almost all of the words. I will secretly admit I wished there were some words like pyramid, cone, cylinder, rectangular prism,sphere, and quadralateral on there. But hey that could be an idea for a next DVD, or book, right? Over all we have been extremely happy with the DVD's and they have definitely held my daughter's attention more than the Your Baby Can Read.
We have also viewed the Memoflix DVDs. These dvds are like having flashcards but on your television. We have enjoyed using these and Maggie has days that she just wants to look at the flashcards on the television too. Like to forwarn that my daughter is sitting on her potty. She is covered but this is the time we usually break out the DVDs.

The next thing we played with was the flashcards. My daughter LOVES to play games with the flashcards and I will admit it was super nice to have them already made. After eight years of homeschooling and always making our own cards it was really nice to have it already done for me. We play card games quite frequently and this gives Maggie another alternative to learn her words without always having to depend on the television to do it. The cards are that, cards. They are not sturdy enough to endure a young child's. grip. They can be ripped if tugged on enough, they can get bent if stomped on enough too. Luckily we haven't managed that, but I can see that happening. They are meant for the adult to use. Maggie loves to play " Find that word!" I put the cards on the floor and I let her know which card to find and she goes and finds it. Sounds simple enough but its her favorite game. Sometimes we jazz it up with " March to the word, diamond." Or " Walk on your tippy toes and find pentagon."

Last but not at all least are the Monkisee books. There are two books, Know your Monkey and Monkey's Like Color. These cute books make a nice addition to the program. These books finally give your child the chance to take everything they have learned and put it together to read to their parent. Of course parents can read it to them too. The one thing I really like is the fact the words are presented before the picture. This helps the child learn the word and not be distracted or focused on the picture. Maggie has thoroughly enjoyed reading her books.

To sum this all up we are very happy with Monkisee. Its definitely a great product that will surely teach your baby or child to read. The price is also right and I love the fact you can buy parts of the product you want. For instance with Your Baby Can Read if you don't buy the entire program from their website you will be missing out on other components of the program that you are not able to purchase on their website. You have to try and find parts of it on ebay. Here with Monkisee should you need new cards, or your child has ripped their precious book you can easily go to their website and purchase a new one. The customer service is beyond excellent. I didn't have any problems with the product, but did talk to the creator of the product via email and she was very prompt to answer any questions that I had. Monkisee is geared towards children ages 0 months to 3 years but you can easily use this program with a 4 or 5 yr old. You could possibly get away using this program with a 6 or 7yr old. My 7yr old has sat and watched this along side her sister and has learned new words too. I definitely hope to see new products from Monkisee, and highly recommend it as an aide for parents to teach their children to read. Monkisee definitely fits the bill of being joyous, factual and educational all rolled into one for children.

This review is linked to Homeschool Curriculum Review Round Up

Thank you to Monkisee for providing the products to review. The opinions are that of my own ,and I was not paid in anyway to give my unbiased opinion.

So would you like to give Monkisee a try for your child? Here is your chance.
This giveaway will include the first three DVDs in the series: Baby's First Words All About Colors and All About Shapes.

What do you need to do to enter?
1. Go to Monkisee and look at the website. Tell me about one thing that you think you would enjoy using with your child from Monkisee.
2. Follow me on my blog
3. Like Monkisee on Facebook
Please leave a seperate comment for each action you've followed,and leave your email address should you win so I can contact you. The winner will be emailed and have 48hrs to contact me.

The winner will be randomly drawn on March 10,2011 @ 11:59pm EST.
Give away is closed ............................................................

Friday, February 18, 2011

Montessori PrePrimary Teachers Course Giveaway

I've posted lots of Giveaways (which stay tuned for my next Giveaway for Monkisee), but none of them really have been a benefit for the parent. Meaning that the giveaways usually done are for things for the education of the child, and not neccessarily the education of the parent.

This one is very different as its a Giveaway for those who are interested in teaching using the Montessori method. This would be great for those that would like to work in a Montessori school or want to use the Montessori method in their homeschool.

One lucky winner will win a $240 teaching course to learn the Montessori method for children ages 2-6 yrs old.

Just visit this link : TheWizKidsofOz and follow the directions and see if you are one of the lucky winners.

Monday, February 7, 2011

What is meant to be will be

This year has been an amazing experience for my girls attending private school. They really did enjoy going and the enviroment. So with that said last night my 7yr old hands me a slip for the tuition assistance and I look it over to find that there will no longer be a 7th and 8th grade next year.

So my 13 yr old is down in the dumps about it and there isn't anything I can do about it. Unfortunately our local public school is NOT an option by any stretch of the means. Its not a place I want my children in. Its just not up for discussion at all.

So you wonder what all this means? It means that we're going back to what we were doing all along. Homeschooling. I've toyed with the idea of letting my middle two stay but in all sense of the word it won't work. Because I plan on keeping my youngest home too. The stress of all of dealing with keeping insurance to pay for a nurse that comes two times a day is getting to be to much. It would be different it were a full time nurse but she isn't so insurance is going to bust my buns about it. The public elementary school isn't an option. It would not be a good place for Maggie just so I had nursing services.

I can honestly say that being a parent just is not easy at all. Add in all these different factors and it can be down right just not fun at all sometimes. I know if I keep two in school then the oldest will fight, argue and not be a happy camper that her other siblings are in school and she isn't. So keep life in all fairness they are just all going to come home, and you know what?
That's okay by me.

I will admit there are pros and cons to both. Pros and cons to homeschooling and pros and cons to sending your children to school. I guess you just have to take the one that has the most pros for your family.

So this fall we will go back to the homeschooling family that God wants us and we were meant to be.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mighty Reader

Whew, today we have a snow day. This is about our 4th or 5th snow day this year already. This winter has been so crazy with tons of snow and this time lots of ice. I took the opportunity today to do some video of some of the stuff I have made for Maggie for her reading. I stopped and counted the words on her ring and in 32 days she has learned to read 135 words. Just in one month's time!!! I am so very happy and impressed with her reading. We've found some small readers that she can read, and it really has made her more confident in herself. Lately I've found that Maggie has been shifting her preferences when it comes to reading. Some days she really enjoys her Your Baby Can Read videos. Other days she likes to look at the Powerpoint or Brillkids. Some days she likes to look at flashcards, and sometimes she likes to look at the Your Baby Can Read books. So today in the spirit of Snow day I took the time to video tape some of the items we have been using here at home for reading and math.I found that though making some of these things is time consuming they've all been very helpful in their own right.

I've also found that if your starting to teach your child to read at such a late age(4 and above) that you really need to be creative if you want to get them up and reading. One thing that I've also found with teaching a child this age is that they learn extremely quick. This maybe because they are still in that window where they learn quickly though. According to Glenn Doman that time is between ages birth to 6 yrs of age. I will admit it is amazing to see how much children at this age can do.

Even last night Maggie decided to tackle some of the book Green Eggs and Ham. We've been working on sight words lately because really all sentences are composed mostly of sight words. So I figured it would be helpful to teach these. I've used the list from the Kid 2020 website to cover all of the sight words that are taught between k and 3rd grade. The first set has about 6 lists of words and she's completed quite a few words from that already. Some where covered in the Your baby Can Read and some we've worked on with the card books that I've made.
She also was excited to watch her number 5 Your Baby Can Read DVD too. Its much longer then the rest of the DVD's. Its about 40 minutes long, but she sat and watched the whole thing. Her very favorite part of the DVD is the word games at the end. She loves the games at the end that ask them to find this work, or say that word , or touch this or that.

To end my journal entry here for today I want to share Maggie and I celebrating 100 days of school with her reading 135 words ( want everyone to know at the time I had counted 134 words but found there was one that had come off her ring, so she has 135! )