Here’s a little of our back-story: (Skip if you have already been following my blog)
It all goes back to Glenn Doman, and my discovery of his book, “How to teach your baby to read”. It changed my life! I read it when my oldest was less than a year old, and I became very enthusiastic about the whole process. I made lots of flash cards and got started. But then a few discussions with others as I discussed the whole-word method, and with my own prejudices against it, I decided to try a phonetic method instead. If you are curious, you can see what we tried and why I think it didn’t work in this earlier post: http://www.professional-mothering.com/2011/01/phonics-for-toddlers.html
A year and a half ago, we purchased Your Baby Can Read. We love their program, and are so very sad that their company went under last month due to legal battles with a company that didn’t like them. I wrote a tribute to YBCR, with a home video of my children reading.
I maintain that you don’t have to have a fancy program to teach your baby, toddler, or preschooler to read. Doman’s method has worked for thousands of parents. Companies like YBCR, BrillKids, and MonkiSee were designed to help parents with his method, but you don’t need their products to be successful. You can buy index cards and write a bunch of words on the blank side, and show them to your child and joyfully tell them what the word says. Start with words that have special meaning to your child, like the names of family members, or parts of the body. Make labels and tape them around your house, so that the computer is labeled “computer”, the couch is labeled “couch”, and so on. Read lots of books to your child and make a habit of running your finger under the words as you read. Play games where you make labels for a group of toys and show your child the word. Ask them to get the toy that goes with the card. There are a myriad of games and activities like that that will make learning to read fun for you and your child. I have outlined some of my favorite reading resources in my Reading Update.
Where we are now:
Recently my husband asked me “So what’s next for Peter?” What a profound question! He still needs to learn some basic skills like how to write, but he is on a fourth-grade reading level, and is accomplished academically in many other areas. Now, at age five, he is ready for desk work, and he is the trailblazer in our homeschooling journey. I know that I need to spend a lot of time and effort to help him excel, and that’s where I want to put my efforts this fall. What an exciting time this is for our family! Peter is not gifted, he has just had access to an early learning education. It has been a joyful experience for our family. His three-year-old sister wants to read books like him, and she is progressing rapidly. Even our 23-month-old is well on his way to learning how to read.
All of this without Little Reader.
So why do I come to it now? Well, I watched their recent promotional video and saw a few things about it that I really liked.
Why Little Reader is a good fit for our family
- I now have four kids ages 5 and under, and I simply don’t have the time to devote to teaching my younger kids to read that I did with my older two. This program is a ready-made curriculum and all you have to do is push “play” two times a day for five minutes as you sit with your little child. I don’t have to remember which flash cards we have seen and what’s coming next.
- When the reading sessions are at the computer, the baby can’t eat the flashcards. :o)
- This program also incorporates Doman’s philosophy of teaching Encyclopedic Knowledge. These reading lessons will increase my children’s vocabulary and their awareness of the world that surrounds them. Now that I have the program and have previewed upcoming lessons, I know that my own vocabulary will increase as well. Have you ever heard of a durian? Maybe, but I hadn’t. Then again, vocabulary never was one of my strong-points.
- This program is comprehensive and finishes with your child reading simple books. “Your Baby Can Read” was fantastic for teaching my oldest how to read more than 100 words. But then what? While there were a few phrases in YBCR, and Peter could read several individual words, I was on my own to make the transition to reading actual books. We have a fantastic library here in Logan with books like Thomas the Train and Diego the Animal Rescuer. Those books were highly motivating for Peter, but we had to make that transition ourselves. Doman’s book was instrumental in helping me accomplish that. In little reader, Doman’s recommendations are built in. It goes from single words (“cup”) to couplets (two words like “pink cup”), to short sentences (“I drink from a pink cup”), to actual books. The 25 books that come with Little Reader are a new development, and my children will be reading them by the time we finish the course. (The Little Reader books weren’t available when I chose YBCR over LR).
- Doman has great ideas, but his books can be overwhelming. Take what he says with a grain of salt! He tells you to make a chart with all of your word cards, rotate words in and out which requires tracking, and to make several homemade materials, which takes a lot of time. Parents have succesfully taught their children to read doing a small fraction of what he suggests in his books, so you don’t have to do everything. However, Little Reader does all of that work for you (ALL OF IT), and you only have to push play. That’s not part of their sales pitch, in fact I don’t think they even mention Glenn Doman, but I have read most of his books, and I can plainly see that Doman was the inspiration behind it.
Why did I decide to become an affiliate?
I’ll be honest, I’m not a very good salesperson like my father. We have dabbled with the idea of a few multi-level marketing companies in our family, and I told my husband that I just couldn’t do it. I may recommend my new blender, or green cleaning supplies to you if I love them while our kids play at the park, but I just can’t see myself trying to get you to buy them. I’m very uncomfortable with that.
But! Early learning is a passion for me. (The name of this blog comes from Glenn Doman’s admonition to become a Professional Mother). I would love to spread the idea that babies can read, they do read, and that they love to. That’s a reality for my family, even if there is a lot of hype in the promotion videos. If you come to one of my “house parties”, my goal will be to show you how you can accomplish that for your child. I’ll show you our bracciation ladder and crawling track. I’ll show you our home-made cards and manipulatives. I’ll show you our “Your Baby Can Read” materials, and how they work. I am only wishing to sell you on the idea of early learning itself. I have had several moms come to see our materials already and it was really fun for both of us. I didn’t have anything to sell.
Simply put, I would love to help others experience the same joy that I have had with my children. Truly, that is what is motivating me. I’ll show you how to do it for a few dollars if you’re willing to put in the time to make the materials yourself. The Logan library has Doman’s “How to teach your baby to read”, and I have two personal copies that I would love to lend to you. If “Little Reader” is a good fit for your family, great. I get a commission, and you get a 10% off coupon code (BKAFF13180). It’s a win-win. If I’m going to recommend this product anyway, and the only way I know to help you save money on it is by being an affiliate, then this route just makes sense to me.
But I’m not going to try to sell you a premium product ($250) if it’s not a good fit for you, especially when I know from my personal experience that you can teach your child for much less. If you are curious, you can come to my home and see how Little Reader works, or better yet, download their 2-week free trial and see for yourself.
I love BrillKids. I have been an active member of their forum of 93,000+ members for a few years, and the other parents there are so inspiring to me. I love Little Math and Little Musician too! I’m just another mom on the crazy parenting journey. I’ve found an amazing tool to give my children early literacy, and it has brought a lot of joy to my family. I would love to answer any questions you may have, and if this is something you want for your children, I’ll help in any way I can. Let me know if you want to do a playdate with me!