Saturday, October 1, 2011

Review of BrillKids Little Reader

So it's day 7 of using BrillKid
s Little Reader and Jett loves it!

It's an online reading program that supports the Doman method of teaching your baby to read. In fact, it's exactly how I would have designed it if they had asked my opinion!
There's a free 14-day trial going on right now, if you want to check it out for yourself. (Click above link.)

When we first started the program, Jett's whole body shook with excitement. He was a little scared of the big words on the screen because he associates large print with "yelling" because that is what happens in books (and Readeez) when huge letters appear. (Maybe I'm a little overly enthusiastic or dramatic when I read to him??) But once he realized that no one was shouting (and I turned the volume down), he loved it!

Now I just say, "Jett, want Little Reader?" and he smiles and crawls over to me. The program has 6 months of lessons if done 5 days a week. We're going to do it 7 days a week just because he really likes it and it takes such little time anyway. It's only maybe two 5 to 15 minute lessons a day (depending on how fast you click the mouse or how many times you read the word, etc.). So Jett doesn't get tired of it and cries out with displeasure when it's over.

Little Reader is great for our kids because it approaches reading in many different ways with words, pictures, videos and audio. Love this multi-sensory teaching method! Children with DS really respond well when learning is approached in a variety of ways.

LR uses large sized words, in different, but readable fonts with different colors and flashes them on the screen in the fast flashing method. Then they show a picture and the word; then they show a video clip with the word.

The words are read by a cheerful child, a gentle-sounding male and a very enthusiastic female. Plus you can record and use your own voice.

Cool too, you can add your own videos and photos and words! I haven't had a chance to customize it yet, but I did look at that section and it seemed pretty easy.

Another great feature is that it only works if you are sitting with your child because you have to click the mouse between tasks. (Maybe your baby can click the mouse--mine prefers to slide it across the room or chew on it.) This way you can read the word out loud in addition to the recorded voices. Jett thinks it's so funny when words are whispered, spoken with accents or in high or low pitched voices. (He loves sounds.) Plus, your child will feel nice and secure and cozy in your lap, which is great positive reinforcement for reading.

They have a series of action words which Jett started doing right away. Previously, he wouldn't touch his own body (he always touched ours) to show body parts, but he watched them do it and now he touches his eyes, ears, nose, chin, mouth, teeth and lips!!! (Although sometimes he cheats and just touches his cheek for everything.)
Remember, it's only been seven days and he does all the actions already.

If I had the money, I would have started it when Jett was 12 months old. I think it can be used for any age that doesn't yet know how to read. Up to 4, 5 or 6 years old for a typical child.
Jett just turned 19 months old and I feel that he easily could have started this at 16 months and really gotten a lot out of it. Probably sooner, but he really did love the flash cards and me reading books to him all the time (which I still do, of course!). I didn't have proof that he could recognize any sight words until about 16 months old when he started pointing to the word "hug" so that he would get a hug. But I'm sure he would have benefited from even earlier exposure.

It's also great for his speech because he tries to copy everything that they say. The only time he is quiet is when they do the fast flashing of the pictures or words. He watches intently and is uncharacteristically silent.

One thing, I couldn't get it to work on my Mac so I had to use my husband's computer. Tech support did say it was possible to use it on a Mac, but you'd have to do it a different way and I was too eager to get started to mess with it. Eventually, I will try to see if I can get it on my laptop because that would really come in handy.

It does cost $149 for six months of lessons. We do get a discount for special needs children, though, so check out the post below on how to get it. If you do sign up, even for free stuff, you can use my affiliate code which is BKAFF46047.

Really, I just love it.
It's so easy and convenient to use. It's going to save me so much time and I know that he is learning what the words mean while learning how to say and read it. That was one thing I was worried about: I can teach him the sight word, but it's harder to teach him the vocabulary. This way he learns both simultaneously.

I'm just so excited and it gives me the peace of mind that he has a whole reading plan for the next six months. Now I have to look into their math program! (And find Jett's birth certificate... They need that in order to get a discount!)

Disclaimer: I was provided this product in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. I was not paid for this review, nor required to write a positive review.

Related Posts

Reading Program Reviews
Teaching Your Baby to Read
Jett "Reading" at 16 Months
Teaching Your Young Child to Read High Interest Books
Books to Read to Your Baby
BrillKids is offering discounts for Special Needs
Readeez: Songs Supporting Reading Free Download
Readeez Sale!
Some TV is Good for Our Kids!
My TV/Video Strategy
Teach Your Baby Math

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