I don’t understand WHY BrillKids is not a household name.
(Originally published in November 2014, Updated in September 2018)
What is BrillKids??
BrillKids is an online company that believes in helping babies, toddlers, and preschoolers reach their full potential. But the best part is, they are creating programs and an online community to make this easier for parents.
BrillKids offers a free online community for parents to learn almost anything they would want to know about teaching their young children anything from:
- how to read,
- do math,
- learn music
- learn a foreign language
(Update: While this community is no longer as active as it once was, the post from old members are priceless. Definitely, you will want to go back through and read.)
They also have created some pretty amazing computer programs to make teaching your child even easier. I started using some of them with Wes when he was a preschooler. But when Little Z came along, he was lucky! He became a BrillKid’s baby when he was a newborn.
BrillKids Little Reader:
Little Reader is a full computer curriculum to teach your child how to read and includes over 2,300 words. It is designed to be used with children ages newborn to preschool age.
We started using the program with Little Z when he was only a few months old. I found using Little Reader on the iPad to use the iAccess app better when he was younger. Because when they are so little it is so hard to have them sit up by a computer. This way I could kick back on the couch and Z and I could snuggle and watch his lesson.
As he got older we started running through the programs while he was eating breakfast and lunch, so at this point, I started playing them on the computer.
What is the verdict?
Z finished this curriculum several months ago. Well, my baby can read, that is for sure. I have printed out multiple words, phrases and small sentences from the program and Z is able to read each word. He also understands what he is reading. I can also tell his mind is reading faster than he can out loud because every once in a while he will find something funny and start laughing before he can say it out loud.
BrillKids Little Musician:
Little Musician is a program that allows parents to give their young children a foundation in music in 5 mins a day.
We have already gone through both Semester 1&2 in this program. However, after we finished the program, we decided to start again back at Semester 1 Lesson 1. Not because I don’t think Z has learned most of the information because I think he has. But I want him to work more on getting perfect pitch. Since he is so little, I don’t like to test him too much. So I figured since he still loves the program, he must be getting something from it.
Little Z loves to sing in Solfege and loves to sneak into his brother’s room when he is not looking to play on his piano. While he “plays”, he says the notes in Solfege. I think he may have loved music, even if we didn’t have Little Musician. However, I think this program will give him the upper hand in the near future when he starts taking music lessons.
|Sneaking into brother’s room to play piano
BrillKids Little Reader Chinese:
Well, we have a few days left of Little Reader Chinese. It is basically the same curriculum as Little Reader English, except in Chinese of course.
I don’t speak Chinese, actually, our family’s second language is French(Which I understand, but have difficulty speaking). I’m honestly not sure how much Chinese Little Z has learned. But I know there are connections being made in his brain. This was my goal. The more he is exposed to other languages, the more easily a second language will come to him.
I think if one parent knows how to speak Chinese, you could definitely use this program to reinforce what you are teaching your child. For our family though, it was about keeping the connections happening so when Little Reader French came out, his brain is ready to absorb even more info.
After we complete this program we will be moving on to Little Reader French.
BrillKids Little Math:
Little Math is based particularly on the late Glenn Doman’s method of teaching a young child math. The nice thing is there is no stumbling with 11×11 flashcards of dots. I have no issues flashing word cards. But dot cards are another story. Little Math makes this process 100 times easier.
At first, Little Z did not care so much for Little Math. However, I started playing Little Math first and following it with the other programs, that helped SO much.
Now while this was not the only math program we were doing with Little Z over the last two years, his math skills are awesome for his age. I notice while we are doing some math apps on the iPad that he seems to know the answer right away. I’m thinking this has to do with the facts he learned in Little Math.
BrillKids Country Course made by EEECF Volunteers:
The Country Course was created and put together by volunteers from the Early Education for Every Child Foundation. This program teaches your child encyclopedic knowledge from all around the world.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I heard there was a program put together by volunteers. Honestly, I was a bit worried that maybe it would not be the best quality. Well, I was wrong! The program is very well put together and of excellent quality. Even my big kids like sitting in on these lessons, and I’m learning about countries around the world right alongside them.
The best part, each semester contains 300 lessons instead of the regular 130 in all of the other BrillKids products, meaning with both semesters you get 600 days of lessons. So needless to say this program will keep us busy for a year or two.
While Little Z is not sharing what he has learned, he is glued to the screen. So I trust soon he will start sharing what he is learning. Right now though, input input input.
Update from September 2018:How We Use BrillKids Software Now
Zakari is now 6 years old and we are still using several of the BrillKids Products. The software has grown with us.
Little Reader French
This year as part of our homeschool we are adding in BrillKids Little Reader French. As Canadians our second national language is French. As well on both sides of my family are french speaking. This is a gentle introduction to French for him. I wish I had started even earlier.
Little Musician the Program that Keeps Giving
Even though we have been through the Little Musician curriculum 2 or 3 times, we are going through it again this year. Zakari has not started formal music lessons yet, so for now, I am using this as part of his musical journey.
Little Reader Printing Feature
Because we are on the IAHP/Doman International program, I am required to make lots of physical materials. Little Reader makes it easy for me to find already made materials and print them out to use away from the computer.
Not Just For Learning To Read. Let’s Learn Geography & Cultures Too!
BrillKids Country Course Vol 1 made by EEECF Volunteers: This is an amazing program written by volunteers. I’m using this year to expose Zakari to information about Ukraine, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, DCR, Algeria, Spain, France, Ireland, United Kingdom, and Germany.
The countries included in each group are geographically related to ease of map study. There are 20 Encyclopedic Knowledge facts for each country with images to illustrate these facts. 400 facts are grouped in sets of 4 and each set is repeated 6 times in the course.
The course is loosely built on the spaced-repetition method. New facts are introduced in the same lesson as old ones get reviewed. Each new fact will be repeated 2 days later, 6 days, 8 days, about 20 days, and finally about 60 days later.
How to Purchase:
Running all of these programs takes about 25mins MAX. We usually do lessons in the morning during breakfast time and another in the afternoon during lunch.
I honestly think these programs are worth every penny. Right now Little Reader Basic runs for about $179. Back when I first bought the program it was actually retailing for well over $400. If it still cost $400 I would still highly recommend it.
If you are interested in purchasing any of these programs on the BrillKids website, please consider using my Coupon code: BKAFF21929 and getting a discount on your order!!
Full disclosure: I have purchased some of the BrillKids programs, and received some to review in the past, for my honest option. As well I have received sponsorship from the Early Education for Every Child Foundation. That being said, this post is completely unbiased and is just an update on our experiences with them. If I had paid cash for every one of these products, I would still have written this post.
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Hello, when you say it takes 25minutes max to run these programs, is that that 25 minutes for each session ( morning and afternoon), or is that the total time for the morning and afternoon session combined?
I’d say 25-30mins combined.
I finally bought Little reader. My boys are already reading sight words as well as sounding out simple words at two, but I was getting tired of spending so much time making materials. I am mostly excited that there are so many free downloads. I want to show them everything. I am curious as to how often you exposed your boys to new information. I was thinking of doing a set of information for a few days then moving on to the next. I think I may have saw a video of yours about that with homemade books??? At this stage is more about exposure than mastery, right? Or would you recommend sticking with new information for a bit longer. My boys are two, almost three, so I want to expose them to as much as I an before they turn 6.
I am of the mindset I’d rather my kids pick up 50% of 1000 words, then 100% of 50 words. I go through materials pretty quickly. For us, once my son was on the program for a while, he grew bored with materials that were shown too often. Where Glenn Doman suggests showing homemade books 3 times a day for 5 days, my son is done with that book after day one. That is not to say we never look at that book again. Each day when we are on the program, I present him one new Homemade Book & one retired book. Rotating through some oldies helps reinforce the information being taught, and these books because like old friends.
one more question, at least for now :). I know BrillKids worked great for your kiddos. I am wondering if you ever did an actual phonics course or taught your kids explicit phonics once they were older. Or did they learn phonics by seeing the patterns on Little Reader?
Hey! I shared a little bit about this in a video. I had too much to say to write it in a comment.