Doman Parent in Hiding

Originally Published in 2010. But I felt it needed a major update.

You might be a Doman parent…

Do you ever find yourself hiding what your doing with your child from family or friends? Making sure all the word cards and flashcards of the digestive system are put away before company comes over. The pediatrician laughs at you when you tell him your two year old know his letters and sounds of the letters, and knows how to read hundreds of words.

What is a Doman Parent Anyhow?

A Doman Parents or Professional Mother is a parent who follows the teaching of Glenn Doman. His amazing discoveries in child development have helped many special needs children:

  • learn to run when their parents were told they never would even stand on their own two feet.
  • learn to read and do math when other specialist told their parents they were “mentally retarded” and were “unteachable”.
  • Lose their labels such as Autism, ADHD and Developmental Delay
  • most importantly, grow to their full potential

Glenn Doman also created programs for well children. Teaching them how to read, do math, play violin, and speak second and third languages.

So Why is This Not Main Stream?

After I discovered the Doman Method of teaching my son, I made a grave mistake. I assumed everyone would want to do the same thing with their children too!

I soon realized this was not the case. It was actually the complete opposite reaction. People thought it was a terrible idea!

They told me I was Hothousing my son.

I was told he would be bored in school if I taught him to read early.

The best was during some testing I was told my youngest son was “Just Hyperlexic”. The way he said it was like it was a problem. Way to take a strength my son has and turn it into a bad thing!

I’ll never forget when I told my oldest son Wesley’s speech therapist he loved letters and words, and was learning to read. She told me I should be discouraging him from focusing on the words and to get his attention on the pictures. Thankfully Zakari’s Preschool team used his love of letters and words as a tool to help him develop in other areas. But from what I have seen and heard this is rare.

Why Many Doman Parents Go Into Hiding

I was having coffee with a fellow Doman parent. After realizing that other parents did not support what we were doing with our children, we started jokingly calling ourselves the crazies. We didn’t actually think we were crazy, but we knew that was what the rest of the world thought.

While I tend to still be on the more outspoken side when it came to using the Doman Method, my friend went into “hiding”. She knew what she was doing was right for her son, but other families made her feel self-conscious and misguided. She was pushed into the “Doman Parent Closet” so to speak. Which is a crying shame, because she has raised an AMAZING, bright and well adjusted young man. The blood, sweat and tears she poured into him from a young age has paid off a thousand folds. She has so much to share with other parents, but I know to this day she still shies away from sharing her earlier methods.

Its just too bad we are the minority. I wish this style of parenting could be more main stream. Every baby, toddler and child deserves the chance to be exposed to all this wonderful knowledge. Babies don’t want to play with rattles. They want to absorb every bit of information they can get their hands on.

What about children from families with two working parents? Single Parents?

Even as a working or single parent, it is possible. You just have to make sure you are being honest and factual. This method is not drilling math facts in your child head. It is not sitting at a desk working for hours on end. It takes minutes a day of your child’s time. In the end its a great way to spend your time with your children. Nothing makes a child feel more confident with themselves then a parent that believes they are worth it.

All you need are a few minutes during meal time, before bed, waiting to see a doctor, etc. There are so many minutes in a day being wasted. If parents spent a few of those minutes teaching their child, both parent and child would benefit.

Benefits of Teaching Your Children Before They Are Old Enough To Go To School

  • Strengthen the bond between parent and child
  • Build your child’s self confidence
  • School proof your child
  • Establish a love of learning

I can only image where my sons would be right now if I hadn’t been sitting alone at work one day while everyone was away at conference. while I was there “manning the phones.”

Well you can image one can only stare at a phone and wait for it to ring for so long. So I was looking how to educate small children and I fell upon Glenn Doman’s site. You can read more about this in my post How Glenn Doman Changed How I Parent.

Dealing With Rejection

While I in Philadelphia learning about the Doman Method, one lecture lifted a heavy burden off my shoulders.

Glenn Doman talked about how he would waste so much time trying to convince skeptics that this method worked. He soon realized that those who wanted to understand you will. The others would never understand. It was best for him to focus his time and energy on the people who wanted it, instead of trying to force the non believers into agreeing with him.

So he decided he would tell people once. If they didn’t agree, he saved his breath and didn’t try to convince them. This saved his valuable and limited time for those who truly wanted the information. Those were the people he could help.

So I tell them once…

I now realize people are different places in their lives. Everyone is programmed differently. Some parents are fighters, others are comfortable with the way things are. Sadly some parents are just not motivated enough to put the energy and time into research and created a program for their child. They are not willing to experience a tiny bit of discomfort for a large pay out. For example tweaking a child’s diet, or setting boundaries with a child.

YOU CANNOT SAVE THOSE PEOPLE… They are generally not bad people. Lead by example. One day they may come to realize your not so crazy.

My Most Recent Story of Rejections

A good friend of mine, who I have shared what we are doing with Zakari called me one day. She wanted me to share with her friend about what we were doing.

Over the years I have been more then willing to share our experiences with people. But as we have become more and more involved with the Doman Method, homeschooling, biomedical testing, supplements, etc, my time has become more limited.

I had a bad feeling this was not going to go the way my friend hoped. But reluctantly I decided to have a Facebook Messager Conversation with this woman. I told my friend that it was my work night and I had a lot to focus on but she could set us up the next day.

The next morning my friend opened up a group message and her friend asked me what we did with Zakari. I just dumped it all out as I was not interested in beating around the bush. I gave a summary of diet, supplements, biomedical testing, a tiny bit about programs we run though.

Of course what I expected happened. She thanked me for my time, but didn’t feel what I had said was “for them”.

How I Handled This Differently Then I Did in the Past

Instead of trying to talk her into it, or getting defensive and defending what we were doing, I wished her luck and left the group. I didn’t take it personally. In the past I would have.

My friend called me right away shocked. She apologized profusely. I was in no way upset at my friend. She has a kind heart and wanted to help. I told her that sadly when it comes to the journey of helping a child with disabilities, people are not willing to think outside of the box.

My blood was boiling that this woman did not want to go to all ends of the earth to help her child, but I had to let it go. Not my monkey, not my circus.

Why People Rejects the Doman Method of Teaching Children to Read

There are many reasons why parents don’t believe in teaching their young child to read, such as they:

  • don’t want to put in the effort
  • do not want to fail
  • don’t believe its possible
  • believe its detrimental
  • don’t understand its not hothousing, and that our children still have lots of free time

In the end it is not my job to tell other parents what to do with their children. We each have to sort that out for ourselves. I just share our journey here on my blog. People can take it or leave it. My goal is that if I can help one family by sharing our family’s story, it is time well spent!

Who I Love To Share Our Story With

My favorite people to talk to are the ones who are out seeking the help themselves. The parent’s who are HUNGRY for a solution. They are self motivated parent that wants answers. They are open minded and willing to learn. Of course I don’t expect every parent I cross to do exactly what I do. All of your journey’s are going to be unique. I learn so much for other mom’s that don’t use the Doman Method, or make different lifestyle changes. I think we all have something to offer each other.

How do you handle the skeptics? Do you hide what you do with your kids to just avoid the conversation?

Homeschool Collection {Monthly Round UP}

BrillKid’s Learning System with LittleZMan (UPDATED)

I don’t understand WHY BrillKids is not a household name. BrillKid's Learning System with LittleZMan
(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: 

 
Sneaking into brother’s room to play piano
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. 

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. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* What to Learn More About Doman International? Click HERE to fill out a quick form and a representative from Doman International will contact you to set a FREE 30-minute consultation. Disclaimer: This page may include affiliate links. I appreciate it when my readers use them as it provides me a little compensation and no extra cost to you.

Top 6 Learn to Read Websites

Having your child learn to read can leave parents with a lot of anxiety. Often I get phone calls from my friends in real life about teaching their child. Usually it’s around report card time or after a parent-teacher. Their child may be struggling with X, Y, or Z and they want to of course like any good parent help them catch up.

Other times friends will see what I have done with Wes and what I am currently doing with Z and want to know how they can do that too.

So I thought I’d throw together a list of sites that I often suggest.

Little Reader

The first site I’m going to recommend I’m not actually counting in the 6 sites.  It is a suggestion for parents who stumble upon this post and have little babies, toddlers, and young preschoolers. Visit the BrillKids website. If you start their Little Reader program, there is a chance you will be able to skip some of these sites. Or you might need these sites at a younger age to help grow your child’s reading skills, instead of using them to teach your child to read from scratch.

1) Reading Eggs:

This is a subscription-based program that can take a child from not reading to reading at a grade 2 level in no time. The program is based on Maps. Each map has 10 lessons.

2) Headsprout:

I wrote about how we used Headsprout years ago in one of my first reviews, they can be read HereHere, and Here. I’m sure this program had a big part in my son starting halfway through grade 1 reading at a high grade 2 level.

Recently they have upgraded their program to go up to grade 5! I started doing this program again with Wes to work on his reading comprehension and vocabulary skills. After our experience, I can’t recommend this program enough.

(I should mention that this program has gone from a lifetime membership to a one-year subscription-based program)

click n' kids3) Click N’Learn Phonics:

Back when I was homeschooling Wesley, we had the chance to use and review Click N’Spell Phonics, you can read about it Here.

4) Reading Bear:

Reading Bear is a FREE online reading program. Some people have found this to be a little too slow-paced for their children, others have found it to be just right. Check it out to see if it will work for your child. With the price tag you have nothing to lose.

starfall5) Starfall :

Starfall offers both a free and paid-for site that teaches children phonics, reading, and other concepts like the days of the week, months of the year, holidays, colors, etc.

youtube6) YouTube:

Believe it or not, there are tons of amazing educational videos on YouTube. They can not only help teach your child to read, they can teach anything from math to the solar system, etc.

Spend some time on YouTube and create a playlist for your child.

Am I Missing Anything?

What sites have you used with your children? Which have you found helpful, and which were not so helpful?

What to Learn More About Doman International?

Click HERE to fill out a quick form and a representative from Doman International will contact you to set a FREE 30-minute consultation.

Disclaimer: This page may include affiliate links. I appreciate it when my readers use them as it provides me a little compensation and no extra cost to you.

10 Steps/Tip to Jump Start Your Child’s Early Education.

So you want to teach your child to read, count, etc. Here are 10 tips to help you on your way.

1) Read Glenn Doman’s books “How To Teach Your Baby to Read” and “How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence.”

Glenn Doman has several books out there and feel free to read all of them. However I found they could be very repetitive. So if you’re a busy parent who doesn’t have too much extra time, I feel you will get the most bang for your buck with these two.

How to Teach Your Baby To Read, will give you different steps on how to teach your little one to read. Reading is the most important program to work on in my opinion, because if a child can read, the can teach themselves where else they want to learn.

2) Join the BrillKids forum.

Sometimes it can be lonely when you’re trying to teach your young child and the people around you are not very supportive. You start hearing things like, “Let them just be a kid!” “Stop pressuring them…” Then you start to doubt yourself. Visit my post for the 4 Reasons WHY You Should Teach Your Baby To Read, then go join the BrillKids forum and start connecting with like minded parents.

3) Read Little Miss: a father, his daughter & rocket science. Nathan Meikle, has documented his journey teaching his daughter how to read. It is awesome to read a first hand account of what they did and how his daughter reacted.

4) Don’t try and do everything at once. Pick one or two things you want to teach your child and start working on them. Remember 10-15mins a day is better than not doing it at all.

Start with one program and do it at a set time. I find mealtimes are a good time for lessons. Especially Breakfast and Lunch. Also bedtime is another good time to sneak in a lesson.

As tempting as it is to start all sorts of great program at once, contain yourself! You will burn out and your child with feel bombarded. Start by adding things one or two at a time. Allow your child to get use to them and allow them to become part of your routine before you add another thing. This way you can watch to see how your child reacts to that one program to make sure its the right one for your child.

read for 20 mins a day

This chart keeps reminding me why reading to my children is so important.

5) Children learn to be readers in the laps of their parents. Spend a few mins a day reading with your child.

Look up reading list online and put a bunch of books on hold at your local library. Hit up the local thrift store and garage sales to find affordable new books for your child and you to read together.

Make sure you are not just teaching them how to read words, but spending time enjoying books together. If your child learns that reading is a fun thing to do, they will want you to teach them how to read.

You can also find fun age appropriate books on topics you might be working on. Like counting, shapes, manners, etc.

6) Utilize smartphone apps and/or tablets.

Now while I don’t think that tablets will replace books anytime soon, using apps to help teach a concept is super motivating for most children and super easy for a parent to use. Check out my post: Teaching My Toddler: What Apps Are We Using.

7)Youtube is full of good quality materials. Plus its FREE.

8) Utilize otherwise wasted time during the day to learn.

Educational songs in the car.

Read in the car while waiting for daycare to open.

So a quick 1 min round of flashcards at diaper changes, in and out of the carseat, etc…

Counting how many cheerios on their plate.

9) Start early

It is never too early to read to your baby, sing them the ABC songs, and talk to them about everything. Check out my post: Can I Teach My Newborn, Infant or Toddler Basic Kindergarten Skills? YES YOU CAN!

10) Avoid spending too much time planning. Spend that time with your child learning.

Its easy to get caught up researching, preparing and creating beautiful materials for your child to learn with. But if that is going to eat up your time, or you never finish it, or your child uses it for a day or two and masters it, is that time really well spent? Your child doesn’t care if the edges are cut perfect on your flashcards, or if they are on the back of old cereal boxes, special pretty paper. So don’t waste time or money on that.

 

What tips do you think are helpful that I may have missed?

EarlyLearningMom.com Top 10 Posts of 2014

2014 has almost come to an end. For my family it was a great year. But I’m excited to see what 2015 will bring us. I thought I’d look back this year and see what the top 10 most popular post on Early Learning Mom were.

10) Toddler Tula Vs Ergo Carrier. My Experience with My Favorite Baby Carriers.

2014-10-21-2B19.13.38

#10 post of the year on Early Learning Mom was my post about babywearing. Which has helped keep me sane during 2012/2013/2014. I’m not sure what I would have done without it.

9) 9 Year old Piano Recital

Ok so post #9 was a little brag on Wes and his performance at the winter concert. This was a tough piece for him, but he did not give up.

8) Teach Your Baby to Read? Why You Should Do It? Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should!

reading

#8 is a post about why you should teach your baby to read.

7) TouchMath for Homeschooler!! A Review

 

 

 

TouchPointPoster

 

Ok #7 is a post from 2013, but it still makes this years list because it was the 7th most popular post in 2014. This one I got to review the new homeschooling version of TouchMath.

 

6) Teach your Toddler with TouchMath

TOUCHMATHBLOG

 

This years #6 post was a fun one for me to write. In this one I shared how to modify the TouchMath kindergarten curriculum to teach your toddler.

5) Can TV Teach Your Young Child? Powerful tool, or Gateway Drug to TV addiction?

tv

 

#5 Post of 2014 was a post about using TV as a tool for teaching your young child.

4) BrillKids Learning System with Baby Z UPDATE

2014-10-18-2B15.46.54

 

#4 post of the year was a post about how we were using BrillKids software at the time.

3)Howie & Skip’s MonkiSee ABC Round Up

monkisee

 

The #3 post on EarlyLearningMom.com was my review on one of Howie & Skip’s Monki See videos.

2)Back to Afterschool

grade 4

 

The #2 most popular post this year was about Wes’s first week of school and our afterschool plans.

1) FarFaria Giveaway

farfaria1This years #1 post was a review/giveaway for an app called FarFaria.

Thank you so much to my readers. The last few months of 2014, I came back to my blog and got serious again, and my readers welcomed me with open arms. I have plenty of goals in place for 2015, so stay tune for a fun pack year at Early Learning Mom.

Have a safe and happy New Years Eve and all the best in 2015.

Can I Teach My Newborn, Infant or Toddler Basic Kindergarten Skills? YES YOU CAN!

Babies are smart! Newborns, Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, learn faster and easier than you and I.

What can you do to help your little ones learn right from birth??

#1 Sing to them!

Yes I said sing to them. Sounds so simple, but it really is! But don’t feel you need to stick to the basic Row Row your Boat or Mary Had a Little Lamb. Of course use these fun songs and what ever song your Mom or Dad sung to you as a baby. But lets get creative! Sing the ABCs, count to 100, count backwards from 100, skip count by 2s, 5s, 10s, days of the week, months of the year, etc.

By doing this you are bonding with your child, comforting them, loving them and educating them. My now when Baby Z was an infant, he hated car rides. Our whole family would sing to him, “The A says ahhh, the A says Ahh. Every letter makes a sound, the A says Ahh!” and so forth throughout the whole alphabet. This helped calm him, but it also helped him learning the letter sounds (phonics) at a really early age.

#2 Label EVERYTHING

Little Reader, MemoFlix and Wink to Learn English helped expose Baby Z to so many words. But you don’t need to buy DVDs or computer programs to do this if you don’t want to. (Though it does help a lot.) Label your house and do little home tours pointing to all the words as you walk by with your baby.

When your out with your baby talk about what’s happening. “Oh look! Its starting to rain. Do you feel the drops on your head?’

#3 DVD and Computer programs
Technology is not bad. It can be used for the wrong reasons, yes. However I believe it can be a powerful tool to help educate our children. I know what the AAP’s stand is on screen time before 2. Thing is I’m not one to let to government tell me how to raise my children. Yes, I follow car seat safety rules to the tee, but we don’t vaccinate. I choice to educate myself, and make a decision for my family. Not blindly follow like sheep.
My personal experience is, if you choose high quality, educational materials, screen time can be very helpful in educating my children. It’s something you will have to look at for your family. I should also point out I am talking about real educational materials, like Your Baby Can Read, Little Reader, and Monki See just to name a few. 

#4 Tablets
If you have access to a iPad, take advantage of it! Baby Z learned so much from several apps. Even though many of them were WAY beyond his ability, we did them for him and had him watch. Input, input, input! When he got a bit older I took his hand and made his little hand operate the app. (with his cooperation of course.) Then eventually he was able to operate several of them without my help. This is an awesome way to teach your young child colors, shapes, numbers, letters, letter sounds, sight words, etc. 

Stay tune! I am compiling a list of AWESOME IOS apps for babies and toddlers.

#5 Carefully picked toys
  
If you step into the toy section at Walmart or dare to enter Toys R Us, you can easily see there are many, many options for toys for your young child. Not all toys are created equal. But there are certain brands that are usually a pretty safe bet like Leap Frog and Melissa & Doug. But the best places I have found GOOD quality toys are thrift stores and garage sales. With a little soap and water they are good as new and a fraction of the price.

Letter blocks, matching games, stacking cups, etc are all great toys for little hands. These toys are perfect for little hands to explore on their own when you are making dinner or need two seconds to eat the said dinner. Also they a great to play together with your child.

Watch for an entry about great education toys that we love!



#6 Flashcards


 This is where I might get some grief. Yes there is a place for flashcards in an infant, toddler and preschoolers life. My boys LOVE flashcards. But its because I do not drill them with the flashcards. I show them to Zakari the same way as I would show him a book.

A few books with looking into at the library or Amazon would be:
How to Teach Your Baby to Read (The Gentle Revolution Series)

How Smart Is Your Baby?: Develop and Nurture Your Newborn’s Full Potential (The Gentle Revolution Series)

These are good reads too, but I would focus on reading the first two listed. Then read these if you have time.

How to Teach Your Baby Math (The Gentle Revolution Series)


How to Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge (The Gentle Revolution Series)

Now it should be noted that Doman’s method is a lot of work. I did not follow Doman’s method to the tee. I did make many flashcards. I also used multimedia, little Little Reader, DVDs, etc. 

There is also no need to make the flashcards as large as Doman recommends. Yes bigger is better, but I found 8×11 works well too.  

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You can teach your baby to read, count, know basic kindergarten knowledge in toddlerhood. I know this from experience! The best part is they love it! Children are little sponges, and the younger they are the easier they learn. Why not teach them to read when they are able to do so with less effort at one or two instead of waiting till they are 6 or 7 years old. 

Oh but I know what some are thinking. Monique just let them be babies. Tiger mom! Why rush them to grow up? Let them be kids! 

My reply to this is, why hold back our children? My two year old loves to read. He gets excited at the grocery store when he can read the words on the wall. He reads what’s in his fruit pouches first to see what flavour he is about to eat. I have by no means forced him to learn. I just enriched his environment. Carefully selected only highly educational programs to expose him to during screen time. Used car time, waiting rooms, potty time, and bedtime to expose him to good quality apps or books with large words.

What did this do? It helped my son who is now 27 months be able to:

  • read any 3 letter word he is presented
  • know all his colors
  • know all his shapes, including shapes like octagon, oval and 3D shapes like cylinder.  
  • know all his basic farm and zoo animals and their sounds
  • knows all his letters and letter sounds. Even is starting to figure out letters like c and g have two sounds.
  • know how to read more words then I’m able to keep track of. (we were in the hundreds not including 3 letter words a while back, my guess is we are now in the 1000s)
  • understands phonics and can sound out new words he has never seen
  • Counts to 20 by ones forwards and backwards(has gone higher but usually only goes to 20 because he loses interest
  • Counts to 100 by 10s and 5s
  • Counts to 30 by 2s
  • knows his days of the week and months of the year
  • and much much more
I’m not listing this to brag, nor do I think my son is special. He has just grown up in an enriched environment and was exposed to this stuff in a fun way. ALMOST ANY CHILD CAN LEARN THIS STUFF TOO! Even children with special needs.

When people asking me, “Why teach them to read?” I ask “Why not!” It opens a whole new world to them. 


A few weeks ago we were at Shoppers Drugmart, and I was wearing Baby Z on my back in an Ergo carrier. We were waiting in line when he noticed the words over the cooler and started pointing at it and yelling, “Water! Water! Water!” I walked up to pay for my items and gently said “Yes sweetie there is water in the cooler.” The older woman behind me said with her jaw dropped, “No! He’s not pointing at the water in the cooler, he is pointing at the word. I think he just read the word water. Can he read?” I just brushed it off that he knows a few words because I didn’t have time to have a conversation. But if I had time I might have gone into details if the woman was open to it. Who knows maybe she has grandchildren. 

The point of this story is, instead of Baby Z just being able to look into the items around the store and try and figure out what they are that way, we have given him another piece to the puzzle. The ability to read what the words are. 

Long over due update. 23 months and starting to read

Well its been a long time since I last updated. I just felt pulled away from the blogging world and needed to step back for a little while. But this afternoon I felt like I needed to update and maybe start blogging a bit. 

Well Baby Z is now 23 months. Hmmmm…. I should maybe start calling him Little Z instead because he is hardly a baby anymore. Oh how he is growing. He loves to count, sing, dance, climb, jump, and play with cars. Oh I can not forget his LOVE with the piano. He is a very active and busy little boy, but the piano is one time where he will sit still and play the keys. I did something crazy last night and I signed him up for piano lessons in September. Totally for exposure. I don’t expect him to be playing any time soon. But if he can spend 10 mins a week with a teacher who can help me use proper terminology, and get the chance to play on a grand piano I think it will help. 

Last month we introduced Sign Language. Back when he was younger I tried to incorporate Signing Time, but he had no interest. Well I threw it on one day when I notice it was on Netflix. Ever since then he’s been singing the intro song and throwing in a few signs here and there. It seems to also have help his ability to label things. Snow, trees, wind, carrot, etc.


Of course we are still working through Little Reader, Little Chinese, Little Math, and Little Musician. We review Suzy Piano, YBCR and MonkiSee periodically. Now that Zakari is chatting a lot more, I notice he is labeling things and I think it is because of the materials he has seen in all of these programs. I also notice he his singing letters, and Do Re Mi’s. They seem very random as of yet, but I know from other children (TmT) this is the first step to perfect pitch. Little Champion Reader is also a daily part of our schedule.


We have been using Teach Me Kindergarden as an input of knowledge, and when he feels like it he sometimes will show me output. He’s really good at letting me guide his fingers over the tracing of letters and numbers. Wes has gotten in some awful habits when it comes to forming letters and numbers. So I’m hoping to avoid the constant corrections by introducing this skill at a younger age.

ABCmouse.com has been a big part of our lesson time as well. I don’t want to miss any of the preschool basics and leave Z unbalanced in his education, and this seems to fill the gaps. Now that it is available on the ipad, Z can navigate the site easily, as he is not ready for a mouse. There is a lot of busy work, like colouring the random pictures in a Paint like activity, but we just quickly color it and move on.

We were doing Hooked On Phonics on the iPad, but they only have 4 levels available, and we have done those several times. Z loves them. I called the company back in September and they told me level 5 would be out in October. Sadly it never came out. I have a feeling I’m going to have to carry on with HOP in binder form.

Speaking of binder, I created a flash card binder for Z. We quickly flip through it once a day or so. So far it includes:
– Follow that dot flashcards
– Backwards counting 10-0, skip counting by 2’s and 3’s
– First Language Lessons(modified for toddlers)
– EK flashcards (right now we are doing organs)
– Prepositions
– Music Notes from the IAHP course
– Telling time (Hours)

We have been working on things like shape sorters, puzzles, etc. But he’s still pretty busy for these activities. I’m looking at getting the Learning Resources food color sorter. It looks like something that we can use to start classifying things. Not only colors, but veggies vs fruits, etc. We also play with the abacus, counting.

Z is reading some single words, knows his letters and letter sounds. Counts forwards to 18, and backwards from 10-5 so far. Also recognizes written numbers 0-10(atleast).  Sings several nursery rhymes. Knows most of his farm animals and their sounds. Working on labeling zoo animals(does know several of them already). He knows about 8 shapes. Also last week he started skip counting by 2s.

We had a breakthrough with colors this last month. I was getting so frustrated and was convinced he was color blind. He’s knows letters, shapes, numbers, etc for months and could not grasp colors. But finally he master Preschool Preps Colors app.  

Another crazy thing I did was add in Classical Conversations to his routine. They now have an app available, so we have been using that as another source of input. I also downloaded an app called Little Solver on the recommendation of another EL mom. Its all about logic and problem solving skills. While I planned on using it as another input resource, he did start attempting to answer some of the problems himself, and doing pretty good at it.

Little Z is now starting to read more and more words that are labeled on his flashcards, also out in public. It is so amazing to watch the lightbulbs click in his head.

BrillKids Learning Adventures!

Zakari is now 3 months old. Since before he was born I was excited for this particular milestone. Why you might ask? Well 3 months old is the PERFECT age to start teaching your baby reading, math and music.

OK I know some of you are thinking, “Umm… Monique, your crazy!” But thanks to the research started by Glenn Doman, we now know it is possible. Actually its more then possible, it’s easier to teach a 3 month old then it is to teach a 6 year old. Infants, toddlers and preschoolers are programmed to soak up information like a sponge.

The problem with Doman’s method is its sometimes not practical for a modern day mom or dad. Hours upon hours of work creating large flashcards by the hundreds. When my oldest Wesley was 22 months old, I tried to do this. But as a single mom who worked full time, it was just not possible.

Well now parents don’t have to do this. They instead can spend their valuable time teaching their children instead of spending that time making materials.

BrillKids has created three different programs,

Little Reader
Little Math
And the newest member of the BrillKids family
Little Musician

All three programs are available with a 12 month curriculum. They allow you to customize your lessons and create your own

My family has the most experience with Little Reader. My oldest son used this program when he was considered “old” in the early learning movement. The ripe old age of 4 years old. However he did have some experience with some other reading DVD programs. However Little Reader I believe help develop his reading skills. Even though he has speech and language issues, he has always read above grade level.

We also did beta testing for Little Musician. Thanks to just playing with the program with no curriculum, Wesley was able to learn Mary Had a Little lamb and play it on any piano with or without stickers. 2 weeks ago he managed to play it on the harp. He had never touched a harp before, but he managed to play it.

So this week we started a journey. My oldest Wesley will be doing Little Musician and Little Math. Generally once a child is over the age of 2, dot style math programs don’t work. But if you have a child with special needs, IAHP(Institute of Achievement of Human Potential) suggests giving a try because these children may be able to absorb this information later in life.

My 3 month old Zakari has started Little Reader, Little Math and Little Musician. I can tell he loves it. He smiles and kicks at the computer. His favorite word so far is chin. LOL I’m not sure why but gets excited when he sees it.

If your interested in learning more about any of these BrillKids products check out their website. Get a free trial off all the programs.

Stay tunes to hear more about our BrillKids adventures!

 

What is my baby listening to?

What is Baby Z listening to?
Well I have been back to using my Sound Beginnings music belt. I was having issues with my MP3 player, so I just gave up on it and hooked up my iPhone. I know they don’t recommended using cellphones, but I put it in airplane mode, so the WiFi and cellphone services are shut off. And now I have better control over what is playing 🙂
Today he listened to:
Surfing the Alpha Wave by Right Brain Kids
Music Alphabet Song Chant by the people at Soft Mozart
Themes to Remember 1 by the people of Classical Magic

This morning before school Wesley and I got through
Little Reader Chinese by BrillKids
Little Musician Beta testing by BrillKids
– Follow that Dot Flashcards print off Memory Magic
– Practiced Skip Counting by 3’s using the tune for Classical Conversations.

Pregnancy
Well I’d be lying if I said I was doing good today. Well I was doing good. But then out of the blue I started having awful corkscrew like pains in the top of my belly. Its ok if I’m standing or lying down, but awful if I’m sitting upright or bending over. I called the doctor but I’m still waiting for her to call me back. Thank God all my daycare kids were well behaved today and I only have two tomorrow. But if things get worse I might have my hubby drive me to the hospital. The timing sucks because I have Wesley’s parent teacher tonight and he’s off school tomorrow.
Any how, enough complaining, I’m going to rest before my daycare parents start picking up and Wesley gets home.

When Right Brain Education Meets Left.

Well I have full force started a right-brain education program for Wesley. We have always done a little right brain education here and there, but not as consistant as I should be. Now this is what we do:
– Little Reader
– Little Math (both Little Math curriculum and the 65 Day Shichida’s Math Program)

Wink To Learn Speak and Read English
Wink To Learn Speak and Read Japanese
Doman Advantage word cards
Now my son is traditionally too old for the math program, but we are noticing that these right brain programs, mixed with our fantastic new ABA tutors he is maturing so much when it comes to his speech and conversation skills. My mom almost feel out of her chair last night when Wesley ask my dad “Papa do you have a gameboy? We play two players?” My mom said it was the very first time she heard him ask a question that wasn’t asking for something he wanted to eat or do, he was asking if my dad owned something. Might seem small but this is HUGE for us.
We had our clinic meeting on Tuesday, and our team was shocked how many programs Wesley blasted through. Our consultant actually didn’t bring enough programs to replace the ones he completed.
We started him on some easy easy mazes( I found a Franklin work book full of mazes at the dollarstore), which he baseline mastered. Now I plan on going to Chapters and buying him some Kumon Maze books.
Now we do other programs that are not Right Brain as well, and they help him so much too. For example Headsprout, Singapore Math, Touch Math, Exploded the Code, ixl.com, and now we also started Click N’ Kids ClickN READ and ClickN SPELL.
Sometimes I wonder WHY so many programs. But then I realize there is a method to my maddness, this provides my son a variety, making it so he is learning using different programs and making it so he doesn’t get board with our programs. I do each a couple times I week(right brain programs are almost daily as they only take 15-20 mins of our day)
We also read 2-10 books a day. Right now I’m learning how to read to him and ask questions so he stays focus on the story. He tends to space out during story time. Now I’m not sure if he is still taking it in or not, Tweedlewink creators claim that children can learn from background sounds just as much as when they are paying attention. But I don’t know.
Last night Wesley and I started a crawling program. We chase each other crawling for 5 mins. It was a lot of fun. I know five mins doesn’t seem like much, but my goal is to work us up slowly. I’m also going to ask my father to build us a set of monkey bars in the basement. I need to get him moving on the physical part of the Doman program. I just pray I can keep motivated.
I hope this combination of programs with help develop my son’s brain to its full potiental. Sometimes he resists programs, and I know its suppose to be child lead, but once I insist he does something he usually enjoys it. And in those situations I keep our sessions short. Our window of healing his brain is closing and we must move forth.