Hot Housing Toddlers to Read?? Little Miss: a father, a daughter and rocket science (Book Review & Giveaway)

Toddlers that can read…

That statements holds a lot of stigma.

If you have taught your toddler to read, you must have pressured them with hours and hours of lessons and drills. Right?


Nathan Meikle shared the journey of how his daughter learned how to read at the age of two in his book Little Miss: a father, his daughter & rocket science.

This book shares day by day accounts of not only how he got his child interested in learning how to read, and how he taught her. But also all the conversations about he had with his wife through the process, as well as his own doubts.

Overall I thought this was a very well written book. I couldn’t put it down and read it in a day. Even though it didn’t add to what I personally knew on teaching young children to read, (I only say this because I’m 7 or 8 years into this life style of parentings, first with Wes and then Little Z) I couldn’t help but think…

Imagine! This book on the book shelves at the local bookstore in the parenting section. A mother to be comes in looking for a book on how to parent her baby, what to expect the first year, etc. She stumbles upon it and reads the back, “Interesting…” she thinks and adds it to the pile to buy.

What I’m saying is I believe this book could be the gateway to early education. Parents read it and then start researching. Next thing you know they are on the BrillKids site, reading about Glenn Doman, Your Baby Can Read, etc. What an amazing gift these parents will be offering their children!

Ok! Ok Monique. So this little girl could read when she was 2. What good is that if she is just going to burn out? Well I’m happy to say she hasn’t burned out. She loves to read. Kyla is 5 though she hasn’t started kindergarten. She still LOVES to read, as long as her parents find the right books for her. Nathan told me that just a few days ago she picked out two different 60 page book and read them to herself. The other day she also typed out one of her favorite picture books–took her about 2 hours. He is guessing she’s at a 4th grade reading level. She even corrects him when they are reading together and his skips a word or mispronounces something.

They are also doing the same thing they did with their 2.5 year old son Bennett, only difference is they started a bit earlier than they did with Kyla.

It has been much harder with him because Kyla gets bored while listening to us try to teach Bennett to read. She often helps, we try to include her as much as we can, but inevitably, she is not happy when the YBCR DVD’s are on because she wants to watch something else. Bennett has always been a little behind where Kyla was in terms of language progressions, but he has memorized a handful of words from YBCR and knows all his letters and the sounds (he’s 2.5). There plan is to do memorization for another few months and then get started on phonics. Though the process is going slower with Bennett, the bright side is that both Kyla and Bennett are learning patience (hopefully) because at every mealtime we alternate books (e.g., Kyla chooses one, and then Bennett chooses one). In sum, the process is much easier with just one child, but it is also fun (though challenging) to teach Bennett to read as a family. Kyla will hopefully remember the days of teaching her little brother to read.

So now the fun part!! I have 2 copies of this book to giveaway. If you would like to win a copy check out the Rafflecopter below.

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This review is my honest opinion. I received a copy of the book to read and review, but otherwise was not compensated. 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.


#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!


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

7) TouchMath for Homeschooler!! A Review






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



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?



#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



#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



The #3 post on 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.

Howie & Skip’s MonkiSee ABC Round Up

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As many of my long time readers know, my family and I are crazy about Howie & Skip’s MonkiSee videos. If you haven’t already, please check out my past reviews MonkiSee Reading Program(The First 3 DVDs First Words, Shapes and Colors), On the Farm, Around the House, and Action Words.

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Now I have the opportunity to review yet another awesome video in this series, this one is called “Howie and Skip’s MonkiSee- ABC Round Up.” Little Z is crazy about this one! Well he loves all the MonkiSee videos, but this one is new and fresh to him.

This video combines Glenn Doman’s method of teaching babies to read, with multi-media and several awesome songs and raps. A word is presented with each letter of the alphabet a in clear bold font on a white background. Then Howie, Skype and the creator Krista’s children show the kids what sound that letter makes and other words that begin with that letter.

What makes this DVD different than other ABC DVDs? MonkiSee uses a more expanded vocabulary. They don’t just say “A is for Apple”, they also use A is for Awesome. Other examples are like for H they use the word Habanero, or S they use spectacular. It is an awesome way to expanded your child’s vocabulary.

Check out my MonkiSee Vlog Review below

Would you like to win one of the MonkiSee Digital DVDs? Well Krista has agreed to allow me to do a giveaway! The winner gets to pick one of the MonkiSee DIgital DVDs! So please go and enter!

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FarFaria Review and GIVEAWAY

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Farfaria2FarFaria is a subscription based library for children 2-9 years old on your tablet or smartphone. It currently includes over 800 titles, with more being added weekly. It is subscription

If you have little bookworm at home, and don’t want to keep making daily trips to the library, this is the app for you. For just $4.99 a month, or $39.99 for the year.

I also found this app has intrigued my reluctant reader . My oldest is more of a math guy then a reader. However he is required to do home reading every night. Now that we have been using FarFaria, its just a matter of me asking him once to do his home reading. Before it would take me a while to get him to sit down and read.

I also find it has brought us together as a family to read together. I’ll sit down with Little Z, and we start reading, then the next thing you know the big kids are sitting with us. If we happen to be reading about something non-fiction, dad will even come a sit down too.

FarFaria FamilyChoiceYour child starts off by choosing a island to visit.

Once you are on that island, a bookshelf of books appears based on what you selected. Each have a letter on the lower right corner indicating the reading level that book falls into.

What if your child is interested in a book, but the level indicates it is too difficult for them? Simple! Just select the Auto Play or Read to Me button and the book becomes an book and an audio book in one. Some of the books even highlight the words as they are read. I wish every book did this as it would be an awesome thing for little ones learning to read using the Glenn Doman inspired method.

Now for the best part! The wonderful people at FarFaria have given me two 3 month subscriptions to giveaway to some lucky readers!!


DISCLAIMER: I was given a subscription to try with my family in exchange for an honest review.

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HeidiSongs, Musical Math Giveaway!

A few weeks ago when I was having my Math meltdown I was googling online looking for something that would help my son and I stumbled upon HeidiSongs. After looking around their website all I could think of was,Why have I never heard of the them before?? So I contacted them to see if they would like to team up for a series of reviews, and they agreed!
Music for Learning!


Learning can be fun! Using this proven multi-sensory method, even preschool age children can easily learn to identify numbers, shapes, and spell sight words by listening to music and moving with the motions!

This program was developed by Heidi Butkus, a credentialed Reading Specialist and keynote presenter, with more than 20 years of primary classroom experience. These simple songs have been classroom tested nationwide by experienced teachers in all classroom settings.

They are perfect for children from preschool to second grade, and have been proven successful in teaching concepts even to special needs children, “at-risk” students, and second language learners. They are also very engaging for faster learners. Each song has download-able hand motions for active classroom learning.


The reason I happened upon HeidiSong’s Website was because of this DVD/CD combo. I know my son learns concepts much faster if they are connected to a song or rhyme. And Heidi has now made me see if you add a motion to the rhyme, retention of the concept is MUCH greater.

Musical Math helps kids learn the vocabulary associated with many primary math concepts, including: counting to 100, sorting, patterning, comparing sets (more, less, and equal), skip counting, coin recognition, estimation, addition, and subtraction. The songs are short, fun, and catchy. The DVD also shows animated examples of each concept in the video intro and “outro” of each song. The activities on the Musical Math Resource CD support the concepts presented in this set of songs. This CD/DVD is one of Heidi’s favorites and a “must have” for any K-1 classroom.

I think this DVD and CD can easier be useful for homeschooling families and home daycares. I now include Heidi’s CD’s into our daily routine. Even though some of my daycare children are very young, I still believe they benefit from it. If they can learn Humpty Dumpty and Old MacDonald, why not HeidiSong’s too? I have all these songs loaded on to my iPhone so when we go out I can play them in the car. However the DVDs are important too. On there you can see the actions being done and the child and parent can learn them together.

Another great little thing the people at Heidisongs have done for us parents is put together a bunch of great worksheets, games, and books to go with all of these songs.
They are available for instant download or you can buy them all neatly packed on a CDROM

The Monsters in My Head. A WorryWoo Review/Giveaway

I’m always looking for a why to help my son understand his emotions. This can be VERY difficult for a child with autism, and as we journey out of our diagnosis I make sure I’m providing him every chance to learn about his feelings.

The WorryWoo Monsters, a series by Andi Green, was first seen in a New York City art exhibition in 2001. Originally called The Monsters in My Head, Green wanted to create characters with a story that each embodied an emotion. Using her design and illustration background she built 5 light boxes, 24”X36” in size, each containing a monster with its story Xerox-transferred to the front of the box. From loneliness to confusion, she began tackling complicated feelings and transformed them into quirky, lovable characters. Her message of “embrace your emotions” received such a positive response, she was asked by many if she ever considered turning her single art pieces into storybooks. In 2002 she began to expand her concept, but it wasn’t until 2007 that she decided to publish and produce her new collection.

When I saw Andi Green’s WorryWoo Monsters, I thought what a cute way to teach a child about more complex feelings. I never expected to be moved the way I was by these stories. They have quickly become my favorite children’s books. They are as important to me as “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. Which says a lot because Wesley and I have been reading that book since he was 2 months old.

Andi sent me to WorryWoo’s two WorryWoo Monsters to review:
The Lonely Little Monster (WorryWoo Monsters)Nola, the monster of Loneliness

The Monster In The Bubble (WorryWoo Monsters)Squeek, the monster of Innocence
As you can see the Plushies are just adorable

They now have a spot on my son’s dresser. He has never been a stuff toy kind of kid, but when we read these books he has to get Nola and Squeek and they have to sit next to him like a “family”.
Andi Green has two other WorryWoo Monster sets, Fuddle and The Monster Who Couldn’t Decide as well as Rue and The Nose That Didn’t Fit. Now after reading both of the Books that Andi set me to review, I ran online to order the other two sets for my son. They have both come in the mail, but I have no pictures or review of them at the moment. Only because they are a Christmas gift for my son and I want to share reading them for the first time together. But what I can say is the plushies are adorable! I will be buying the other 2 sets that are suppose to be release in 2011, hopefully they will be out in time for my son’s birthday.

Would you like to win a WorryWoo Monster? Complete one or more of the following things and for each one leave and entry to win!!
What a great gift idea for your child for Christmas!
Please leave your email!! Do not assume I know it. Thank-you 🙂

-Head over to the WorryWoos Website and tell me which WorryWoo you would pick if you won!
-Follow Doman, ABA, Dayhome, and homeschooling Momma publicly!
Like WorryWoos on Facebook
-If you already own a WorryWoo or after reading this review decided to buy one give yourself 5 entries.
Contest closes Nov 16th/10 @ 11:59pm.. Open to Canada and the US.
Thank-you Andi Green for allowing me to review your product. I was in no way forced to write a positive review, the options here are that of my own.

What My Child is reading,Learn to Read Kids Club Review

So I had the chance to review this great new program. Its called the Learn to Read Kids Club. There are so many great options with this company. You can sign up for the Yearly Program and once a month you and your child will receive 4 books. Each book relates to a different subject, Fun & Fantasy, Science, Social Studies and Math. As well you get a workbook and a parents guide. The workbook has fun little “assignments” for your child to do relating to all 4 of the stories. Including fill in the blanks, word searches, make your own books and much more. The workbook I reviewed contained 20 different activities. The parents guide gives you great tips on how to provide your child a more hands on experience.

When we got our kit to review, my son and I were slightly confused at first why the wonderful people sent us a jar of dirt, a bottle of water, a pile and shovel to us in our review. Then we opened up the package that contained the books and workbook. There it was a book called “How to Make a Mudpie”.
So first we sat down and read the book “How To Make a Mudpie” together. Then we did the activities in the workbook. My son really enjoyed doing book. The workbooks are so colorful and inviting it didn’t even feel like he was doing work. Then the next day was the fun part. We went in the backyard and made our own mudpies.
First we poured in the dirt

Then we added the water

Then we stirred it up

Then we added some leafs

And then some stones

We gave it one final stir and poured them into pie pans. And there you have it our very own MudPie! I promise he was really having a great time, he just looks sour because I kept shoving the camera in his face. I also included my 16month old daycare baby and 5 year old daycare child but they are not pictured here because I don’t like posting pictures of other children.

This was one activity for only one of the books in the set we got. There are so many great ideas. This would be a great Christmas gift idea for the children and grandchildren on your list. Its like the gift that keeps giving. If you are worried about shipping cost you can also buy the whole kit at once and use it to supplement your homeschooling curriculum or even to reinforce what your children are learning at school. They will love being able to cuddle up and read the books with you, as well as doing the activities together. They also have a Summer Reading Club that will send your child a set every 2 weeks so they can keep their minds sharp through the summer months. I have talked to many teachers about how children just seem to lose their skills during the summer months because they are not using them. You can start the Yearly Program anytime through out the year.

Thank you to the great people at Learn to Read Kids Club for providing me a basic kit to review. The options expressed here are my own and I was not required to write a good review for this product.

Memoflix 2 review/giveaway!!!

MonkiSee MonkiDo and Memoflix 1 have become an important part of how I teach my son and daycare children how to read. I reviewed what at the time was the whole collection of DVDs by the Intellectual Baby Company here. I’m excited that once again I have had the chance to review another one of Krista’s great products from Intellectual Baby.

MemoFlix Volume 2 video flash cards teach babies and young children how to read using a combination of the whole word method, also called sight-reading, and phonics. This is first done by introducing the upper and lower case letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make followed by whole words that reinforce and demonstrate the sounds and patterns being presented. Each word is followed by a picture, which helps the child better grasp the meaning of the words being taught. Sound effects have also been added where appropriate.

MemoFlix Whole Word Phonics ABC’s teaches the alphabet and the letter sounds using quick-paced video slide shows. By combining sight-reading with phonics children are able to grasp the rules of phonics quickly and easily, allowing them to be more fluid readers. Since the words are learned as a whole, without being broken up, children are able to pick up the phonetic patterns and read in a more natural and unbroken way.

While the slide shows are quick-paced, they do allow time for the child to say the word before it is narrated. Children may enjoy racing to read the words before they are read to them. This is a fun way to interact with the MemoFlix DVD.

The MemoFlix Whole Word Phonics DVD is designed for children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years old. It is best to use this DVD with babies that have already been exposed to a reading program and have learned many sight words. When beginning a reading program with babies do not show them sets of words that all start with the same letter. It is fine to do this a few months into the program, but it less confusing for them in the beginning if the words don’t all look the same. Since the MemoFlix ABC’s teach 10 words that all begin with the same letter it is ideal to introduce these patterns after you have been doing a program with your baby for a little while. “

Well my son was thrilled when the package arrived in our mailbox. The DVD wasn’t even in the house 5mins before my son and I were cuddled on the couch watching it. Because my son is older were watched the DVD from start to finish.
One thing I love about Memoflix is the fact that I can watch it with my son. Other flashcard DVDs for some reason trigger a car sickness like reaction or migraine. And with Memoflix I don’t get this feeling. This is a major plus for me.
Another thing that makes me feel great about this company is the fact it is a family company. Krista is a mother of 6, and she uses these methods with her own children. I have seen videos on Brillkids of her young children reading. It’s nice to know she has had lots if experience with teaching children to read and is now sharing it with us.
With Memoflix2 I love that both phonics and whole word methods are blended together. Of course some children will need more formal instruction to phonics before they can use it, others will learn phonics naturally and either way Memoflix2 is a great introduction.
Another thing I that crossed my mind is for the people doing Encyclopedic Knowledge, this video labels lots of different animals in it.
Would you like to win your own copy of Memoflix2? Complete one or more of these items, leave a comment for each With your email
– Head over to Intellectual Baby and tell me what other product they offer that you might like to try.
– follow Doman, ABA, Dayhome, Homeschooling Momma publicly
Like Intellectual Baby on Facebook

This contest is open to Canada and the USA. It closes Nov 15th @ 11:59pm. Thank-you Intellectual Baby for allowing my children and I to review another one of your products. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinion in here is my own.

New! Brain Quest Write & Erase Sets Review/Giveaway

Wesley and I had the chance to review the new Brain Quest Write Erase Sets. I love that Brain Quest’s philosophy is “adding a big dose of fun into learning. I have noticed some of their other products and they look great, but I’m thrilled to see that they have created some products for younger children too.
I was thrilled to receive these books because my son has been working on his penmanship for a while now with his tutors, and me in the evenings. When I opened up the Alphabet cards I almost screamed. A few months ago I spent HOURS and LOADS of ink printing and macktacking alphabet cards for my son’s ABA therapy. And here they were in my hands available to purchase for a mere $9 on Amazon. I bet when I factor in ink, paper and macktack alone mine cost more to make. Not including the hours is spent making them. Good news was Wesley was board with my homemade cards and thrilled to get to try out these new ones. Plus, the Brain Quest Write & Erase Set: Shapes &Colors set was great for practicing his pre-drawing skills that his Occupational Therapist wanted him to work on.

Brain Quest Write & Erase Set: AlphabetBrain Quest Write & Erase Set: Alphabet:shows kids the right way to write their letters, both uppercase and lowercase, and also includes letter-identification and vocabulary-building quizzes on each page.
 Brain Quest Write & Erase Set: PhonicsBrain Quest Write & Erase Set: Phonics: teaches early reading with fill-ins for long and short vowels and basic consonant sounds, letter scrambles, complete-the-words, and more.
Brain Quest Write & Erase Set: NumbersBrain Quest Write & Erase Set: Numbers: helps kids write their 123’s and includes the basics of math-readiness
Brain Quest Write & Erase Set: Shapes & ColorsBrain Quest Write & Erase Set: Shapes & Colors: uses tracing exercises, connect-the-dots, name-the-colors, and other fun activities to teach essential pre-writing concepts.

What do we think?
Well we love these cards! They have become a regular part of Wesley’s day. His tutors use them with him too and love them. One of them was actually planning on buying them for her daughter. Had I found these earlier I could have save myself a LOT of time and had a much nicer product then my homemade dry erase cards.
Would you like to win a set of Brain Quest Write & Erase for your child?
Head over to Brain Quest and leave a comment which of the four packs would be most helpful for your child. Please leave your email in this comment, if I have no way to contact you a new winner will be drawn. Sadly this has been happening a lot lately and I want to make sure the real winner gets the prize. Even if you are using a blogger profile, make sure that I can email you or contact you via your blog.

Thank-you to Brain Quest and Workman Publishing Co. for teaming up with me for this review/giveaway. I was not paid by either company, nor was I required to write a positive review. This is the option of only myself.
Contest closes Nov 5th,2010 at 11:59. Open to the USA and Canada only.

Dreambox Learning

Well I think I have written time and time again how much my son loves learning on the computer. We have two favorite sites we subscribe to for reading, but when I heard about a site that was for math I thought that was something we could use. So I contacted the people at Dreambox Learning and they agreed to let me review there product. So I sent up my five year old son and daycare child up on it, and we used it regularly for the 2 week trial.
Dreambox Learning says:

It’s serious learning because:

  • DreamBox individualizes learning through continuous assessment and adaptations during lesson game play. Lessons, hints, level of difficulty, pace, sequence, instructional tools, and many other aspects of the experience are tailored to help each student learn.
  • It’s a robust math curriculum, with over 500 lessons built on the math learning Focal Points from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
  • It builds understanding and confidence in math fundamentals being taught in the classroom, through in-depth focus on Number Sense and Computation, and Algebra.
  • To improve conceptual understanding, students use virtual manipulatives to “show their work” rather than just clicking on an answer. And because our adaptation engine captures every mouse click, this deep, rich data enables highly sophisticated individualization.
  • DreamBox has online Teacher and Parent dashboards that report on each student’s progress in real time. Teachers can review detailed progress for their whole classroom and for each student. And parents get progress reports and practical tips on bringing math fun into everyday life.

It’s seriously fun because:

  • Kids choose from 4 adventure themes (pirates, pixies, dinosaurs, and pets), each with 8 stories, and hundreds of choices for activities in the online adventures.
  • DreamBox makes math lessons fun and interactive, so kids build confidence and a sense of accomplishment!
  • Kids can choose from 36 characters to represent themselves on screen.
  • Positive audio and visual feedback encourages progress.
  • Kids get rewards such as collectible Adventure Friends, tokens to play Carnival games, and Achievement Certificate awards that can be printed out and proudly displayed.

The Pros

– My kids loved that they could choose what kind of story they were into that day. They answer math problems and collect backpacks
– The kids loved gathering tokens to spend at the carnival for fun games
– I like as a parent I can see how much of the total curriculum my son has completed as well as a break down in what areas Dreambox jumped him ahead or what areas he has completed on his own.
– It just so happened that we were working on great then and less then at home when we started and that was the area Dreambox Learning put us in.
-Getting the answer is not the only thing Dreambox is recording, it also notes how quickly the child answered, how many hints they needed, and if their score improved
-There is 500 lesson for Grades K-3

The Cons

-The Carnival is the first thing that the child sees when they opening page comes up. For my son this was very distracting
-I didn’t like that my son kept getting stuck on certain levels. Like where the card is flashed at them and they have to pick a card by memory. If your child has difficulty with this like my son, they might get stuck in those types of levels.

Overall I feel its a fun supplement to our Math curriculum. The boys seem to enjoy it and it mixes it up for them instead of workbooks and counters.

Thank-you to Dreambox Learning for offering my Readers the chance to win a free month subscription. I was not paid to write this review. These options are mine and mine alone.