IAHP VS NACD – Autism Treatment Options

IAHP vs NACD Family Led autism treatment, which is better?

Debating between programs to help your child with autism? Family led autism treatment are a great option. But which program is better? Two that come to mind are Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential aka IAHP and National Association for Child Development(NACD).

I should mention right now, that my family has been involved in both of these programs. We are still involved with one. This article may seem bias to some, however it is strictly based on my personal experiences and feelings. Others may disagree, and they are entitled to their experiences and feelings.

I’ve known about The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential for years. But I had it in my mind that Philadelphia was too far away. I could never put together enough money to make that happen. Right?

The National Association for Child Development

However in 2014, I heard about a program run by Robert Doman Jr, Glenn Doman’s nephew. It was called the National Association for Child Development(NACD). A few things intrigued me about this program. They could conduct their assessments via Skype and I did not have to travel to start. Also if we did want to see them in person there was a chapter in Minneapolis about 7 hours south of Winnipeg.

I don’t want to say that they mislead me, but I was sold that this was a better, more modern version of what they do at the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential(IAHP). I guess I believed this because of what a speaker at a homeschooling conference years ago had also told me about the IAHP, when he had suggested that I skip the IAHP and go to yet another program called The Family Hope Center.

Over the years I had heard stories that the IAHP was like a military camp, everything was their way or the highway. I was led to believe that if you could not commit 10-15 hours a day to running IAHP programs, you were not good enough for them. These other treatment centre are sold as if they understand families, and they can help you and your child in the amount of time your family has available.

I should also disclose that in the past I have been quick to drink the kool-aid when it comes to helping my boys. I can be easily swayed on and sold an idea if there is hope that it can help my boys. You could say I have curriculum coming out the wazzu because others have said it was amazing. Over the last year or so I have become more selective of what I jump into because I realize I might be wasting money that could be better spent on proper treatments.

As we got more involved with the NACD, I started feeling like it was not what I signed up for. The monthly fee of $260 US dollars a month started to really hurt when the Canadian dollar took a dive. This wouldn’t have bothered me so much if I felt the money was well spent. However I just didn’t understand what these programs were really doing to help my children.

I was also told we would have a coach available to answer all my questions and be in constant contact with us to help us stay on track. While my emails were answered when I emailed my coach, the constant contact we were promised was just a Monday thru Friday mass email. Nothing personal, no checking up on how things were going.  If I didn’t email them, the only contact I got was this mass email.

I guess the straw that broke the camel’s back was when one Skype evaluation, our evaluator suggested we make some changes to Little Z Man’s diet. When the report came back with all the program changes, there was no mention of the diet. When I emailed to ask for more information I was told it was not actually part of the program. She suggested that we avoid processed foods and simple carbs, but besides that if I wanted more guidance I would have to set up a consult with one of their doctors for the fee of $250 US dollars. This was on top of the $260 a month I was paying for their support, and the extra $250 4 times a year when we had reevaluations.

I felt with the money I was paying, and the fact that the gut is the second brain, this should have been a more important part of the program. Eventually due to the lack of understanding why I was doing the programs, and the constant need to spend even money on subscriptions to programs, apps, mp3 lectures, CD programs we discontinued treatment with the NACD. The minimal changes in the boys was not worth the kind of money I was spending.

The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential – IAHP

Eventually I started connecting more via Facebook and phone conversations with a mom who had attended the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential course for well children. She started getting on me about having to go and take the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child course. I agreed with her, but I didn’t really believe I would.

However she become ruthless about it. She cleared up some misconceptions that I had about the IAHP, and kept telling me, “Monique, you just need to make this happen.” Make this happen? How does one just make something like this happen. Money doesn’t just materialize when you need it.

Okay, maybe money doesn’t just materialize. However it is amazing that when you make up your mind to make something happen, you can make it happen. I decided I was going to Philadelphia and I put down my deposit, and made the rest happen.

On that early September morning on the way to the airport, I had butterflies in my stomach. This was really happening. I had been dreaming about stepping foot onto the campus of The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential for 9 years. Now after 5 months since deciding I was going, I had made it happen. It was surreal.

Nearly 10 months since taking the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course(WTD course), life as we know it has changed forever. The programs that I learned to implement are making a HUGE difference for Little Z Man. We have in a general sense, to treat his whole body, physically, intellectually, and physiologically.

I realized that knowing WHY you are doing a program with your child is just as important as HOW to do the program. The staff at the Institutes made me realize that without knowing WHY you are doing something, I am less likely to be motivated to do it. This is why the NACD programs did not work for my family. The short 10 minute videos and 1-2 page write ups about their programs did not answer the WHY for me.

Notes and charts from the IAHP course

The literature available to me all about the programs available from the IAHP helps guide me on my journey and helps refresh all that I learned at the WTD course. After completing the course you can always find on my night stand or kitchen table my binder full of notes, What To Do About Your Brain-injured Child, How to Teach Your Baby to Read , How Smart Is Your Baby? and How to Teach Your Baby to Be Physically Superb(the newer version is called Fit Baby, Smart Baby, Your Baby!)

 Honestly when I was sitting in that course I realized a lot of the information was available in the books, however the course explained to me in more detail the WHYS and the HOWS in a way I could really get. Without the history of the program, the science behind how they figured out the brain works in children with brain injury and the experiences of other family who were successful, the books did not have the same power as they do to me today.

These books are also not the type you read once and put away. I’m always coming back to them and rereading them and referencing them. Everytime I read them something else jumps out at me. Something that we were not ready for the first time I read it and I forgot about jumps out at me and gives me new ideas.

I kept hearing that the IAHP is super secretive cult, and unless you are part of their Intensive program you can’t access their wealth of information to help your child. I have learned this couldn’t be further from the truth. The IAHP honestly wants to help as many families as physically possible. They are doing what they can to do that in a safe responsible way, such as:

  • Free webinars on Youtube
  • The What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child book. This is a must read for families, and the prerequisite to all of the other programs.
  • The Home Program Consultation- After you take the course you can do with with your advocate via Skype
  • The What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child course
  • Public Facebook group available to all families of special needs children thinking of taking the WTD course
  • Private Facebook group for families who have already taken the WTD course. Several staff members frequent this group.

There is one program that the IAHP seems very hush hush about, that is the masking program. However this is for good reason. The masking program is only prescribed to children that have had a complete medical evaluation. They must be found to be fit for this program. If done on a child that is not a candidate it could be very unhealthy for them. It has nothing to do with the IAHP wanted to keep their methods secret. It’s about protecting children from well meaning parents without the proper information.

That course is enough for many families to change their children’s lives without ever having to go back to the Institutes. However for myself, to keep my momentum I need to continue to learn. I need more, but that is just a personal thing. I have seen so much change in Little Z Man. Even so I feel like I need the staff at the Institutes to do a thorough evaluation on him. They will help me come up with a more personalized program for Z. I’m the type of person that will take on too much and not get anything done. I feel that having the staff guide me will keep me on track.

Next month we are jumping on a plane and the staff will be getting their hands on Little Z Man. Through the power of answered prayer and determination we have made another trip to Philadelphia possible.

Conclusion

In order for any program to work, not just therapies. It could be a diets, financial plans, etc, the WHY is as important, maybe more important than the HOW. I need someone with the heart of a teacher guiding me through the process. It is very discouraging when I’m promised a coach and a whole program to find out that parts of the program are not included. Let alone only come at yet another fee.

For me, the IAHP is the tried, tested and true path for my son. They have 60+ years of experience and data to back them up. Yes of course they do have their cases where they cannot help that particular child. After taking the course I can now see that the kids they cannot help are not forgotten about. Actually the opposite is true. Those are the kids on the back of their mind day in and out. Pushing them forward to find new techniques and programs to solve that problem.

 

You can read a bit about our journey with NACD in there past post:

Prepping for the NACD

What My Two Year Old and I Read Today. Mini NACD Update.

NACD Early Learning at 32 Months Old

NACD With My Nine Year Old. Helping Your Child with Reading Comprehension.

You can also read a bit about our journey so far with the IAHP in these post

Little Z update. Starting IAHP

UPDATE BEFORE LEAVING FOR THE IAHP

Day 1&2 Of My Trip To The IAHP

Monday- IAHP What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child

IAHP Nutritional Update

 

Little Z update. He’s now 4 years old!

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I can’t believe I’m writing this, but we just celebrated Little Z’s 4th birthday!!! It’s amazing how fast time seems to go by.

A lot has been going on with him the last few months. I wanted to write, but I wanted to get into a good routine so I can really share how Little Z’s new program is working for us.

 I found out that we might qualify for a grant through a local charity to attend the IAHP’s course, “What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child”. So I thought what do I have to lose, and I applied. So one way or another I will be attending the Institutes for the Achievements of Human Potential this fall. I am over the moon excited to go. It’s been a dream of mine for the last 9 years. However I just decided that I’m going to make it happen.

Since my plan is to attend the course and learn to run programs using the IAHP’s methods, I decided I should start running more traditional IAHP programs with Z based on the teachings of Glenn Doman’s books. So I went to work and started making materials.

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First I started off making single word flashcards. To make it easier on myself I cheated a little. I found several vocabulary lists online (for example Flocabulary’s word list) copied and pasted the list into Google Drive and blew up the font to 130-150. Made sure they all fit one word per page and pressed print. I placed each flashcard into a page protector and put them in alphabetical order in a 3″ binder. Then I go and select 10 words from that binder, place them in a duotang and poof I have a set of IAHP words.

The benefits of using duotangs are:

  • Flashcards are always right side up and I fumble with them less
  • I don’t have to worry about Z or the daycare kiddos spilling the pile of cards.
  • I can write the date we started and the date the set was retired inside the cover. As well as tally makes to show how many times we have seen the set.
  • Should I choose to have more children (Which I don’t think we will) I will have everything ready to go. Or I can pass on a complete program to another family. Little work required on their side.

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Next I needed to create couplet sets.

I have been able to cheat a bit and have found 13 sets of pre made couplets flashcards on a website called Education Toy Planet. Because we are putting 10 words per set and a lot of these sets contain more then 10 words, I have been able to stretch these materials to last me a bit longer.

However I do like have a LARGE stash of premade flashcards ready to go, incase my print dies, we get busy, etc. So now I am going through the word list that I have used to create the single word flashcards and I am creating more couplets.

This is a bit more work, because I feel I also have to find pictures to go with each couplet. I know Glenn Doman does not require this, however I find the pictures insure my son will comprehend what he is reading.

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Then came the challenge of finding homemade books. I am not overly creative. I wanted my son to have good quality, interesting books to read. So I hit the library.

I went into the leveled reader section and selected some books that had characters that Little Z loves. I came home, scanned in the pictures and typed out the words on one page and inserted the photos in the next page.

This allowed me to make books that he will be interested in, without having to write original content.  I also am able to separate the words from the pictures. As while as change the vocabulary in his books to included more challenging words or expand on an idea.

I know some of you who are familiar with the IAHP reading program are wondering where my phrase and sentence part of the program is. I need to sit down and work on this, asap. But I refuse to stress myself out. We are doing a lot, they are getting phrases and sentences in the homemade books. If I find when the time comes he is not transitioning to phrases and sentences, I will focus on them then, but doing more couplets and adding in an actual phrase stage of the program.

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We have also started the IAHP math program. Honestly though, I’m not sure how effective it will be with Little Z as he already knows his numbers. However since I already own the flashcards I figured the 10 second three times a day might be worth it in the off chance he can benefit.

Originally I was showing the cards 15 times each before retiring out 2 and adding 2 more. But I found this was too slow for Z. So now I show them 3 times a day, then I retire 3 cards and add in 3 more cards each day.

In the next few days we will be adding in equations to the mix. When I first started I tried printing out my own cards and arranging them in duotangs. But for this program I feel the big 11X11 cards are a better fit. Especially with all the equations on the back of the cards.

20160530_175422000_iOSWe have also introduce a Encyclopedic Knowledge program to the mix. This I am being more lax on. We have several IAHP EK bits flashcards, so I figured we may as well look at them. I also found a few sets to print out. So while it takes little effort to do, we will continue to include them in our day.

However I feel like once I am required to start to have to make my own, I’m likely going to make them into book form. This just seems like a better use of my time, and we can combined EK and reading together.

 

So we are going on 2 months on this schedule. I’m also starting a music program with Little Z, but that will get its own review.

Do you follow a IAHP/Doman method to teach your children? If so I’d love to hear about your experience.

Little Z Completed Wink to Learn English

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My long time readers may remember back when Wes was little I did a review for a DVD program called Wink to Learn English. Wink to Learn English is a 4-DVDs program aims to help your child to recognize more than 500 words and to form proper phrases and sentences using proven flashcard-techniques developed by Dr Glenn Doman and Dr Shichida. Each lesson is based on the flashcard principles of Glenn Doman. Lesson duration is short (less than 5 mins) and captivates your child’s attention using real life photos and videos. It consists a total of 48 topical lessons which systematically help your child to recognise words and to form proper phrases and sentences.

If you would like to read my original review from 2016, you can find it HERE. I also wrote about using this program back in 2012 when Little Z was an infant, you can read that Here. Sadly dealing with the balance of running my home daycare with an infant, I struggled to stay organized and we never finished the program. I could never remember which lesson we were on.

Well now Little Z is 4 years old. He reads 1000s of words. However my next goal has been to provide him more couples, phrases and sentences. He will happily read words, but prefers not to read outloud phrases and sentences. However in true Doman/IAHP style, I am trying to avoid testing him. I also often see him looking at books and his eyes are tracking the words. I believe he is reading in his head.

When looking through our collection of DVDs to add some media to our IAHP flashcard program, I came across this program. Because he is able to read, but we are looking to fine tune his skills, we decided to watch the lessons only once. I presented him two lessons a day and wrote them on the calendar to stay organized. When we got to lessons 5 & 6 we presented them once and at the end played the right brain track that flashes through the phrases and sentences very quickly.

Six years after my first review what are my thoughts?

Pros:

  • Organized lessons that allow busy parents to present awesome lessons to their little ones.
  • Clearly printed words on a plain background, separate from the pictures.
  • Real photos were used, not cartoons.
  • Follows the Doman method, words, couplets and phrases.

Cons:

  • Strong accents. However since my boys live in an all English environment, I’m less worried about this.
  • Little Z wasn’t crazy about the videos after each lesson. They sort of bored him. So we skipped them. My oldest liked them, so this may just be personal preferences and all children have different reinforcers.

Overall I’m very happy that we used this as a review to fine tune Little Z’s current skills. I would suggest parents write what lesson they are on on a calendar or make a checklist on an index card to store in the DVD case.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this program 6 years ago in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion of the program.

Little Z Update. Nov 2015

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year. Little Z is officially 3 and a half years old. So much has been going on his life.

Little Z started ABA therapy at the beginning of September. It’s been a slow start getting staffing in place, but we are almost running at full capacity now.

  Z has really started building a relationship with his morning tutor, and looks forward to her coming every morning. His senior tutor is awesome too, she has even more energy than Z has. I’ve only met our afternoon tutor twice, but I think she is going to make a great addition to our team.

Right now we have a few program going to build compliance, a matching program and a waiting program. But mostly we are just trying to make our tutors reinforcing and fun for Z.

Little Z had a visit last week from our Occupational Therapist. She recommended we try having Z wear a Bear Hug periodically to help him calm down and regulate. She said that deep tissue pressure might do him some good.

He originally freaked out there first time we put it on him, but he settled and seem to be calmed by it. But the next time I put it on him, he did not resist at all. He is able to sit down and do activities more with me now when he wears it.

This is the one we are currently borrowing from our OT. You will notice that it comes with straps. Z didn’t seem to like the straps at all. But the good thing is the straps are removeable. We are going to see what we notice in the next month, and then decided if we should order one. But so far I’m leaning towards yes.

 We have been also implementing a homeschool/Glenn Doman style learning program.

Usually before ABA arrives, lunch time, sometimes in the evening and then before bed, we work through his learning binders and homemade books.

Little Z has also been playing with his own little Mortensen Block sets. Hopefully with time we will be able to transition to a full math program using this blocks.

Skip counting seems to be Zs favorite thing to practice. We have one skip counting chart per learning binder. However in the picture above my son got ahold of one of the binders full of stuff I have ready to put in the binder when he retires the material that is currently there. I guess he wanted to work on counting by 14s and 15s.

If you want to use these charts with your child, check out Homeschool Creations. Jolanthe has charts from 2-15 posted on her blog.

Before bed every night I’ve been trying to read him one story from this amazing book I found at a local church book sale. So far we have read classics like:

– Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

– Jack and the Beanstalk

– Goldilocks and the Three Bears

To name a few…

We are still logging books in our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten log, but seeing as he’s only 3 and already 25% done, I figured we can slow down a bit and work through some classical literature to work on enhancing his vocabulary.

So all and all, I feel like we are on the right path. ABA is hitting on the compliance and left brain skills. At home we are working on the right brain side of things.

What are you doing with your child? I’m always curious to hear, might be something we can incorporate into our day.

*Video Fixed*Homemade Glenn Doman Inspired Books and Flashcards

I know it’s been awhile since my last post. I do apologize. I have been active on Instagram and Youtube. I’ve had a reader or two request I not completely switch over to Vlogging. I’ve been dying to get on here and blog, but since Little Z has decided he’s too cool for naps it’s been hard. Hopefully once Little Z is in full day ABA I will be able to really get back to blogging. For now I hope the sporadic post, and the more regular instagram and Youtube post will be acceptable.

In the past I have talked about our Learning Binders. But I do have to say in the last month or so we have really picked it up with these binders. Z is really responsive to Glenn Doman style learning. I also realized if I’m going to get him to take that next step to reading books on his own, I have to create more homemade books for him to read. So that’s what I’ve been doing. If you’d like to see what they look like, watch the video above. I show you what I have in the binders and what my homemade books look like.

One thing I did not mention in the video is font size. The few that I made from scratch I now realized I have to adjust the print size and reprint. I just notice the larger print keeps his attention much longer. SO even at 3.5 years old, large print is still important.

So to break this down a bit more we have:

1) Learning Binders to present Encyclopedic Knowledge, poems and work on couplets, sentences and skip counting.

2) Story Duotangs to present homemade books. I was able to speak to the IAHP via Facebook messenger. What we are doing after confirming with them is presenting one books a day, reading it 2-3 times, and retiring it to an place where Z can retrieve it himself and read when he wants. I’m sure once the books become longer, we might be reading them less times in a day, but for now this seems to be working. The rep from IAHP also told me if he seems to be bored with a certain book, retire it sooner.

3) I’m currently creating 100s of word flashcards. I’m going to create a binder that breaks down words based on different topics, and another binder with the current words we are working on. We will flip through this binder to introduce new vocabulary. I was hoping to start today, but I did not want to start till we have at least 200 flash cards ready to go. My printer died at 76 last night. I will make a video showing this in more detail when it’s ready. However I think this method, binder style, will help keep all the flashcards organized and simple post its  on each divider will allow me to know when to retire words.

So the learning binders will be less strict. I’m not interested in running a traditional Glenn Doman Encyclopedic Knowledge program. But when it comes to reading, since Z is responding well, I want to encourage it.

One thing I think is worth mentioning is this. If your child is not labeling items during the day, and by this I mean is not pointing out and labeling dogs, squirrels, bulldozers, naming items like forks, or describing actions etc. You might want to included pictures with your words. While Glenn Doman does not worry about comprehension, other programs like the NACD do. Z is able to label 1000s of items, but with my oldest this was not the case. At the end of the day, he can read and decode at a high level but sometimes still struggles with comprehension. I also believe not introducing Doman Style books to him affected things as well with my oldest.

If you’re trying to figure out how you can afford to print out all these flashcards and books check out my friend Liz’s(otherwise know as DomanMom) post. She was able to help me pick an awesome printer. While the ink cartridges from Amazon have caused me nothing but trouble, I have been able to purchase some from the local ink shop for a lot cheaper than my old HP, and they allow me to print out so many more pages for that cheaper price.

What Is Early Learning To Me?

This is a topic that everyone seems to have a different option.

What is Early Learning?

All kids start learning at a very early age. Even before they are born, fetuses are learning the sound of their mother’s voice. Infants start learning their native tongue. Toddlers learn how to walk, talk, etc.

Well yes all that is learning, I don’t consider that “Early Learning” though.

To me Early Learning is a parent creating an environment for a child to learn something that is not typically taught at that age.

While no one will bat an eyelash at the thought of teaching a little one there ABCs or to count to 10. As soon as your start teaching your little one letter sounds, sight words, days of the week, addition, etc, you MUST be pressuring them.

Early Learning is not hot housing little babies. Its not strapping them down and drilling math problems. Those types of techniques would not work on a baby or a toddler.

But when you present information to a child in a fun, gentle, calm way, your child will WANT to learn. When I do flashcards with my child or for us we use Learning Binders Little Z gets so excited. While we were with the NACD, they did not want us doing this program, so I put the binders away. Well one day I found that he broke into my room and found them in the closet and was using them himself. So trust me this is a gentle process.

What does Early Learning Look Like?

Early Learning when it comes to reading might be a mom sitting down with her child at 6 months following the flashcard program designed in Glenn Doman’s How to Teach your Baby to Read book.

Wesley GraduationTo another family Early Learning Reading might look like it did for Wes and I when he was two. In the morning I would play Your Baby Can Read(YBCR) DVDs while he ate his breakfast. Then I would buckle him in the car to go to daycare and flash through a few index cards with words handwritten on them. We would arrive at daycare and we would go through them again. He would get dropped off at daycare and I would go to work. In the evening he would watch another video of YBCR. Then after supper and playtime, it would be bath and bed. We would read a book or two together, flash though some flashcards and off to bed he went. When he was three we finished the YBCR DVDs and started using BrillKids Little Reader(2 sessions) before bed.

SAM_0965To another family Early Learning Reading might look like what happened with Z. He was a second child to an Early Learning family. We started some of Glenn Doman’s “How Smart is Your Baby program early on. We also started him on Sparkabilities DVD’s at a week old. Then when he was 3 months old we started  BK Little Reader. It took me a little longer then I would have liked to start him on the other BrillKids programs because my laptop broke and took me a few months to replace, But during that time I was so grateful to have the iPad. When he was 12 months we started doing apps like Hooked On Phonics and Teach Me among others.

I think that the environment is the key. I think at the end of the day to be considered an Early Learning parent, your child must be in the early learning window of 0-5 years old. These parents go beyond the usual ABC’s and 123’s.

What is Early Learning to your family?

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?

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Teach your Baby to Read on a budget. 6 Helpful Tips.

2014-10-17 11.39.35How to Teach your Baby to Read on a budget. 6 Helpful Tips.

In my world, I think every baby should be taught how to read before they enter kindergarten. There are many products on the market that help parents do just that. And as long as the parents stay consistent, playful and gentle(ie: no pressuring) this is possible in most cases.

But what if you can’t afford to purchase these products?

Now while these products do make it easier on Mom and Dad. However there are cheaper ways around them. However you might have to invest a bit more time. But I would not let finances get in the way of education your young child.

6 Tips How to Teach Your Baby To Read on a Budget
how to teach to read#1 Visit your local library and borrow a copy of the book How To Teach Your Baby To Read

This is a back to basics, DIY How to teach your baby to read program. All you need is some paper and a black and red marker.

One thing you should keep in mind when you read this book, Doman has a very very strict schedule. Don’t feel like you have to do 3 sets of words, 3 times a day each. Figure out what works for your child and go with it. Some kids will set for 10 cards 3 times a day, some prefer 30 cards one or two times a day.

Also don’t worry about his sizing too much. Making your cards on 8×11 white paper is perfect for little ones. Once they are older you can cut that down to half or even quarters.

Cardstock is obviously better, however more expensive. But a huge pack of plain white printer paper can be purchased for fairly cheap.

#2 DVD section in the library or Netflix:

You can find MANY good educational DVD’s at the local library. My library has very limited selection, however they have good video’s like Signing Time, Little Pim English(other languages too if thats what your looking for), and Leap Frog just to name a few.

If you have access to Netflix, that is another good option that has Leap Frog and Signing Time on it as well.

#3 Youtube:

YouTube is AMAZING when it comes to educational videos. There are so many good quality videos that are perfect for teaching your child to read. Create a playlist and show it to your child.

DO make sure you watch the videos first to make sure it is appropriate for your child.

#4 Free Starfall

Check out the classic Starfall.com website. There are lots of great interactive educational games there. They do offer a paid subscription for more content. But the free content is still very good.

#5 Thrift Stores, Kijiji/Craigslist and Garage sales

This is a biggie! I have gotten so many awesome deals during garage sale season, or at the local thrift store. Things that usually sell for $20 or $30 for $1.99, $5, 50cents.

I also check for things on Kijiji before I pay full price. I have heard Craigslist is good in other cities, but its not popular where I live. But check both and see what works best where you live.

Know your prices and keep your eyes open and you will be amazing what kind of treasures you can find.

#6 Join Swagbucks

Check out swagbucks. Its a search page/bar that rewards you with points while you search. Then once you collect enough points, you can exchange them for gift cards. I usually pick Amazon cards. I have earned hundred’s of dollars doing this.

If your interested in signing up, feel free to use my referral code. www.swagbucks.com/refer/waterdreamer77

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Have you taught your child to read on a budget? What did you do to save money?

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.