LeapFrog Leaping Letters and All About Spelling

Little Z is not an easy child to shop for at Christmas time. Before the holidays, my mom had me on the search for some gift ideas. While we were shopping we landed up in the LeapFrog section of the toy store. Little Z had really wanted the My Pal Violet plushie toy to match his My Pal Scout. When were there we noticed this game, LeapFrog Leaping Letters.

Basically this game is like the game Perfection. Except instead of an assortment of shapes, this game requires the player to put the alphabet in order. There is also a second part to the game, level 2 I guess. You instead a card in the indent of the board and start trying to build as many 3 letter words.

I love that the timer is quite long. I mean the game is designed for 3-6 year olds, so I appreciate that they actually have a chance to complete the task. How frustrating would it be for Little Z to never be able to complete the game. However I do love that as they get older you can give them less and less time to complete the game.

I do have to say, keep your receipt when you purchase this game. The first one we got was a dud. We sat down to play it with Z and the board would not click down. We landed up having to take it back to the store to exchange. The second one works great, and we have had no issues. However I wanted to be fully transparent as I would hate to mislead my readers.

I originally thought it was just a great game for fine motor skills and focus. Z already knows his alphabet and his letter sounds. However, this week I realized this game will be a perfect addition to the All About Spelling curriculum I plan to use with Z in the future. One activity that is required is learning how to put the alphabet in order. I think this game is a great start. Parents can talk to their child when they are looking to put the letter in its correct spot, “What comes before Q?” or “What letter comes after V”. It is a great tool to facilitate these types of conversations with with child, without them feeling like they are being tested.

Check out my Youtube video review:

What are your thoughts on this product?

Disclaimer: My son received this game as a gift from my mom. We were not paid or compensated in any way by this company to share our opinion. I just thought what an awesome addition to our homeschooling curriculum and wanted to share it with my readers.

Little Z Completed Wink to Learn English

Winktolearn

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.

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

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#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

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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

 photo monkisee.gif

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.

 photo abcroundup.gif

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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farfaria1

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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Sound Beginning Review

Well here is the first review I have ever written with the help of Baby Z 🙂

We have all heard that baby’s can hear in the womb, and hear of mom’s that put headphones to their tummy’s and play classical music. Often at night Dad’s to be will talk to their partner’s tummy and be able to feel the kicks when the baby hears their voice. I know that Baby Z knows when his daddy is home because he will be quiet all day and as soon as hubby comes home and we are chatting, he will start kicking and moving like crazy.

 Well now mom’s don’t have to lay still and try and position headphones on their tummy’s. Nor do that have to worry about playing the music too loud. There is a great product available called Sound Beginnings.

There is a safe product that allows busy mom’s to simply load up their MP3 players full of music they would like their baby’s to listen to, put on the comfy soft fabric band with built-in high quality speakers and they can continue with there day. Or if they like that can use the splitter that comes with the band and plug in a set of their own headphones and listen to everything that baby is hearing.

Overview

Safe

Sound Beginnings’ ® high quality speakers are designed to keep the volume to a level that is safe for baby in the womb.

Comfortable

Sound Beginnings ® is comfortable enough to be worn all day and even on the go.

No batteries required

Just plug in any MP3 device/IPOD® and play.

No assembly/disassembly required

Sound Beginnings ® is machine washable on the gentle cycle using cold water. Just tuck the wire into the convenient front pocket, secure the Velcro® and wash on gentle using cold water. Air dry only. Do not machine dry. (See enclosed instructions)

Headphone splitter included

Allows mom to listen along with baby.

But what if dad is often out of town, or deployed and on the other side of the world. Why should these little ones not be able to hear their daddy’s voices in the womb. Now they can! Sound Beginnings offers a service called Sound Delivery.

“Sound Delivery offers parents, friends, and family a simple and unique way to bond with an unborn baby through the sound of loving voices. All you need are a telephone, a quiet place to record, and a love message to baby-to-be; it’s that easy.”

So now dad, can call from where ever he is in the world and record baby a message. He could read a story, sing a song, or just tell baby how much he loves him/her. Mom just uploads the MP3 file on to her MP3 player and plugs it into the Sound Beginnings belt.

Why stop at just dad, Grandpa parents, aunts and uncles can also leave your baby a message!

Now what do I think about Sound Beginnings?
I really love it! I spent a few month researching different sound delivery systems to use with my baby, and this one stood out to me.

What I like:
– I like that it is sleek and I can wear it under my hoodies and no one can tell. (Obviously if I wear it under neither a tight shirt you can see the bump of the MP3 player)
– I like that it’s very comfy. Actually it reminds me a lot of my belly belt that I have been wearing under my  regular clothes to cover my tummy.
– I love that I can put it on, and still run around after all my daycare kids and it doesn’t get in the way, and it stays in place!

I know that baby can hear it! I feel him moving around while the music is playing. I also know when he doesn’t like a particular song, he will send me hard kicks and I know its time to remove that song from the line up.

Now Sound Beginnings recommends to start using their product in the third trimester of pregnancy. However I have been using it starting around 21 weeks. Now I’m sure baby cannot hear the exact words or sounds, I know he is picking up the gentle vibrations. I know through other research the brain grows by use, and I believe that this product can be beneficial to babies in the middle of the second trimester. However this is my opinion only be sure to check with your doctor.

Also you don’t have to limit what you play to just music and messages from family. You can also expose your unborn baby to foreign foreign languages!

Here are a few related studies that the people at Sound Beginnings have posted on their Website.

“Fetuses may have memory, studies suggests”
“Memory Forms at 30 Weeks in the Womb”
“Research Shows Babies Recognize Music in the Womb”
“Study suggests babies get the beat at birth”

Right now I’m playing a mix of classical music, French and Spanish lullabies, and Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Cd. Every week or so I change the music keep some, delete others, and mix up the order.

Overall I think this is a great product for expecting mom’s. The options are endless and I’m so excited to see how this will benefit my son.

Thank-you to the people from Sound Beginnings for allowing me to review your great product!!!

Disclaimer: I received one Sound Beginnings System in exchange for my honest opinion. The views posted here are mine and results may vary.

Exploracise® Gymathtics® Review/Giveaway

Well the snow has finally hit Winnipeg. Blah! I’m not a winter person. So we needed to start looking for something to keep the kids active indoors.
Wesley and I had the chance to review the Award Winning Exploracise Gymathtics program.
The Award Winning Exploracise Gymathtics program is the Ultimate Brain and Body workout teaching math and healthy lifestyle concepts during a complete 30-minute exercise routine.

Gymathtics is a fun fitness learning experience that kids will want to do again and again. The exercise program is great for kids of all ages. The math facts target the 2nd to 5th grade levels.
Program Contents

◦Shape Stretches Warm Up: Stretch your mind and body with line, circle, and polygon stretches.

◦Counting Calisthenics: Aerobic movements work your heart as fun counting concepts work your brain.

◦Pattern Power: Growing and repeating pattern exercise combinations challenge minds and strengthen muscles.

◦Well-Being Wind Down: Relaxing stretches cool down the body and open the mind to think about healthy lifestyle choices including the Nice Wave Stretch and Big Dream Stretch.

What do we think?
When I find that the kids are full of energy and needed a way to burn of some of that energy we throw in Gymathtics. I know this program is designed for older children, but my 4 and 5 year olds get right into it. My 18month olds jump around and try to copy the older kids. We never make it right to the end of the DVD, however we get about 20mins in, and after they have a drink of water and it gets the need to run around out of their system. They repeat some of the counting and lines out loud, so even though some of the concepts may be too difficult for them, I think its great to expose them so when they are ready to learn it will come easier to them.
Would you like to win a copy?? Do one or more of the following. Leave a separate comment and your email for each call to action completed.
-Head over to Exploramania Kids and tell me why your child might like this video
Follow Exploramania on Twitter
Follow Exploramania’s blog
– Follow Doman, ABA, Dayhome and Homeschooling Momma publicly
Like Exploramania on Facebook
Contest closes Nov 30th @11:59pm. Open to the US and Canada only.
Thank-you to the kind people at Exploramania for allowing me to review their great product, and providing an outlet for my children to burn off some energy in a fun way while learning math concepts at the same time.
These options are that of my own. I was not paid to write this review. I was provided a copy of this DVD to review in exchange for an honest option. I was not required to write a good review.

What My Child is Reading. Books by Stuart J. Murphy

I’m always looking for good, fun and educational books for my son. Recently I have had the chance to review a few books written by Stuart J. Murphy. His MathStart series has 63 books and has sold over 4 million book. I can see why!

“Math is about far more than numbers. Math is about being able to make comparisons (estimation, percentage, measurement), understand spatial relationships (directions, opposites, symmetry, geometric shapes, mapping) and calculate time (sequencing, time lines, calendars).

Many of the MathStart stories involve Science and Social Studies subjects. Earth Day — Hooray! (Place Value), for example, teaches about the Environment, while Dave’s Down-to-Earth Rock Shop (Classifying) is filled with information on Geology. The Grizzly Gazette (Percentages) is a lesson on democracy. Seaweed Soup (Matching Sets) is a tale about sharing and kindness. And Lemonade for Sale (Graphing) and Sluggers’ Car Wash (Making Change) are both stories on entrepreneurship and economics.
Math skills are Life skills. We use them every day in every way.”

I had the chance to review the follow MathStart books. I was so lucky because both of them presented Math concepts to my son that we were working on, making them more fun to learn.

Leaping Lizards (MathStart 1)Leaping Lizards (MathStart 1)

To put on “The Fifty Leaping Lizards Show!,” you need fifty star-struck leaping lizards. Where will they all come from? The first five are found lounging in bunk beds, but the next five arrive in theatrical style, riding unicycles and juggling. The next five are speed-demons in race-cars, followed by five more in a hot-air balloon. Colorful graphics keeps track of the count, first by showing how counting by 5s works, and then showing how counting by 10s is related: Kids can easily see how each group of 10 lizards divides into two groups of 5. Will there be enough lizards by show time? Counting by 5s and 10s is an important skill that helps children master multiplication facts, tell time, and count money.

My son and I were able to practice his skip counting by fives. He loved it. They also work on counting by tens, and even though his has this skill mastered he did not mind the review at all,

Give Me Half! (MathStart 2)Give Me Half! (MathStart 2)
I’m really excited to get a few more of these books for my son.

When a little boy tries to eat a whole pizza without sharing half with his sister, it’s not pretty. Of course, she isn’t too keen on sharing her juice or cupcakes. With a little adult prodding, however, they soon learn the benefits of sharing and split everything in half, including clean-up chores. Recognizing that half means one of two equal parts leads to understanding fractions.

 This book got my son’s attention. I found recently that he loves to read about children being naughty. I mean what kid doesn’t. This book was a great early introduction to fractions.
Another thing worth mentioning is that at the end of each book there are a few activities that an adult and child can do together to help reinforce what was taught in the book.
Stuart J. Murphy also has a new series “I See I Learn”.

I had the chance to read “Percy Plays It Safe” with my son.
Percy Plays It Safe (Stuart J. Murphy's I See I Learn) (Stuart J. Murphy's I See I Learn Series)Percy Plays It Safe (Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn) (Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn Series)
Once again this book was a hit for my son because the main character was acting very naughty. However Stuart J. Murphy was able to show his readers through natural conquences why it is important to play it safe and follow the rules at the park. At the end of this book there is a page called “A Closer Look”. Here you can ask your child these questions and have a conversation that will help your child understand how this could relate the their own life.

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
Would you like to win the Musical Math DVD and CD?
Well its easy, just complete one or more of the follow calls for action. For each one you complete leave a separate comment AND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.
– Head over to HeidiSongs website and let me know which other program you might like to try with your child.
– Head over to HeidiSongs blog and Subscribe via email
– Like HeidiSongs on Facebook
– Follow Doman, ABA, Dayhome and Homeschooling Momma publicly
– Blog about this giveaway(please leave the URL in your comment)
Contest Closes November 24th,2010 @ 11:59pm. Open to residents of Canada and the USA.
Thank-you to HeidiSongs for allowing to review their product. These are my own options. Received a copy of Musical Math in return for my honest option.

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.