Monkisee- At The Farm Review

Well a few months ago I was asked to review the NEW MonkiSee Educational video. We used it daily for the first month, and now we are using it a few times a week. Baby Z and my daycare kiddos got excited as soon as I grabbed the DVD case.

Those who are regulars to my blog know we have reviewed several of the MonkiSee DVD series. They were very very popular with Wesley when he was younger, now I’m using them with his younger brother and my daycare kids. Unlike other DVD series that teach your baby to read, Monkisee always seems to be expanding their collection. This is important to me, because my kids seem to get attached to the characters of shows and I know they can grow with Howie and Skip, and not have to watch the same old videos. It seems like there is always a new one about to be released. Its amazing to watch this family company group. Its truly a family affair, and its fun to watch Krista(the creator’s) children grow up on screen.

MonkiSee- Animals At the Farm is my personal favorite so far. Not only are my children learning how to read the names of the animals. They are also learning tons of great facts about each one. Also at the end I can show my kiddies a more Doman style flashcard session. The main song is very catchy, so be warned you might not be able to get it out of your head.

The only minor issue I had with the video was Howie the Monkey, comes of as a bit of a know it all. correcting Olivia in what I felt was a condescending tone. That being said, I may just be hypersensitive to that.

Its honestly really neat to watch each MonkiSee video improving with each new video released. I’m excited to see how they will top this video, because its going to be a hard act to follow. But I’m sure the people at MonkiSee are up for the challenge.

Be sure to visit monkisee.com and check out their collection of DVDs, Flashcards and books.

Disclaimer: This review is my opinion only. Opinions may very. I was not paid to write this review and was not compensated other then receiving a free copy of this dvd

TouchMath for Homeschoolers!! Review

TouchMath for Homeschoolers!! A Review

Homeschoolers Asked, TouchMath Listened

Well, I have wonderful news! For homeschooling and after schooling parents out there that LOVE TouchMath, but could not afford the classroom size prices, guess what! TouchMath listened!! They have recently released a special AFFORDABLE homeschooling program!!

The Solution to the Math Curriculum Hunt

For those of you that are new to my blog, when Wesley was 4-6 years old I had a real hard time finding a math program that worked well for him. Honestly, most of them left him in tears and had me wondering why I could not manage to teach my child math.

Well, the answer to my prayers came when I found TouchMath.

You can find my past review below:
TouchMath Kindergarten Software Review

Also, you can read my comparison between TouchMath and another math program we used
Jones Genuises Vs TouchMath

The Price Was The Only Thing Holding Homeschoolers Back

The only negative point to the TouchMath system was the price. The program was designed for the classroom, so there was more material than one family could possibly use, and the price tag of just shy of $1000 one year of the program was untouchable to most families.

But the people at TouchMath heard this loud and clear and wanted to make this program available to homeschooling families and families like my own who send their children to public school but don’t completely trust the subject of math to the luck of the draw and afterschool their children.

First, they created the downloadable worksheets. Which can be found here:
Touchmath Downloadables

These were an awesome first step. Worksheets could be purchased for a reasonable price in bundles and parents could work with their children at home and not break the bank. The only issue with this method was that there really was not any guidance for the parent. It was more as a supplement than a full program. For us as an afterschool family, this worked well.

TouchMath Homeschool Program

Then TouchMath blew it out of the park. They created the TouchMath Homeschool Program:

You asked, and we answered! And we think you’ll agree that it was worth the wait. For the first time, we now have multisensory TouchMath Homeschool Programs available just for you. The complete pre-K through second grade activity sheets are downloadable by grade level in convenient, cost-effective packages. Each grade level contains hundreds of black and white student activity sheets specifically designed to meet the Common Core State Standards. We’ve also included complete instruction guides with lesson plans, real-world activities, and testing materials for every topic.ย 

Wesley and I have had the chance to use the Grade Two version(Unit A-D) of the TouchMath Homeschool Program. So far we are on Unit 3A and he is doing very well! Actually the day the links came to me via email and I was opening them up to read what they were about Wesley came up to me. Right away when he saw it was a TouchMath program he was begging me to do a few pages.

What Makes The TouchMath Homeschool Program Different Than The Downloadable Worksheets?

What makes this different then the Downloadable worksheets I mentioned earlier is the setup. Each unit in the homeschool program includes a “teachers” guide. This is loaded with useful information on how to teach your child. Each activity builds on what your child has learned in the last activity.

What’s included with each unit download?
  • Implementation Guide
  • 6 Module Guides with Instructional Strategies
  • 90 Student Activity Sheets
  • 6 Assessments (one per module)
  • Real World Connections
  • Answer Keys
  • Progress Monitoring
  • Vocabulary

So What Does It Actually Cost?

Each Unit cost $47 for the download-only or $60 for download & printed copies. You can purchase all 4 Units for $154 for the download-only or $199 for the download and printed copies.

In my opinion, this product is worth every penny. It is a license for one household. So it can be passed on to younger siblings. It is all digital and just requires you to print out the worksheets. I read the parent’s guide on my computer and print out the worksheets I feel my son needs. So there are no consumable products you need to continue purchasing for each additional child.

How My Child Is Doing With The Program

Wesley comes home and completes 3-8 worksheets afterschool. Basically, we are reviewing a lot of what he has learned at school since he is in the second half of the 2nd grade. But I have found a few holes and with TouchMath I have been able to help him fill them in. For example adding or subtracting from the 1’s column then moving on to the 10’s, then 100’s. Plus he is memorizing facts by doing so much review, which in turn is making him a stronger math student. He also has always struggled with word problems and now with all this extra practice, he is actually getting stronger at them!

Overall well done TouchMath! I am very excited to continue with this program with my 2nd grader. In a few years when Baby Z is older, we plan on using the Preschool version of this program too!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the second grade TouchMath Homeschool Program in exchange for my honest opinion. Others may have a different experience, and I am not responsible for any losses if you have a different experience than we did.

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First Piano Lesson

Oh I wish I wasn’t to busy watching in awe to have thought about taking a picture on my beautiful seven year old boy sitting at the keys of a beautiful grand piano.

It goes to show that he was able to remember a few basics from violin, a heck of a lot from Suzie Piano Primer and Little Musician.

He knew each keys name, played her Mary Had a Little Lamb, which he taught himself and answered a few more of he questions. She decided to skip him up to the second level of the beginners program ๐Ÿ˜€

His teacher seems wonderful. She is a school music teacher by day.

He was just so well behaved I couldn’t help but beam with pride. I hope this not only expands his musical knowledge but provides him some much needed discipline to follow through, sit still and pay attention.

Wink to Learn English Flashcards

Well anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows, my family loves Wink To Learn products.

In the pass I have written a few reviews for this great company. Please check them out!

Wink To Learn Speak and Read English

Wink To Learn Animal DVDs

Wink To Learn Speak and Read Japanese

Wink to Learn iPhone Apps

Well here I am again to review another one of their products!

These are their 

WINK to LEARN English Flash Cards – Beginner 1&2

They correspond with Level 1 of Wink to Learn Speak and Read English. So for families who like to take cards on the go, or want to limit there TV time, these are the way to go.


Each flash cards pack contains 40 A5 flash cards specially designed for effective flashing using 100% real life images and brightly coloured words. Topics covered in Beginner 1 are: My Body, Animals, Fruits, Actions. Beginner 2 Topics include: Numbers, Nature, My Family, Personal Belongings. They also include a free Finger Cover included for high-speed flashing.

We got them just before the holidays and I have been showing them to Baby Z(8 months old) since. He really enjoys seeing them, as we are on our second rotation of Level 1, so they are nice a familiar, and a great review tool.

These are set up like no other flashcards I have worked with. They took me a round or two then the difference really did make them easier to use once I got use to them. 

Lets say the first card is a picture of a cat. The next card is the word cat. On the back of each card is a completely different photo or word, but down in the corner written really tiny is the word of whats on the other side. So once you do one full rotation, you flip the whole package and then you have a complete other set ready to go.

Pro to this is you don’t have to flip and fumble with ever card as you do with flash cards that have the word on one side and the picture on the other side. One flip of the whole package and that’s it!

The Con to this is you must show the cards in the same order every time.

The pictures are beautiful and crisp. And the cards are well make and sturdy in my option.

Below is a video from the Wink to Learn website demonstrating how to use these flash cards.

Thank you Wink To Learn for allowing us to review another one of your great products! They compliment our reading program so much! I also noticed while on the Wink To Learn website, they now have Chinese flash cards too!!

Disclaimer: I received both sets free of charge in exchange for my honest option. Otherwise I was not paid for this review. The options here are mine alone and each person may have a different experience.

First New Years Update!

Yikes! A whole month since I’ve update! Bad bad Monique. 

Good news! I now have a new laptop! I’m telling you it was a real struggle having no computer available in the home. iPads are great, but they don’t do everything that I needed them too. My kiddos education has improved leaps So no more updating from the iPad. So I’m hoping this will increase the amount of regular updates.

As you can see from the picture above my boys are getting BIG! Baby Z turned 8 months yesterday. Night times are starting to be challenging. Last night he was up ever 2 hours to nurse. So I think its time to up his solid intake. Also I think I might go out and purchase some Fenugreek to see if maybe my milk supply is going down.

 Since getting our laptop we have been able to get Baby Z start up Little Math and Little Musician again! Baby Z is really enjoying his lesson. We are trying to do them 2 times a day. Since the Little Musician curriculum only offers one lesson a day instead of 2 daily sessions, we started doing 2 lessons a say.

Since we have been doing Doman Dot cards and a Doman style app on our iPad, I have been doing 2 Little Math session per sitting 2 times a day. As well I have started showing equations right away. For example +1 equations, then next lesson 1+ equations, then +2 equations and so on. I want to keep materials fresh while not missing anything, so this accelerated version seems to be going well.

We are still doing Little Reader on the iPad to provide a change of scenery. My goal for the month is to learn more about Little Reader Version 3 (which is suppose to be amazing) and try and figure out where we should be starting since we are already at Lesson 70.

If you haven’t already please do check out the BrillKids website! Sign up and join the forum of moms and dad’s sharing how they are educating their babies and young children. It is honestly the best place to get that kind of information. I know my children would not have gotten half the education at home if I had never discovered it.

Baby Z completed his first rotation of the 48 Tweedlewinks lessons. I did notice during the last 2 DVDs only certain portions were holding his attention, like math dots and perfect pitch. Its almost like the material was a bit too advance. This time around we are spending 5 days per lesson before moving on. So by the time we are back to the more advance materials he will be much older(LOL ok maybe 16-18months old, but still!) and maybe it will sink in more. Though I’m sure his right brain was soaking up the info.

We also completed our first month of Wink to Learn Speak and Read English. This month we are repeating Level 1 and in February we can start Level 2! Baby Z is really enjoying these lessons. Plus they are short and sweet, so it is easy to fit into our day.

One thing I wanted to make sure we were doing this year was reading more. Wesley and I have done great with reading in the past. But since Baby Z came along we kind of have snuffed off. We are back on track for the most part, but still Baby Z was only getting a bit here and there. Now I started reading to Wesley regularly later in his toddler/preschool life because he would not sit. So I know I need to show Baby Z reading is fun before he gets too mobile. So we started the 2013 reading challenge on the BrillKids Forum. We are trying to read 2013 books by Dec 31, 2012. We are averaging 5-6 books a day our first week. Really we should be reading 7 books a day to make our goal. But that’s not the point. Right now I’m starting of a bit slower because I want him to love reading. I’m sure soon enough he will be begging for more stories.

As for Baby Z neck control (body in 3rd percentile and head in the 97th) he is doing fantastic. Christmas was a MAJOR motivator for him. He now sits up alone. Of course I make sure there is padding around him in case he decided to throw himself back.

I have so much more to write! But for now I will leave it at that. Stay tune ๐Ÿ™‚

Wink To Learn Speak and Read English with Baby Z

Oh I’m so excited to write about these products once again! Back in the summer of 2010 Wesley and I were able to review a wonderful product called Wink To Learn- Speak and Read English. You can read about it here: Doman, ABA, and Afterschooling Momma: Wink to Learn- Speak and Read English Review. Then back in January 2011 we reviews Wink To Learn’s iPhone apps. You can read that review here: Doman, ABA, and Afterschooling Momma: Wink To Learn IPhone and IPad apps!

Well we loved them both back then, but then Wesley is able to read all the words in the program, so we packed it up. Well the fun part about reviewing products is you can pull them out years later for younger children. And thats just what we did!

I started Baby Z on the Wink to Learn, Speak and Read DVD series this week. We are following the following guidelines recommended by the Wink to Learn company.

Age: 12 months and below

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Start your child on one lesson from Level 1twice a day.

Complete each level in two months.

After your child had progressed to the next level,play one of the 3 revision lessons from the previouslevel(s) once or twice a week.

How is it going for Baby Z?

Wonderful!! He truly enjoys his lessons. He smiles and coos, while absorbing all the informations. While the speaker in the DVDs we own does have a bit of an accent, I know this will not affect my little one, because she still speaks very clear and the accent is not difficult to understand at all. The pictures are also very clear and crisp. Even my daycare children can’t help but come sit down during lesson time and learn.

 

As mom, the thing I love about this program is the fact that the lessons are short. This is so important now that Baby Z is getting older. I want to expose him to many programs that involve using a screen, whether it be on the TV, computer or iPad. While I believe babies and toddlers can learn alot from dvds and computer programs, I don’t want my little man exposed to hours upon hours of screen a day. This program fits my plan, since it gets right to the meat and potatoes of learning.

We have also been using Wink to Learns fun iPhone/iPad app, Speak and Read English. Baby Z and my daycare kiddos love this program. I’m hoping that in the future Wink to Learn will create more levels to this program. But I do know once Baby Z is a bit older, he can start playing the game this app has too!

Overall all the Wink to Learn products I have tried have been wonderful. Also when you order it is free shipping worldwide. Which is a bonus!

Check them out at Flash Cards | Baby Can Read | Inspired by Glenn Doman, Dr. Shichida | DVDs – WINKtoLEARN

Disclaimer: I received Wink to Learn Speak and Read DVD program in the past in exchange for a review. This update was strictly for the benefit of my readers and I received no compensation.

 

MonkiSee Learning Program

MonkiSee, I can’t saw enough about this program! I have written a few reviews on their products. You can read them here, Doman, ABA, and Afterschooling Momma: Monki See Monki Do Review and GIVEAWAY!! here, Doman, ABA, and Afterschooling Momma: MonkiSee Action Words Review! and here The New MonkiSee DVD “Around the House” Review

This morning one of my daycare moms told me her and her little man were working on learning his shapes at home over the weekend, so I thought that I’d pull out MonkiSee’s DVD on Shapes. I love that this program not only teaches little ones things like shapes and colors, but also how to read the words too. In the past I showed this video daily to my daycare kiddos, and it really took. One of my daycare children was winter jacket shopping, he was just two years old at the time and he requested the hexagon jacket. His mom and the sales lady just about hit the floor. I mean at this age most kids are maybe learning circle, square and triangle, but he knew this was a hexagon.

Your kids will love Howie and Skip, the two friendly monkeys in the videos. They are entertaining and educational. I think its because of them this series is able to hold the attention of very active toddlers that don’t have any interest in other reading DVD’s like YBCR. Also the creator of the series Krista includes all her children in the videos. And its fun to see as they get other they seem to be getting more and more involved. Its a wonderful family business.

I’m so excited that once again I get to welcome the MonkiSee program into my home. I was really looking forward to using it again and it seems my new daycare kiddos love it too.

So be sure to check out their website. I know I plan on checking them out this Christmas.

Baby Learning To Read | Preschool Baby DVDs | Monkisee.com

Baby Z update. 6 month doctors appointment

Yikes! Its been a little longer then I would have like since my last update.

Baby Z update. Well we have lots of great news. As you can see in the picture above Baby Z has graduated from using a boppy pillow for tummy time, to just a little tummy time pillow. The fact this is all he needs to prevent him from flipping over is great news! He can spend 10-25mins at a time on his tummy. We still us Sparkabilities DVDs to distract him. Now starting today I’m slowly having him do his Your Baby Can Discover and Your Baby Can Read lessons on his tummy too. If he starts fussing I move him back to his chair to watch the remainer of the lesson. But using those lessons that are already part of our daily life and including some tummy time I think will benefit him so much. Come nap time this morning he was so pooped out. But I think that’s great because it means he’s working hard.

Another thing I’ve noticed the last few weeks, Baby Z’s legs are getting stronger too. He has been spending a bit of time in the exersaucer on the advice of his physiotherapist, so I think that is the reason.

Baby Z hates the bottle, and will not take it. But when offered a sippy cup of water, he’s willing to chew on the tip and drink a bit. So maybe we will skip the bottle. I mean Wesley stopped using the bottle at 7 months, so maybe that’s ok.

Solids are going well. So far Baby Z has tried Rice cereal, Oatmeal cereal, avocado, peas, carrot, apples, pork and peaches. He dislikes avocados and peaches.

I’m hoping to do everything I can to keep Baby Z of his back during waking hours. We are so lucky that the right torticollis has not cause his head to have a flat spot, and I want to keep this up. My goal is to get kicked out of physio before spring because he is doing so well. So this is what needs to be done.

 

Yesterday we had Baby Z 6month check up. He now weighs 14lbs 7oz, 25inches tall and his head circumference is 45cm. This is great news, because he went from under the 3rd percentile to the 10th for weight, from the 10th to the 20th for height and his head stayed at the 97th percentile. Meaning we dodged the MRI bullet for a few more months ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday we went for Family portraits on Sunday, with plans of getting Baby Z a solo 6 month photograph. We were not getting the two older kids done because they both have school photos. Well after 3 family pictures Baby Z decided he was done. It took me nearly 45mins to settle him down. I figured it was the loud sound of that flash that scared him. But we went back on Tuesday and he did very well.

 

Teething, Halloween and Big Noggin’s

My poor poor Baby Z. He’s darn teeth will just not cut through. I gave him homeopathic remedies, but the pain got so intension I landed up caving and giving him a dose of Advil.

When both of the older kiddos got home we landed up going to Bulk Barn and getting some baking supplies. We debated what we should do tonight and I thought, really, we don’t need to go out and do something every single time we have all three kids. So I suggested baking. The kids helped me make a gluten/dairy free chocolate chip banana loaf, a carrot cake and soft sugar cookie dough.

Baking with children is something I have little to no patiences for. Today I was I really tried. When I was little my mom always let me help stir. But I don’t know why its so hard for me. I would rather just do it myself. LOL I’m working on this.

 

Wesley and I landed up doing his home reading, plus we read a new book I had got in a lot of books on Auction Wars Winnipeg. Wesley’s is a good reader, especially when he practices. I know his decoding skills are strong enough to work on chapter books, but his attention span is not their yet. So we are still reading picture books. But much longer and many words per page.

Halloween this year was a great success. I was a little worried about the weather as it started spit when we got to my parents. But that cleared up quickly and the whole 2.5 hours we were out only felt a few drops. We discovered after spending half the time in the old area and half the time in the new area of my hometown, you get more candy for your time in the old area. Growing up on my street my mom would buy for 200 kids and have to turn off the porch light at 7pm. Then is slowly started to slow down year by year. But this year was the worst, they only got 25 kids! All the kids on our street have grown and moved away. But this is good for my kids because everyone still buys for 200 kids and since we know so many people on the street they drop handfuls into my kids buckets.

 

Thursday we had another appointment with the physiotherapist at Children’s Hospital. Big improvements! He completed a goal she had for him for January 2013 all ready after one visit. Now the major issue is his head size. Right now for tummy time we either have to prop him up on a Boppy pillow, or hold his hips down. Otherwise he lifts his head and it causes his entire body to flip over. So we are still waiting to go see his peds doctor not this week but next. We may need to put Baby Z to sleep for an MRI ๐Ÿ™ But I’m praying we won’t need to

BrillKids iAccess

Of course, its just the way life is. Baby Z is ready to start using Little Reader and my computer dies. So I started doing the Doman Flash Cards I had in a kit I reviewed a while back. (The company who I got it from seems to have disappeared off the face of the planet so thats why I’m not linking to them.) But this can be cumbersome and after I go through the 200 words, I’ll have to start making paper flashcards my self.

Thats when I noticed BrillKids had a product called iAccess. This programs allows parents to teach their children to read using their Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

For $19.99 you can access your Little Reader curriculum on the go. Now while you must own a Little Reader subscription, in my option it is worth the extra $19.99. I can now cuddle up with my Baby Z and do lessons where ever we see fit. The keyboard from a laptop or home computer is not there to tempt baby, so he or she can really focus on the lessons. I can also pull it out while wait in the car or doctors office, to not only entertain but educate my son during times that might have been boring and frustrating.

Be sure to sign up for a free account at BrillKids. You can check out programs like iAccess, Little Reader, Little Math, Little Musician and the great forum with like minded parents striving to teach their your children. Just click the BrillKids banner below ๐Ÿ˜€