Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Top Software and DVD Recommendations for Baby & Toddler Reading

If you are looking to teach your little one to read but don't know where to begin, here are my top recommendations to make it as EASY as possible. I taught both of my kids how to read as during their infant/toddler years and they were able to sound out novel three letter words by ages 15-18 months old. You can begin teaching reading from around age 3-6 months and up.



1. CORE CURRICULUM - 10 Minutes Daily

Little Reader software is hands down this THE most versatile reading program around. If I could only have one program, this would be it. It offers tons of vocabulary (3,000 words), pattern phonics, is customizable and infinitely expandable. Basically, you just sit down with your child for 10 minutes a day and go through the interactive lessons on your computer or Ipad. Read the storybooks together which correspond to the software, and use the sticker labels to put up around your house. It's a pretty comprehensive program.



Regardless, the more CONSISTENT you are and the more you LAYER the learning, the quicker you will see results. Having said that, I applied the "immersion method" to literacy. I didn't just use software...I used software, books, flashcards during most mealtimes, youtube videos, DVD's, etc. and the whole process was very quick and painless as a result of the constant reinforcement.

2. SUPPLEMENTAL CLIPS AND DVD's

I had my kids watch about 3 minutes of youtube phonics songs 3-5 times a day for a month or so and they learned all of their basic letter sounds.  You can use the phonics playlist here on my youtube channel  or this one from Super Simple Songs .

You do NOT need to buy all of these programs below, but its nice to have a couple and rotate them. Your library may carry some, so check out your local branch. When your child has mastered the material, let them graduate and move on! Retire it and learn something else with a new DVD.


LEAPFROG 

 I LOOOOOVE pretty much all of the leapfrog videos. They teach phonics, blending, even math concepts. Be sure to get the flashcards too for reinforcement or print your own here.



Top picks for teaching letter sounds are Phonics Farm for the under 2 crowd and Talking Letter Factory for 2+. The whole set is an awesome investment and your child will learn so much more than anything shown on broadcast TV.  Every close friend and client I know with older toddlers and preschoolers report that it look their child 1 month to as little as 1 week to learn their letter sounds with Leapfrog! I am a huge fan of their Tag pen, too that reads aloud to the child.




MY MONTESSORI HOUSE

My Montessori House videos are great because they have *tons* of blending examples. I especially love their demonstrations of silent e words in level 2 (kit/kite, rob/robe, and so on) and all of the wonderful unique shapes they teach on the shapes and colors DVD (the words are also blended sound by sound on screen).





Preschool Prep

Preschool Prep videos tend to be simplified and slower, I like them because there is no storyline really, just fun, memorable characters. They are easy to follow and great for really little ones especially although any child can use them.


Their Meet the Sight Words DVDs 1, 2, and 3 are super for kids learning their most common sight words and their easy reader books are very, very good too. I am a big fan and I think I own everything they've ever sold!





Your Child Can Read

This is the sequel to the ever popular "Your Baby Can Read." Your Baby Can Read Reviews are all over the internet, but BrillKids Little Reader covers all of the YBCR words (a few hundred) and many, many more (a few thousand). So if you have it laying around, go ahead and use it, but I wouldn't go buy it because there the programs directly overlap. Now, Your CHILD Can Read? It's full of really cute phonics songs. The pace is pretty quick, it covers *tons* of word in each DVD with lots of sentences and song lyrics being flashed on screen. It's entertaining and informative, but will need to be watched many times before it all sinks in.  Overall, it's really good and we love it!




You can also look into using free online resources such as www.starfall.com and www.readingbear.org depending on your child's age. Overall, just immerse your child in literacy opportunities and you will be shocked at how quickly they learn!

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