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Your Baby Can Read!

By Robert Titzer, PhD
877-881-READ (7323)

Teaching a baby to read is an idea that's been around for a long time. Babies' brains are developing faster than at any other time in their lives. Baby reading programs attempt to capitalize on this fact by teaching them to "read." I put read in quotes because your baby is not going to learn phonics. Instead, he or she will memorize words by sight. This can lead to phonemic awareness (since your child may start putting together the fact that whenever the word begins with /b/, the letter b is the first letter in the word), which eventually will help your child truly sound out words and learn spelling patterns. Most programs I've seen just use flash cards to teach your baby to read. Your Baby Can Read! brings the concept to the next level.

The Your Baby Can Read! Learning System includes 5 DVDs, 5 double-sided sliding word and picture cards, and 1 wipe-clean word card and pen.

The DVDs make teaching your baby to read multi-sensory and interactive. He sees the word and hears it at the same time. For example, your baby will see the word clap on the screen as it is read aloud. He sees the action performed by a person on the TV, and he performs the action himself (with you helping him, if necessary).

The Starter DVD has 22 words. You are to play it twice a day (totaling about an hour) for a month and then use Volume 1 for two months. Volume 1 reviews the starter video and introduces 30 new words). After that, use Volume 2 for two months; it introduces 50 new words. Occasionally, switch it with the Starter and Volume 1 DVDs. Volume 3 introduces 50 new words and more songs and poems. You use this almost exclusively for another month and then switch to Volume 4, which reviews the other DVDs. You'll alternate this video with the other videos.

These videos are entertaining for babies and better than watching Barney or some other entertainment video.

Your Baby Can Read! is a fun way to introduce reading to your young babies and children. I am hesitant to wholeheartedly recommend it because, to me, this is not reading (sounding out the words). It's memory work. I am not a fan of "whole word" instruction, and I see this as more "whole word" than true phonics.

Right now the website is offering a 30-day trial of the program for only $9.95, so it would be easy for you to check it out to see if it would work for your family.

Product review by Dawn King, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, March 2007

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