Friday, October 22, 2010

Brill Kids Little Reader


In today's world, both homeschooler's and public schoolers are being expected to learn skills like reading earlier and earlier.  Just how early can this be done?


According to Brill Kids, it can be begun as early as 3-6 months old!

I was given the opportunity to review Brill Kids' Little Reader BASIC program.  It has two "semesters" (one year) worth of lessons, beginning with individual words and moving on later on to simple sentences.


The program I reviewed is on the computer, and has two small lessons per day.  You watch them with your child (it's similar to flash cards on the screen), working to make it exciting and interesting for your child.  By the end of everything, your child should be able to see, for example, the word "sit" and know that it is the word sit, and what it means to sit (there is an animated image as part of the lesson showing a baby sitting).

You have the chance (and it is encouraged) to personalize the program.  For example, there is a Family section where you are encouraged to put pictures of each of your family members, add the names, and you can also record yourself saying the names.  In my case I added myself, Link, Thing 1, and our puppy, besides adding Thing 2's own picture.  It was really simple, since everything was labelled.  If you DO have trouble though, there are forums where you can go to ask additional questions of other users, and see how they did it.

Thing 2 was NOT impressed with this program at all.  He much preferred to go after my keyboard.  Other babies likely would have a less button-centric attention span, and have better luck with this program.  Another issue we had, besides the button thing, is that I am not a huge fan of starting off with teaching sight reading.  This is not a phonics program, and so even if Thing 2 HAD paid attention to it, I would not continue to use it.  I prefer to start with phonics instruction.  Not everyone feels this way though, and this program would be a better fit for those who don't mind going into sight reading first.

The BASIC program, which I reviewed, starts at $149.00 for a single semester of lessons, going up to $199.00 for a full year worth of lessons.  Add an additional $10.00 if you want a physical disc instead of just the download.  This includes nothing but the lessons on the computer, and support.

If doing everything on the computer is not for you, Brill Kids also offers a DELUXE package that includes physical flash cards and other physical activities to help you with teaching your little one.  The DELUXE is only available with a full year of lessons, and is $360.00.


At this time, the program is only available for Windows based systems.  According to this page, there are plans to do a Mac version, but it will not likely be for a while.

Looking for other opinions?  Check out what other Crew members thought of this program!

Disclaimer: I received this product free from the vendor for the purpose of this review in exchange for my honest opinion and experience on it.  I received no other compensation for this review.

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