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Your Baby Can Read! Learning System: Volume Two

Parent Bloggers NetworkFive months ago, I did a review of the Your Baby Can Read! Learning System. For that review, I had the starter DVD, Volume 1, and some sliding flash cards.

I am glad that I now have Volume 2 (again, via the Parent Bloggers Network,) more sliding flash cards (including another blank one with an erasable pen,) and a thick stack of solid static flash cards. The first two DVDs haven't lost their appeal, but my kids were definitely thrilled to receive a third DVD. (Repetition is great for education, but so is novelty!)

Spliggle opened the flash cards, and the Cat immediately provided the answers. Unfazed, Spliggle took the sliding flashcards, turning his back on the Cat so that he could try them himself.

If I had been following the system faithfully, my kids would have seen the first DVDs many times (daily or twice daily, as recommended) before doing Volume 2; but, truthfully, we haven't. I could blame the move, or that for awhile we didn't have our DVD player hooked up properly to our TV.

Spliggle (age 3) wishes we had been better about watching the DVDs. He loves them.

As with the first DVDs, Volume 2 provide a great opportunity to associate a word with its sound with its picture with its concept. (Volume 2 has lots of verbs and a few phrases in addition to the standard nouns than "beginning reading" systems often include.) Each word is shown while a male or female, child or adult speaks the word (or phrase) at least twice. This variety in voice provides novelty and reinforces that a particular word maintains the same meaning even if spoken differently. Similarly, each word can appear at different times in varying fonts.

An arrow pans the word at pace with the speaker. A photograph of the object, action, or concept appears on the screen while a speaker recites a relevant sentence. Frequently, the reader requests an action ('Wave your hands!" "Touch your fingers!") or asks a question ("Do you have a comb?" "Have you had your nap today?") Familiar songs ("Old McDonald") and new poems assist in encouraging interaction, repetition, and easier ways of associating words, sounds, and concepts.

The interactive nature of the DVD captures the kids' attention, keeping them involved in the process. The Cat wanted to always get "the right answer." And Spliggle enjoyed trying to keep up. He sang along, and repeated every word immediately after it appeared.

Spliggle ReadsSpliggle used the flash cards well, too. When "horse" appeared on the screen, he grabbed the "horse" flashcard, said "horse!" and looked back at the DVD to watch the horse on-screen and to listen to the associated sentence. He did the same thing with "duck," and several other words.*

I was surprised at how instantly he found the flashcard given that I would have assumed he'd have little recognition yet for the written word. (Dr. Bob, the founder of the Your Baby Can Read! Learning System, says to not expect actual word-reading until the "Review" DVD, which is the fifth overall DVD, after Volume 3.)

But Splig was definitely playing along.

The Cat enjoyed the DVD and flashcards to reinforce what he already knows (he is 6, so older than the program's target age.) Even though the Cat has "graduated" from Kindergarten, there were words he didn't know ("violet," "turtle") and the rhyming quizzes at the end were useful to reinforce concepts introduced to him in class.

The Cat had difficulty with categorization and differentiation of similar objects as a toddler, so I was happy to see that Splig was picking up the difference between "duck" and "chick" (which came right after each other on the DVD,) whereas I don't think the Cat would have at age 3.

Concepts seemingly independent of reading ("Point to the red circle") are well represented on this DVD, so this system can be attractive even for parents skeptical of the "your baby can read" nature of the program. The DVDs include educational concepts and entertaining songs, poems, and activities.

The kids seemed to enjoy Volume 2 even more than the first two DVDs. Perhaps Spliggle is more "used to" the concept introduced in first DVDs, because he certainly seemed to pick up more words this time around on the initial couple viewings. He was eager to participate. I imagine we may end up purchasing Volume 3 and the "Review" DVD, the latter of which reviews the words in the other DVDs, but presents them in new ways. Of course, before doing that, we need to watch the other DVDs regularly!

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*=I have video of him doing this, but it is from my cell phone, and since Quick Time keeps "upgrading" thus requiring a new purchase of PRO over and over and over again, I have ceased purchase of "PRO" and will await Santa (or the Birthday Fairy) getting me a digital camcorder or something that won't require such conversion. And then I can post video.

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