Monday, May 9, 2011

Monki See (monki do.....monki learn)

MonkiSee, Monki Do? 
Children truly do learn by mimicking those around them. Neural pathways are being connected and reinforced constantly.  MonkiSee creator Krista Guerrero (A homeschooling mother of 6) recognized this, and created the MonkiSee program to help others after having success with teaching her younger children to read at an early age. You can read more of her story here, and some facts about the program here.

The entire program utilizes DVD's, Books, and Flashcards.


MonkiSee is based on research by Glenn Doman, the author of "How to Teach Your Baby to Read". You can read some of his research and find other resources on this page (Glenn Doman's research is found at the IAHP links). In a nutshell, my understanding of the basic concept is to exercise and stimulate the same neural  pathways over and over so that what is seen (or heard, or touched) is "learned", and this learning takes place most quickly and easily the younger the brain....

Photobucket My youngest is on the older end of the recommended age for MonkiSee, (ages 3 months -3 years) but he enjoyed watching the MonkiSee Baby's First Words DVD (Retail $24.95, currently on sale for $19.95). It is pleasant to watch, with calm music and children's voices. The accompanying pictures and puppets are also interesting.

We didn't actually watch it EVERY day as recommended, as Youngest likes variety in what he watches, and I do try to limit his viewing. He wasn't very fond of reviewing the included slideshow, although he was willing to watch it a few times. I'm guessing he was a little old for the purposes of this program(Not quite as compliant as a younger child might be...;) He has his own, vocal opinions about what he watches and reads at the moment ;) ).

I like the way that the MonkiSee book, "Know Your Monkey" (Retail $11.95, currently available for $9.95) is set up. 

A 2-page spread with text (Mostly one-two words/page), Photobucket

and the following spread has a picture with the same words repeated.


I think this is a useful tool!
It gives the opportunity for the child to focus on the word shape before seeing the picture. When the word is repeated with the picture, the child begins to associate the shape of the word with the picture. This is very well done! I would like to see more "baby books" utilize this concept.  Oh, and the words in the book reinforce those found on the video, which was "thoughtful", and makes sense.
I would say that this process would work best with someone who is fairly regimented, as frequent repetition is a key aspect of the program. I understand and admire those that are wired this way. Unfortunately, that is just not the way our family works (In addition to having limited viewing time, I'm just not an "Every day 3x/day kind of person".... you should see me trying to remember to take vitamins!).
I am curious though, what the results would have been if I had had this program to use when my Youngest was an infant. 

However, that being said, I appreciate the ability to have something very "Gentle" to watch upon occasion that is educational in nature. This is even addressed in the FAQ's ~ (See the answers to "Should I do this daily with my child?"  and  "What if we don't do this consistently?") The only negative recommendation  makes perfect sense~  to NOT make this the only think that your child sees and does all day long~ not a multi-hour electronic baby-sitter! 

If you are interested in giving your 0-3 year-old child a "head-start" in learning to read (By memorizing word shapes, and eventually internalizing some phonics), then this might be a program you would be interested in. You can purchase the items individually, or you can purchase an entire package (6 DVD's, 2 books, and 5 sets of flashcards). Retail for this package is $265.35, but it is currently on sale for $139.95~ over 45% savings. 

To see how this worked for other TOS Crew Members, please check out the TOS Crew Blog.

As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you search for the best items for YOUR homeschool.


Side note:  Krista Guerrero does recommend using a phonics program for children 4+ as the "Window of opportunity" for teaching via sight-reading is much smaller at that point.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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