Read Before You Buy Your Baby Can Read, Teach Your Baby, Toddler, or Kindergardener. Save money by making flash cards

I've been teaching for almost 15 years and it never ceases to amaze me when new products come out that are designed to aide parents in teaching their children (or babies) to read. A while back all you had to do was turn on the TV and you would see commercials for Hooked on Phonics, a program that was designed to help young school aged learn their letters and letter sounds. Hooked on Phonics morphed into the Phonics Game and now a new product, Your Baby Can Read, has been developed that is targeted toward children too young to be in school. I've looked into the Your Baby Can Read program and wanted to write this hub so that parents who are thinking of investing in the program can make an informed decision before spending their hard earned money on it. I also wanted to show parents alternate ways they can create their own program, designed specifically for their own child, for a fraction of the cost of Your Baby Can Read prepackaged program.

An Overview of the Your Baby Can Read Progam

The premise behind the Your Baby Can Read program is early language acquisition. Because the brain of a baby is developing rapidly between the ages of 3 months and 5 years there is a natural "window" for a child to learn languages easier and at a more rapid pace. To make this statement easy to understand just think about it this way. Have you ever shown a picture of something to a toddler and listened as they identified it? Show them a picture of a dog and the child will say "dog", or a picture of a cow and they will say "cow". That's language acquisition. Or what about reading a favorite book to a child and each time you read it they point to the pictures and tell you about them? Once again, language acquisition. It's a natural developmental process in a child. The makers of the Your Baby Can Read program have simply added additional steps to this natural progression, the written word and body movement. Instead of just seeing a picture of a dog, the child is shown the picture as well as the written word "dog". The program  uses body movement to help trigger a childs memory of words. An example would be when a child sees the word "clap" they are shown a picture of someone clapping and are encouraged to clap themselves. The program uses videos, books, and flashcards to address the different learning styles of children. I've posted videos below that show exactly what is in the program and also a child using the flashcards.

It's All About Connections

Everyone's brain operates using a series of connections. When the brain is presented with new information it simply connects that information with what it already knows. The more ways that an idea can be represented-the more connections are made. The more connections the firmer the learning foundation. For example, if you are trying to teach your child his color words, show him the word for the color, show him a flashcard with the color and word written on it, point out examples of the color in the child's natural environment, give your child a box of crayons and have him identify the correct color to use to color a picture, and read him a story that contains the color word and point it out during the reading. The child's brain has been presented with five different and distinct ways the color is represented. It's what educators call "Authentic" learning. The more ways the word can be presented and represented to the child the firmer the child's grasp of that word is. The more you practice the word with your child the firmer his grasp of the concept of the color is. You can use everyday activities to accomplish the exact same results you would receive if you used the Your Baby Can Read program.

You Don't Need Expensive Programs

You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars to help your child acquire language at an early age. You don't need fancy books, or dvds, or premade flashcards. If you want to teach your child to read there are some simple things that you can do to help them. If you just put in a little time and effort into your child's language development you will see amazing results.

The first thing you can do to help your child learn to read is to read to them. When your child sees and hears you reading it reinforces the idea that words represent actual things or thoughts. If your child has a favorite story, read it to them over and over again.

Next you can use index cards to label objects in your house. Write the word "door" on an index card and place it on the door, or make an index card for the word "sofa" and tape it on the sofa. The more the child sees the word the more they will associate the object with the word. Label family pictures-put your dogs name on the picture of your dog, or grandma's name on grandma's picture.

Read household labels to your child. Show them the word "milk" on the carton of milk, or "orange juice" on the orange juice. Take the labels with you to the grocery store and have your child match the labels with the products. Cut out pictures of the groceries that are on sale at your local store and have your child locate and point them out to you. When you play either of these games with your child be sure to have them verbally identify the products. It's just another way to make a connection.

If you want to make flashcards make sure to have a picture of the word along with the written word you want them to learn. (This is a strategy used with people trying to learn a new language-the picture will initially trigger the recognition of the word. When triggered enough times the picture will become unnecessary.) The internet is a great place to download different thumbnail pictures to use on the cards. I use a special site to find pictures for my students weekly spelling words to help the children identify the words. You can also use old magazines and newspapers to find pictures.

If you want to get really creative you can make your own videos using your personal camcorder. Hold up the objects and the words that you want your child to learn and film yourself-or better yet record the child doing the same thing-what child doesn't enjoy watching themselves on TV?

In Conclusion

These are just a few of the simple ways you can help your child acquire language and start reading.  As I stated earlier, you don't need expensive programs to accomplish this, a quick trip to the dollar store and the library can get you started for very little money. If you want to spend the $200 on the Your Baby Can Read Program, then please do. Just remember the same results can be accomplished for a lot less money if you are willing to put in the extra effort.

 If you aren't comfortable creating your own flashcards I've posted links to some education sites where you can purchase pre-made ones.

This is the first of what I hope to be many hubs designed to help parents help their children with their education. Check back often and if you have any specific questions-send me an email or just post a comment and I will get back to you. Thanks for visiting!

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Comments 21 comments

Monica 6 years ago

Thank you so much for the post, I was looking into the your baby can read, but i wanted to be able to make my own. And your site has given me a lot of information, and money saving ideas, which are very helpful since I have two children and one on the way.

Thank you again!!!


mikicagle profile image

mikicagle 6 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks Monica. As a teacher it is important for us to be creative all the time because sometimes money is not always available. I spoke with a friend of mine who has the your baby can read program and she stated in no uncertain terms that the videos DO NOT keep her baby's interest-and the video component of the system is one of the most important.

Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 6 years ago from trailer in the country

I agree with you that you don't need expensive tools to teach a child to read...I taught our oldest daughter to read at about age was sight recognition...but helped her later when she was able to understand sounding out.

Apple 6 years ago

Wouldn't teaching your child the letters be a more effective way to teach them how to read. I think word memorization is no way to teach a child how to read. My nephew watches Super Why and it teaches kids how to read through spelling and alphabet recitation. It also teaches kids what sounds letters make and how to put them together. Word World does that for kids too. Good thing PBSkids is free and available to people regardless if they can afford cable or not.

mikicagle profile image

mikicagle 6 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Teaching a child letters and letter sounds is a only one component of an effective reading program. An effective reading program teaches a child many skills including phonics, word decoding, sight word memorization, and comprehension.

Bobby Baizas 6 years ago

Hi! Thanks for the post. It gave me some insoght into the "your Baby Can Read" program



Marry Anne 6 years ago

This is very interesting. I am a child Psychologist and I am searching for more information about "baby reading program". And you said your a teacher, that is very interesting as well.

Keisha 6 years ago

You're absolutely right, why spend money to teach your child to read, when we can teach them ourselves with everything already available in our homes and environment.

michelle 5 years ago

I think this is a very interesting hub.Like most things parents can do the research and come up with interesting ways of teaching at home which I am a big fan of,but with that said in a world of two working parents this can be a challenge for most of us.good luck to all parents teaching there children to read.

gobangla 5 years ago

I bought Your Baby Can Read from for $50 and resold it on craigslist for $50. I used YBCR, and flashcards with my first child. My daughter was reading phonetically at 21 months. If a child learns to read easily, and my daughter learned very quickly and easily, then $200 is actually money well spent.

YBCR didn't work for my second child for various reasons. I paid $200 to buy the Brillkids Little Reader and she is making huge progress. Too many kids struggle with learning to read. You are absolutely right that it can be done much more cheaply but I think these programs are worth the money, just in terms of making learning to read so quick and painless.

smackins1974 profile image

smackins1974 5 years ago from UK

This hub is great I bought and returned the "your baby can read" set purely because it is american based which over time would create problems in our UK household due to spelling and word differences. I love your ideas to do this on a much cheaper scale. I look forward to reading more of your tips and ideas.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

GREAT hub! Wonderful suggestions for parents. The labeling idea can be used in classrooms, too.

maylee30 4 years ago

Some great links! I teach in England and love the children! They really do light up our world and are truly worth all the time and stress which comes along with the job! I'll be looking at your other hubs!

DeAnne Ridge 4 years ago

I, too, am a teacher and I believe children should acquire language, then learn to read. All children (well 99%) will learn to read by third grade. Learning to read at 2 does not give any significant advantage to a child.

I realize third grade is too late to learn to read these days but let's give our children as much attention as we would teaching them to read, but do it just because you love them! They grow up so fast! Take it from a "mature" mom!

mama 4 years ago

To DeAnne Ridge: Learning to read at age 2 can give a child a lot..When we teach young children, we are simply "playing with them" and "growing their brain" simultaneously. If you know Doman's method , then you know it is about love and joy and FUN! The difference between usual play and "reading" play is that you are stimulating a growth of nerve networks in his brain at an age where his nerve cells logarithmically multiply and this miraculous speed will only decline with each passing day. This is literally a "head"start that can make a major difference throughout one's life. "Teaching a child is like carving in stone. Teaching an adult is like writing in the sand." Our little ones are truly precious diamonds in the rough. Happy polishing to every blessed mother, father and child. Much love to all of you!

mama 4 years ago

To Apple: Teaching whole words as opposed to single letters/sounds is based on Doman's heavily researched conclusion & fact that "if you teach a child the facts, they figure out the rules". I am an ESL teacher and have witnessed this to be true with acquiring language over and over. If you think about reading words as another foreign language a child is acquiring, perhaps you can imagine how it is much more effective to teach them whole words as opposed to using the other methods. Try it and you can assess for yourself whether or not children "figure out" the rules of phonetics and spelling (and grammar, in fact!) faster than you can teach them. But hey, any teaching is better than no teaching! Best to you...

sandrah 4 years ago

I totally agree with you. You dont have to spend so much to teach your child to read.

Ive recently tried this program with my son and it has worked wonders for him. This website has free video guide lessons to help kids learn to read.

You must check out:

ange 4 years ago


Shireen Moodley 4 years ago

How would this programme affect " baby can read" me teaching my grandchild of 7months old in S.A. Please inform me .

mikicagle profile image

mikicagle 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Create your own flash cards that have a picture and the word for the picture and use them with your grandchild daily. Once you have done this for several days lay the cards out and say the words outloud while encouraging your grandchild to choose the right picture. At 7 months old your grandchild can't express himself/herself verbally but can show that he/she is comprehending by choosing the right card.

Buy teaching resources 10 months ago

Hi, This is a great hub. There is many important information which will help to parents.Like most things parents can do the research and come up with interesting ways of teaching at home

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