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Review of Brillkids Little Reader Baby Reading Software

Updated on July 14, 2013

Brillkids Little Reader is a reading program for babies and toddlers. Unlike the Your Baby Can Read DVD set, which requires one or two 20 minute viewings per day, Little Reader takes just a few minutes twice a day. It can also be customized, so you can replace the stock photos used with family photos or pictures of book and cartoon characters your child is familiar with. Little Reader is a one year course.

During this time, your child will see 3,000 words in more than 180 subject categories, supported by over 3,000 pictures, 6,600 sounds files, and 460 videos!

I starting using Little Reader with my second child before she turned 2 because Your Baby Can Read didn't hold her interest. I customized some of the pictures and it immediately held her interest. Sometimes she refused to sit through a whole viewing but this wasn't often. She would often ask to do it and when she was old enough to control a mouse, she would play with it herself. She learned to read within about 6 months after using this reading program.

Teach your baby or toddler to read with Brillkids Little Reader
Teach your baby or toddler to read with Brillkids Little Reader | Source

How Does Little Reader Work?

Little Reader has a daily lesson, divided into two sessions. You can show the first session in the morning and the second session later in the day. Each session is divided up into:

  • Word flash - the words that will be shown in the lesson are flashed on the screen
  • Multisensory - this section shows each word, then pictures and videos related to that word are shown
  • Picture flash - flashes the pictures shown in the multisensory section
  • Pattern phonics - the patterns consist of rhyming words to teach phonics, such as cat, pat, mat, sat
  • Sentences - stories with simple sentences are introduced about halfway through the program

All you have to do is sit your child on your lap and click through the sessions. You should repeat the words after they are spoken and help your baby or toddler do any actions. This will make learning to read more fun for your baby.

How Much Does Little Reader Cost?

Little Reader has different options, so the price will depend on which you choose. Before you purchase, search online for a Brillkids coupon code. You can choose either the Little Reader Deluxe option, which starts at $250 or Little Reader Basic, which starts at $149. Brillkids has an installment plan, so you make partial payments for 12 months.

You will have the choice of buying either one or two semesters. Each semester is a 6 month course. I paid for two semesters and regretted it because my daughter's reading was already very advanced by the time we started the second semester. She didn't even finish the course because it wasn't necessary. Brillkids doesn't have the option of buying just semester 2 but you could contact them to find out if this is possible if you decide you want it later on.

If you are buying for a toddler and you plan to use other methods of teaching your toddler to read, one semester may be enough. If you are teaching a baby to read, it is probably worth it to get both semesters even if you are using other teaching methods. If Little Reader is the only method you are going to use, then getting both semesters is probably best.

Other Ways to Teach Your Baby to Read

It may not be a good idea to use just one method to teach a baby to read. Flashcards, PowerPoint slides and the KoomaKids channel on YouTube are other great ways to teach reading to babies and toddlers. But a product like Your Baby Can Read or Brillkids Little Reader can be a big help because they provide a complete baby reading program in one package with instructions on what to do everyday.

Little Reader and Your Baby Can Read don't focus directly on teaching phonics because young children are often capable of intuiting phonics through exposure to a lot of sight words. This means that they figure out the phonetic sound of each letter themselves without being taught. However, some children may not intuit phonics, so it is a good idea to teach phonics directly as well. Starfall.com and Readingbear.org are excellent websites for phonics instructions. You should also call letters by their phonetic sound rather than the letter name. You can make PowerPoint slides or flashcards and sound out each letter for your child.

Conclusion

Brillkids Little Reader was hugely effective with my second child. While I used other methods to teach her, I think Little Reader was a big factor in my toddler learning to read by the age of 2 1/2. I have no idea what her reading level currently is but it is at least first to second grade at 3 1/2. She loves reading level 2 readers to herself. Little Reader is expensive, so you are taking some risk when you buy it. If your baby does learn to read, it is more than worth the cost. You can get a two week free trial to see if you like Little Reader from Brillkids.com.

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