Friday, October 22, 2010

Little Reader Review

Can you teach a baby to read? With BrillKids' Little Reader you can! Little Reader is a computer program developed to use several proven techniques to teach very young babies to read. How? By using fun pictures, bright words, speech, sound effects and video clips. This program can be used with babies as young as 4 months! BrillKids also has an intriguing program for teaching math to babies, and it can even be purchased together with Little Reader in a bundle.

You can purchase Little Reader for $149, including a 12 month curriculum and all the content you will need for it. The Little Reader program takes about 10 minutes a day, and is so very easy to use. It is all planned out for you for the first 12 months, but you can use the program forever. You can make your own lessons after the 12 months are done, or you can use it again for your next baby.

So what do you get when you download the Little Reader program? You will download the main program, along with the 12 months curriculum. You will download all of the content (pictures, sounds, etc.) for those 12 months. You also get access to all of the extra content on the website, some of which is free and some is purchased by way of a point system. You can learn more about this by joining the BrillKids forum.

My thoughts:

I really like this approach. I read about teaching little ones to read a few years ago, but the process seemed so labor intensive and complicated that I never implemented it. Little Reader makes it so easy! You don't have to DO anything, except click on the start button and play with your baby! I was really impressed with the ease of using this program. (However, it is very customizable, and you can add or delete any word, and make your own categories and lessons.)

As a frugal-minded mom, I also appreciated the extra content that can be added, and the fact that Little Reader is a downloadable program that you can install and use for several children. If you are going to be using this with other children later, it really increases the value of the initial purchase price.

Baby Girl's thoughts:

I can't really quote her on too much. :) But I know that she is always excited when she sees the program open. She says "Ready?" when she sees the introductory screen. OK, to be honest, all of the kids enjoy this. When it is time to play with it, they all gather around, and I often wonder how much reading benefit they are getting from it, along with Baby Girl. They are watching all those words flash on the screen, too!

As far as whether she has learned to 'read' with this, I have to say no. She can't read. We have only been using this program for about 6 weeks, so we can't say whether she will learn to read with it. If you want proof that babies CAN learn to read, you need to check out the Little Reader video testimonials. Wow, I LOVE watching these!

But there are a lot of things that Baby Girl has learned. Things I wasn't even expecting. Like what a donkey is. And I am really excited to be starting the 'color' category, which I am sure will teach her all her colors by the time we are through it! I have been working with her on colors, but like everything else with this child, she seems to learn it in her own time and in her own way.

And what CAN I quote Baby Girl on? Every time we are done she sighs, "Aww, man! More!"

My favorite things:

This program has made amazing changes in Baby Girl's talking. She has learned new words, but most importantly, she REPEATS every word that is said, so she is simply getting a lot of practice talking. Everyone has noticed how much more she is talking, and I credit a lot of it to this program. If your little one is not talking, but had no developmental or physical problems, I would HIGHLY recommend this program for a focused, one-on-one talking practice time each day.

The 12 year program introduces over 3000 words in the first year of included curriculum alone. Animals, plants, body parts, action words, and so much more. This is a tremendous vocabulary for a 1-2 year old to have! If your child really LEARNS all of these words in that year, (even if they can't say OR read them) what a help that will be later on!

Labeling words are a really big thing to the littlest kids. You know how they are always asking what things are? Well, with Little Reader they will learn the names of a huge amount of things. Kids really love this, and it is great for forming brain connections. (See how much I have learned from BrillKids?)

My LEAST favorite thing:

I liked Little Reader very much. I do wish that the extra content was based on a point system. You can earn points by talking in the forum and uploading extra content yourself. I feel like with the price of the program, maybe the extra content (Especially that content that is uploaded by other users) should be freely available. We don't all have time to chat on the forum. But I do understand that this point system is what encourages people to upload new content. And there is SOME free content available.

You can read more reviews for this product on the TOS crew blog. There is a ton of information on the BrillKids website, where you can learn the "hows and whys", talk to other people on the forum if you have questions, and even try out Little Reader for 14 days! You should also visit BrillKids' Free download section.

I received this product free of charge
as a member of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew,
for review purposes. I promise to be honest
and fair in my reviews, and I received no
other compensation in exchange for my review.
to read more reviews on this product.


  1. WOW that looks really cool I think mine are a bit past that though but glad you are enjoying it so much!

  2. Hopped on over from workbox group. Interesting review. For the price, I would have assumed it would include everything. Not sure people need any more encouragement to spend time on their computers!


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