Monday, May 9, 2011

TOS Review - MonkiSee

As part of the TOS Crew, we recently received MonkiSee, a program designed to open up your very youngest child (ages 3 months to 2 years) to the world of literacy.  Using a multi-sensory approach, your child, is introduced to words that are familiar to their world by the use of a video and slideshow (both on the DVD), flashcards and books that are designed to reenforce the words encountered in the video. 

Krista Guerrero is the founder of MonkiSee. A homeschooling mother of 6, Krista used the method in MonkiSee to teach her youngest two children how to read.  You can read more about Krista, and the development behind MonkiSee here

There are various flashcard packets, three videos and two books in the series.

Videos: ($19.95 each)
  • Baby's First Words
  • All About Colors
  • All About Shapes
Books: ($9.95 each)
  • Know Your Monkey
  • Monkey's Like the Color
Flashcards:  ($16.95 each)
  • All About Me
  • Colors & Shapes
  • Around the House
  • Word Pairs
  • Sight Words

Reading Kits are available for $139.95 and include:
  • 3 - MonkiSee DVDs
  • 5 - sets of MonkiSee oversize flash cards
  • 1 - A Guide to Teaching Babies to Read DVD
  • 2 - MemoFlix Video Flash Cards DVDs Volume 1 & 2 which includes 80 categories and over 800 words and pictures and the Whole Word Phonics A B C.
  • 2 - MonkiSee Book
  • Ages 3 months - 4 years
  • **Free Bonus** We will send you a link to download the Memoflix MP4 Files for mobile phones so you can teach your baby to read anywhere you go.
Trying to optimize the incredible brain power and capability of young children, this program is designed to be used 3 times per day, 5 days per week. The optimal viewing schedule is for 20x per week.  For time constraints, instead of the full 30 min. DVD, the slide show can be viewed for some of the viewings.

From the MonkiSee website:

What is MonkiSee

    MonkiSee is a fun and entertaining collection of baby DVD's that expose babies to upbeat music, original poetry, lovable puppets and real world images.  The MonkiSee collection teaches your baby to identify their body parts, colors, shapes and more, all while learning to read.  The Monki See series is rich in language and has been proven to increase your baby's vocabulary. 

    The MonkiSee Baby DVD series is a fun way for your baby to learn necessary preschool skills such as color and shape recognition.  The concepts are introduced in a fun and interactive way.  Your baby will love to "monkey around" with the lovable Howie and Skip. 

    Each Monki See baby dvd volume introduces new concepts to your baby in a playful and entertaining way.  The MonkiSee collection is truly learning made fun.  You will be amazed at how much your baby learns in this enjoyable manner. 

    Guaranteed to be your baby's favorite series - the MonkiSee line of baby DVD's are products babies love and parents can feel good about.

For this review we received the DVD, Baby's First Words and the book, Know Your Monkey.

How this product fit into our lives

 I have mentioned this several times throughout my reviews, and it certainly bears mentioning again for this product, we do not use a lot of media in our days. Because of that, we didn't use the program as it was originally intended.

Even though we didn't watch the video as often as was recommended, we did watch it, and my 2 year old loved it, we just didn't watch it 3x a day, 5x a week. For us, that would have been too much TV.  We did read the story, quite a few times. My 2 year old loved the book. In fact, when we pulled the book out to read to her for this video, she got very excited and said, "MonkiSee! MonkiSee!"  The product was a hit here, just not in the way it was necessarily designed.

A and R reading to K (turn player off on the right first!)
She never stopped grinning through the entire reading. :)

I am not a big flashcard, early infant reading proponent. I'm not a reading expert by any means, or a child development expert for that matter, it's just not in my nature or inclination to use that type of educational tool with my very youngest children. We do read a ton and engage our kids from very early ages in the world around them. My kids are in a very language rich environment and have shown many positives results from being in such an environment. We just don't employ the flashcard, DVD method to our kids. It's just not my style. :)

As a result, for us, these are very cute videos and books. They caught my 2 year olds attention and she loves them. We found them highly entertaining, even though we weren't using them for their educational value.

That said, I could see these working well, for educational value along with entertainment value, in homes where a family isn't already reading a lot to their young children. I think that the ideas presented are wonderful.
  • Engage and interact with your child. 
  • Show them the world around them. 
  • Point out and identify the things in their world that they come in contact with every day.  
These are all wonderful and fabulous ideas that some parents might not do automatically. I applaud this program for encouraging parents to really interact with their children a ton throughout their day.
I could also see this working in a family where it is important for their child to read at a very young age. I do know parents who really desire for their child to read before Kindergarten. This program certainly has a fun approach to achieving this goal.

Bottom line, for us, we enjoyed this video and book and will continue to watch and read them, but only for the entertainment aspect they provide.

You can read their very informative FAQ section at the MonkiSee website. There is a lot of information on the how's and why's of this program. The research, the testimonials, it's all there.  I'd recommend checking out their website, read the FAQ's, watch the testimonial video (very cute family featured there), look through all the materials and you can decide for yourself if this is a good fit for your family! I know at the very least, your child will really enjoy watching the videos and having the books read to them and if they learn to read while doing it, even better.

To purchase MonkiSee products, click here.  Along with the video's and books mentioned in this review, you will find other products for learning and boosting brain development in young children.

To see what others on the TOS Crew thought of the MonkiSee products, click here.

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions.

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