May 092011

God has created babies with an incredible ability to learn new things. Just think about it. Everything is new to a baby! They are exposed to new sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and textures daily. In the first years of life, children develop faster than at any other time. They learn to sit, crawl, and walk. They go from eating only milk to feeding themselves a variety of solid foods. They learn to talk. They learn to read.

What was that?

They learn to read?

MonkiSeeAccording to the Krista Guerrero, the Founder of MonkiSee, babies can learn to read. By repeated exposure to the shapes of the words in connection to concrete images of the word, babies and toddlers can learn to recognize words. And as they learn more words, they intuitively begin to understand basic phonetic rules. Like b says buh.

I received a DVD, Baby’s First Words Volume 1, and the book Know Your Monkey. Both the video and the book focus on body parts and several other familiar items to babies, like blanket, toys, and stroller.

I put the DVD in for my 4 month old to watch.

He was definitely interested!

The DVD is 30 minutes long and shows a word, like “head”, followed by various clips of children or puppets talking about or doing things related to “head“. It’s a cute show with lots of babies and children in it. The video quality is not fantastic, appearing slightly pixelated on our 32-inch high-definition television. Baby didn’t seem to care though.

So does it work? Well, I don’t know. I’m not sure exactly how you’re supposed to tell. My baby can’t talk or even point to his body parts yet, so he can’t show me that he can read the words. Though the DVD is recommended for 3 months-3 years, it would seem to be more effective at the upper part of the age range. I admittedly didn’t have him watch the video daily because I generally try to avoid early exposure to television. But as a busy homeschool mom, I do recognize that the television can help me to get a few extra minutes teaching another child. I would certainly feel much better about having my baby watch one of these MonkiSee DVD’s than Nick Jr.

Visit to see the complete product line including videos, flashcards, and books. The book, Know Your Monkey, is currently $9.95, and the First Words DVD is $19.95. A collection of all 3 DVDs is available for only $49.95.

Disclosure: I received this product to review as a member of the Homeschool Crew. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Jan 312011


Homechooling with a Baby

Homeschooling with a Baby

This is our 8th year of officially homeschooling. Since I have a 4 year old and a 1 month old, I have some experience. The most difficult thing is finding the time to actually write anything about it. Because the first thing to know about homeschooling with a baby in the house is that you’re going to be BUSY!

But you know that. Because just having a new baby is a very busy time.

There are some things that you can think about well before the baby is born and make adjustments.

1. Think about your curriculum. Look for things your children can work on independently.

I tend to use teacher intensive curriculum for several subjects. I’ve had to put those aside and substitute other activities for the time being.

2. Get your Netflix cue ready.

Let’s face it, your children are probably going to be watching more TV. You might as well have some educational shows picked out ahead of time.

3. Train your children. Train them not only to help, but to do complete tasks.

This is one that I’ve realized after this baby. I should have taught my children to do laundry. They can all help by transferring clothes between the washer and dryer and putting their own clothes away, but I’ve not taught anyone to run a load of laundry from sort to fold.

4. Consider extending the school year.

If you think about this ahead of time, you could start your year earlier than usual to allow more time off after the baby arrives. You can also plan on schooling through the summer.

5. Think about the age of your children.

Younger children do not need to spend as time per day schooling as older children do. But older children are more capable of helping with the baby and other household tasks. (Especially if you’ve followed my advice in #3!)

6. In general, the more relaxed your homeschool is, the less you will have to change things after the baby is born.

If you have a highly structured day where you do a lot of instructing, you will have to adapt more than if you are an unschooler.

After the baby arrives:

7. Take time off.

As much as possible take for at least a few days completely off from school, housework, and cooking. Then gradually add activities back in to your routine.

8. Relax your expectations.

This goes for all areas. You’re going to be spending a lot of time caring for the baby. There are not enough hours in the day for you to do the same amount of homeschooling, housework, cooking, and extracurricular activities as you were doing before. Unless you were spending hours sitting on the couch watching TV, you’re going to have to give some things up.

9.  Take advantage of baby’s naps.

Use this time for those times you need to be able to teach your children without distractions. Better yet, use naptime to take a nap yourself.

10. Enjoy your baby!

Homeschooling with a Baby

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