"MonkiSee, MonkiDo. I can read, so can you.
Learning's so much fun to do. MonkiSee, MonkiDo."
Krista Guerrero is the creator of MonkiSee. She has developed an interactive DVD, flashcard, and book program to teach reading to infants and toddlers. Krista is a homeschooling mother of six who has used these methods and techniques with her own children. Geared for children ages 3 months through 2 years old, MonkiSee has created colorful and fun movies that introduce children to language, shapes, colors, body parts, and reading. The MonkiSee products are intended to be used daily, to encourage early reading.
The See and Say books are designed with text separated from the illustrations, so that the pictures don't distract from the words. The illustrations do include single-word labels which are repeated in the very simple text on the next page. This is intended to encourage children to learn to read as their parents are reading to them. The illustrations include monkey puppets (Skip and Howie) in colorful backgrounds, acting out the text.
The MonkiSee DVD series uses poetry, music, puppets, and real-life images to introduce children to reading. A word is presented on a blank screen, and then images that illustrate that word are shown afterward. The word reappears on one of the images before the next word is displayed. The DVD also features a slide show to review the words presented in the DVD. The Baby's First Words DVD includes body parts, as well as words like "kiss" and "bath" that are likely to be part of their earliest interactions with their family.
I am not a fan of sight-reading. I don't really consider it to be reading. To me, reading is decoding the letter sounds and their combination in words ... no matter the size of the word or whether it's been seen before. I do accept that sight-reading is helpful for some children, but it shouldn't replace phonics. With that said, I would not consider this MonkiSee DVD and book to be a viable reading program for 3 month old - 2 year old children, despite its claims.
I do consider Baby's First Words to be an engaging movie for infants and toddlers that teaches body parts and first words. The rhyming Know Your Monkey book is cute and fun, but it covers far less than the Baby's First Words DVD. Though MonkiSee isn't what I consider a reading program, I do like the movie as it encourages speech, which is something that my 2 year old son needs. I loved hearing him repeat words on the DVD that he's never tried to say before. The movie held the interest of my 7 month old (in spurts), my two year old (repeatedly), and my five year old (the first few times).
Since neither my 7 month old, nor my 2 year old, are very verbal, I can't give you any quotes from them. I can only tell you that my 2 year old has requested the book and the DVD multiple times. The monkeys, Skip and Howie, make him smile. Best of all, it did encourage him to speak new words! We enjoyed the book and DVD and will continue to view them (not daily) with our young children.
The MonkiSee Facts
You can order the MonkiSee Baby's First Words DVD for $19.95, on sale from its usual $24.95 price. Other DVDs are also available at the MonkiSee website. The Know Your Monkey book and other books are currently available for $9.95 each, instead of $11.95. You can also purchase the Baby Reading Kit which includes 6 MonkiSee Baby DVDs, 5 flash-card sets, and 2 MonkiSee books for $139.95, with free shipping. If you'd like to introduce your babies and toddlers to reading, check out MonkiSee.
This item was provided free for our review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. We received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion. Visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.
Trusting In Him,