Your Kids Can Be in a New MonkiSee DVD – Animals Under the Sea

We are filming a new MonkiSee video called Animals Under the Sea.  We would love to feature your child in the video.  Watch the clip below to find out how you can have your child participate in the video.

We are working on a new MonkiSee DVD – Animals Under the Sea – and we want to feature your kids in it! To find out more about how your kids can appear in this MonkiSee DVD, just watch the video above. Teach your kids the hand signals and take some video of them doing it. Here are some key points to consider when taking your video:

Take HD video
Film on a clean, simple background (avoid a busy background)
Check for good lighting
Use a tripod (or just make sure that you a really still when filming)
Have fun!
You can send us your video through DropBox (if you don’t have an account let us know and we will send you an invitation) or you can mail it to us on a flash drive. If you have any questions just send us an email!

We can’t wait to see your video!

New Books for Early Readers

Check out these news books designed specifically for early readers and children who have learned to read with Your Baby Can Read, Little Reader, or MonkiSee.  They are a perfect addition to your library.
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I just found out about this delightful new book series that encourages early readers to read.  Bird and Butterfly by Amanda Stanford has bold, beautiful illustrations that children will love.  The simple story keeps the text and the illustrations separate.  This is brilliant as it naturally draws a child’s attention to the words on the page, encouraging young children to read the story themselves without being distracted by the pictures.  These books are exactly what I spent days creating for my kids when we were teaching them to read as babies and toddlers.  It is so nice to be able to purchase quality products to encourage early readers without having to create everything yourself.  Amanda Stanford has several more books in the works which look really nice.img0782

You can even teach your child to read using these books.  As you can see above, the text isisolated, causing no distractions.  As you read the book over and over and point to the text as you go, your child will learn to read easily and naturally.  I truly believe that if all books were formatted in this way, kids would learn to read much earlier.

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The Kissing Tree by Amanda Stanford is a sweet story that children will request again and again.  It won’t be long before your child is reading these stories to you. 

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I’m thrilled that Amanda Standford has decided to create a series of books with the early reader in mind.  Any one of her books make a great addition to your reading library.  You can purchase these books in the MonkiSee store.

Please Bury Me in the Library – Book Review

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Please Bury Me in the Library

A book that can summarize my feelings about books so exactly is worth mentioning.  I came across this book a few weeks ago and realized that this should be the epitaph inscribed on my tombstone when I die.  Oh, how blissful it would be, to spend eternity reading.  Please Bury Me in the Library
is a really cute book of poems for kids. I really like the poem and thought I would share it here.

Please Bury Me in the LibraryPlease bury me in the library
In the clean, well-lighted stacks
Of Novels, History, Poetry,
Right next to the Paperbacks,

Where the Kids’ Books dance
With True Romance
And the Dictionary dozes.
Please bury me in the library
With a dozen long-stemmed proses.

Way back by a rack of Magazines,
I won’t be sad too often,
If they bury me in the library
With Bookworms in my coffin.

If you like poetry books for kids, this is a short, sweet addition to add to your read alouds.  My kids and I really enjoyed it.  The poem What If Books Had Different Names inspired me to write a few new parodies myself.

Reading Goals For My Kids For 2014

Here we are at the beginning of a brand new year.  This is a great time to assess where we are in our lives and where we want to be.  In 2012 I joined some other moms in trying to read 1,500 books to my kids that year.  We did it and it was a very interesting experience.  Then last year, some one suggested that we read 2,013 books to our kids during the year.  I eagerly signed on and was ready to go for it.  That would require me to read 6 books a day to my daughter, which didn’t seem at all impossible. 

Well, the air quickly went out of my sails, and I realized that we have entered a new phase in our reading which consists more of chapter books.  While I was hopeful that I could read six picture books a day plus chapter books, I quickly realized I couldn’t.  So, I did something I really don’t like to do.  I quit the read aloud challenge.

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Coincidentally I just read Jim Trelease’s The Read-Aloud Handbook: Seventh Edition this past December.  He mentioned a family that set a goal to see how many days the father and daughter could read together without taking a break.  They kept a running total that was well over three thousand days.  This included proms, a divorce and their read aloud days ended when she left for college.

I found that story to be so inspiring.  I realized that while I did read my kids a lot of books, we still had days that no reading aloud for pleasure was being done.  More than having a list of all the books we read, I craved reading to be a daily habit.  So three days before the New Year I began our daily reading adventure to establish reading together as a daily habit in my home. I am so pleased with the results.

It is amazing how making a commitment can bring about changes.  I got a new calendar and each day that we read together I write a number showing the consecutive days we have been reading.  The kids have gotten used to me saying prior to enjoying a family movie night, “Wait, we need to read a chapter of our book.”

Worst case scenario, I read one chapter of our book.  Best case, I usually read for about an hour.  Won’t you join me in establishing reading as a daily habit  in your home regardless of the age of your children?  My children range from six years old through eighteen years old, but none of them have grown tired of sharing a read aloud with their mama.

If you want to get motivated to read to your kids look no farther than The Read Aloud Handbook.  It is a fabulous book and includes lists of great books to read to your kids.

My Reading List for 2013

I hope 2013 was a great year for all my readers.  I feel very blessed to have been able to read so many great books last year.  According to my records, I am one book short of doubling what I read in 2012.  I do hope to be able to do a lot of reading in 2014. Certainly the list of books I want to read is very large and tends to grow each day.  I recently came across a children’s book called Please Bury Me in the Library.  The title spoke to me as a book lover and is now on my shelf beckoning to be read.  If only I could find a profession that required me to read for 6-8 hours a day.

My list is a collection of books I read to and with my children, books on education, business and faith.

  1. Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry – Jack Prelutsky gives guidance and instruction on how to write poetry.  This was a great book for anyone who likes Jack’s silly style of poetry.
  2. My Dog May Be a Genius – Jack Prelutsky book of poetry
  3. Little Britches – Father and I Were Ranchers – Ralph Moody details the story of his life in this first book in the series.  I loved, loved, loved this series.  Every one in our house heard the series last year.
  4. Raising Your Spirited Child
  5. Feed Your Skin – Starve Your Wrinkles
  6. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen  I love this book and plan to read it again.
  7. The  Merry Adventures of Robin Hood  The kids and I loved this book.
  8. What’s Whole in Whole Language
  9. Man of the Family – Ralph Moody
  10. Self-Leadership and the One Minute Manager
  11. Take the Risk – Dr. Ben Carson This was a great book.  I really like Dr. Carson.
  12. The On-Time, On-Target Manager
  13. I Just Want You to Know – Kate Gosselin This book inspired me to write love letters to my own children.  I really liked this book which surprised me because I am not a Kate Gosselin fan.
  14. Something Beautiful For God – Mother Teresa of Calcutta
  15. One Thousand Gifts – I did not care for the writer’s style although the message is good.
  16. Teaching Your Child Music
  17. Defeating Darwinism
  18. Mary Emma and Company – Ralph Moody
  19. Marketing Without Money
  20. Helen Keller – The Story of My Life – What a fascinating and inspiring person she is.
  21. The Story of Doctor Doolittle
  22. Neat Mom, Messie Kids
  23. The Fields of Home – Ralph Moody
  24. Life Without Limits – Nick Vujicic This guy is amazing!
  25. Intense Moments With the Savior
  26. Shaking the Nickel Bush – Ralph Moody
  27. The Dry Divide – Ralph Moody
  28. Horse of a Different Color – Ralph Moody
  29. Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning
  30. Keeping a Nature Journal
  31. Raising a Reader – Jennie Nash
  32. Ginger Pye
  33. Raising a Reader – Simple and Fun Activities for Parents to Faster Reading Success
  34. Viking Quest – Raiders from the Sea
  35. The Magnificent Obsession – Anne Graham Lotz She is a favorite author of mine and this book did not disappoint me.
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  37. Son of Charlemagne – Read this to the kids and loved it.
  38. The Trumpeter of Krakow – Read this to the kids and loved it.
  39. Enjoying the Closeness of God
  40. Secret of the Andes
  41. Wicked History – Francisco Pizarro
  42. Squanto – Friend of the Pilgrims
  43. Don Quixote – Wishbone Classic – This book was so funny.
  44. The Magic of Thinking Big
  45. Grammar Land
  46. Wicked History – Sir Francis Drake
  47. The Scarlett Pimpernel – Very exciting read.
  48. A Pizza the Size of the Sun – Jack Prelutsky book of poetry
  49. Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats – loved the poetry in this book
  50. The Mark of Zorro – Possibly my favorite read this year.
  51. The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow – Great book to read to the kids.
  52. Melchizedek – King of Jerusalem
  53. The Wheel on the School – The kids and I really liked this book.
  54. Write It Down, Make It Happen
  55. Cathedral
  56. Shipwrecked
  57. The Self-Propelled Advantage – Very interesting.  Challenged some of my methods for homeschool.
  58. The Fallacy Detective – The kids and I loved the lessons in this book on logic.
  59. Christian Heroes Then and Now: Hudson Taylor – Excellent faith building story.
  60. Christian Heroes Then and Now: Amy Carmichael
  61. Tending the Heart of Virtue
  62. The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn
  63. ScreamFree Parenting – Did not agree with the author in his methods.
  64. To Selena, With Love
  65. The Core – This is a great book on Classical Education.
  66. One, Two Buckle My Shoe – Agatha Christie
  67. A Child’s Introduction to Poetry
  68. Poetry Matters
  69. The Bible
  70. Secrets of Mental Math – Arthur Benjamin – So many great things to learn about math here.
  71. Gentle Ben – The kids and I loved this book.

Do you have any recommendations that aren’t on this list?  Please don’t hesitate to share them.

Review of FUNdamentals Phonics Reading Program

Below you can watch a pretty in-depth review of the FUNdamentals Phonics Based Reading Program.  I used this many years ago when teaching my 3 1/2 year old to read.  I also used it and the methods to teach my other children.  It is a very solid reading program.  Watch the video to get a better idea of how the program works.

Visit www.intellbaby.com to learn more about Action Reading’s FUNdamentals program.

Free Seeds Family Worship Album – Seeds of Praise


I did a review some time back for the Seeds Family Worship sampler CD.  We loved it then and we still love it now.  If you or your child want to learn to memorize scripture set to upbeat music, this is the easiest way to do it.  They have some very modern sounding music with a great message, which makes learning Bible verses a snap.  You can download their Seeds of Praise album completely free from now until Thanksgiving.  This is a very generous offer, so tell everyone you know.  To claim your free album visit the Seeds Family Worship page and click on Buy Now.  When it says name your price, enter a zero and the album will download for you immediately.  It couldn’t be easier than that!

How to Increase Your Baby’s Vocabulary

There is a lot of anxiety over the developmental phases of our children.  When they are not talking much, we start to wonder what is causing this delay.  This is an unpleasant experience for both parent and child, but thankfully there are many ways you can stimulate and increase in your baby’s vocabulary.

The most important step to take in building your baby’s vocabulary is to talk to the child incessantly.  The child needs to have a lot of input of spoken language in order to develop an understanding of language and generate an output.  You can do this by talking to your baby about everything that is going on around you.  Encourage your baby to talk by asking your child questions and waiting for an answer.  If your child is slow to answer, wait a moment and then provide a suitable answer.


Reading to babies and young children is monumental in building their vocabulary.  When we read to our children we engage them in a relaxing and entertaining brain building exercise.  This is crucial to proper language development and helps the child feel in command of their language.  Children that are read to regularly are adventurous in the words they use.  They are not afraid or shy to express themselves with new words.  In fact, they think it is a lot of fun.  When a child uses a new or unexpected word, it oftentimes generates a positive response from their parents, which makes them eager to be even more adventurous in the words they use.



Educational videos can also be a tremendous aid to parents. The MonkiSee line of DVDs are designed to build and develop language skills in babies and young children.  MonkiSee captivates young children with the use of lovable puppets, silly skits, lots of great music, real life videos, and of course, a vast amount of relevant narration. 

Each volume of the MonkiSee DVDs is full of written and spoken language. Including tons of original poetry that is presented in a gentle and engaging manner, draws the young child in to what is happening on the screen.  Due to the way these videos are designed, children often experience a language explosion – sometimes doubling their vocabulary.  While reading to your child is the best activity you can do to encourage and stimulate your child to talk, the MonkiSee DVDs are a very close second.  Each volume includes lots of rich and relevant vocabulary which is usually encountered only during reading time, and most importantly, the child is having fun  all the while.  If you would like in increase your baby’s vocabulary, the MonkiSee DVDs may be just what you are looking for.  To find out more visit www.monkisee.com.

Below is just one testimonial from a very happy customer whose daughter’s vocabulary has doubled in the month that she has been watching the MonkiSee DVDs.  You can view her whole review at Growing Up Madison blog.  Below you will see an excerpt of her review.

“My Speech Therapist has agreed with mommy that this is the best thing that I could have gotten besides my books of course that I continue to read daily. I have been watching the videos for almost a month and my vocabulary has almost doubled. I can point to my body parts and I try and mimic what I see on the TV as well. Check out the following video done by MonkiSee. See what I mean? How could you resist not watching the entire video.”  – Excerpt from Growing Up Madison blog


 

Howie And Skip TV – New YouTube Channel For Preschoolers

I was planning to create a post announcing that Howie and Skip from MonkiSee now have their own channel on YouTube, but someone beat me to it.  The other day I received the latest post from one of my favorite early learning blogs called PushPlayLearning.  I have referred to Lacy as the YouTube Queen, since she really knows how to find great videos for her kids.  It was with not too much surprise, actually I was surprised, that she was our first subscriber to the new YouTube channel.  Since then she blogged about it on PushPalyLearning.  Her post was so awesome that I will share it here.  You can view it on her blog at Howie and Skip TV.  Thanks, Lacy for taking the time to write such a nice review.  It is one of the nicest reviews I have seen.

Howie & Skip TV, YouTube Channel Feature
Posted on October 9, 2013 by pushPLAYlearning


What?  Did you just read that right?  Yes, the cute and loveable Howie & Skip from Monkisee now have their own channel on YouTube featuring the best of the best clips from the Monkisee DVD series.   Finally, I get a peek into the wonderful world of Monkisee that so many people have been raving about.

Filled with lots of clips that showcase the lovely rhymes and song that fill the Monkisee DVD series, Howie & Skip have a YouTube channel that is surely going to delight children from ages 0-6.   Of course, it is filled with lots of opportunities to pick up great reading skills or it just wouldn’t make the list, but Monkisee goes beyond your typical baby reading show.   It is truly engaging and mesmerizing.



Just the right amount of time is spent between introducing words, singing and listening to language building rhymes.  The storylines are wonderful and Monkisee does well fitting in lots of fun facts about animals and other things while also encouraging good habits and attitudes.



The delightful host Olivia is a helpful friend that encourages Howie & Skip as they learn about shapes, animals, action words, ABC’s, colors and more.  There is a wonderful love for learning that is woven through the show and you can really see it shine on Howie & Skip TV.   I think that is one of the elements that I love most.



These wonderful clips will make you want to run out and buy the full DVDs.  I had thought that I had my fill of baby learning DVDs.  It seems I have mountains of them, and with Micah reading so well, I just didn’t see a cause for buying anymore.   But all my children have enjoyed these wonderful clips filled with songs, rhymes and fun facts, that I am definitely going to put them on the must have list for Christmas.

Alright, get over there and subscribe to Howie & Skip TV.  If you haven’t started your little one on their reading journey, I think this is a great YouTube channel to get your journey started.  Warning: You might fall in love and need to pick up the entire series.

*This post contains affiliate links. If I like what I see, I like to share it.

We Love MonkiSee

I received this email the other day in response to announcing the new Howie and Skip’s StoryTime sereis.  It is emails such as the one below that make all that we do worth it.  To know that people appreciate and love our products makes it all worth while.  Below you can read the email for yourself.


My name is Stephanie and I just want to tell you how happy I have been with your products.  My children have used the MonkiSee Baby Reading Program Starter kit since they were 3 months old.  My 2 year old now knows over 200 sight words and can read from simple books.  I attribute this to the amazing program you created!  I am so excited that you are always coming up with new ideas such as Monki See Action words  (one of our favorites)  Monki See Animals at the Farm, Monkey See ABC Roundup, and now the StoryTime DVD.  I hope you continue to expand your program and products so that my children can grow up with Monki See during their early childhood years.  I would love to see a series on Money, Time, Feelings, Important Monuments (seven wonders of the world)…  maybe Skip and Howie can travel to far away lands and help us learn about new cultures?  I just didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to tell you thank you for making such an amazing product that has given my children the love of learning!

I wish you and your family all the best!

Stephanie