“My Baby Can Read” – Mommy Teacher Review

I may get some hate mail for this “review” but it is long overdue.  I have been asked by several people over the last couple years “What do you think about the ‘My Baby Can Read’ program?”  For the longest time I couldn’t give a straight answer because I didn’t know much about it.

But, not too long ago, my sister asked me if I wanted it because she was going to get rid of it and I took it so that I could review it for everyone who has asked me what I think.  And here goes nothing….

The Program Summary: “My Baby Can Read” is a video series that introduces oral vocabulary with the corresponding print on the television screen.  So, for example, there might be an elephant and then the word “elephant” right after the image of the elephant appears. The same number of words will be repeated a few times throughout the video.

The founder of this program has a “manual” that suggests that children nearly master the words in the first video before moving on to the next.  He claims that children can “read” based on these videos.

What I believe: To build strong, efficient, and strategic readers children should have the opportunities to learn along the reading continuum that I demonstrate in a reading ladder in fun and meaningful ways.

Once children have mastered each tier of the reading ladder and have the ability to understand all of the print concepts and listening skills, then they are on the road to reading success.  THEN words can be memorized to help children FLUENTLY read words that they already know how to decode.

Would I use “My Baby Can Read?”  :  I am not opposed to allowing my little one to watch the videos every now and then to promote ORAL VOCABULARY….basically, to reinforce his first language that he is developing to date as a two year old.  BUT I would NOT use this as reading instruction by any stretch of the imagination….that is my personal opinion.   And I would not buy the program just to aid in reinforcing vocabulary, but I am as frugal as they come.  Hope this is informative for you!

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5 Comments on “My Baby Can Read” – Mommy Teacher Review

  1. Casey
    July 6, 2012 at 11:33 am (6 years ago)

    I have also been asked a bazillion times if I would recommend this and I commend you for actually looking at it before stating your opinion (because I have given mine on numerous occasions even though I know nothing but what I have seen on TV). I agree with you 100%! “MBCR” teaches children to memorize the SHAPE of a word, just as one would memorize a square or circle. It does not teach phonemic awareness, print awareness, or reading strategies and building blocks; nor does it teach children the concept that letters make sounds, sounds make words, words make thoughts… etc… But yes, as a vocabulary tool, sure. And yes, it is very impressive if a 2 year old can recognize the word “elephant,” but in no way does that mean he is reading. He is recognizing the word “elephant” just as he recognizes the animal at the zoo: as merely a shape. Stepping down from my soap box now 😉

    • The Mommy Teacher
      July 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm (6 years ago)

      Haha and that right there is why we share a brain Casey 😉

  2. Growing Book by Book
    July 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm (6 years ago)

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Reading to and with kids is the best teacher of all. Playing oral games to reinforce the skills on your reading ladder are also great. But, a video to teach a child to read is just a waste of money. Our kids don’t need to be in front of the tv to read. Thanks for the post.

  3. Emma Hartnell-Baker
    July 11, 2012 at 11:48 pm (6 years ago)

    Reading scientists and experts have been commenting on this awful product for years- and it is now under review by the Federal Trade Commission for false advertising. Its a party tricky- memorising whole words by their shape and size- not reading. If a child looks at a card that has the word ‘clap’ and claps that doesnt mean they are reading. If they showed the words ‘hit me ove the head with a shovel’ and kept asking the child to clap when looking at it you know what wud happen. No injuries. Reading means decoding words (this happens so quickly we generally dont realise we are doing it – until we come to an unfamiliar and difficult one) and it culd also be argued we need to understand it. But many children do seem to be reading- until we ask them what it means- so much of reading includes verbal intelligence as well. Children can learn to read and spell at a very early age- and I spend my life showing parents nad teachers how. You can watch me conducting an early intervention project with a class of 5 year olds if you go to youtube/soundpics – anyone can do this or download free resources at facebook/readaustralia including speech sound clouds that represent every speech sound in the English language.
    My review of this product is here http://www.readaustralia.com/yourbabycanread-review.htm among other places (including Ezine)

    Great to see a parent who is able to see past the hype and realise that this is a just a marketing gimmick. It can actually do more hamr to many than good. And knowing the people behind the product I can imagine fake parents will soon post here claiming it was life changing and worked. Realise that these people are paid to try to do damage control. NO research supports teaching whole words as the basis for teaching reading and spelling. Using high frequency sight words to help children create more complex sentences early on is one thing- but if you teach children the code there are only around 55 words in the English language thats cant be decoded. So lets give children the skills to decode and encode regardless of whether they have ever seen the word before.
    And if you watch me teaching youll see that UN is absolutely a huge part of my approach- but mine ALSO teaches any child to read and spell by 6- including those with special needs.

    Emma Hartnell-Baker BEd Hons MA Special Educational Needs
    The Reading Whisperer


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