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Author Topic: Little Reader vs. Tweedlewink??  (Read 8400 times)
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Auravella
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« on: February 20, 2014, 02:43:25 AM »

Hi Mums!
I am a massive fan of Glenn Doman but simply don't have the time do create materials for his reading and encyclopaedic knowledge programs. I came across Little Reader and Tweedlewink and wanted to hear your experiences so as I can decide which is the best way to go.

Regarding Little reader, does it cover much in the way of 'encyclopaedic knowledge' and regarding Tweedlewink, does it cover much in the way of reading?

Has anyone's children learned to read/ learned encyclopaedic knowledge using these programs?

Thanks so much, would love to hear your thoughts!

Jess

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akalori
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2014, 02:46:25 PM »

I really like Little Reader.  You can customize your own playlist by either making your own files with your own pictures and recordings, or by editing the existing library offerings.  Also go look in the Little Reader Library, there are already lots of encyclopedic knowledge files.  I don't know anything about tweedlewink.  I started using Little Reader late.  I started with Your Baby Can Read when my daughter was 23 months.  It was good but limited.  I think we found Little Reader when she was 24 or 25 months old.  It was perfect for us.  We stopped using YBCR and my daughter was very happy.  She would beg to watch her little reader files.  You can have a lot of fun with it.  My daughter was reading single words at 23 months, then sentences by age 3, and her own storybooks by age 3.5.  It was never work and I was even rather inconsistent.  I have an older child that was having learning issues so I was distracted and overwhelmed by his problems.  Yet despite my inconsistency, she thrived and excelled.  According to her school, she entered kindergarten reading on third grade level; and now in first grade, reads on a fourth grade level.  Honestly I think her reading level was and is higher.  Either way, I am very pleased with her progress.  She is a bookworm who learns on her own by reading.  It's great. Good luck, Lori

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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2014, 10:43:44 PM »

We really love both of these programs.  Tweedlewink does indeed cover a lot of reading basics, although Little Reader is a better reading curriculum.  As far as encyclopedic knowledge goes, both are very good.  TW packs a LOT of information in each of the 7-minute, 48 lessons.  The advantage to a video program, and this goes for MonkiSee and YBCR, which we also love, is that the makers can put more effort into smooth transitions between subjects/words/themes, can add music in the background to make it more engaging, and can add special effects.  The big advantage to LR is that you can customize it.  You can add pictures of grandparents, their favorite toy, a recent vacation, and tap into the amazing library that other parents have made.  For that reason, Little Reader is my favorite reading program.  But I also love and use MonkiSee (my kids love the stories, and their off-screen materials are fantastic and very high quality) and YBCR regularly.  To be clear, this is a library that I've built over time.  It would be a hefty investment up-front, but I've been having babies for a few years now and have collected things over time.

There is one area where TweedleWink really outshines these other programs, and it's not in reading or EK.  It's in the right-brain training.  There are affirmations, which I really love as they help my kids settle down before bedtime.  There are eye-tracking exercises, speed reading clips, and photo-eye-play with poetry, which is a precursor to developing photographic memory.  The music theory part of TweedleWink is really good too, although I much prefer Little Musician.  Your CHILD can Read also has speed reading clippets, and Sparkabilities has the best eye-tracking exercises I have seen for little ones.

We are so lucky to have so many resources and options available for our little ones!  I love, love, love them all.  They each have their own strengths.

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MamaOfWill
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 06:18:01 PM »

I just watched a full episode of TweedleWink (picked lesson 24 thinking it should be average of the 48 lessons) and I know LR very well, so I'm going to try this tough comparison again:

Firstly, Little Reader (LR) is an application that allows you to import and create lessons and material, whereas TweedleWink (TW) is a DVD series.

1.  All the BrillKids products, including Little Reader, keeps track of what lessons have been done, something that a DVD based series can't do.  In addition, LittleReader will also keep track for any number of individual learners using the program.

2.  TW consists of 48 unique lessons and it's up to the user to rotate and review these lessons.  LR Official Courses (like English Semester 1&2) consists of 260 lessons in which material gets reviewed and rotated and the user only needs to play the next lesson without having to repeat or plan it out.  LR's lessons gradually introduces new material as old material is reviewed.

3.  LR displays content in a random fashion, the order of words (or slides), the color and font of words are random.  Each vocabulary slide has 5 images, images get rotated and 1 image is displayed for each viewing of that slide.  None of these features are possible with TW.

4.  TW features that are absent in LR and other BrillKids products:  Alpha relaxation music throughout a lesson, Affirmations, Photo-eye-play, Visual Tracking, Speed Reading and Encyclopedic Knowledge.
- The Alpha music is a lovely feature!  It makes the entire lesson more attractive.  This can't be replicated in LR in any way.
- 3 exact same Affirmations are played at the beginning and end of each lesson, these are feel good phrases and I think the familiarity helps set the mood for the kids.  (It could be recreated in LR or just simply kept in mind when doing any type of lesson with your child, you can say these affirmations yourself.)
- TW's photo-eye-play is combined with their poetry section, it has many benefits for memory and visual development.  Although this is not included in official BrillKids courses, it has been recreated by users and can be found in the LittleReader library.
- Visual Tracking is a right brain eye exercise, it can easily be recreated in LR.
- TW's Speedreading can also be recreated in LR and is similar to LR's 21 stories.
-TW includes EK in the form of flashcards on topics:  Art, Science and Cultures.  This includes 1440 flashcards and 200 full length facts.  Although LR's user created content is not as professionally done as the official material or that of TW, the library contains at least 10x the amount of flash cards.  Our community created Little Reader Country Course alone consists of 800+ EK facts with multiple matching images and more.

5.  Features included in LR which are absent in TW:  Games, Multistory, Word Split, Videos and Customize-ability.
- LR includes games in each lesson, the user is prompted to choose the correct word or picture.
- In multistory, words and matching pictures are displayed and the application waits for a mouse click before continuing, this allows for interaction and discussion about what is seen, while using a DVD, one would have to press pause/play to get the same effect.  Thus LR encourages parent-child interaction, something we sometimes forget about when watching a DVD together.  This pause also encourages the child to try and read the text by himself, or try and repeat the words that are spoken.
- For all LR words, syllables are displayed in different colors, for example "hamster" TW also uses text highlighting to help point out similarities in phonics or to show what sentence is being read in the Speed Reading section, but words aren't split in the LR fashion.
- About 200 of the LR words are attached to video files.  These are very short clips, but very entertaining for the little ones.  TW might be a video series, but it does not include any motion video clips other than the Visual Tracking (which is a 2D image that moves around on the screen.)
- Little Reader's true strength lies in it's customize-ability.  Don't like a section? Change it or delete it.  You can change or add images, videos, recordings, slides, whole categories or even create an entire course from scratch!  You can swap things around or just delete or replace a section of an existing course.  A very common step users take is to translate the English course into a local language, I did this for 2 local languages for which I can't find any such early learning matereals in those languages.  Possibilities are endless!  I love LR so much, I've actually cut DVD series up and imported them into LR for the sake of keeping track of when to watch a new lesson and when to review.

6. Phonics:  Both LR and TW have very similar approaches. Both use word building (or sounding out) and pattern phonics.

7. Whole Words:  LR includes over 2400 unique words, 600 of them (I consider them Vocabulary words) has 5 images each and words are used in full sentences to aid language learning.  TW has about 2500 words, 2000 of them "vocabulary boosters" which are attached to 1 image each.  Both programs include sight words within their word sets.

8.  Whole Language:  Both products use stories and rhymes.  TW uses a systematic speedreading practice, "The dog."; "The dog sits next to his master."; "The dog sits next to his master.  His tongue is sticking out because the weather is hot!"

9. Math:  Absent in Little Reader, TW has a basic Doman math program, dots 1 - 100, skip counting, adding, subtracting etc.  Little Math has very similar curriculum as the TW math section, but again Little Math has random display, placement and uses a variety of pictures, with many of the same features discussed under LR.  Home made dot cards can be found in the LR Library.

10. Music:  LR has no music.  TW has a "Perfect Pitch" section that only teaches note sounds, what the sheet music notes look like, where to find these notes on the piano, and relative pitch.  Little Musician has all this and lots and lots more features, including features discussed under LR.

11. Lifetime:  I would say TW has about a 5 minutes x 8 repeats x 48 lessons = 60 hours.  If you watch 8 lessons a week, you'll be finished in a year's time, after which you'd typically abandon the product or reuse with younger siblings.   LR has 260 lessons (2 sessions each) x 10 minutes = about 40 hours.  One could easily do 1 or 2 LR sessions every weekday or about 10 sessions a week and also finish within a year, but after that you can continue using your LR for years to come.  I've been using mine for more than 2 years and I can see myself still using it for at least the next 3 to 4 years (and that's counting only 1 little boy.)

12. Price: TW 12 DVD's (48 lessons) - $408;   LR Basic - $149,   Little Reader Basic + Math + Music  -  $470

In conclusion:  TweadleWink is a "all in one" toddler education package, it's no mess no fuss, press play and walk away.  TweadleWink is a stronger program when compared to LittleReader English Sem1&2 content, but the LR application has a lot more potential than the TW DVD series.  (Then again, very few LR users make use of all this wonderful functionality.)  When compared to the complete BrillKids series, TweadleWink is no match, especially when counting the content that is available in the library. 


« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 08:58:39 PM by MamaOfWill » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2014, 04:45:18 PM »

Hi Mama of Will,
My name is Hien from Vietnam, and I am a newbie to the forum. I just recently learned about EL via the internet and was so impressed with what we can applyEL to babies. Iam using TW dvds for my 5 month old son. Can you kindly tell me how many lessons per day I should let him to watch, and how much frequency for each lesson? for now, I just repeat one lesson 3 times/day, and the next day I play new lesson for him? am I doing right? I am afraid he can't get it. Pls tell me how you use each lesson every day.

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MamaOfWill
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2014, 05:58:35 PM »

Pleased to meet you Hien, my name is Carla and I'm from South Africa  smile

I think 5 months is a fantastic age to start your little one's EL journey and I'm sure you are very excited.  The questions you're asking are very tricky, they depend on so many factors.  Your child's personality and how much he enjoys his lessons will greatly influence his learning.  I chose to show the TW lessons a total of 8 times each, that is roughly 2 times the first week the lesson is introduced, then about 2 weeks later, then a month later, then 2 months, 4 months, 8 months, etc.  We're only watching 1 episode a day.  This choice was based on my son's age (he was about 2.5 years when we started) and the fact that a lot of the material covered in the lessons was old for him.  I started including TW in our days because I was after the right brain stimulation it gives.

The Shichida method encourages us to only show lessons (particularly image flashcard and EK) 2 or 3 times in total.  The fast flash and limited repeats encourages photographic memory.  But when it comes to material that you would like your little one to memorize and become very familiar with (like phonics, sight words, quantities or dots, etc.)  you should probably take Glen Doman's advice and repeat many many times (3 times a day, 10 to 30 days is what is suggested when you start out with Doman's bit cards.)   You can use this knowledge to start off with, but from here you'll have to pay close attention to your little one.  When he's older he might display his knowledge (take note that children usually dislike being tested and many seem to hide their knowledge for months or years before you see anything,)  but while he's this young, you can try and tell by how he responds, if he use to seem interested in the program, but he starts to loose interest, that might mean that he's learned all he wanted from that DVD and he's ready to move on.

I think many of us stop caring about if a product is working or not, because we've got many backups.  Most of us use multiple things, from apps to books to videos, I don't mean to overwhelm you when you're just starting out, but over the course of the following months and years you'll probably accumulate a lot of EL stuff too.  I'm not saying get them all, TW is already a very complete package, but it's nice to have some variety and you'll find many programs compliment each other greatly. 

Something else that you should keep in mind is that, you'll make it easier for your little one to learn from the lessons if you incorporate some of it in your daily lives.  At 5 months it's harder, but if you have alphabet letters of some form (fridge magnets, foam letters, soft blocks etc) you could play specifically with 2 or 3 of the letters that were in today's lesson.  If they were counting by 2's, then count some toys by 2's.  This is not as important when teaching a baby as it is when he reaches 2 or 3, but it's good to start getting into the practice of doing so.  Again, there's no need to go overboard and replicate the entire lesson in real life, just a few things to show the baby that the things in the lesson matters to you and it exists in his every day life.  An extension of  this idea is to put posters, pictures or word labels up on the wall in his room or anywhere where he could see it daily.  You could point to them, but even if you don't he'll be seeing it often and his curiosity will grow, therefor his enjoyment in the lessons will grow too.

I was always one to complain on the forum about my boy not learning from our activities, now finally after 3 years, more and more knowledge just seems to come to the foreground!  It really isn't easy to wait for your little one to start reading and doing math and all the wonderful things we see on the videos, and of course it is a possibility that your own baby might be one of the many wondrous little ones who read or do math and music early, but this is by far not the norm.  EL has huge benefits in the long run, that should be your motivator, but placing too much hope on an 18 month old reader is setting yourself up for disappointment.   

Please try not to think about if he's learning or not, it's unnecessary stress.  Small children and especially babies don't need to look like they are concentrating for them to learn.  Many here on the forum have reported that they taught an older child something, then when it's time for their younger sibling to learn that skill, he basically already knew how to do it, and then they go on to say that he never even looked like he was paying any attention to it.

Sorry for not giving you a straight answer, but I really don't think there is one.

Good luck and enjoy it!  Teaching my boy is the most rewarding experience of my life!

« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 06:01:15 PM by MamaOfWill » Logged
Auravella
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2014, 08:13:41 PM »

Hi lovely mums!!
I just wanted to thank you so much for your amazing and detailed responses, you really assisted me to make a decision. I've decided to go with little reader and am so excited about it!!
I'm looking forward to chatting with you all again!
I'm so sorry it's taken so long to respond.

Thank you thank you!
smile

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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2014, 02:44:20 AM »

Hi Mama of Will,
Thank you so much for your helpful answer. It is very nice to know you from South Africa since my boss is  a South African woman too. She is the principal at my school. I just started to teach my son EL, and in the family only I do it. Other family members seem not interested and don't support, and may think I am crazy  unsure However, I decide to enrich my son with languages and wide-range information for him to have a meaningful childhood, not just eating and playing around aimlessly.
Best regards,
Ms. Hien

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