Here is a review THE product that got me started teaching my kids. I won't say it's the only product out there but if you're looking to help your children learn then eventually you find one that works for you.
BrillKid Little Reader & Little Math have some wonderful benefits and a few downsides too. First here are my top 3 benefits for this program.
1. There aren't any pieces to loose if you just start with the basic program. and, for this was a big turn off to other programs I had seen. You spend $200.00 on a program and once one piece goes missing you need to go buy an entirely new set. I couldn't stand the thought and I knew eventually a piece would go missing. With Brillkid Little Reader there were two options the basic and the deluxe I purchased the basic and made my own flash cards, and thus they were replaceable. i started at 1 year with my oldest daughter and 6 months with my second.
2. You can start early! As I said I started at 1 year with my oldest but you can start much younger. I waited because it took me that long to figure out where to even start looking I knew I wanted to teach them at home rather they ever went to school or not I figured I had 5 years to teach them before it was even an issue. So I started looking and when I found this program I decided why not give it a try.
3. You can download additional lessons or make your own. Such as sign language lessons, colors, shapes, other languages, presidents etc. I love using it for these additional things since we've finished the main lessons several times now.
Now the top three things I don't love about it. I know it was a good program for us but that doesn't make it perfect. It gave us a launching point and some great ideas but my children were not reading at the age of 18 months (in fact at 3 years my oldest is just now starting to read).
1. You have to do it several times a day to be effective. I'm great at sitting down and doing homework with my children but going back to the computer 3 times a day for 10 minutes each was not my strong point I had to set an alarm on my phone to remind me.
2. As I said they didn't just learn to read just like that. You can definitely use the program to reinforce concepts and reading, and it did help pick up on a lot of words. But more than reading it helped with vocabulary! They learned to speak very clearly and to use a lot of words most children their age do not.
3. It get's boring after awhile. The kids really loved it at first but after a few months they just didn't want to do it anymore. I rewarded them for paying attention, and said the words along with the program. We emulated any action words they said, and did other things to try to keep their interest. It worked for awhile but by the time they were 2.5 they were just done with it. I would have tried harder but my children both found other programs to move onto, so I eventually just stopped trying to get them to do it and moved onto other programs along with them.
Overall I think it was well worth the investment and we still use it for other 'flash card' type games we've created on the program ourselves. We rarely do the lessons anymore unless there's one that emphasizes the concepts we're working on. Which picking and choosing the lessons has been way more effective than going through the program multiple times.
If you want to learn more about the BrillKids Little Reader program check out their website here, or feel free to e-mail me with questions! Please keep in mind I am just a user I am not a representative for them and can only tell you what I experienced.