Recently, a friend asked me about my fascination with the Brillkids softwares. Does it actually work? They ARE very expensive!
The way I look at this is that the Brillkids softwares – both Little Reader and Little Math are tools. How effective they are depends on how well you use them. A committed parent could get more results out of chart paper and marker pens than one who gives up with the Brillkids Little Learner (as they are collectively called).
That said, they are infinitely better than that chart paper and much more convenient than flashcard sets. I’m trying to use flash cards with Nisarg and discovering that it is definitely a skill that takes serious honing. Take for example teaching him about family. What I’m doing is with many members of the family, but for the purposes of this example, lets take just Raka, me and Nisarg.
This resulted in 6 two sided picture and word flash cards. Mother, father and Nisarg in two languages and photos on the other side. Now, this still leaves space for Vidyut, Raka and baby, but that’s more cards. Close relatives I’d like him to learn are at least grandparents, uncle and aunts. Its a logistical nightmare to have physical cards, not to mention learning to flash them at a speed fast enough to lead to effective right brain learning.
That takes me to power point slideshows. At least Mistakes can be corrected painlessly. More than that, I can copy paste stuff to create the slide shows. With the addition of the Open Cards extension, I can flash them quite well too. Much better. There are several slideshows I can download, and creating new ones is easy enough. I can add sound files, so that anyone can show Nisarg his cards without worrying about what to say, when to flip and so on.
The next stage in this journey is the Little Reader. I can add several audio files for a word, several images. So that each time it says Mother, it can speak in a different voice – Raka’s, my mother-in-law’s, mine… and show different photos of me. Entertaining and holds his interest and can be set up really fast for the variety it outputs. Not to mention that I don’t need to create a thing to teach him body parts (for example). The community shares files. I can benefit from someone else’s efforts as others can benefit frommine. 10 people can teach kids 10 things for the effort of one. Plus I can add videos, create playlists and there are even lesson plans that I can simply play directly, when I don’t have the time to invest in planning all that.
I have ended up discovering stuff on some subject by downloading a file for Nisarg.
I am a busy person. This kind of quality and ease of use makes it far more interesting and sustainable in the long term for me.
As for Little Math…. Beats flashcards a million times over. You have to have used the physical number cards to know how awkward they are to handle, let alone “flash”, major learning curve and not particularly exciting for me. Creating cards or powerpoints with quantities to 100….. forget it.
Powerpoint is still good if you can lay your hands on some of the ready files for 100 numbers. Of course Open Cards flashes them for you. If you want to show random cards….. Numbers and dots mixed…. or anything different, you first gotta hunt a file for it, unless you have the patience to create it yourself. In which case, Pleeeease send me a copy?
And Little Math? Hold on to your seat. Show dots, images, customize to use pink panthers and blue trucks, or whatever your child enjoys watching in the place of dots. Show in sequence, randomize, with audio, placed random or in grids, ….. and I haven’t even started talking about equations and fractions and stuff.
So? Does it work? Works for me!