Being a parent, I am constantly on the lookout for tools that will help develop my children’s literacy skills, especially for my 4 year old who has just started to read some words. So, when I was given the opportunity to review the See Me Read’s Personalized Learning Products, I was more than happy to do it.

Developed in 2006 by mompreneur, Lori Albert Luke and childhood literacy expert Lynette Frenette, the following explains what See Me Read is all about:

See Me Read is a unique early childhood literacy program based on these beliefs that brings an amazing personalized perspective centering on each individual child. Because it focuses on the whole-word method of reading instruction, it provides repeated exposure to familiar words that children encounter in their daily lives. In addition, the See Me Read™ Early Childhood Literacy program provides numerous opportunities for parents and children to interact throughout the literacy development process, helping foster a lifelong love of reading and learning!

I opt for the ready made sample kit but honestly, if you can find the time to upload your personal photos, I would highly recommend you to have the kit personalized. A personalized kit would make the whole learning experience more fun and effective, especially when your child can see his/her own pictures on all the materials.

The See Me Read complete kit (pictured above) comprise of the following:

  • See Me Read Labels
  • See Me Read Flash Cards
  • See Me Read Level 1 Book
  • See Me Read Level 2 Book
  • See Me Read Writing Pad
  • Parent’s Guide

I have heard a lot about children learning to read by taping labels to objects in their home but have never tried it out. The See Me Read Labels are meant exactly for this purpose, not to be taped on the item but rather placed on or next to it. Take for example, the label with word “COUCH” will be placed on our sofa. My 4 year old can now associate the place where she usually sits on as the “COUCH” and recognize that word.

In order not to leave my 8 year old son out of the fun, we had a play acting session, giving him the role of Teacher and his younger sibling the role of Student. Using the laminated See Me Read Flash Cards, the “Teacher” and “Student” went searching around our home for the items which had labels placed on them earlier. Then, they would match each flash Card with the labels and read them. By the giggling and laughter that I heard, I gathered they had lots of fun on the hunt.

What I like about these flash cards is that they come with a metal ring which keeps them in place. That way, the cards do not get scattered all over the places. Believe me, my children have wonderful skills of leaving their things all over!

The See Me Read Level 1 Book is meant to inculcate early reading and is ideal when the parent has time to sit down with your child for a short reading session. Emphasis should start from the title of the book itself and then, when you continue to read to your child, emphasize each word by placing your fingers under each word. My 4 year old was able to match the highlighted words in the book with the flash cards and repeating the process a few more times has helped her to recognize the words.

See Me Read Level 2 Book – an extension of Level 1 book, contains the same highlighted words but with longer and more complex sentences. My daughter was able to recognize some of the highlighted words and other words she had learned in school like the, on, a, and, to, is but was not ready to tackle the more difficult words. I’ll give her a couple more months to catch up with this level.

See Me Read Writing Pad – A spiral bound booklet with one page for each word, a space for drawing and another for writing. At this stage, my daughter is quite content with doodling and drawing the limited number of pictures that she knew!

As stated in SEE ME READ’s parent’s guide – REMEMBER TO MAKE EACH READING EXPERIENCE FUN AND PRAISE YOUR CHILD FOR EVERY EFFORT.

BUY IT : Parents can choose from 3 different type of See Me Read kits at www.seemeread.com (winner of iParenting Media Awards 2008 under the category of “Website”). Readers of Parent Reviewers can get 20% off any of the See Me Read kits by using Promo code “PREV2008″.

For those interested to know more about this Early Childhood Literacy Program, check out the rave reviews by our Parent Reviewers:

Cheeks to Cheeks – All in all I still think this is the best reading assistance I have ever come across with. The kit may seem like a lot of work but it isn’t. I had so much fun sorting through my daughter’s old photos and uploading it onto my See Me Read account. When I didn’t have the appropriate photo for a certain word, all I needed to do was have my daughter pose according to what was needed. When doing something fun, time isn’t a matter any more. Best of all, I was creating something educational for my daughters.

On the side note: The customer support is world class best! I was stuck with an issue while completing my kit and wrote in to the customer support email. In less than an hour I got a reply from them.

A Wrestling Addicted Mommy’s Blog -My girls have enjoyed their kit since day one, and continue every day learning and recognizing new objects and words at their own level of literacy. The small difference it makes everyday has been for us, apparent when they try to help you read during a bedtime story. The ease of the program is great and it makes it fun so the kids want to continue to learn and thrive in their education of reading.

It’s All About Play – What I love about this learning kit is the repetition which enhances children’s learning ability as well as the personal touch where the children can associate objects in their house which they see everyday to the words printed. For me, I had fun selecting the words and taking photos that match the words and most of all, seeing my children enjoy learning!

De’ Moments – It is so easy for me to create a good education reading kit for QQ, using her personal photos. She loves them!

From here you can make personalized learning products such as labels, reading cards and books and even writing pads without going through all the hassle. All you have to do is just load the photos of your child to match with some of your chosen words from the list.

Renaissance CulinaireThis kit integrates learning to read into your child’s environment so everything your child is reading about is familiar and welcoming – there is no instance for your child to feel overwhelmed by being in a strange environment, so the learning is natural and at your child’s own pace – SO much so that your child will wake up wanting to learn more. By using your own child’s name and pictures on these tools, this encourages your kids to embrace themselves in a new light – one that will boost self esteem and confidence.

Mott’s IslandCreating your own kit is a fairly simple process, but you do need your own digital camera. With it, you can take pictures of your child on a chair, or at the table, or his home. Under each pictorial card, there would be a descriptive sentence to help your child relate each word to the item. Once I received the kit, I got to ‘work’ straight away with No.1, with the Level 1 book…and to my surprise, he already knew all of its words. Perhaps it was the pictures that helped him. So, I decided to test him, by just showing him the words. Lo and behold, he does know how to read. It really looks like this Mama hasn’t been paying attention to him at all! Yikes!

Angie’s Chicken Coop – The best part about the See Me Read system is that the pictures that go along with the words are taken by you, the parent, so that each set is personalized. By using people and things that your child knows to go along with the key words, it reinforces that word. I have had a chance to use this system over the last few weeks with Melina. Even though I just have a sample kit, Melina is picking up on the words. Soon she will be on her way to reading! I can only imagine how much more quickly she would be reading words if a personalized picture was included next to each word.

Val’s Views -The quality of the items we received was good. The book looked exactly like the preview we’d seen on the website. Each of the pages inside contains one of the 24 pictures we uploaded and a simple sentence containing the name of the item in the picture. The pages in the book are made of a very thick paper and the coloring is true to the pictures we sent. The labels each contain one picture and the word that corresponds with the picture. The item I am most impressed with is the reading cards. They’re laminated and placed on a metal ring. The reading cards are very durable and could be reused for a very long time without fading or wearing. The reading cards also contain the words that we selected when creating our kit. The font on all three of the products is large and clear. A parents guide was included with our kit containing instructions on how to use the kit as intended and suggested games to reinforce learning.

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    […] couple of weeks back, we did a review on the See Me Read kit and most parents gave it the two thumbs up for being an effective early learning tool. As a […]

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