READ Learning Educational Services Product Review

READ Learning Educational Services, LLC is an educational service company that offers research-based reading, spelling and writing curriculum for individuals ages 6-adult.  These resources are ideal for people with dyslexia, dysgraphia and other learning disabilities.

The company’s Silver Moon Spelling Rules program is of special interest.  The program facilitates the mastery of American English spelling rules and gives students the knowledge necessary to improve their spelling skills – which in turn, benefits their reading and writing abilities.  What a wonderful/tremendous side effect!

The Silver Moon Spelling Rules program (Sets 1 and 2) are multi-sensory, explicit, systematic, cumulative, and mastery-based – and they are Orton Gillingham inspired. Silver Moon resources are intended for one-on-one use or for use in a small group.

See the video below

Materials that make up the program

To use this program, you need the 1). Silver Moon Instructional Manual, 2). one small set of spelling rule cards for each of your students – both my son and my daughter are doing this program, so we have two sets of student cards, and 3). one large set of instructor spelling rule cards. You can purchase all three in a bundle and buy additional sets of cards as needed.

The Instructional Manual

The instruction manual contains lesson plans, learning targets, teacher talk (the manual actually tells you what to say), guided instruction with real words and make-believe words (make-believe words are great for learning spelling rules), special notes and tips and tricks, independent practice, reproducible student pages, pre and post-tests, extension activities, a reference section, a certificate of completion for your student, and more. It is spiral bound and has a wipe-able cover.  I really like this book.

The Student Cards

The student cards are designed to resemble direct instruction flashcards. That’s because flashcards provide a research-based, systematic, and effective way of teaching.

Set 1 – Silver Moon Spelling Rules Set 1 consists of 20 American English spelling rules and 1 bonus reading rule.  Each rule is accompanied by a direct-instruction, multi-sensory and cumulative spelling lesson.

Each lesson builds off previously mastered lessons and each lesson progresses with more complex words, concepts and rules.  Rules 1-6 contain only one-syllable words for spelling practice, and all of the words are closed syllables whereas Rules 7-17 contain two-syllable words for spelling practice and contain both closed and open syllables.  Rules 18-21 contain up to three-syllable words, with open and closed syllables.

Set 2 – Set 2 consists of 24 American English spelling rules.  Each rule is accompanied by a direct-instruction, multi-sensory spelling lesson.

Each lesson builds off previously mastered lessons and each lesson progresses with more complex words, concepts and rules. Whereas Set 1 students learn how to identify closed syllables and open syllables as part of the spelling process, in Set 2 kids are introduced to two new syllable types – students learn how to identify silent E syllables and unit syllables.

For both sets, make sure you request the accompanying free resources from the website. These include a complementary keyword sound chart, syllable division guides, word tables, and a syllable types guide.  Some of the pages follow.

With both sets 1 and 2, students earn the rule card after showing mastery of the rule.  My kids love collecting the cards and get more excited and motivated with each card they earn.  My daughter keeps her cards on a metal binder ring and my son keeps his in a folder with plastic sheet protectors.  They use the cards as reference tools as needed – and honestly, they just like looking at/admiring the cards they’ve earned.

The Instructor’s Cards

The teacher cards are larger versions (6 x 8.5 inches ) of the student cards. The cards help you teach the Silver Moon Spelling Rules explicitly and sequentially.

Instructor’s cards can be used independent of the instructor’s manual. The rules begin with simple closed syllable rules and move up to multi-syllable rules that include open and closed syllables with schwa spelling rules.

Screenshots from Silver Moon Spelling Rules, Set 1

    Screenshots from Silver Moon Spelling Rules, Set 2

Lesson Sequence

The sequence of lessons follow a “model, lead, test” approach and it’s recommended that you introduce one spelling rule each week.  This, of course, is a theoretical recommendation and pacing of instruction needs to be considered on a case to case basis.  Some families may progress this quickly, but some may not. Choose the pace that works best for your child.

  • Review previously taught rules and independent practice pages – Step 1
  • Clearly state lesson goals – Step 2
  • Model the new spelling rule – Step 3
  • Guided practice – spell real words – Step 4
  • Guided practice – spell nonsense words – Step 5
  • Test – Independent Practice page – Step 6
  • Extension activities – application to reading lessons – Step 7

You use the post-test after completing each of the three parts in the manuals to determine if your kids have mastered the material. If mastery hasn’t been reached with a 90% accuracy rate, you should re-teach the rule by repeating steps 3-5.

What I like about these products

  • When you build an understanding of spelling rules (and your kids really get it), they don’t need to memorize how to spell words – they just know how to do it
  • And when kids understand how to spell, it benefits their reading and writing ability, and promotes independence and self-confidence.  What a wonderful side effect 🙂
  • The products are research-based, which I truly appreciate
  • I also appreciate that the products provides mastery-based learning
  • I like that the lessons are multi-sensory – they work well for different learning styles (my kids learn differently – I bet yours do too).
  • The materials are Orton Gillingham influenced
  • The resources are easy to use (the scripted lessons are a breeze).  Also, the sequence of lessons follows a “model, lead, test” approach which is easy to follow
  • It’s a fun program. The lessons keep students actively engaged. The graphics are cute. Plus, my kids like collecting mastered cards and making up nonsense words
  • Extension activities are included. You can ask your child to be a Word Detective or a Story Builder, using words that follow the rule being studied (Sets 1 and 2). In Set 2 you can add Phrase or Sentence Dictation, Word Sorting and Concept Cluster assignments.
  • There are FREE, downloadable resources.  I’m a fan of free resources, aren’t you?  🙂
  • Also, there is a three Rule Match game that corresponds to the three parts of instruction in Set 1.  FYI – my kiddos LOVE this game. 🙂  See pics below.

You can order online or the business number for order processing is:  262-226-9284


In addition to the Spelling Rules product, READ Learning Educational Services, LLC offers remote/online instruction in reading, spelling, writing, and executive functioning skills.  Online instruction is one-on-one with a licensed and OG trained teacher.  Their executive functioning skills course is a 2 month course designed for ages 5th grade and up.

We’re fans of  READ Learning Educational Services, LLC – and we think you will be too!


Did you like this Read Learning Educational Services, LLC review? We really enjoyed writing it for you. You can check out our other reviews here:

Gemm Learning Review – Online with Professional Oversight

Gemm Learning Review – Gemm Learning provides various programs to address cognitive, reading, learning and math difficulties, for kids 5-adult, at all academic levels.  Most students start with Gemm because they are behind in reading and many students have a formal diagnosis of dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, inattentive ADD, working memory dysfunction, ASD and/or generalized learning delays.

Gemm online learning starts with an assessment and then develops an individualized protocol  – a learning solution for your child’s unique needs and goals.  If students spend 30-50 minutes a day, 3-5 days a week on these protocols, significant changes are possible in 4- 6 months.

In fact, Gemm students average 1.5 to 2.75 years of reading gain in 4-6 months and many report continued gain in the years following the program. Gemm clients also report substantial improvements in focus, grades, homework productivity, overall learning and social confidence. These gains are permanent —  and as you can imagine, they are life-changing.

So, how can this happen?  Most learning and reading difficulties stem from cognitive skill delays.  These learning difficulties are not fixed. Cognitive skills, like physical muscle skills, can improve with exercise.  Gemm Learning develops individualized protocols drawing from 50+ adaptive exercises, each of which targets a specific cognitive or reading skill, to provide the required exercise. These protocols (exercise)s coupled with Gemm’s professional oversight, really make a difference.

Gemm Learning Review – Who can benefit from Gemm Learning?  

Spoiler alert – just about everyone!  See below.

Still wondering if this will work your child?  You can get a free educational assessment to see if Gemm Learning will work for your family.

FYI – Here Are The Cognitive & Reading Programs Gemm Learning Uses To Get Results

The main programs Gemm uses include:

  • Fast ForWord cognitive programs.  This is their primary intervention and starting point. The software targets memory, attention, auditory processing and sequencing skills. It improves phonological awareness and other foundational skills to help make reading easier and automatic.
  • Fast ForWord Reading series.  This age-appropriate sequence of programs work on reading-specific skills — fluency, vocabulary, spelling and comprehension exercises. The goal of this series is to make reading rewarding, which occurs when reading comprehension comes naturally.
  • Reading Assistant. Adaptive reading practice software that builds reading speed and confidence.
  • BrainWare Safari. Children with ADD, ADHD, executive function and other difficulties may move to this cognitive learning software after Fast ForWord. BrainWare uses visual processing and multi-tasking, called cognitive loading, to build automaticity and learning efficiency.
  • Reflex Math and Dreambox Math.  These self-paced programs present math visually to help children who struggle with traditional instruction.

Click on these links to see the Fast ForWord demo for grades K-3 and  the Fast ForWord demo for 4th grade – adult.  And here is a video tour of one of their math programs. BTW – I LOVE all of the Reading Assistant and Reading Assistant Plus options and requirements.  Did you see those?  You can get to them from the Fast ForWord demo pages.

Professional Oversight is a Key Gemm Factor

Yes, these are amazing programs – but Gemm Learning programs are only amazing when students complete the protocols.  That’s where the Gemm remote service comes in. Gemm makes sure students stay engaged and on track. This includes daily monitoring of your child’s activity, regular check-in calls and remote support sessions when needed as well as student rewards, mailed certificates, online support resources, and a client support group.  How many online courses/classes have you started that you just haven’t finished? Follow up and support are important – and often, they make the difference between failure and success. So, I really appreciate this monitoring and follow up. And kids LOVE rewards and certificates!  🙂  I have to admit, I do too!

The cost

The Gemm Learning program costs about the same as a tutor. However, while tutoring expenses are ongoing, Gemm’s cost is short term with enduring gains (so better results, and less expensive in the long run).

Plus, the Gemm online learning program offers refunds and payment options – which I appreciate.

  • The company offers prepay discounts and affordable installment plan options.
  • If you decide the program isn’t for you and if you cancel the service within the first 14 days, Gemm provides a full refund.
  • OR, if, after four months of service, you do not see results and there are no measurable gains in post testing, Gemm will provide three months of BrainWare Safari free of charge.

In conclusion – If your child is struggling – or if the public school system let you down and you’re still struggling, Gemm Learning might be the answer.  It’s certainly worth a look-see.


Did you like this review? We really enjoyed writing it for you. You can check out our other reviews here:



Social Skill Builder Review

My Community teaches children and young people appropriate social behaviors, interactions, expectations and safety precautions with various peers and adults in their community.  It’s a product that works well for children and young adults with Autism and special needs. The CD-ROM is especially beneficial for young people who need help in the following areas:

  • Personal Safety
  • Phone Etiquette
  • Prior Planning
  • Negotiating
  • Working Cooperatively
  • Frustration Management
  • Waiting for Your Turn
  • Making Conclusions
  • Respect
  • Joining the Group

My nephew is on the Autism Spectrum, so I was especially grateful to have the opportunity to try three of the Social Skill Builder products and give this Social Skill Builder Review.

The software and apps are on sale until December 1, 2017.

See below for an overview/review of three of the Social Skill Builder products


My Community – Teaches Social Skills in Neighborhood and Community Settings

For Ages 5 – 15


My Community is all about enhancing a child’s social skills and personal safety. Using video of real people interacting in different settings, this software teaches children and young people (with a cognitive age of 5-15 years) appropriate social behaviors, interactions, expectations and safety precautions, and features an assortment of peers and adults commonly encountered in the community. Children will learn about situations ranging from joining a group and working cooperatively to negotiating and managing frustration.

Community settings for the video scenarios include a restaurant, the doctor’s office, a friend’s house, the grocery store and other locations around the neighborhood. The software allows the child to predict what should be appropriately said or done next, and reinforces appropriate behaviors and responses.

Your child can get the most out of the My Community software by choosing different complexity levels:

  • Level 1: Simply familiarizes the user with elements of social interaction with no requirements from the child. This can be used for desensitization purposes or just observant learning.
  • Level 2: Presents multiple choice questions to students, allowing them to choose the appropriate response to the social interaction
  • Level 3: Presents context cues to note in a social situation and also still images of a social situation that gives them specific information relevant to understanding the social situation being demonstrated.
  • Level 4: Allows the students to match thoughts, feelings and speech to each person in a social scene. They are also asked to watch two similar videos and select the “BETTER” social response or action to give.
  • Level 5: Challenges the student to predict a social action or response by filling in an open ended question.

Lesson Plans: Allows a parent to customize the sequence of video clips that are presented to the student.

Scoring & Games: Tracks the students first answer to the questions. Icons are earned for every correct first answer and a mini game is played as reinforcement after every 5 answers completed.

You can view a demo here.

And below are some screen shots:

The different level options:

Here’s a colorful screen shot (cute, isn’t it?) of the Level 5 learning options.  You can see that Phone Booth is a category – which I think is funny.  My nephew knows what a phone booth is – because we’ve told him – I’m not sure he’s ever seen one.

Here are the instructions

What I like about this product:

  • It allows students to gain a greater awareness of social cues and increase their social thought process so they can interact more successfully with others.
  • It teaches important social skills.
  • It does so by using social skills modeling, an effective strategy for teaching social skills to children with Autism and special needs.
  • The curriculum uses real-life video scenarios which are relate-able.
  • There are over 350 videos to target a range of abilities and scenarios – WOW, 350+!
  • It’s interactive and it engages learners, especially visual learners.
  • The videos lead to valuable discussion (and discussion is always good).
  • Teaches in the safety of  a child’s home.
  • You can customize –

 There are a few things that could be improved:

Although the program takes up the full screen on the computer – the video is rather small

Also, the video is a bit grainy – and the sound quality could be better.

An adult has to be close by, to override the program as necessary – approve the child’s answer if the adult thinks it’s correct.  It is a plus that you can approve an answer – it just means you have to be nearby.

Sometimes there is a lag between clicking on play and then the video actually starting – it pauses first– see below.  I know…..this is a really minor complaint.

Some videos should probably be updated.  I have to ask – does your child even know what a wall phone is?

I know – these are VERY minor complaints – the videos teach necessary skills – and that’s what’s important!


Social Detective Apps –

 The Social Detective Apps (beginner and intermediate) teach school age children to become better social thinkers by putting on their “detective hats” and deciphering and understanding expected and unexpected social behaviors.

 The apps teach kids how to use their eyes, ears and brain to make smart social guesses.

 Social Skill Builder vocabulary/definitions-

Social Detective Tools: Social detective tools are tools we use to help figure out people, places, and situations. These tools are our: eyes, ears, and brains.

Smart Guesses: A smart guess is when a person uses all of his personal tools (remembering, seeing, hearing, knowing and feeling) to figure out a situation – and then, makes a guess based on what he knows about the world.

Social Thinker: We are all “social thinkers” – and we are aware that people around us have thoughts about our behaviors.


Social Detective Beginner App

The You Are a Social Detective Beginner app , is an interactive app for kids ages 7 – 12, that teaches children with Autism, Asperger’s and other special needs how to appropriately engage in everyday situations and to see how others’ emotions and responses are connected to their own behavior.

Specifically, it teaches kids how to:

  • Understand others’ expected and unexpected behaviors
  • Understand others’ comfortable and uncomfortable thoughts
  • Learn to use their social tool box items (eyes, ears and brain) to make smart guesses about social interactions

The app is based on the You Are A Social Detective! book by Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke of Social Thinking.

Two Screenshots –

Social Detective Intermediate App

The Social Detective Intermediate app picks up where the Beginner app leaves off and focuses on decoding the thoughts and emotions of people kids interact with day to day.


It’s also based on the You Are A Social Detective! book by Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke of Social Thinking.

Five Screenshots –

Social Detective Intermediate is iPAD compatible only

What I like about the apps in this Social Skill Builder Review:

  • They teach important social skills – they allow kids to gain a greater awareness of social cues and to increase their social thought processes – so they can interact more successfully with others.
  • The apps use social skills modeling, an effective strategy for teaching social skills to children with Autism and special needs.
  • The real-life video scenarios are relatable.
  • The comic strip portions/music are fun.
  • The apps are interactive – and engaging.
  • The apps can lead to valuable discussions.
  • They’re fun so kids want to watch/play.
  • Because they’re apps are mobile, they can be watched at home, in the car, at doctor’s office, etc.
  • Kids choose their own avatar.
  • Kids earn social detective tools – a coat, hat, magnifying glass and badge – which is a nice reward factor that’s built into the app.
  • Parents can easily track their child’s progress.
  • The apps are great tools to use with the book You are a Social Detective.

Interested in one or both?


Updates could be made –

  • The voice quality of the real life scenarios could be better – as could picture quality

Will this be a valuable tool for your child?

The apps are certainly worth a try, and from other reviews I’ve read, I’d combine an app purchase with a You Are A Social Detective! book purchase.  My nephew liked the comic strip portion of the apps – and he liked earning his badge.  For a relatively small investment, you could certainly try this program out.

Thank you for reading this Social Skill Builder Review from How to Homeschool!

Did you like this review? Check out our other reviews here:

The “Move! Sing! Play Along and Learn!” CD series by Margie La Bella

The “Move! Sing! Play Along and Learn!” CD series – Margie La Bella Songs Review

Do your little ones love music?  And do they play the same songs over and over…. and over again?  Do you know that you can use this to their educational advantage!?  The “Move! Sing! Play Along and Learn!” CD series of songs from Margie La Bella are definitely educational – the songs are designed to spark your children’s:
  • imagination
  • playfulness
  • conceptual learning/understanding (many songs give an opportunity for children to physically act out their understanding of a concept)
  • problem solving
  • creative thinking
  • language (expressive, receptive, and auditory/listening)

Margie’s collection of songs and activities are of great value for ALL children but they really hit a chord with kids on the autism spectrum and children with special needs.  And if you happen to work in a day care center or if you have a pre-school program in your homeschool co-op, you might find these exceptionally helpful.

There are four CDs in the The “Move! Sing! Play Along and Learn!” series.  They include:

  1. Move!                

Action songs about simple concepts and following directions.

  1. Sing!                  

Action songs with sounds, words and simple sentences.

  1. Play!                 

Action songs involving rhythm instruments, following directions, and creative movement to sound.

  1. Mixing It Up!

More action songs about singing, movement, and simple rhythm instruments.

Since there’s a lot to cover in these four CDs, I’m actually going to jump right into what we like about these CDs, before getting into each one individually.

So, what do we (the kids and I) like about working on the Margie La Bella Song Review?

  • We all appreciate how clear they the lyrics are – we know what EVERY word is!  So many CDs we’ve listened to, aren’t clear at all.  Maybe the instrumentals are too loud – or the singer is trying to fit too many words in at once – I’m not really sure what the issues are. But these lyrics are clear as a bell!  That means my kids (and yours too!) can easily sing along. And my kids do – very joyously – and very loudly!
  • These songs are really catchy! YOU’LL find yourself humming along and bopping your head!  Even when doing this review, and listening to the songs as I write, I can’t help but move to the music – the song Teddies to Turtles has me hooked!
  • Looking for a song to teach something in particular?  The songs are broken up into goal areas and objectives so you can actually get songs on the topic of your choice!  Kids bickering?  There’s a song for that!
  • The lyrics encourage kids to listen and learn through music – and to get up and MOVE to the music.  I’m a fan for anything that encourages movement!
  • The music introduces kids to pop, jazz, folk, rap, swing, reggae and other styles of music. My kids enjoyed all the styles, especially swing and reggae.  And these weren’t genres that were on their radar previously.  That’s cool.
  • You can order Margie La Bella songs on physical CDs or digital downloads.
  • You can listen to free MP3 downloads and listen to sample songs before you purchase – I’m a fan of free samples.,
  • Songs, videos, and fun activities just go together. Margie knows this and includes videos and activities on her website. She shares how to use her songs in different ways (so nice)!
  • Margie La Bella also includes lyrics on her site – although really, you don’t need them as the CDs are so clear. Still, it’s nice that she includes them/it’s nice to have them.
  • Margie La Bella has a Links page is helpful – if you want to know more about music therapy in general, or other song sites/artists you might want to look into. It’s nice that she plugs other artists – even her “competitors” – although I’m sure she doesn’t see them in that way.

Margie La Bella Songs Review – Now, onto each CD! (more than the 4 will be referenced!)


Margie La Bella Songs Review – CD ONE

The first CD Move!” focuses on the receptive language skills needed to understand and follow directions.  Each song fosters concept development through active movement and dance.

Skills addressed include single and multi-step directions, the concepts of body parts, opposites, verbs, prepositions, creative problem solving and more.

Descriptions of individual songs on this CD, plus the benefits of each song follows:

 Song 1 – Everybody Wave Hello

  • This song opens the CD and sets the stage for upcoming learning.
  • Children have the opportunity to follow three one-step directions, while reaching out to connect with other people.

Song 2 – Doin’ the Robot Dance

  • This song helps improve auditory processing skills (listening and following directions).
  • The rapid-fire lyrics require a child’s attention.
  • The lyrics help children learn the words associated with specific body parts.
  • Older children can move to the beat.

Song 3 – Move and Stop

  • This song is good for improving auditory attention skills, and motor/impulse control.
  • Children relate body parts with an associated motion.
  • Younger children can follow the one-step directions.
  • Older children can perform the last line (three 1-step directions in rapid sequence).

Song 4 – Stand up, Sit Back Down

  • Provides a positive outlet for kid’s energy(encourages them to leave their seat).
  • Fosters the learning of body parts and ways to move them.
  • Children move in creative ways as suggested by the lyrics.

Song 5 –  Growl, Growl, Stomp

  • This song helps with listening and pretending skills, both needed for cognitive development.
  • It also stimulates attention, as well as auditory anticipation and vocalization of “Grrowl!”
  • The repetitive “growl, growl, stomp!” gives a sense of sequencing and energy/vocal release.

Song 6 – The Yee-haw Song

  • This song requires receptive understanding of body parts and associated movements, as well as expressive use of the word “Yeehaw!”
  • Children can simulate the galloping sound of a horse by tapping their knees during the chorus, or by pretending to ride a horse.
  • Older children can perform the directive twice and sing “yeehaw!”

Song 7 – Multi-Step Blues

  • This song improves a child’s ability to follow a long string of quick one-step directions and to control one’s actions.
  • The song focuses on body vocabulary and associated verbs.
  • It strengthens attention, backward sequencing of directions, and motor control.
  • Great outlet for a child’s energy.


  • Helps facilitate the understanding of each concept individually and in contrast to its opposite (tall, small, happy, sad, fast, slow, squeeze, and relax)
  • Teaches body vocabulary and associated verbs.
  • Encourages attention, backward sequencing of directions, and motor control.
  • Great outlet for energy.


  • Stimulates pretending and other higher process thinking skills.
  • Fosters focus, body relaxation and the concept of slow.
  • Teaches how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly and how our own lives can change.

Song 10 – Move it by Your Chair

  • Children learn about spatial relationships.-
  • They also learn the concepts: in front of, behind, on the side, over, and under.
  • Children count while dancing to a fun beat.

Song 11 – One Step Blues

  • This song helps kids process the meaning of verbs and related body parts.
  • Children carry out the one part direction to the timing of the related sound effects.
  • Good for auditory attention and memory.

Song 12 – Thinking Song

  • Helps teach body parts and simple problem solving.
  • Older children can pretend to rock a baby each time they hear the words “baby” and “honey.”
  • Older children can also alternate or switch sides of the body each time a direction is given within a verse – this is good for integrating sides of the brain.

Song 13 – Stand Up, Sit Down (Version Two)

  • The directions to the song are easier to understand is this version.

Song 14 – Thinking Song (Version Two)

  • This song fosters listening and creative problem-solving.
  • It requires knowledge of body parts and quick deciphering skills.
  • Older children can pretend to rock a baby each time they hear the words “baby” and “honey.”
  • Older children can also alternate or switch sides of the body each time a direction is given within a verse, as this is good for integrating sides of the brain.

Song 15 –  Growl, Growl, Stomp (Version Two)

  • This is just a nice song to listen to, or to sing along to.

Song 16 – Music Time is Over

  • This song offers a nice conclusion to the CD – as it ends on a positive, relaxing note.
  • This song lends itself to swaying, rocking, and holding hands.

Margie La Bella Songs Review – CD TWO

 The second CD “Sing!” focuses on vocal play and expressive language.

 Children are actively engaged with songs that were written and designed to elicit vocal play, vowel and consonant production, articulation and simple sentences.

Songs are presented in a variety of styles including hip-hop, new-age, folk, pop and reggae.

Descriptions of individual songs on this CD, plus the benefits of each song follows:

Song 1 – Open your Mouth

  • This song starts the CD off in a friendly/social manner.
  • It helps children create the “ah,” “oo,” and “ee” vowel sounds and articulate the “ooh-ee”.

 Song 2 – Monkey Song

  • Children gain vocal and oral-motor experience as they sing “ah,” “ee,” and “ooh.”
  • Kids remember and sequence sound patterns.

Song 3 – The Leeway Train

  • This song helps kid’s speech skills through making sound effects.

Song 4 – The Puppet Song (Version One)

  • Children connect an animal with the sound it makes.
  • Children vocalize the animal sounds.
  • Children hear and produce soft and loud sounds.

Song 5 – Tap it on Your Head – Acapella Version

  • Helps to teach body part vocabulary and articulation/vocalization.
  • Because it’s acapella the words are really easy to hear and the feel of the music is gentler.

Song 6 – Variations  on the Miss Mary Mack

  • This song encourages children to repeat each short phrase.

Song 7 – Sing an Echo Song

  • This song is used to help children improve their abilities to produce certain sounds and increase phrase length.
  • Improves auditory attention and memory.
  • Children are encouraged to put words together in increasingly complex sentences.

Song 8 – TDLN 50s Arctic Song

  • Improves the ability to “Do-wop” and articulate the “T”, “D”, “L,” and “N” sounds (these sounds all involve placing the tip of the tongue behind the top of the upper teeth).

Song 9 – Three Little Monkeys

  • Encourages sentence use.
  • Also good for sequencing of ideas.

Song 10 – The Wolf Cub

  • Children vocalize the “ooh” sound of the wolf.
  • Children act out the lyrics, and demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of: open, shake, over, under, up, down, side, and families.

Song 11 – The Vehicle Song

  • This song emphasizes vocalization and vocal play.
  • Encourages children to imitate and articulate common sounds.

Song 12 – The Puppet Song II

  • Elicits vocalization of animal sounds (this is necessary for speech and involves articulation of specified sounds).

Song 13 – Tap it on your Head – Full Version

  • Helps to teach body part vocabulary and articulation/vocalization.
  • This version works with kids who need the extra stimulation to elicit their attention.

Song 14 – Sing an Echo song – Blank/Fill-in Verses Version

  • Kids sing the first sound of their name, or they can blow a kiss.

Song 15 – Goodbye Now

  • This is a natural way to teach the goodbye interaction, and it can include waving, shaking hands, holding hands, and blowing kisses.

Margie La Bella Songs Review – CD THREE

The “Play!” CD is really two CDs in one and centers around the auditory skills needed to 1) listen, 2) follow directions, and 3) understand directions; as well as how sounds and directions are combined to build memory.

The first 30 minutes helps teach awareness of loud, soft, fast, slow, and the presence and absence of sound. The second half asks children to listen to, interpret, and respond to instrument sounds and music clips.

Margie La Bella Songs Review – Descriptions of individual songs on this CD, plus the benefits of each song follows:

Song 1 – Homemade Band

  • This tune opens the CD on a positive note – kids are introduced to several instruments of a jazz or rock band.

Song 2- Soft, Loud, Slow, Fast Review

  • This song introduces children to recognizing (perceiving) and creating different volumes and speeds (this is important as the sound qualities used in music are also used in speech).

 Song 3 – Children, Come Play

  • The song encourages auditory attention, processing, and conceptualization.
  • Children experience creating fast, slow, loud, and soft music.

Song 4 – Play and Do This

  • Teaches sequencing/patterning of events.
  • Teaches the ability to follow directions.
  • Helps children with the concepts of under, stop, and get it.

Song 5 – Play and Pass

  • Fosters attention.
  • Encourages turn taking and sharing among friends (and siblings!).

Song 6 – You’ve got to Wait!

  • A catchy song for a topic that can be tricky, and one that all kids (and adults) need to learn.

Song 7 – Three Little Sound Effects

  • Encourages vocal/sound play.
  • Encourages auditory memory.

Song 8 – Play an Echo Song

  • This song encourages auditory attention and auditory memory.
  • It also fosters coordination and patterning.

Songs 10-15 and 16-21  – Make you Move! and Hear and D0 – Instrument Sounds 

  • These songs encourage auditory discrimination.
  • They encourage impulse control.
  • Foster imagination.
  • Foster memory.
  • The songs encourage energy release – as they get kids moving.

Song 22 – Sound-Off

  • This song closes the CD.
  • It enforces the skill of “audiation” or hearing the sounds/music in your mind.

Margie La Bella Songs Review – CD FOUR

“Margie La Bella Songs Review –Mixing it Up!” uses more action-based participation songs to address expressive and receptive language skills as well as auditory attention and processing skills.

Plus, it covers a diverse range of musical styles (which my kids enjoyed)!

Descriptions of individual songs on this CD, plus the benefits of each song follows:

Song 1 Hey Hello

  • Good for encouraging language via the catchy, predictable, repeated “hey, hello” phrase.

 Song 2 – Move it to the Music.

  • One step direction/movement concepts of move, shake, scratch, twist, jump, and dance.
  • Impulse and motor control via stopping and starting.

 Song 3 – I’ve Got the Music In Me

  • Encourages following simple directions.
  • Also good for fun sounds that can help with articulation and intelligibility.

Song 4 – Body Rap

  • This song incorporates sequencing patterning and memory skills.
  • Provides for a great release of energy – always a plus!

Song 5 – Everybody Touch  Your Head

  • This song helps children learn various body parts and spatial concepts.

Song 6 – We All Have Feelings

  • This song assists the verbal and non-verbal expression of feelings.

Song – 7 Tweet, Tweet  Little Birdy

  • The song encourages vocalization and listening comprehension.
  • It also encourages pretending/abstracting.
  • Older children can echo each phrase during the short pauses. This helps develop sentence length and related memory.

Song 8 – Very Best Band

  • This song strengthens attention span.
  • Also encourages taking turns and impulse control.
  • Good for instrument vocabulary and identification.
  • Encourages group participation.

Song 9 – Everybody Touch – Karaoke/Fill-In)

  • This version teaches personalized concepts.

Song 10 – Jump High, Turn Around

  • In this song, children follow a sequence of three directions.

Song 11 – Teddies to Turtles

  • Kids follow multiple directions.
  • Encourages creativity and imagination (abstraction).

Song 12– Sharing, Caring, Moving and Growing

  • This is a relaxing song and a nice song to end the CD.

All of these are available at musictherapytunes.com


Not sure which CD you’d like?  How about a Sampler MP3?

Two servings from each of the above four mentioned CDs, for a total of 8 songs.

You may also want to check out this CD –

Your favorite kid songs with slowed down lyrics and rockin’ beats!

This CD was made specifically for kids who have Speech and Language Delays.

It fosters speech and language skills.

About Margie La Bella

Margie La Bella is a music therapist and an educator (she has a master’s degree in special education).

Margie chose music therapy as a profession because she has seen the power of music and wants to share that with others. “The reason I became a music therapist was because of what music did for me and my life.  I wanted to give that opportunity and that tool to other people.”

Did you like the Margie La Bella Songs Review? You can view our other reviews here:


Senseez Review

I love reviewing products I’m not familiar with – it’s an opportunity to learn something new.  So, I was really happy when I was given the opportunity to work on a Senseez review so that I could learn about the benefits of vibration….and to discover the company’s very interesting and useful products.

So, what are Senseez?  They’re calming cushions and pillows that vibrate when they’re squeezed or sat upon (that’s because they work on compression).  The vibration eases the senses– which in turn, 1) helps you relax and 2) helps you focus.  The Senseez sensory cushions are a great fit for children who:

  • have very high energy levels
  • have special needs
  • are autistic
  • have sensory processing disorder

If interested, you can check out the Clinical section on the Senseez website.   It includes 1) research on vibration, 2) expert testimonials regarding the benefits of vibration, and 3) info regarding a Senseez clinical trial.

I researched and watched all of the above before starting my review.  Then I decided it was time to try Senseez out!  I tested them, had my kids use them, and I even let my neighbor borrow them.

BTW, we received the soccer ball cushion and the flannel shirt pillow.  In the pics below, you can see the products, as well as the battery vibe that comes in each one.  There is also a multi-speed vibe, if you’d like to order one.







Here are our (mine, my kids, and even my neighbor’s) thoughts/comments-

  • My kids enjoyed the vibrating sensation.
  • I do believe the soccer cushion had a calming effect on my son.
  • My neighbor’s son has ADHD and has a very high energy level/trouble focusing. She reported that he seemed to be comforted by the vibrations.  He was able to sit longer – both at home, and in the car. This was a huge win in her eyes!
  • There’s a good variety to choose from. Some are VERY cute!  My kids’ faves?  The soccer ball and the sweatshirt.  I’d love to try an Adaptable.  They vibrate AND they have a weighted and a hot/cold pack.  I’ve been aware of the benefits of weighted products for quite some time and my son has a weighted blanket when we travel. It has helped tremendously and I am a very big proponent of them.
  • They’re easy to clean. The vinyl ones are easy to wipe clean and the pillows have zippered coverings – the coverings can be easily removed and washed.
  • Price – the Originals and the Touchables are $29.99. The Trendables are $39.99 – but can be used as a decorator item as well as a vibrating pillow – yes, they’re that cute.

What could be improved:

  • Batteries aren’t included. I know most items these days don’t come with batteries so I wasn’t upset, I just wish most products came with a starter pack.
  • Also, I had to search for a small screwdriver to open the battery case – an average sized screwdriver is too large.

Here are the different styles that are available:

Senseez Review – Originals – Vinyl Styles

Senseez Review – Touchables – Plush Styles

Senseez Review – Trendables – Teen Styles

Senseez Review – Adaptables – 3-in-1

If you have a child that could use a little help focusing, you might want to give this product a try.

Learn more here:


Did you like the Senseez review? View more reviews we have written here: