Toddler educational Toys: A M SANMERSEN Piano Mat Review

Disclaimer, this page may contain affiliate links in which I may receive commission. However, this review will not be focusing on selling this product because I endeavor to give you the most accurate and honest review possible.

 

Name of product: M Sanmersen Piano mat

Age: 12 months and up

Dimensions: 39.37 x 14.2 inches

Weight: 8 ounces

Price Range: $18.98

Description of Product

The M Sanmersen Piano mat is a foldable musical dance mat that is a great educational toy for toddlers because of its various functions and versatility.

It consists of 8 piano keys with each key having piano sound, color, and with a touch of the switch button on the mat, different songs are played on each key. The mat also has pictures of animals and once pressed, each animal produces a sound. Additionally, when any part of the mat is pressed, the lights surrounding the speaker is illuminated.

Children are able to press on the mat using both hands and feet and it is safe for babies because it made from soft, non woven fabric that is tasteless and non-toxic.

Lastly, the mat requires 3 double AA batteries that are not included with the package. However, it shuts off after 2 minutes of idle use.

Is this the ideal educational toy for toddlers?

The mat is bright and colorful and noisy, making it ideal for children between 1 and 5 as it stimulates most of their senses. The bright colors and flashing lights appeal to their sight; the music that is played through the mat appeals to their hearing and the need to touch/dance/hit the mat appeal to their tactile needs.

The mat also encourages sensory-motor activity because when the child learns that sound is produced once parts of the mats are touched, then they are encouraged to move more. This also stimulates their logical abilities because of the same previous reason.

However, there are some qualms that I have gathered from this mat.

Firstly, there is a note underneath the product on amazon which states that they would advise parents to place the mat on carpet or ceramic tiles and place non-slip socks on the kids (such as those located on the left). They also warn parents to not allow babies and toddlers on the mat without supervision so that the children can avoid falling on the mat. The latter goes without saying: you can’t leave babies and toddlers unattended for a second. However, it worries me that the mat can be slippery by itself.

There may be those who do not have carpets (for allergy reasons) nor ceramic tiles in their homes so how can they prevent slippage? The non-slip socks are not going to suffice by themselves as the entire mat can move. It would be nice if the creators added something to the bottom of the mat that gripped onto whatever floors it was on to minimize movement and slippage. I do believe that the reason why the mat is slippery is because the material used is to make clean-ups easier, among other things. Which is fine, but something underneath the mat to grip the floors would be ideal.

Secondly, I would have liked to see more functionality with the mat in terms of voice. There are 8 numbers and colors on the mat located on each piano key but they don’t really receive recognition as the children are more interested in pressing the keys and hearing the sounds that come out of them.

I would have liked to hear a voice that noted each color, number and the names of each animal upon pressing the “switch” key at the end of the piano. That way, they are learning about everything on the piano, rather than just listening to the sounds. Otherwise, the colors and numbers are just decoration for toddlers who haven’t learned their colors or numbers as yet.

This also puts pressure on the parent/s to teach the child the colors and numbers that are located on the mat, and Let’s face it, most children don’t really listen to parents when they speak.

Lastly, if you thought that this product was an introduction to piano, you better think again! It does introduce the child to piano sounds but the child is unable to really relate the sound to anything because the mat doesn’t teach how the sound matches with a color and/or number (as per my previous point). Again, that voice that indicated, “1-red, 2-orange, 3-green” etc, for example, would have helped the child match a piano sound to a particular color on the mat.

Additionally, the colors of the keys should have been in sequential order, using all 7 colors of the rainbow (or any seven colors for that matter). This is to match the sound of each key on the piano to each color of the rainbow because the piano has 7 main keys (C-D-E-F-G-A-B). After the 7th key, the cycle of letters starts with C again and continues. This mat should have ensured to represent this same pattern using the colors. For example, the first key would be red-then orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet. After Violet, the next color would indicate the start of the cycle again to red (if this doesn’t make any sense, leave a comment and I will explain this in more detail). The mat does not do this.

Pros

  1. It is a multi-sensory mat that stimulates sight, touch, and sound through its flashing lights, tactile functions, and music.
  2. It promotes movement of crawling, hitting, dancing and the like.
  3. its foldable, small and lightweight so it’s easy to put away
  4. The material is non-toxic and tasteless which makes it safe for a baby to use.
  5. There is an instant standby mode that kicks in after 2 minutes to conserve battery.
  6. Children are exposed to different sounds and music

Cons

  1. The mat is slippery by itself so there needs to be careful consideration into where to place the mat
  2. There isn’t enough functionality with the toy: the child hears animal and piano sounds but is unable to relate them to the pictures and colors that are located on the mat.
  3. Not ideal for teaching or introducing a child to piano
  4. Not ideal for learning numbers and colors or songs (as the songs played don’t have lyrics). The makers of the mat leave the job to parents, siblings and anyone else who can teach the child what everything means.

So is this a winner?!

Not necessarily. It is a great toy for its engagement with the child because of its bright colors, flashing lights, and sounds, however, it lacks the educational tools needed to push this product into a realm of efficiency at a quality price. This could have been such a great educational toy if not for its setbacks because, without them, it’s just a toy.

None-the-less, the M Samnerson Piano mat is a great Christmas gift for any toddler which should distract them for quite some time. So if that is your aim, go ahead and check it out!

==>Click Here to view the M Samnerson Piano Mat<==

Slavery Education and inequality-History of education in the Bahamas part III

I know. Sometimes the topic seems to be rehashed way too many times but its impact had been so severe to our black ancestors that the effects of it have known to have been passed down through generations and that cannot be ignored.

This is because when you are considered one-tenth of a human (no more than animal cattle), you are stripped of any and all basic human rights, which meant that when those rights do become accessible to you, you’d want your children, and your children’s children to take advantage of it fully, even when you don’t fully understand what to do with it.

This was very evident within Bahamians’ drive towards education.

Abolition of physical labor but continuation of mental slavery

Abolition of physical labor but continuation of mental slavery Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1336106

The woes of Slavery

A slave was forbidden to be educated because plantation owners and merchants feared slave uprisings. Therefore, if the slave master learned that one of his slaves could read, usually that slave was severely punished.

Luckily, when slavery was abolished in the Bahamas in 1838, the British crown finally considered the black population as equals in the crown. So they thought that it was imperative that the “freed negros” were given education in order to properly assimilate into society.

The plantation owners, on the other hand, thought that teaching their ‘property’ subjects such as math and English was completely unnecessary but they did agree that freed slaves would be a danger to them unless they trained them ‘to be freedmen and women’ in society, which formed the basis for apprenticeship programs. Within these apprenticeship programs, the freed slaves were supposedly given “mental,” “moral,” and “spiritual equipment” to integrate into society.

The non-conformist missionary groups and abolitionists hated this idea. They just considered it another form of slavery. Nevertheless, the apprenticeship program ended in 1840 with slaves still uneducated and unequipped to properly assimilate into society as equals.

Yay! We can finally learn how to be successful as our white masters…but not so fast

Eventually, two free public schools were opened on New Providence for the newly liberated slaves but this caused problems of overcrowding and unsanitary conditions. Additionally, because these schools were only located on New Providence, the liberated slaves on the out Islands were severely neglected for years. For example, the first school in Grand Bahama did not appear until 1908. That’s a whole 70 years after slavery was abolished and education was allowed to freed slaves.

Moreover, the British Crown gave 25,000 pounds to the Board of education in 1835, which resulted in the creation of 29 schools by 1859. However, the total number of teachers at the time was thirty-nine. Yes. You read that correctly. That’s roughly one teacher per school.

To combat this, the Board of Education had to rely solely on the Madara/Dr. Bell/Monitoring system (which I will explain in Part IV of this series) because it was cheaper and more efficient. Sadly, this meant that some were not getting access to quality education, usually, it was the black children.

In other words, most black kids were unable to receive quality education, no matter what. And it still persists today.

We came from far…but we still have a long, long ways to go

Now you might say that private schools are currently more welcoming (so much so that I know of a particular private school handing out athletic scholarships like candy) so access to quality education has broadened. However, these schools are now overcrowded, taking us back to the initial problem at hand.

Think about it. Are your kids actually receiving quality education when the class size can be up to 40 students per teacher? It doesn’t matter how qualified the teacher is or how good they are at teaching or how much money you are paying in school fees. How can one person effectively split their attention in 40 different ways when each child has different learning capabilities?

OK. Let’s put this into perspective. When Government High first opened in 1925, there were only 5 students in the class. This meant that each student was getting the attention that they needed to effectively succeed. Additionally, it was much easier to identify the slower learner and when they did, the student was refused to advance to the next level until they were up to par with their work.

It’s not possible for this to happen in a class of 30-40 students. In fact, there are way too many students that slip through the cracks and advance to the next level despite their struggles with understanding foundational topics.

Then by the time they arrive at grade 12, it’s already too late. This means that teachers will start recommending these students to complete the core BGCSE paper rather than the extended paper (which is silly as I explained in part I of this series) because the students are not able to handle an extended paper and this leads to a very dismal grade average.

Our educational system is perpetually failing us

Most black Bahamian parents have ignored this fact entirely and deemed it absolutely imperative that their child not only graduate from a private secondary institution, but they attend a tertiary educational institution as well, despite the fact that most Bahamian students these days:

  1. have no firm foundation on core subjects such as math and English (which can be blamed on a variety of factors such as overcrowding, poor teaching methods, too advance of a curriculum, parents not giving them any homework attention…etc),
  2. have no idea what career they will choose since they are limited in their options (most black parents push their child to become a doctor, lawyer or an accountant, which is uninteresting to most) and
  3. lack the motivation to complete these degrees (because there is little to no options to choose from in the Bahamian job market).

It also doesn’t help that the little jobs that are available are requiring higher degrees for little pay and rejecting applicants for being, “overqualified.” This perpetual cycle is dooming our society and our economy. The problem here is that the cycle was put in place by a white majority government to ensure the masses were kept illiterate and dependent upon them and yet it exists when the Bahamas is a majority-black nation that is run by a majority Black government (most of whom actually had access to quality education which will be further explained in part V of this series).

Additionally, teachers have always been blamed for these inadequacies but should they be? Stay tuned as I give my take on this issue in part IV of this series.

Until then, I’d like to hear from you guys. Do you think slavery has had a serious impact on how Bahamians are educated today? Why or why not? Please let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Child rearing techniques: another Brian Tracy Review

Here at Tyra’s Tutoring, we pride ourselves in ensuring that our students are well-rounded both at home and within their academics. This means that parents play an integral role in their child’s education. Seeing that I am not yet a mother myself, I decided to turn to some of the best sources of information regarding tips on parenting, one of them coming from the world-renown Brian Tracy. So if you have ever questioned whether you are raising your child in the right way or would love some tips on how to do so, continue reading on.

 

Disclaimer: some of the links that are on this page may allow me to receive some sort of compensation. But no worries, I endeavor to remain as transparent and honest as possible during this review.

 

Name: Secrets of raising Super Kids

The Secrets of Raising Super Kids - Brian Tracy (MP3)

Subjects taught: how to raise kids with high levels of self-esteem and self-confidence, how-to guide them with love and sensitivity, how to recognize and honor their unique differences, how to build bridges of honesty and openness, how to keep them away from drugs, how to instill good healthy eating habits in them and lastly, how to raise children who are leaders and respected by everyone.

Products: Included in this package is a CD with 70 mins of audio or a downloadable mp3 with 70 mins of audio

Price Range: $22.95 for the physical CD and $21.95 for audio mp3 download

To give you a better idea of the product produced, I will explain the entrepreneur and the pioneer behind this program.

Who is Brian Tracy?

He is a Canadian-American speaker and the Chairman of Brian Tracy International, a company that was founded in 1984 Vancouver Canada that specializes in personal and business training. For the past 30+ years, he has studied, researched, written and spoken on various aspects within economics, history, philosophy, psychology, and business, making him a guru in this particular field of self-help. Additionally, he has a university, also called Brian Tracey International, located in San Diego California of which is another avenue that his knowledge can be transferred.

To talk about how he got to where he is today, it’s important to understand his past. He grew up watching his parents struggle to make ends meet and hearing them complain that they don’t have enough money. This eventually fueled his curiosity as to why other families were able to live at a better quality of life while he was struggling, which has led to the belief that “people become what they think most of the time.” Also, a series of unfortunate circumstances (including a near-death experience in the Sahara desert) had led to a complete life transformation for him, hence his great success.

Based upon his past, this should lead you to a better determination of whether the product is good for you if it resonates with you, especially since he was not raised in a middle class or wealthy environment.

What are some of the products and services?

There are about 64 products available with the ability to be privately coached by Brian, see him speak at a seminar or learn how to be a coach in one of Brian’s seminars (all are separate prices).

The products can be further subdivided into 7 categories: Personal development, sales training, business training, Time management, Leadership training, Book Writing, and Public Speaking.

But for this particular article, we will be focusing on the “The Secrets of raising Super Kids” program.

The Secrets of Raising Super Kids review

This program is similar to that of my previous review on “How to Raise Happy, Healthy, Self-Confident Children” in that it talks about how to raise your children to be more self-confident and self-sufficient but it’s different in that it focuses on building solid relationships with your kids to ensure that you have fluid and open communication, which are very important in any parent-child relationship.

I must note that even though this audio lesson is much cheaper than “How to Raise Happy, Healthy, Self-Confident Children” training set, it is basically an overview of parenting principles. It doesn’t go as in-depth as “How to Raise Happy, Healthy, Self-Confident Children” because it is intended to be only 70 mins long. None-the-less, it is still a great read with some ideas that can be adapted. For example, during this lesson, Brian teaches how to recognize and honor the uniqueness of their children.

This is highly important because there are a lot of parents raising each of their children either the same way that they were raised or raising them to be an ideal child that they have in their head while ignoring the actual talents, gifts, and interests that the child has. This not only discourages the child from becoming who they are meant to be, it also means that the child is not self-sufficient, lacks self-confidence, has low self-esteem, is unhappy and eventually, they will distance themselves from their parent/parents. I highly recommend taking a look at this product if you feel that this represents you as a parent or if it resonates with you because of your relationship with your parents (and you wish to end the cycle).

Pros

There are several advantages to using this program:

  1. The program is set where you can learn at your own pace, in your own time and in any space.
  2. You can choose between getting the Physical CD, if you’re a bit old school, or downloading the mp3 if you cannot wait for shipping (and because it’s cheaper)
  3. It’s a one time buy so you can reference this program for years to come.
  4. It’s a good read for all stages of parenting. Therefore, no matter where you’re at in your parenting journey, you can benefit from this lesson.

Cons

  1. As I’ve stated before, because each individual is different, all suggestions and advice presented within this lesson may not apply to everyone. The lesson will have to be adjusted based upon your current circumstances.
  2. Physical CDs are prone to being scratched very easily, which makes them unreadable by DVD/CD devices. Therefore, they are not proper for long term use.

So should you buy?

As always, Brian is very transparent with his products so he ensures to leave disclaimers to let you know that:

1). The results of the program will vary based upon circumstances, time commitments, and how much of the program’s lessons that you decide to use with your children and

2). That some of the testimonials listed on the product page may discuss above average results but BrianTracy.com does not promise similar results.

Therefore, you may have to adjust his teachings a bit to suit both you and your child’s/children’s situation, personality, and interests for the training to be effective.

Additionally, there is an option to read some snippets of Brian’s lessons through his blog and a YouTube page that freely gives information on parenting as well as many, many others.

So why not go ahead and try him out today! Click here to learn more about the program.

Raising positive Kids in a Negative world: Brian Tracy Self-Help program review

Here at Tyra’s Tutoring, we pride ourselves in ensuring that our students are well-rounded both at home and within their academics. This means that parents play an integral role in their child’s education. Seeing that I am not yet a mother myself, I decided to turn to some of the best sources of information regarding tips on parenting, one of them coming from the world-renown Brian Tracy. So if you have ever questioned whether you are raising your child in the right way or would love some tips on how to do so, continue reading on.

 

Disclaimer: some of the links that are on this page may allow me to receive some sort of compensation. But no worries, I endeavor to remain as transparent and honest as possible during this review.

 

Name: How To Raise Happy, Healthy, Self Confident Children


350x250 Raise Happy, Healthy, Self-Confident Children

Subjects taught: 4 Behaviors of effective parenting, how to raise responsible children, how to communicate with your children on a deeper level, how to help your child achieve higher grades in school, how to help your child stay drug-free, how to manage your time so that your family comes first and how to raise healthy kids.

Products: Included in this package is a 6-CD set that totals 6 hours of instruction and an audio program on time management

Price Range: $97.00 for the physical 6-CD training set and $77 for the digital downloadable training kit

To give you a better idea of the product produced, I will explain the entrepreneur and the pioneer behind this program.

Who is Brian Tracy?

He is a Canadian-American speaker and the Chairman of Brian Tracy International, a company that was founded in 1984 Vancouver Canada that specializes in personal and business training. For the past 30+ years, he has studied, researched, written and spoken on various aspects within economics, history, philosophy, psychology, and business, making him a guru in this particular field of self-help. Additionally, he has a university, also called Brian Tracey International, located in San Diego California of which is another avenue that his knowledge can be transferred.

To talk about how he got to where he is today, it’s important to understand his past. He grew up watching his parents struggle to make ends meet and hearing them complain that they don’t have enough money. This eventually fueled his curiosity as to why other families were able to live at a better quality of life while he was struggling, which has led to the belief that “people become what they think most of the time.” Also, a series of unfortunate circumstances (including a near-death experience in the Sahara desert) had led to a complete life transformation for him, hence his great success.

Based upon his past, this should lead you to a better determination of whether the product is good for you if it resonates with you, especially since he was not raised in a middle class or wealthy environment.

What are some of the products and services?

There are about 64 products available with the ability to be privately coached by Brian, see him speak at a seminar or learn how to be a coach in one of Brian’s seminars (all are separate prices).

The products can be further subdivided into 7 categories: Personal development, sales training, business training, Time management, Leadership training, Book Writing, and Public Speaking.

But for this particular article, we will be focusing on the “How to Raise Happy, Healthy, Self-Confident Children” program.

How to Raise Happy, Healthy, Self-Confident Children review

This program is boasted as a sort of instruction manual on how to rear kids in the right way and it has garnered many positive reviews. The reason being is that Brian places a lot of his personal grievances with raising his own children and how he effectively managed them. He also has included an individual with a Ph.D. in education (who was also a parent as well) to further cement his claims. To me, this is important because you cannot give parenting advice unless you are:

a). A parent yourself and have actually tried your own methods (and they worked)

b). A parent who has researched extensively in this area or

c). A parent who has extensively researched child developmental stages and effectively used their knowledge to implement proper strategies with their own children (the main reason why I have personally refrained from trying to give advice myself)

Brian also identifies the importance of raising children to gradually assume responsibility. He states that when a child is born, they have 0% of the responsibilities. However, as they get older, the percentage will increase to maybe 5% and then 10% for example. Eventually, the goal is that by 18 years of age, the child is willing and able to assume 100% responsibility for their own lives. This activity also leads them to become more confident individuals.

Pros

There are several advantages to using this program:

  1. The program is set where you can learn at your own pace, in your own time and in any space.
  2. You have various options for learning each lesson; The CDs are great for popping in your car while driving or your laptop (if you still have a DVD/CD drive in your laptop) or you can take a much easier route and just purchase the digital downloadable version and download it to your phone/mp3 device to listen during a flight for example.
  3. You can purchase a used CD training set from amazon for just about $20 (however, I wouldn’t recommend because CDs tend to scratch easily, making them unreadable. This is to give you another option if you can’t afford the program off of Brian’s website).
  4. It’s a one time buy so you can reference these programs at any time for years

Cons

  1. There is no true hard and fast rule when it comes to parenting because there are no two individuals who are alike and were raised in the exact same circumstances (this is true even for your own family of siblings; no two siblings are raised exactly alike….or at least they shouldn’t be). So the fact that they advertise their product to be an instruction manual is not exactly true because instruction manuals give detailed descriptions of a product and also some troubleshooting methods in case the product has a malfunction. They should really advertise their program to be a foundational guideline of sorts that are adjustable to personal circumstances.
  2. The book is pretty old (its latest publishing is dated back to 2002) so some of the issues that exist in parenting today, such as the use of technology, for example, may not be addressed, thus deeming some of it useful.
  3. If purchasing the physical CDs, they are more expensive and they do not have longevity; they scratch easily causing the content on the CD to become unreadable by a computer or other CD/DVD reading device. In fact, the use of CDs are now becoming obsolete.

So should you buy?

Even though there is no hard or fast rule when it comes to parenting a child, Brian does leave disclaimers at the bottom of his product page, warning potential customers that:

1). The results of the program will vary based upon circumstances, time commitments, and how much of the program’s lessons that you decide to use with your children and

2). That some of the testimonials listed on the product page may discuss above average results but BrianTracy.com does not promise similar results.

I like these clauses because they prove their transparency of their product. Additionally, Brian Tracy’s transparency with how he raised his children during the training course should also give you an idea of how effective it may be. There may be a need to make necessary adjustments to suit the program to the current decade but the principles remain the same.

Additionally, if you feel as though you rather test-drive his ideology first, Brian also has a blog and a YouTube page that freely gives information on this same topic of parenting as well as many, many others.

So why not go ahead and try him out today! Click here to see more about the product

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