Since the end of August, Kallista has been using the Ultimate Phonics Reading Program by Spencer Learning. Today we’re sharing our review of it with you.
This program is aimed towards:
- Young struggling readers
- Older struggling readers
- Students with dyslexia
- Adult literacy students
- ESL students
- Those who do poorly on their reading test
I had both of my children take the student placement test prior to starting this review to see if either of them would be a good fit. Tristan (8) passed with flying colours so he was not going to be a good candidate. Kallista (6), is two years younger and thus is not as experienced and although she does surprise me with some of the books she can read, she didn’t do as well on the test as I had expected.
Each of the 262 lessons in the Ultimate Phonics Reading Program build upon each other, but you can choose to start your child at any point along the program. Because Kallista has used other phonics programs over the past two years, I wasn’t quite sure where she was lacking in particular so I had her start right at the beginning. I thought that a little extra practice and review wouldn’t hurt and would give her some confidence as well as give her some time to get used to the way this phonics app worked.
This program is a downloadable app that Kallista accesses from the desktop of my PC. It opens up just where she’s left off the previous session. Over the past few weeks Kallista has been using the app 3-4 times a week, and although I have told her she only needs to do two lessons (a child can do just one lesson a day, but as Kallista did know the basics, I thought she would fly through many of the first lessons), she’s set herself a goal of 2-3 lessons on most days. The lessons are short, so it really only takes about 10-20 minutes for her to do these lessons.
This is a no-frills program without cute characters and exciting games, but that’s okay with me. When a child is reading, the book doesn’t sing and dance. Each lesson starts with a sound, a word, several words with that sound, and then reading a short passage. Children read out loud what they see on the screen so that parents know whether they are truly understanding the vocabulary and phonetic sounds that they are focusing on.
Because the lessons are so brief, it doesn’t give children enough time to get bored. Because each lesson is set up in the same format, they know what to expect and it’s easy for them to move through the screens of the lesson. With 262 lessons, this is one program that will take some time to complete; however because it’s a downloaded app you don’t have to worry about your subscription expiring prior to completion and children can move through the course at their own pace.
Kallista will continue to use Ultimate Phonics as a supplement to her language arts and we’re both looking forward to her borrowing new, more advanced books from the library.
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