Posted in Ramblings

Dyslexia Gold {Review}

I have two struggling readers. I also have an older son who is a very reluctant reader and writer. My younger son and my older daughter both love books; read aloud time is one of their favorite things. But as we work more on independent reading, I can see where there are areas yin which they are definitely struggling. I want them to enjoy books, a good story is priceless in my opinion. I worry and fret as I watch them because I love books and I want them to enjoy them as I do. Since we have not really been able to put a finger on what or why these two are so challenged with reading, I was more than happy to try out Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle from Dyslexia Gold. We received a family license, for a lifetime subscription to this program. Amazing right?

This program is designed for children with reading difficulties – they need not be dyslexic – this not only works to improve reading but also vision. While this is not a full reading program it is able to be used independently (children will get more out of this however with some parental supervision). There are a number of different components to this program; each exercise is meant to strengthen and increase our children’s phonics and phonological awareness. I know that sounds like a mouthful – according to all the latest research, most struggling readers have a vision problem and due to excessive eye movements “processing is taken up with interpreting what they’ve seen, rather than understanding what they’ve read.”

  • Engaging Eyes – improves convergence and eye tracking
  • Fluency Builder – improves phonological awareness and fluency
  • Spelling Tutor personalised, structured, repetition teaching 1,000 most commonly used word
  • Times Table Tutor

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These programs take about 10 minutes to play, and are designed to be fun. They are based on the latest neuroscience research, are evidence based and on average, reading is shown to improve by 4.1 months for every month played, and spelling by 3.5 months. This program goes beyond just reading, to resolving those issues that are under the surface so that our children can learn and enjoy in a better way. Since some of the activities involve 3D there are also 3D glasses provided to play the games which help you learn to focus both eyes on the same point. We received two pairs of these. Quite stylish πŸ™‚

When the information for this arrived, I set up accounts for three of my four children (13, 9 and 7). It was super easy to get them up and running. With my oldest son we focused on the Times Table Tutor and Engaging Eyes. With my younger son, we focused on the same ones as his brother but added in the Fluency Builder. For my older daughter we focused on the Engaging Eyes and Fluency Builder. After a few weeks we did begin working with the Spelling Tutor as well but I have to admit we lacked consistency with this one as she really struggled with the format of it all (my younger son did too when I attempted to incorporate this into his program as well).

My oldest son often complains of headaches. He hasn’t been much of a reader since he was 7 or 8 and while I know his ability is strong, I worry that there may be more to his refusal to read a book, than just being rebellious. Since he has always struggled with focus and attention, I was hopeful that this program may assist him in developing his skills in this area. With better focus, surely he will become a more eager, maybe even voracious, reader. When he first started there were some speed reading tests. My oldest son really struggles with following along with this sort of thing; when given the opportunity he will quickly move beyond an exercise or lesson.

Engaging Eyes has a couple different options: Target Practice, Eye Tracking, Speed Fix, and Whack an Alien; these are to be completed for no more than 10 minutes each day. In Target Practice there are three levels: A, B and C. Once you put on your 3D glasses, you begin shooting using the spacebar and arrow keys on your computer. There is also Eye Tracking: with this one there are two levels. On one level you keep your eyes on the dots until they show a letter, you hit the spacebar and then begin again. In this way your eyes are being trained in reading line upon line. The second level gets a bit more complex; you are now looking not just for a letter but at words and pressing when on specific words that have specific letters in certain places (ending with an e).

Speed Fix is another fun game meant to challenge you as you follow along, line upon line, the characters moving about on the screen. Watch for the letter “a” and then click on yes or no. This is harder than it sounds but my kids all loved this one! There are two levels to this one as well; the second level there are three lines of letters and you confirm if you see a specific letter in any of those three groups.

Whack an Alien is another fun one that my kids enjoyed; in this one you simply follow the aliens as they pop up and click on as many as you can. It starts out slowly and as it progresses they move quicker so it can definitely get to be quite fun! My kids have a blast playing this one and trying to keep up and whack all the aliens as they show up on the screen. Watch close because these guys move fast. πŸ™‚

In Fluency Builder there are approximately 50 lessons each focusing on a specific phonics sound. This is designed to strengthen our awareness in hearing the sounds while also practicing reading basic words (with an image to help along). There are a variety of activities to complete within each lesson. In some we hear and click on the word that is said, in another we sort the words we hear into short or long “a” or “e” or “ai”. As you complete the lesson, there is even a section where you read along each word. A great way to help our struggling readers. In another exercise, there are four images to choose from based upon the word that is given. Listen carefully to the different sounds spoken and then sort them into the appropriate category. In another exercise they speak a word and you determine based on the letter blocks given, how to spell it out. The next activity has you pop all of the “ee’s” quick as you can (it maybe a different letter or combination of letters). After a few more exercises of locating words and then reading them along with the program, we then are challenged to turn one word into another, again using letter tiles that we can move around to make different words. Following this would be a passage to read (one was on the topic of pirates – it is said Blackbeard would set his own bead on fire before attacking other ships – wow). After reading through this (you can click on words if you need assistance) the program would tell how long it took for you to read the passage. There would then be a couple questions to answer about the reading.

You need pencil and paper for the Spelling Tutor; this is a personalized program that determines the words to learn and test based upon the mistakes our children make within the lessons. The program dictates words and sentences for our children to write as they go along. The tricky part to this is that it is completely dependent upon our children being honest about the mistakes they make as they go along. My daughter is very good about writing her words and showing me what she didn’t get correct – my boys on the other hand need a bit more supervision to ensure that they do not just click their way through the whole lesson. This utilizes stories for our children to read out loud (there is an icon for them to click on if they need it read to them) After you read the story you are asked to listen and write what you hear. You then mark on the program what you wrote, whether right or wrong, and then move on to the next dictation until you have written the story for yourself (this includes correct punctuation).

There is also an exercise for teaching homophones – words are given that sound the same along with an image of each – students click on the portion of the word spelled differently. Then students fill in the blank with the correctly spelled word to complete the sentences. This is a simple and quick lesson.

The Times Tables Tutor program is based off of Singapore Math (that’s our favorite program). Each student is initially tested on their knowledge of the times tables to 12×12. Once this is completed the program becomes more personalized for each child based on their abilities. The program uses repetition to strengthen their math mastery using the three stages: concrete, pictorial and abstract. There are various exercises within this program which test knowledge of the times tables in a variety of ways. Some of these use pictures to help students visualize the problem and the solution.

Others require them to type out the problem and solution using text boxes given with numbers and symbols – they need to choose the right ones to make the right math problem and give the right solution. There are no tests with this though; it is a very stress free experience which I personally really appreciate since I have a couple myself who simply do not do well under that type of “pressure”. There are flashcards and a a variety of opportunities to strengthen knowledge in each set; as these are mastered the numbers are colored in.

This is really an amazing program! There is so much for our kids to grow in as they work through the many activities that are a part of this program. We are definitely planning to continue (much more diligently) using this program throughout the year. There are so many benefits I see within all three of my children, from the time we have already used this; I am eager to see as we complete more of the program how they all grow. There aren’t many things out here like this that really work and focus on some of those challenges in learning that we may not see or be aware of. This is a wonderful way to get a stronger foundation in place with our children so that we can ensure their success as they grow and move in to those more challenging things. We definitely appreciate this program and I encourage you to consider this if you have a struggling learner. Perhaps it can help them to enjoy learning and expand their abilities as it has my own. Don’t take my word for it though: be sure to read the reviews of other member of the Crew so you can see even more of what this program can do for your learners, young and old. πŸ™‚

Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle {Dyslexia Gold Reviews}

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I am a God loving and fearing Apostolic Pentecostal - All about Holiness, a tongue Talking Homeschooling Mommy of Two AWESOME little men and two darling little ladies, with a precious one in Jesus arms too. I love to study His word, and the stories and histories that go along with it. Seeking truth at all expense and learning so much as we go along. We are truly blessed to homeschool - blessed that we may school our children for such a small cost. I believe in the power of the name of Jesus and the power of His people when they come together in prayer. Standing firm and speaking out! There is nothing that I seek more than His kingdom and the joys that follow Him! Ultra conservative, growing Jesus follower, mommy to two awesome boys, one precious little girl- with a great family and a wonderful life that I am so blessed to have! Living and loving as best I can, with the Lord-Holy Ghost filled and speaking in tongues-WOW!

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