Any of you homeschooling mama’s know that having a child (or children) who have dyslexia can be quite a challenge. You want to help them but aren’t sure where to turn. Step in Dyslexia Gold who have generously provided our family with a lifetime membership to the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle.
This product was totally new to me but having several family members who have struggled with dyslexia over the years I jumped at the chance to try something with EJ before we get into high school. The program is different than anything we’ve tried before (especially the engaging eyes activities) but they were easy to understand and short enough that they didn’t feel like a chore to add into our homeschooling day.
What we Received
Receiving the complete online package provides us with access to Engaging Eyes, Fluency Builder, Spelling Tutor, and Times Table Tutor games. Each of these areas is designed to help kids with dyslexia (or have troubles with reading) to develop the skills kids need to succeed.
We also received a pair of special 3D glasses for EJ to wear while working on Engaging Eyes. He was all gung ho about trying it to start with but then he found himself getting a bit of a headache while doing the Target Practice exercises with the glasses. He also said things looked black and white to him after he took them off. I have to say I don’t go to 3D movies because they give me a headache so we thought perhaps he has the same issue.
We didn’t worry about it overly much since there are plenty of other games to play in this area that really seemed to help EJ with tracking his eyes while reading. The one I liked especially was Eye Tracking A where he watched as letters popped up and he had to hit the spacebar whenever he saw the letter b. This is an area of difficulty for EJ as he still confuses his bs and ds in his writing. This program has helped him improve this area and realize he wants to and can overcome it. (I like the positive messages he received at the end of each activity as well.)
Another fun game was Whack an Alien. This one had us all trying to play, including our littlest, since you could simply press on the alien on the Ipad screen to score. This was another way to practice knowing where your eyes are without moving your head.
Engaging Eyes also includes Speed fix A and B (you watch the creatures with your eyes and then click the yes or no button if you see the letter “a” pop up in the letter mix that follows). Level A is fairly tame but level B gets pretty quick and the answers also move around the screen. They were both a lot of fun.
The next area in Dyslexia Gold is the Fluency Builder. In this collection of games, kids will read and learn to recognize sounds. This will help them with reading and spelling and again, don’t feel like a ton of hard work but are effective.
You can also set your child’s level in this area since they do begin with very simple words. We let EJ work through them to be sure he was understanding the process (and the British accent of the narrator 🙂 before moving on.
In the lesson above, students have to listen and read the words in order to sort them into spelling type.
And this next lesson has kids moving sound blend tiles to build a word to go with the picture. They can also listen to the narrator say the word to help them out.
There are also quizzes for kids to take that help keep track of their progress and where they might need some extra help.
This is another area where kids will hear a narrator read out words and sentences and have them copy them out on paper as well as type them directly into the program.
The activities in this area include students writing out a story that they listen to line by line. After they have written it out they correct it with the help of the program.
EJ decided to challenge himself by setting the voice to Scottish like his Great Grandma. He said he had to listen hard to some of it but he is sure it will help him understand Great Grandma on his next visit to her.
I know I’ve talked about it before but again these lessons are short and simple and easy enough for kids to not mind adding them on top of their regular work. We found splitting up each 10-minute activity throughout the day.
Getting a solid base of spelling the 1000 most commonly used words is certain to be a help for kids who struggle with reading and writing.
Times Table Tutor
This area of Dyslexia Gold was something that caught my eye right away. Learning his multiplication tables have always been a challenge to EJ between his ADHD and Dyslexia so finding a program that addresses children with special educational needs seemed like something worth giving a try. And I wasn’t wrong. Set up to teach in three ways, concrete, pictorial, and abstract, this again was more like a game than an extra tutor session.
To begin with, you can set the level where your child feels most comfortable(or you can have them take a placement test). I simply asked EJ where he would like to begin and we were off from there. Working through each area and activity really seemed to help his memory in this important area of math. My thought is that if he has to take a lot of time to do multiplication calculations, he will have a lot more trouble moving forward into concepts like algebra. I’m very pleased that Dyslexia Gold decided to include this area in the full bundle.
EJ was quite happy with all of the games included in this full bundle so generously provided by Dyslexia Gold. He understands that these areas are a challenge to him and appreciates the way these are set up as fun games so it doesn’t feel like a chore to do some extra work. He has been happier doing more reading since beginning the program.
I liked the look of the program right from the start and hoped the variety and ease of use would keep an older child (EJ is 12) interested. As it turns out it has and he continues to work with the program as he achieves success. I also liked that there were reports to keep us up to date on EJ’s progress as well as any areas he needs to spend more time with.
I would definitely recommend this program for other kids with special educational needs. It will certainly fit in well with our individual education plan for the coming school year.