“Overall, we like this and it works for our family – with the implementation of manipulatives because of our child’s learning style/needs”

“We have found this program to be helpful so far. The recommended time is 30 min/4 days per week, but my 5 year old fades after 20 min. To help him through the exercises we use additional techniques that assist him to understand. Phonemic awareness is harder for him, so we use sound hand signals that we’ve learned, and Melissa and Doug magnetic shaped letters. The system sometimes asks him to count sounds he hears in their phonemic awareness activities. To help him, I have all the letters on a magnetic board for him to choose, and for sounds he doesn’t know at all we use either a pattern block / tic tac/ bead to act as a place holder for the sound, or I’ll write the new sound on a small flash card to introduce it. I am pleased to say that by doing all these things together he is picking up sounds he hears in conversation and points them out to me. These are happy moments for him. I also like how the virtual coach shows the proper way to say the sound, and that you can replay that demonstration as many times as you want. The system does not time you out of an activity if it’s taking a while for the student to complete. If you need to exit an activity because of fatigue, it picks up where you left off next time. The virtual coach is encouraging.

Occasionally the virtual coach does not say the pure sound as well as I would like, but I sit with my child during the program and model sounds for him as he practices. Mindplay has been a good decision for us so far. I took the 30 day trial seriously – I was totally ready to cancel if my child didn’t respond because of the expense, but I wouldn’t dream of cancelling at this point.

Students are regularly assessed and the artificially intelligent program keeps them working on certain activities until they are mastered. Reports showing student progress are also sent out. I have called customer service once, and the rep was very helpful and could look into my child’s progress and make useful comments.

One other thing. When your child begins the program they are assessed. The assessment took us a long time. We kept thinking it was almost over and kept urging him to finish. We wound up stopping before completion because he was fading. I recommend if your child is small, break the assessment up into manageable chunks.

Overall, we like this and it works for our family – with the implementation of manipulatives because of our child’s learning style/needs.

Hope this helps”

Valerie B., Co-op Member