(The following was originally published on https://www.themomentsathome.com)
MindPlay Virtual Literacy Coach for Kids
Today my son graduated from kindergarten which means he’s headed to first grade. He’s not fully reading yet and while it’s not expected of first graders in his group to be reading, I can’t help but think of how he started a little behind some of his classmates with his letters and sounds. We’re a part-time homeschooling family and he didn’t attend preschool. While he knew his colors, shapes, and counting when he entered Kindergarten, we soon found that he wasn’t at grade level for letter recognition and sounds.
Through the iHomeschool Network I was offered the opportunity to review MindPlay, a virtual literacy coach for kids. I knew this would be a good fit for my son as he ended his Kindergarten year. Fully online and mostly self-led, MindPlay improves reading skills very quickly when used daily. I received the program for free in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.
Online Learning with a Simple Platform
My son sat for his first session with MindPlay asking if he could please play a different computer based learning game once he finished with his lesson. He wasn’t convinced that without virtual pets, songs to sing, and coins to spend in a virtual award store that he would like the new reading program. He’s used to tablet games that have brightly colored maps to follow and bonus rounds with non-educational activities. We actually really like those games because they’ve helped him learn his numbers, colors and shapes along with our own parent led lessons. Kids who use MindPlay will earn diamonds and awards as they move through levels.
Because he wasn’t catching on with letter recognition and sounds we knew it was time to step up to something a little more serious. He needed to focus on simple learning. MindPlay assessed his level and then moved him into lessons. Kids learn through videos, images and audio that engage kids in learning.
What can Kids Learn with Mindplay?
MindPlay online learning teaches several literacy based skills.
- Phonemic Awareness
- Grammar for Meaning
- Reading Fluency
MindPlay aligns with individual state and Common Core standards. What I like about this program is that while it follows all the usual academics that are required by schools, your child is assessed and able to work at their own pace through lessons. Consistency is key with this program and kids should work on lessons daily to achieve fast results. We found that using this program every day for 30 minutes, five days a week was too much for our son with all his other academic work. I think it was mostly because we’re at the end of his Kindergarten year and it was important that other lessons in his curriculum be completed so we can have a mostly schoolwork-free summer. With Mindplay your child can gain a level of reading in twenty hours of using the program.
Who Should Use MindPlay?
This online learning program is great for all ages and learning levels. Because students can work at a level that fits them it is also a good fit for dyslexic learners and children with other learning challenges. Struggling readers will find that MindPlay helps them learn with confidence and progress quickly.
With our busy schedule we’ve decided to continue with MindPlay through the summer to get the most out of the homeschool learning program before my son heads to first grade. He now has all his letter sounds and letter blends to sound out words as he reads. I’m confident that with continued daily work on the literacy program he’ll be more than ready for his next year of school.