(The following was originally published on http://faithfilledparenting.com)
DISCLAIMER: I RECEIVED A TRIAL PERIOD OF THIS PRODUCT FOR FREE, WAS COMPENSATED FOR MY TIME. ALL OPTIONS ARE HONEST, I WAS NOT REQUIRED TO WRITE A POSITIVE REVIEW, AND I USE THIS PROGRAM DAILY WITH MY CHILDREN.
Before I had kids, I would dream of what my life would be like when I did.
Of course, I imagined lots of time sitting in my lap reading. Then, of course teaching my children to read. Finally, a quiet house where we together enjoyed stack after stack of books. I would read and my children would read. And all would be right in my world of books that I love!!
While motherhood is amazing and I love my children more than I ever imagined possible, the above scenario has never happened in our home.
God gave me 5 children, 4 of whom are boys. And the boys like snakes and snails, jumping and running, loud noises and Legos, and many other things that this woman is learning to love.
Reading, however, is not on their list of priorities.
My second son was diagnosed several years ago with a couple learning disabilities, one being a spatial processing disorder and the other, dyslexia.
While it was freeing to know his disabilities and what to work on, it was much more difficult to see progress.
His disability was severe enough to require 2 hours of tutoring, 5 days a week at a specialized reading center for several months.
At first, I felt like a failure. But as I sat and watched the lessons, it became clear to me that he needed this guidance, and as his mom and homeschool teacher, I needed to know how to teach him.
After months of this intense reading therapy, I felt like I had some tools under my belt to help, but no program to use to help me keep him on track.
MINDPLAY LITERACY PROGRAM
As part of a homeschooling blogging group, I am often asked to try new products. Many of these products have become mainstays in our home.
One of these products is the MindPlay Literacy Program.
After spending many hours working with my son and attending his tutoring, the MindPlay Literacy program uses many of the same techniques that have allowed my son to learn to read.
The program has given him confidence and encouraged him that he can overcome his disabilities by putting in the time.
In fact, I have been so impressed by the program and the free trial that I received that I went ahead and purchased the program for my fifth and first grader to use as well.
MY FAVORITE ASPECTS OF MINDPLAY LITERACY PROGRAM
As a busy mom, I obviously love the fact that the program is one my kids can do all on their own.
MindPlay is a part of our homeschool rotation for one of my kids to work on, while I am working with another child on school work.
I also love the visual scanning aspect of the program. This is especially helpful for my son with the spatial processing disorder. MindPlay will show a shape or number. Then, as the numbers pop up on the screen, he counts how many he sees.
The program also will adapt to the speed and practice for each learner. The program is completely adapted to my child.
The other part of the program that has helped my son is the spelling of nonsense words. He did a lot of this in his tutoring and using this concept has helped him be able to sound out words.
WHAT MAKES MINDPLAY DIFFERENT?
MindPlay is different from other programs I have seen. First, the program has a virtual coach that guides each student through the lessons.
I have found that the face of a human on the screen helps my kids to learn faster, and they seem to not have as many questions.
MindPlay has also helped my son improve fluency and the guided practice helps him stay on track.
GETTING STARTED WITH MINDPLAY
First, MindPlay will do a screening of your reader.
My son did a little bit of complaining about the screening because he was unsure of some of the answers, and he does not like to get anything wrong.
I assured him that this was just to see his reading level so the coaches could help him to learn to read better.
That worked! After the screening, he started using the program daily.
MindPlay recommends that students use the program 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
After using the program this way for at least 20 hours, they promise a one grade-level gain in reading.
We have been doing the program for closer to 4 days a week for 30 minutes, and I have already seen a huge improvement in fluency and tracking.
I fully agree that the one grade-level gain is possible by using this program.
We are using it in our daily rotation and throughout the summer.
It has been the perfect way to increase reading speed and fluency.