What a great month October was!
Congratulations to all those Easyread secret agents who completed their reading training and, as a result, have received their helicopters. We’d love to see a photo/ video of them in action, you’ve worked so hard to get them! We wish you all the best for your future studies and do keep in touch and let us know all the wonderful things you go on to do.
We also introduced a new award – the Breakthrough Readers of the month.
As you know, we say it usually takes around 90 lessons of the programme to start to see a child’s decoding ability improve with books outside of Easyread. These moments where a child’s reading has really started to take-off are the moments we’ve all been waiting for, and we love to hear your success stories, because they’re worth celebrating.
Based on the conversations we had with parents last month and the stage their child was in the programme, we awarded our new Breakthrough Badge to the following readers.
Malcolm had always struggled with reading. He often guessed and reversed the letters “b” and “d”. He would get very frustrated when he read and, as a result, reading was not an enjoyable activity. It was a struggle to get Malcolm to read.
For the first time ever, Malcolm is now asking to read a book every night. He is no longer mirroring the letter “d” and his eye-tracking has really come on – what a breakthrough!
Nathan was very distracted when it came to reading. He would start a word from the second letter instead of the first or start with a completely different letter even though he was trying to sound it out, and he would often substitute words when reading, e.g. the word “most” would become “some”.
Now, Nathan is soaring through the easier books in the Easyread library. His eye-tracking has improved as a result of completing our recommended exercises. He’s really started to show an interest in wanting to spell words and learn more. And he’s much for confident in class and willing to learn. Way to go Nathan!
Louise joined the programme having had vision therapy in the past. She was bang on her reading age at school but her mother felt there was still an underlying issue for her. Reading was far from an enjoyable experience, rather a battle. She would miss out smaller words in a sentence and guess at longer words. Louise would get 10/10 for her spelling tests, but when it came to writing these words in a sentence, it became a different matter altogether.
Louise is now decoding longer words outside of the programme, and is even reading Diamond by Jacqueline Wilson at the moment! Her reading has become much more fluent and as a result, we have also seen her spelling soar. Well done Louise!
Joshua was having a hard time decoding and blending words when he joined the programme. His reading was below grade level, and there was a lot of guessing at words and flipping the order of the letters.
Now, Joshua is reading chapters of books out loud to his dad in the evening, and is still logging into Easyread almost every day. Go Joshua!
Kai has tapped into his potential because of Easyread. Prior to Easyread, Kai’s reading was non-existent. His confidence was fairly low, although he is extremely bright and knowledgeable. I have seen him flourish since he embarked upon this miracle program.
Kai is now excited to read and is sounding out words that are complex, words he couldn’t read 5 months ago. The results are astounding and I can’t wait to see who Kai will be after 1 year of this program. Well, I think I do know who Kai will be – someone who is living their full potential thanks to this miracle program. (provided by Kai’s mum)
Reading was not an enjoyment for Euan. He didn’t like trying something unless he knew he could do it. He guessed a lot of words based on their first letter. Short words were tricky for him. The reading recovery programme he was enrolled on in school didn’t seem to be working.
Euan has now finished the Easyread programme after 60 lessons. His confidence has been boosted and most importantly, his enjoyment in reading and books. His teachers are amazed at his progress.
If you feel like your child has reached the point of reading take-off and we haven’t included them this month, then do let us know, so we can send their badge out to them for this month.
Of our breakthroughs, we felt that there was one story which really stood out for us.
This month, we have chosen Katie as our Breakthrough of the month. In the early days of Easyread, Katie was always clicking the unhappy face after a lesson. Her reading confidence was knocked and her parents were looking into a dyslexia diagnosis.
Katie’s mum shares their journey with us below, from school heartache, to the transformation to confidence and reading take-off.
This is Katie’s mum. Katie has always struggled with reading. As soon as the reading books came home from school, the daily battles started. We soon learned that reading was ruining family life so we were very clear with school that we would not be opening a reading book at home. It really just wasn’t worth it. Thankfully, school were good with this and gave Katie a few minutes one to one reading time each day and didn’t push with the reading at home.
When Katie started key stage two at age 7, she still couldn’t manage a reception level book without support and we still couldn’t manage reading with her at home, although she’s always enjoyed being read to. One day, towards the end of year 5, Katie came home from school a bit subdued. She explained that all her friends had been given reading ages of between 9 and 12 but she’d only been given a reading age of 7. She was 10 and a half at this point.
In the following weeks, she kept talking about it. We could see that her self-esteem had been dented.
I decided to research dyslexia to see whether or not it might help to get her some kind of diagnosis to help her understand it didn’t mean she was stupid, and so she could get extra help in the classroom, especially as she was approaching secondary school. While I was researching dyslexia, I found Easyread and I was instantly inspired. I read the whole website in one night and spoke to Katie about it the next day. I told her it would definitely help her reading to improve if she was willing to work at it every day. She said she was willing to give the ten day free trial a go so long as we promised that if she didn’t like it then we wouldn’t make her keep it up.
We signed up and she was hooked by the end of the ten days. She pretty much begged us to pay for her to carry on.
The prizes through the post were a big pull for her in the early days when she didn’t find it easy. The remarkable thing for us is that we never had any meltdowns when it came to lesson time, even from the very first lesson. Katie didn’t find it overwhelming, even when it was tricky. She soon began to feel good about the lessons and to find it fun. She’s not so desperate for code words anymore.
When she started year 6 in September she took her character cards into school and explained how they work to her new teacher. She even brought them out to show a specialist teacher brought in to assess her needs in the classroom. Within weeks, we noticed that Katie’s approach to reading had totally changed. Instead of meltdowns, she would give it a go. If she couldn’t manage, she’d stay relatively calm and ask for help. The change in her self-esteem came just at the right time for her with all the homework she’s now given in year 6.
I honestly believe we would have hit a huge problem if we hadn’t started Easyread when we did. We’ve recently noticed that Katie is actually reading for pleasure. Last week, we found her reading ‘Gangsta Granny’ after lights out and had to tell her to put it down and go to sleep!
It’s early days. Katie still struggles with reading compared to a lot of her friends (maybe always will to a degree) but she no longer finds the world of reading traumatic. She’s finding reading is something that she can engage with.
Getting the breakthrough badge was definitely well deserved. She hardly ever misses a lesson. Every couple of weeks we see another little leap forward. She loves the rewards that come through the post. Finding out that she had earned the Breakthrough Badge and she would be going to see the England Ladies’ Football Team play was the icing on the cake. She can’t wait to go. We would enthusiastically recommend Easyread to anybody who has a child who struggles to read. We feel much more hopeful for Katie’s future and, more importantly, so does she.
And here is a little message written by Katie.
I am Katie and I just wonted to say that I was really happy when I got the breack though badge: For all the people out in that big wild world if you are one of the people out thire lick me that struggle to read if you wont help with that then start easyread. They will help you because when I was 7 I could not read anythick at all. I am 10 and a harf now and I can read loads better than when I was 10: It is really fun because you get to do two games befor you have to read then after you have read you get to do another game. You get a coodewold and a coopel of days later a seacte ajunt [secret agent] prize will come. The prizes are great. I can’t pick a favrut prize. The last bigges prize is an electrick hellecopter. I can’t wait to get it.
Agent Katie powering through her lessons to get the helicopter prize
Congratulations to all our Easyreaders and I look forward to sharing your big celebratory moments on the blog over the next coming months!