Happy New Year one and all (a little late off the mark…)!
We hope you’re excited for what the year has in store for you. What better way to start a new year than by celebrating the achievements of our secret agents in the last month of 2015?
There were still helicopters flying through the sky along with Santa’s sleigh, on their way to very deserving reading and spelling pros who have successfully completed their spy training and reached the end of the course. Congratulations to you all! Do send us a photo or video of your super cool helicopters in action. We know our secret agents in training are dying to get their helicopter too.
Once again, we’re celebrating our readers’ breakthrough reading moments, taking place slightly earlier in the course. We always say that you should see a remarkable difference in a child’s decoding skills outside the course by lesson 90, and it’s a place where every parent hopes their child will be. After years of struggling, it’s worth celebrating such great progress. So for this month, we sent our breakthrough badges to the following readers.
Before Easyread, Max often guessed at words using the first letter and picture context. His parents helped him with every unfamiliar/difficult word in a story, yet Max would not remember the word next time around.
Max has Auditory Processing Disorder, and found it difficult to break a word down into its various phonemes. Even with extra phonics help in school, Max still found phonics difficult.
He had always done pretty well with reading comprehension, even though he’d miss some words of the story. A slight eye-tracking weakness most likely played a part in Max’s guessing or words or complete omission of them, as the eyes are unable to focus to track each word in its correct order. Guessing when reading is also a sign of a highly visual learner, pairing the shape of a word to a similar formation they’ve seen before, rather than breaking the word down into its individual sounds to figure it out.
After one week of Easyread, Max’s mum already saw that Max was decoding the words rather than guessing. Around lesson 80, Max continued to decode tricky words and was doing much better than he used to. He still enjoyed logging in to do the lessons.
We’re so pleased with all the progress you’ve made Max! It couldn’t have been achieved without all your hard work. Way to go!
On joining Easyread, Abram was 4 levels behind reading for his grade. He regularly skipped whole words when reading, and found it difficult to track lines of text. He’d often leave off endings of words, or add letters that didn’t exist.
Abram’s parents had tried Hooked on Phonics in Grade 1, where Abram seemed to progress through the lessons, but couldn’t recall what he’d learned outside of the texts provided in the programme.
At lesson 85, Abram was decoding tricky words, and working on a word until he gets it. His mum said “that feels impressive to me.” It does take them a while to figure out/believe with the character decoding that they really are reading about poop transmitters in one of our gadget books!
Abram continues to work on his eye-tracking to strengthen the eye muscles, in the hope that tracking smaller font sizes will continue to become much easier. His blending of longer, more laborious words also continues to improve with our recommended blending exercises.
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.
Each month, we also pick a breakthrough moment that’s really stood out for us. On receiving the following message from Arlo’s mum regarding his end of year report, we were so touched by the progress in Arlo’s decoding that had not only been noted by his teachers, but by Arlo himself.
“We just received Arlo’s end of year school report. He’s still slightly under the standard but has made immense progress, which is great! We thought you’d like to know that the first bit of feedback about reading is this: “Decoding is a strength in Arlo’s reading. When he comes across an unfamiliar word he draws upon a wide range of skills that allow him to read the word correctly”. Arlo also said (in the self-reflection bit) that reading is his favourite subject because he has made so much progress ”
This time, we have Arlo sharing his story here:
Hi, I’m Arlo. I’ve been using Easyread for a while now, so here are 3 things I like about it.
Number 1: The games. The games are really fun. They’re like a normal game but with a reading twist. It’s not like playing a boring reading game, they’re really really really really fun games.
Number 2: The time length. The length of time is not too long and it’s not too short. It’s just right. It is really good how it’s 15 minutes because that stops it from being long and boring like other reading programs.
Number 3: The prizes. The prizes are so cool because it’s exciting to receive prizes in the mail and they are awesome. It’s a real boost getting the prizes. They make me want to keep going with my reading.
I really love reading now. I read a whole book [Gangsta Granny by David Walliams] in the holidays! And I like it how I can enjoy the story and not concentrate on the words the whole time.
Thanks, from Arlo.