Sacha’s<25: This app teaches children as young as 4 phonics and reading. However, it is also perfect for people with reading difficulties as well.
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Home in the Trenches Product Rating (out of 10 stars)
Is it worth our time? 7 stars
Did it help us learn? 7 stars
Is it worth the money? 5 stars
Is it useful to me? 6 stars
Practicality- 7 stars
Quality- 9 stars
Kid Rating- 6 stars
We received (to review) from the makers of the McGuffey readers, LiteracySoft
, a reading app for ages 4 and up. Phonics and Reading with McGuffey
is a complete phonics and reading curriculum for beginners. It was designed for use on the iPad, but can also be used on the iPhone and iPod. It has over 52 hours of lessons…beginning with letter sounds and moving all the way to reading complete stories. Grace (4) and Faith (6) both worked with this app. This app has enough spaces for up to 10 different students on one iPad or iPhone. It is designed to work for non-readers all the way to a first grade reading level.
This app is flexible enough to meet the needs of a wide range of reading levels, including:
• Adult learners
• Dyslexic readers
• ESOL students
Both of my girls really enjoyed “playing on it” (as they called it). They could each work at their own pace on this program since they each have their own “sign in”. Letter recognition begins right from the beginning. My 4 year old learned a few more letters quickly using this program (she already knew some of them). My 6 year old started at the beginning of the program but we quickly realized that she knew a lot of what was being taught.
It is very easy to skip ahead to what she needed to work on. It is also very easy to move back if your child needs to work on a lesson again. There is a screen within the program that allows you to click to any of the 52 lessons available and then even within the level to pick which activity you would like to work on. Also, you are able to see what level your child is currently working on. The only problem I found with being able to choose the level is that my 4 year old would just randomly skip to different levels. By doing this it would tell me that she was currently working on a level much harder than the one she really should have been doing.
One of my favorite parts of the program was the Reading Practice. Your student can touch on the word and it will sound out the word as well as read it for them. Faith liked reading the sentence out loud and then running her finger over the words to have it read the sentence back to her.
When I asked Faith (6) about this app this is what she had to say:
“I like the pictures. I also like most of the games. I think that it is the same thing over and over again. There’s no variety between the lessons.”
I found it a bit interesting that this program introduces the TH sound in lesson 2. It seems a little early for non-readers. I thought the word choice they used to be a bit random….the word is “thud” and they show a picture of a rock. A little bit confusing for even my 6 year old.
What I liked:
- For a student who thrives on repetition or gets easily flustered trying to learn a new concept and a new activity at the same time this app is perfect. The activities are very similar, if not identical in each level.
- Starts right at the beginning with letter recognition and moves all the way to a first grade reading level. This app/program really packs a lot of content into it!
- Loved the reading practice portion of the program. It was something very different than I have seen in other reading programs we have reviewed.
- The graphics are really good.
What I didn’t like:
- The app was crashing on my first-generation iPad. I’m having no problems with it on my iPad mini though.
It is very easy for your student to skip ahead to different lessons, or parts of lessons, without really understanding what is going on. I especially found this with my 4 year old. She spent a lot of time clicking around all of the lessons rather than just working through them in order. I would have liked the program to unlock different levels as a student completes the previous one.
- Faith thought the activities we too repetitious.
- The price seems high for an app. I needed to get it out of my head that it is an app and remember that it has the content of a complete reading program.
- Some of the words for the letter sounds were different. TH-thud with a rock. I-Italy…why not inchworm or something a little more common for a 4 or 5 year old phonics based program?
To sum it up: Take a moment and try out the first 10 lessons free with the lite version of Phonics and Reading with McGuffey. This might be a good fit for your student. While it wasn’t a favorite of my 2 girls they did enjoy using it and didn’t complain when I asked them to spend time working on it.
The important information:
Phonics and Reading with McGuffey app
Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.