I recently had the opportunity to review the iPhone/iPad app, Phonics and Reading from Literacy Soft. This app costs $19.99 and is available on iTunes. Although Jack is in 3rd grade, I had him work through the lessons from the very beginning. I'm pretty sure we're working with an undiagnosed learning disability of some sort with him. His spelling is truly atrocious. This app is designed to meet the learner where they are at, so it will work for a wide variety of ages and ability levels.
The app is very user friendly. And the start screen has space for several children to work through the program without losing track of each child's progress. I was really happy to see this, because I think Hannah, who is currently in kindergarten, will be ready for this app over the summer. With the babies coming home, I won't have a whole lot of time to work with her one on one, but I can certainly keep an ear out while she's working on the iPad and I'm doing something else in the same room.
Jack made noticeable strides in his reading ability while using this app. I also noticed, in the section where you touch the spoken word with 3 choices, that his speed improved from when he started using it to the end of our review period. He used it 4-5 days each week, for about 20 minutes at a time.
This section was a favorite with Jack because he liked the truck that would pull away when loaded with a word. I giggled at the voice saying, "Let me give you a clue how _______ is spelled" when an error was made. For some reason that just triggered my funny bone.
On the exercise demonstrated by the screen above, there was one tiny thing that bugged me. In lesson one, there is a section where kids can put random letters together to make words in the /short a/ family. m-a-t, mat, and so on. One of the options is c-a-r, car, which is not the /short a/ sound. It's really hard to explain what I mean in print, but if you hear the difference between the a sound in HAM and the a sound in HALL, you'll see what I mean.
Overall, I was very pleased with this app, and as I have shared here before, Jack really needs help in the area of reading. I feel that it not only taught him new skills, but also boosted his confidence.
The app also contains an online link to a whole reader, that the student can read at the end of the program.
When I asked Jack what he would like to say about this app, he said, "I'm learning!"
I have been slow to embrace technology in our homeschool, but I am really seeing the potential here. If we could afford it, I'd be asking for iPads for all the kids to use for school work next year. There are many great educational apps out there, and this is certainly one of them. You can try a Lite Version of this app FREE and decide for yourself.