As well as making workbooks, Lexia has an online home reading course, which Freddy has been given three months access to. The programme has two elements, the Lexia Reading software itself plus an ongoing pro-active support and advice service. Progress reports are given to keep parents updated as to their child's usage and progress. The course is suitable for pre-schoolers through to teens, with each child assessed before being given an individual personalised program to follow.
The Lexia Reading software is a phonics based program taking the form of interactive games with fun animations. It covers a range of reading skills including phonological awareness, phonics, sight word recognition, sound-symbol correspondence, word-attack skills and comprehension.
Freddy was really eager to get going with his Lexia home reading course, which in itself is a really positive thing. He loves using the computer, and he finds it much more appealing than using a pencil and paper! Getting him to sit and write can sometimes prove a bit of a battle, whereas using the computer is seen as a fun activity.
I was impressed at how user friendly the program was and Freddy was able to complete his assessment completely independently before being placed at the appropriate level for his ability. The animations and the theme of the program are very appealing, but this does not distract from the actual content, which I found to be excellent.
We have tried other online reading programs before, but I have always been frustrated by the fact that if a child got something wrong they would not be told why. A wrong answer would just mean losing a point and the game would move on without the child really understanding why. Lexia's home reading course has an excellent function which, if a child makes a mistake, goes on to offer further help. It lets children look at things another way, simplifying the task until the knowledge is consolidated. Freddy struggles with sight word recognition of high frequency words, and this function really helped him to recognise the words - their shape and their letter formation. He was able to continue the task and he really understood what he was learning. I was very impressed by his determination to get it right and the program's ability to recognise that he needed extra help before moving on. I also really like that children can see their progress and know how far through the level they have gone.
We are only one week into the Lexia home reading course and already I can see Freddy's confidence increase and his enthusiasm for the course is still strong. Just 20 minutes three times a week can help a child's progress, and I am hoping that by the end of the three month programme, Freddy will have a skill base that will put him on a par with his peers.
I will continue to update my blog regarding Freddy's progress.
If you want to check out the Lexia products you can visit the website at everybodylearns.co.uk.