A Fantastic Tool For Dyslexic Learners: A MindPlay Literacy Review

It is no secret that our family loves reading. Books were piling around every corner, so much so that we ended up building our own family library. I'm so passionate about equipping my children with the skills to read because it is the single most important factor in becoming a lifelong learner. There is nothing more enslaving than depending upon others to communicate ideas that you can't read for yourself. Working with dyslexic learners was new for me.

My first two kids had no trouble learning to read. Naturally, I thought the third would follow suit. However, this was not our experience. Over the years, I've seen glimmers of progress, but nothing like what we've experienced over the past six weeks with MindPlay Literacy.

Dyslexic learners

I received a free trial access to MindPlay Literacy and was compensated for my time in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. See my full disclosure policy for more information. 

The Challenge Dyslexic Learners Face

While my youngest has never been formally diagnosed with dyslexia, she has enough of the signs to help me understand that they way her mind processes information makes reading challenging for her. Over the years, I've observed these common signs of dyslexia:

  • confusing small words
  • reversing her b's and d's
  • difficulty remembering simple words from flashcards
  • forgetting the connection between the letters and their sounds
  • difficulty tracking on the page
  • struggles to sound out even small words

As we've continued to chip away at the learning-to-read monster, she's continued to exhibit dyslexic tendencies such as:

  • avoiding reading aloud
  • reading requires great effort and is very slow
  • rarely reads for pleasure
  • gets lost in subtitles in movies

Even though we've really tried to build a strong foundation for her to build upon, my own struggle is being consistent in the way that I present material to her. Dyslexia, in its simplest form, is simply a disordered processing system. In order to help her gain confidence and mastery of the printed word, I need to give her order. I need to present the material in its simplest form, as clearly as possible, and in a consistent way. Do you know how challenging that is?!

MindPlay Literacy: A Tool For Dyslexic Learners

Since we were moving into our summer break, I thought it would be a perfect time to shift all of my educational energy towards my daughter and see if something like MindPlay Literacy could help us. They claimed that in twenty hours on the program, students could improve their reading skills by a grade level.

I had twenty hours and a great motivation to help my daughter, so we determined to take the challenge. I can't tell you how thrilled both my daughter and I are with the results we've experienced in those hours spent striving towards our goal.

Dyslexic Learners

The program can be used independently, however, as the teacher, I really wanted to sit down and go through the process with her so that I could use the same verbal cues that they give her in the future.

MindPlay Literacy

Playing With Language

In MindPlay Literacystudents work on phonemic awareness, vocabulary, English grammar, comprehension, and fluency. The goal is to work 20-30 minutes per day with the program, and there is a little progress bar at the bottom of the screen that indicates when you've completed the allotted time.

motivation for dyslexic learners

As they master each element they are learning, they make progress in a puzzle or along a path. My daughter loves these tangible ways of tracking how much she has completed. They also present certificates as you master an entire level of phonics or grammar. Those are her favorite!

dyslexic learners coach

The activities are short and engaging. I love that my daughter can just come in from the pool and sit down with the iPad and get the consistent help that she needs to help her break through her struggles with reading. For dyslexic learners, MindPlay Literacy is just as intense as it needs to be, while providing a fun way to practice the basics of language.

Diagnostic Tests

When students start the program, they take a diagnostic test to see where they should be placed in the content. Additionally, they receive goals to strive towards in order to reach the desired grade level. Teachers can choose the frequency and extent of those tests in the future, but typically students are tested once a month to check their progress.

We were so impressed with the results we achieved!

  • In fluency, she gained 17 words/min
  • In assisted fluency, she gained 33%
  • In her phonics skill levels, she went from a 1 to a 5! This was as a huge victory for us!
  • Increased from a 2nd grade to a 3rd grade reading level

reading coach for dyslexic learners

While we still have a lot of work to do, the progress we've experienced over the last six weeks of work has built her confidence and excitement about continuing to press on! Official studies that document  MindPlay Literacy results are also available, but it is nice to experience it first hand.

Why MindPlay Literacy Worked For Us

A MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach leads you through games, activities, and instruction. When you make a mistake, the reading coach presents the same concepts from a different angle and then students are given another opportunity to complete the game with mastery.

My daughter loved playing the games with the positive and encouraging instructors. However, she started to become frustrated when she realized she wasn't paying attention to the actual instruction portion.

drills for dyslexic learners

When you access the teacher's end of MindPlay Literacy you are also given access to supplemental resources that outline the phonics rules that they are working through in the games with the student. I printed these off, and my daughter and I started creating a personal resource for her to use. She reads over the rules in the morning and the evening.

Dyslexic learners

dyslexic learners

This simple addition to our routine helped those rules to solidify in her brain so that she can remember them when asked to spell words during the program.

7 Day Free Trial

When my free trial period is over, we'll be investing in continuing with this program. When you find something you love (and that works), it is well worth it! You can try it for free also. Plans start as low as $25/month. That is just under $1 per day. What would you pay a reading tutor for 30 minutes of their time?

Check in with MindPlay, Inc on social media for continued encouragement and inspiration:

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  1. KAY STUMBO on June 18, 2017 at 12:24 am

    Thanks so much for posting this! I am suspecting that my daughter has some dislexic tendencies as well. I have been teaching her to read FOREVER! If I had kept her in public school, she would be going into 5th grade. She is working at grade level with math, but her reading skills are only a 3rd grade level. The progress is very slow. She knows the phonics, but has trouble breaking down the words and using the skills she knows. She mixes b’s and p’s, more than d’s. She guesses at words constantly. She will read the end part of the word first sometimes, but not all the time. She loves to be read to, but reading herself is so much work that she only does what she has to, which is basically what I assign her, or what our curriculum requires. I find her reading the pictures of her National Geographics and other books, but not the words.
    She’s such a smart little cookie, but these reading difficulties have had me concerned. I may try this program, but we just started Spell to Write and Read (VERY time consuming), and I don’t want to confuse her. Do you have any experience with that program? I’m afraid to try this new one, but am very tempted because it sounds much less time consuming. I am just starting to learn a bit more about dyslexia. I thought dyslexia was just a condition in which people saw words backwards. I’m now learning that’s only one small part. Anyway, I appreciated this post. I’m so glad this program is working for your daughter!! I am in CC as well in Windsor, CO. I emailed you another time. I love your blog and find it very helpful!

    • Betsy on June 18, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      This sounds so much like our experience! We used Spell to Write and Read for about four years…but you’re right…it’s very time consuming, therefore I wasn’t as consistent with it as my daughter needed. Thankfully MindPlay works in a very similar way, so the two would go very well together. I need to retest my daughter from one of the SWR spelling tests to check her improvement that way.

  2. Jessalynn Andrews on May 28, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    I used this with my daughter last summer. She HATED it. I waisted my money on this program. We tried rewarding her for doing the lessons. I bought her a special pink mouse to use. I finally stopped making her complete lessons when the program froze repeatedly. I used the older version of this program with my special education students with great results. The new version was not as good.

    • Betsy on June 3, 2019 at 1:48 pm

      It isn’t as fun as some of the other programs out there, but I found it very effective. I sat down and went through the lessons with my daughter so that I could reinforce the concepts with the same terminology as the program. Not every curriculum works for everyone. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  3. Robin on August 23, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    You have some great articles in your blog-busy mom!! I’m just seeing this as I just put your articles first in my news feed. 🙂
    So, do they claim to be Orton-Gillingham based? I have 2 dyslexic kids + one with auditory processing issues. I love that this is a visual, fun fluency program–comprehension, too? I meant to do Susan Barton all summer, but didn’t …

    We have trouble learning the words that refer to words (i.e. grammar.).
    Math fact memory had been difficult, too. [The visual aspect of Latin with Andy-decoders- is helping with grammar, actually!] Being consistent with emerging readers with learning differences is TOUGH. I wish I had known all this before 4th grade when our content began to get harder.

    Bottom line: how is it going now? Also, dyslexia means a sort of giftedness, too.

    • Betsy on August 23, 2019 at 6:16 pm

      Yes! I totally feel you. I’m not sure about the Orton-Gillingham based aspect of MindPlay. After about a year working diligently with MindPlay, my daughter has really come a long way in her reading. I still work with her quite a bit, but she’s reading and successful in that. I totally agree that dyslexia is a sort of giftedness. I love that I homeschool because I can see all of the other beautiful ways her mind works and not just see the struggles with one aspect. Blessings on your journey!

  4. Carrie on July 31, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    Thank you for this review! I came across MindPlay about a week ago in my search for reading curriculum for dyslexic students. I homeschool my nephew. He’s going into 6th grade. From K-4 he was in public school where they just put him in a special ed class for reading & writing. It helped a little, but did not address the real issue. In homeschooling him for 5th grade, I realized & shared with my sister, that he is dyslexic. Not severe, but it’s definitely the root of all the challenges. Being that he’s going into 6th grade I want him to be more independent in his learning, within reason. This program seems to be what will fit our schedule & my need for his independence in learning. Your review is what put me over the edge to subscribe to MindPlay. Thanks again!!

    • Betsy on September 2, 2021 at 7:40 am

      Yay! That’s wonderful – I hope all is going well! 🙂

  5. Jocelyn on May 2, 2023 at 2:34 am

    Thanks for sharing info about Mindplay. Are there any new updates? Is anyone still using this program for their child and seeing success? Thanks.

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