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.
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.
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.
Playing With Language
In MindPlay Literacy, students 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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.