For this review, my (almost) 7 year old and 5 year old both got to try out Read, Write & Type by Talking Fingers, Inc. After watching my 7 year old for the first time play, my 5 year old was begging to play as well!
During the review period, both children used the program 3-5 times a week They progressed to level 2 out of 10 levels. The program works on Phonics, Reading and Spelling in a fun way. They can print certificates as they complete levels through out the program, but my kids didn’t care so much about doing that. They could be beneficial if you have to keep a portfolio for your homeschool, though.
The kids have to rescue the letters, and they are taken through exercises that require sound identification (beginning, middle and end of words), spelling, typing, and other related activities.
Both of my kids liked this program, they never complained about having to do it (which is quite common for my 7 year old to do, whether he likes something or not). The lessons were fairly short, but sometimes they chose to continue on and do more than one lesson in a sitting.
It was definitely a hit with my kids, though my 5 year old had some frustration with the program, as it progressed, it became a little over his current level. Obviously the lessons get progressively harder as they go on.
As a parent, I loved that my kids loved the program. I could see noticeable improvement in my children in phonics, reading and spelling after using the program. I wish the parental page gave a little more details as to what they are or are not doing well in (more specific), it just gives a percentage score for each focus area. I also had hoped that typing skills would have been more of an emphasis, but that’s not a deal breaker for me. Just be aware, that this is NOT a typing program. My kids did not learn how to type on here, they were hunting and poking to type their answers. Though there is some typing instruction, that is definitely not what they were getting out of it. It does help get them familiar with the keyboard though, which is a great thing.
Another frustration for me was that the program did not work on Chrome, which is our preferred browser, I was able to use it on Microsoft Edge, with came with Windows 10, but I was not able to make a shortcut on the desktop to it through that browser, so log in was a bit more complicated for my younger children. There were also a few computer glitches that seemed to work themselves out, though when I notified them, the help desk was very helpful and attentive. However, they wanted to know what level or lesson we were on, and I could not figure out where to find that information, as it is not listed on the screen when they are playing. As I stated though, the problems worked themselves out.
This program is recommended for ESL students, and though we are not ESL; I felt it was very beneficial for my children who are beginning readers/spellers. I think it was most ideal for my 7 year old, but my 5 year old definitely benefited and enjoyed it as well.
The recommended age is 6 to 9 years old. My 9 year old tried the demo and it was definitely too easy for him (though he did enjoy it, he would have finished the whole program in the blink of an eye). A 9 year old ESL child or lower level reader could definitely benefit from this program, older than 9 and they may find it to ‘young’ of a program for them.
Online Subscriptions for home use are for 5 year terms, and price varies from $35.00 to $100 based on the number of users. There is a FREE demo to try out, I would recommend trying it to see if this is something that would work well for your child.
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