Sunday, March 10, 2013

Schoolhouse Review Crew: READS

I have to say I wasn’t really sure what to expect when READS Parent/Child Reading Comprehension System from EGM Educational Systems, LLC showed up in my mailbox. Sure. I had taken the time to visit the website, but how could something so simple make a difference with my very creative son (who happens to be Dyslexic).

What is really nice about the  READS system (Non-Homeschooling parents take note) is that is can be used in any reading situation. You don’t have to be a homeschooler. Just a parent.  It is also not particular about the reading material. I used it for non-fiction, fiction, information essays…It’s versatile.  But more on that in a minute.

READS stands for Really Easy and Dynamic Strategies. It was developed by Elaine Meyers. She is teacher and reading specialist with over 25 years of experiences. Her desire is to equip parents to help their kids develop better comprehension and critical thinking skills.

What We Received (all bundled in a sturdy plastic pouch):

Magic Finger and Reading Guide Strip
The Magic Finger (which reminds me of some of the nail tips I used to use way back in Beauty School days…yes I am a girl of many talents) is a fun tool to help the student keep track of what he or she is reading. The Reading Guide is a simple strip that highlights one line at a time…helping to keep the attention on that particular line. I used it both with a hardbound book and an article printed off on traditional letter sized paper. It fit nicely with both.
 Question Cards  
These are 30 cards that encourage the child to think about what they have read. They activities are varied and are easy to implement. The cards are sturdy and come nicely bound together with a metal ring.
Speedy Speller, a Handbook for Readers and Writers
This  book contains  1,400 common spelling words, abbreviations, numbers, a punctuation chart and more. It even has a spot to record more spelling words.  The Speedy Speller is a paperback and I found the size to be very manageable. The spelling words in arranged Alphabetical order which give the student additional practice with ABC order.

Rewards Chart & Stickers 
This is a chart and colorful stickers that help kids keep track of their reading goals. There is even a spot for recording a reward. 

READS Parent’s Manual
This handy dandy booklet gives you all the tips and tricks to use the other products with your child.It is also a paperback. 

How We Used the Product
Josiah reads from a book of my choosing every day. At the time of this review he is reading “Robin Hood.”
The Reading Guide Strip was an immediate success. Because he is dyslexic he finds it difficult to follow the sentence. If a page is cluttered or filled with words it is hard for him to stay on track. We always use the “hide the sentence above method” but I found the Reading Guide Strip to be genius. 
You can see that it is a good size. Josiah had no trouble using it with any of his books.

It is Josiah's own theory that wearing a blanket on your head helps one read better. True story.

 Notice the Magic Finger he is clutching in his hand?

Here the Reading Guide Strip is highlighting a sentence from "Old Mother West Wind."

The Magic Finger was a hit. Unfortunately, for reasons other than what it was intended for. Let’s just say he’s a boy. And that Magic Finger is a magnificent bugger picker. I had to confiscate it frequently.  You have to admit it looks like fun!
I loved the Question Cards. I love see his brain churning. On this particular day I asked him to use one for his journal writing. He had just finished a chapter in his book about Robin Hood and the Black Knight. This was the answer I got. I’ll take it. 

This was an interesting question to ask. Josiah felt that he and Robin Hood both liked to use a bow and arrow. But then Robin Hood's bow is real and Josiah is not all that crazy about wearing green all the time.

I liked this one. We wound up with quite a few interesting words in the Speedy Speller.

And speaking of the Speedy Speller...

It is such a nifty tool. It basically is a ready made resource for all of your child's writing needs.

I loved being able to set Josiah loose with it during his journal writing.

And I loved that the Speedy Speller reinforces Alphabetizing skills. You have to remember that all of these things come a little harder for kids that are dyslexic.Words in a dictionary are more challenging for him to find. All those words on the page! The Speeder Speller is a valuable tool for Josiah.

The Rewards Chart (seen below) allowed Josiah to keep track of his reading on his own. His rewards are things like movie rentals and Frosties. We aim to please!

The Parent's Manual gives excellent hints and tricks for all of these tools.

Not only does it explain why your child might have a trouble with a particular skill, but it also gives ideas that you can use with each of the tools.  There is even a suggested rewards list. I particularly liked that it explained how to use each and every Question Card.

As I mentioned before, READS is practical for any kind of genre of reading. And it can be used in a classroom setting, homeschool setting or by a parent helping a child with his or her reading homework.

We will continue to use the READS system and I am confident that we will continue to see results!

The READS system is recommended for grades 1-4 or for kids reading above or below grade level. It is reasonably priced at $19.95. 

You can read more about the READS system or read more Reviews from my fellow TOS Review Crew Bloggers. 


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

1 comment:

  1. I loved all the photos you had in this review! And I LOLed about the Magic Finger... :-)


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