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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Homeschool Crew Review: Dyslexia Gold

Reading is such an important skill for everyone.  It can be very hard when your child struggles with reading. Dyslexia Gold believes that the majority of struggling readers struggle because of vision problems and poor phonological awareness.  They have a variety of programs to help children with these areas. Some of the activities can be used by children on their own while others require some parental help.  We have spent the last several weeks using and reviewing  the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle.

The Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle includes access to 4 programs:

Fluency Builder
Engaging Eyes
Spelling Tutor
Times Table Tutor

Each of the programs are accessed online.  Fluency Builder, Spelling Tutor, and Times Table Tutor can be played on computers and tablets.  Engaging Eyes cannot be played on a tablet.  You need a 13 inch monitor or larger to play the vision tracking games.  A pair of 3 D glasses is required for the 3 D games.  When you purchase a subscription, Dyslexia Gold will send you a pair of glasses.  The programs are designed to be used with children ages 5 and up that are already reading for around 15 minutes per day.

Fluency Builder: This game has 50 lessons with each lesson introducing a new sound and reviewing previous sounds. It teaches children to recognize that there are different sounds that make up each word.  Each lessons follows a similar format.

It introduces the new sound and students drag the icon to the word that starts with the same beginning sound that is said.

Then a word is said and the children drag the tiles to spell the word.

Next they are given 4 images.  A word is read and they are asked to match the word with the same beginning or ending sound.

After that a word is read and they are asked which letter you would change to make a new word that is read.

Then they do a few exercises reviewing a previous sound.

And read a paragraph.  Then read it again and the program times the child reading it.  They then answer some questions about what they read.  This part is my favorite part of this game.

Spelling Tutor: This game helps students spell words they have difficulty with.  The program teaches around 90 percent of words used everyday.  Students have to copy words and sentences and correct their own mistakes including punctuation.  They write the words and sentences on a separate sheet of paper and then have to check off on the computer whether or not they got it correct.  The program knows then retests words that they struggle with.

It also teaches tricky words like homophones and helps students use them correctly.

Engaging Eyes is a vision training program that exercises they eye muscles and helps students track their eyes across the page and helps to prevent them from skipping letters, words, and lines. There are 4 different games in the Engaging Eyes section.

Target Practice- There are 3 of these, A, B, and C. In this game students wear their 3 D glasses.  The game trains the eyes to focus on a single point.

Whack an Alien- This game focuses on eye movements. The student has to quickly focus on the new alien in order to whack him and then move quickly to the next.

Speed Fix- There are two levels of Speed Fix, A and B.  Students watch the jumping animals and have to stare at at dot and click on whether they see a certain letter. Speed Fix 2 is similar except they will see three sets of letters and have to click on whether they saw they letter or not.

Eye Tracking- There are two eye tracking games, A and B.  In the first one the student's eyes move across the page and they hit the spacebar when they see a certain letter.  The second game has words and the student hits the spacebar if the highlighted word starts or ends in a certain letter.

Times Table Tutor - Repetition is necessary when learning times tables.  This game helps your child learn their times tables up to 12x12.  The game is based on Singapore Math and uses three stages to teach the concept: concrete, pictorial, and abstract.

One of Anthony's biggest difficulties is spelling.  With his mild dyslexia he can read pretty well and loves to read, but he has a horrible time spelling.  So they main program we worked on was Spelling Tutor.  It took around 15 minutes per day for him to complete this.  We have used dictation for years in our spelling program so for him writing the sentences and the words was something he is used to.  One thing I have never had him do however was correct his own mistakes.  This is a wonderful thing!  Correcting his own mistakes has caused him to stop and take a closer look at the words.  And since the program repeats trouble words the more he stops and pays attention the better he has gotten at spelling that word.

One difficulty we have had with this program was that because of the program coming from the UK the spellings are different.  I have his set to American spelling and several words start out as they are spelled for us, but then when he has to go back and check them it switches to the UK spelling. 

We spent some time working on the Fluency Builder as well.  These exercises are really good for children who need help working on all of the sounds that makes up the letters.  As I said above, each lesson follows the same format so children will know exactly what to expect.  There is plenty of built in review.  I love the paragraphs.  The information presented is very interesting. They also ask a few comprehension questions.  The timed reading will help you to see if your child is becoming more fluent.  One difficulty we had with this section of the program is that the voice is very mechanical.  At times it is hard to understand it clearly especially when it is saying words that may be close to another.  For example when it asks the child to click on a word such as think and think and thing are both choices.

Anthony also used some of the Engaging Eyes games.  Whack an Alien was his favorite.  We tried to use the Target Practice game with the 3 D glasses that were sent to us, but wearing the glasses and playing the game caused Anthony to have headaches so we stopped playing this game.

 Anthony knows his Times Tables but we did check out this section of the program to review.  I really like that the problems and solutions are read out loud to the child and that there is repetition.  Times Tables can be so hard to learn.  This program will help them to be successful!

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

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