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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Homeschool Review Crew: Ultimate Phonics Reading Program

Spencer Learning gave us an opportunity to use and review the Ultimate Phonics Reading Program 

Ultimate Phonics Reading Program {Spencer Learning}
The Ultimate Phonics Reading Program is a software that you download to your computer.  It is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10, and Macintosh OSX 10.5 and higher.  The software purchase gives you access to the program forever with free updates.   Ultimate Phonics Reading program is for users of all ages.  The program can be used as a stand alone phonics program for new readers, a supplement to any phonics program you are using,  a supplement to help struggling readers of any age, or as a teaching tool for ESL.

The software contains 262 lessons containing 4,474 different words and 2,130 sentences.  113 Sight Words such as the, where, and says are included in the lessons. Each of the lessons focus on a specific letter sound or pattern, starting with very basic sounds and gradually becoming more advanced.  Each of the lessons build on the one before it.  Lesson 1 is a basic introduction and after that all of the lessons are patterned the same way with four different parts.  The first part tells you what the lesson will be about.  The second part is the lists of words using the sound pattern shown on the first page.  After the word list page, the words are shown one at a time, broken down by their sounds.  The last part is the sentence pages which give the students sentences to read using the word pattern learned in the lesson. 

If students need help, they can press the speaker button and the sentence will be read to them.  They can click on words to hear them read and click on the boxes with the separate sounds to hear each individual sound.  Words that have more then one syllable have red bars above the words on the word pages that  students can click on to hear each syllable.

Each lesson is short, taking only 10-15 minutes to complete.  You can work systematically through each lesson, or if you are using the program as a supplement, you can use the "find" feature to search for word patterns or words that you need to work on.

My son Anthony is a struggling reader.  He has come a very long way but needs a lot of review and reinforcement.  We have been completing one lesson per day.

I really like that the program is a one time purchase, not a subscription that you have to continue to pay for.  The download did take me quite awhile as my internet is incredibly slow.  The software is very easy to use.  All you need to do to navigate through the lessons is use the arrow keys.  

The Ultimate Phonics Reading Program is very straight forward.  There are no bells, whistles, or distractions. I like that there are no distractions but students that are used to more game like teaching will find it boring.   Lessons are short and easy to navigate and students can use the program independently.  The ability to have the sentences read to the student and words sounded it out is a good feature, but the voice is very monotone and sounds almost robotic.  This was very hard for us to listen to. 

The Ultimate Phonics Reading Program offers a free trial.  To try the program for yourself, click here.

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

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