Thursday, March 14, 2013

READS Parent/Child Reading Comprehension System {Review}

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EGM Educational Systems, LLC is a company that has developed the READS Parent/Child Reading Comprehension System, which I was given the opportunity to review. The READS System was developed by certified reading specialist, Elaine Meyers. Ms. Meyers has 25 years of experience in the reading field.

The READS System comes in a reusable clear storage pouch. It includes the parent guide, question cards on a metal ring, a rewards chart with accompanying stickers, a "magic finger," a reading guide strip, and a handbook of spelling words for the student. 

See below . . .
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This material was developed for elementary children, grades 1-4. It is geared for children who are at or below reading level. It is available for the purchase price of $19.95. The program is to be used on a daily basis during the child's structured reading time. The child is to pick a book of his/her choosing, pick a card from the ring and discuss the question, take the reading guide strip or magic finger and go to read on his/her own for a set amount of time (set by you the parent, for the individual child). They then come back to you to answer the question from the question card.

I used these products with my Ava who is in grade 2, and who has struggled a bit with her reading. She has made great use of the reading guide strip as she is reading. She is able to read many words, but I think she goes too quickly and then gets confused, so the reading guide strip helped her to stay on track and more focused. 

Ava really enjoyed having the Speedy Speller Handbook. It contains lists of 1,400 words, plus punctuation and other symbols, capitalization rules and several lists of common abbreviations. There is also space on each spelling list page, arranged alphabetically, to write one's own words. How sweet that one of Ava's first words to enter in her book was "Mom"!

The question cards are designed for use with your child's daily reading time. There are 30 cards in total and each one has a picture clue to go along with the question. The child is to choose one question per reading session. The purpose of the cards is to encourage reading comprehension. While I believe reading comprehension is crucial, it is not my main concern with Ava. Because we have read some many books aloud over the years, and discussed them, I think she has a pretty good foundation in understanding what we read. She has done a great job at answering the questions from the cards after her own reading times.

My main concern with her has been her actual ability to read the words. This program has helped her to slow down, focus, take her time and stay on track with the reading guide strip. She is more excited to read her books now and has been checking out more of them from the library. She is thrilled with her own little book of spelling words and wants to keep adding to her lists. 

We have not fully used the sticker charts, although we did start keeping track this month. The parent's manual has ideas for rewards once the child has completed a row of stickers. These rewards can include: extra computer time, a play date, a trip to the library, special board game time, books, bubbles, craft supplies and anything thing else you come up with to reward your child for their efforts. One of Ava's favourite rewards is to get to read a book aloud to Mom! 

The only thing I did not care for regarding this product was the "magic finger", which we found a little creepy (kind of like it belonged to the witch from The Wizard of Oz). I think some kind of "pointer" could be helpful, especially with younger kids who are just starting their reading adventure, but a green and red finger is not it. If it had been an animal or a character or even a cute vegetable, like a carrot, we would have liked and used it more. As it is, we kept the creepy finger hidden.

Overall, I recommend this product for homeschool and non-homeschool families, alike. This product can help a child who is at or even above reading level progress further and/or can help a child who is not on track get to where they need to be. 

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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.

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