As you may suspect, I’m not only a regular contributor to this blog, but I’m also a Red Apple Reading customer, so I wanted to let you know how Katie is progressing with her lessons and share some thoughts on the effectiveness of the program from a parent’s perspective. And what better day to share than on Read Across America Day! Quick disclaimer: though I’m obviously a member of the team here, you have my word that my opinions are my own and as unbiased as possible!
Katie is no stranger to computer games. She plays PBS Kids, Disney Junior, and Nick Jr. probably more than she should, and she loves Red Apple Reading just as much. The games keep her attention and are just the right balance of entertaining and educational.
One thing that sets Red Apple Reading apart from other online games is that it truly boosts Katie’s confidence. She loves hearing the animated characters tell her what a great job she’s doing, and when she gets something right, I can see her face light up with pride. As a mom, there aren’t too many things in life better than that!
I have to admit that when we first started the program, I was a little worried that the lessons could potentially confuse Katie since she’s learning to read at school as well. I was concerned that the sequence or method of instruction might not correlate with what her Kindergarten teacher was doing in the classroom, but I was wrong! Many of the activities such as identifying words and creating word families and are similar to what I do with Katie each night for homework, so I knew we were right on track, plus she learned some new sight words that her teacher hadn’t yet covered. With Red Apple Reading, she’s not only having the skills taught at school reinforced at home, but she’s getting ahead of the game as well. Score!
As you can see, I really couldn’t be happier about the program. It does exactly what I thought it would and more. One warning though, and this is just my personal opinion. I would let your child go through the levels at his or her own pace. Although the game is fun and encouraging, as I mentioned, it’s also challenging. Challenging is good, of course, but if you pick up on any frustration or see that your child is getting tired during the lessons, take a break. Don’t treat the program like another homework assignment that your child must finish. That takes the fun out of it, and when it comes to reading, that’s the last thing you want to do!
Find out more about the Red Apple Reading program on their website. Level A covers basic phonics skills (short vowels, digraphs, blends, and an intro to long vowel sounds), Fry’s first 100 sight words, and an alphabet review lesson for every letter. Level B will be released this summer and will have a quick review of Level A concepts, advanced phonics skills (long vowel patterns, r-controlled vowels, diphthongs, silent letters), prefixes and suffixes, syllables, compound words, contractions, vocabulary (homophones, homographs, abbreviations, synonyms, antonyms), and comprehension skills. Future releases include a Pre-K level with more phonemic awareness and pre-reading skills, as well as upper elementary/middle school reading adventure games. Like and follow their Facebook Page for updates.