I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Rosetta Stone. I received a product and a promotional item to thank me for participating.
There are plenty of computerized reading programs out there, and as veteran homeschoolers we’ve used most of them. I love supplementing our reading practice with technology because it’s something that my kids love and it does a great job of holding their attention.
I was excited to try out Rosetta Stone’s new kids reading program (go here to try a demo) because I’ve had great experiences with their language programs in the past. I love that they are branching out with products for a younger audience now. Reading has always been a top priority in our family. Did you know more than 47% of U.S. children are below grade-level reading? That’s a devastating statistic, not just because of the damaging effect it has on a child’s academic (and professional) future but because great reading skills can open doors and enrich lives.
The Rosetta Stone Kids Reading program is designed for kids age 3-7. I have two kids that are in (or close to) the target age, one at the top end and one at the bottom, so I had a chance to really explore the full spectrum of the program.
The navigation is simple and it has an iPad app, which I personally think is much simpler for younger kids to work on. Visually the game is very appealing to kids. Each level starts with a cute little video that tells a story that encourages kids to work their way through the level. For example in the first level, the Lingos want to play ping pong with the turtles but there aren’t enough turtles. To find more turtles, your child has to complete tasks within each level. It makes working their way through each level a game for kids and is a great way to hold their attention and give them a desire to progress.
My 2 1/2 year old, who is technically a bit young for the program, did just find on the first few levels. I sat and worked with her, which is what I prefer to do, at least part of the time, when my kids are learning with technology. Working with her turned the game into a great communication exercise because she was repeating back so much of the instruction to me. Her favorite task was sorting pictures into categories — a great early reading skill — and I was surprised she did so well with it because it wasn’t something I’ve formally worked on with her before.
Other skills practiced in her level included reading comprehension, matching, and and listening skills.
I have a 7 year old son who is at the top end of the program. He’s used several computer based reading programs before so he already understood what he needed to do. This kid will take any chance he gets to work on the iPad so he was more than willing to work on the Rosetta Stone Kids reading program. I was impressed that the program helped him practice concepts that we were already working on. He has been working on contractions and loved getting a chance to review what he has learned using a “game” on the iPad.
He really enjoyed the fact that there were multiple skills he could work on within each level so if he got bored with one activity he could switch to another before coming back to the one he was on. He was able to work independently on the reading program, although I did make a point to sit down and watch him play every once in a while so I could see what he was working on and have him verbalize the skill he was practicing.
How do you feel about using technology to help your kids learn to read? Do your kids prefer technology based learning or a more traditional style?
Learning to read is an exciting journey, and one that I’ve loved guiding my children on.