Sometime ago, my friend who runs a blog called Figur8 wrote about an app called Phonics and Reading with McGuffey. I clicked on it and saw it was free for a limited time period. So I figured what the heck... and downloaded it onto the iPad for my little man.
Now, I had wanted to start him on reading last year but with his speech therapy, I was advised to put that on hold. Why? Because we had to work on his understanding of language first before teaching him how to recognise the symbols for that language. Gotta learn to walk before you can run. So I put aside all thoughts of teaching him to read and focused on teaching him how to talk properly first.
A year later and now-we-can't-shut-Connor-up later, I decided to try reading again. I dunno if it's just my inadequacies as a teacher or something but Connor was NOT interested. At all. Luckily the app appeared.
I tried the app out first and found it utterly BORING. It was so dreary. The flat voice-over almost killed me with boredom. Bleh. I handed it to my son anyway. Who of course found it the most amazing, absorbing, interesting app he'd ever had.
He played with it a lot. I don't mind him playing with educational apps. And of course the inevitable happened.
Connor somehow taught himself to read with the help of the app.
How did I know? Well, because he began reading out things to me. I was SO thrilled! Dear Hubby and I thought they must have been teaching phonics and stuff at school. We thought what he learnt at school + the iPad app = him reading
Until today that is. I was asking Teacher how Connor was doing and she said he's doing fine. She then asked me, "Are you teaching him to read at home?" I said, "Oh not really but he has this phonics app on the iPad that he really enjoys. Why?" "Because he can read. We don't really teach phonics now in Nursery, just letter sounds for a few letters but not whole word phonics. So I was surprised when he could read." She went on to describe the times Connor would read stuff out in class after sounding it phonetically himself.
And you know what? I felt really happy. Utterly relieved. My son, who could not talk properly a year plus ago, can read. And he taught himself how to do it.
When we first started seeing Mario for speech therapy, I had worried and worried if Connor was slow and would need help in school later. Mario was surprised I even thought that, he said no, it was obvious Connor was quite bright. Just not talking. Not talking is not the same as un-bright. Not talking just means not talking.
So now at night, my son reads me a bedtime story before he goes to bed. It used to be just me reading to him. I pick books geared at beginners and he reads them to me. He needs help on more complicated words but he's working on it. I still read to him of course... I read him the more difficult stories.
Try this app if you're looking for a phonics app for your child. It really helped Connor and he really enjoys it.