Spencer Learning: A Phonics Reading Program Review
What is it?
Ultimate Phonics is a software app designed to aid and teach students to read with phonics. It contains over 7,000 pages for a total of 262 lessons covering all the phonics sounds and rules of the English language, with each lesson containing 6 types of pages:
1) Pattern pages
2) Idea pages
3) Word List pages
4) Word pages
5) Sight Word pages
6) Sentence pages
As you can see in the pictures, this isn't a cartoon or heavy on the colorful or fun program. Instead it is a serious tool to highlight specific phonic issues and completely equip readers for all elements they will encounter. At first sight of the less than colorful landscape, I began to have reservations as to how useful this was going to be, because it just looks boring. And to be fair, if students were required to spend 30 minutes or more, most kids would drag their feet, if not go on strike. Thankfully, Spencer Learning wisely designed each lesson to take about 10 minutes. We would use it 2 or 3 times a week and that small amount of time was effective, but if a child really needed a lot of help, 10 minutes every day is totally doable!
Is this a program for you?
In homeschools or public classrooms, if you have struggling or new readers this would be a wise investment. ESL and Adult Literacy programs should consider this as well. If you expect to homeschool more than one child (who are at or below reading age) it could be especially wise. This program is a downloadable app that will always be yours and could be a great asset in correcting reading problems before they escalate or properly equip new readers.
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