Easyread - from Oxford Learning Solutions

(47 Posts)
Idohaveoneofthese Wed 19-Oct-11 20:02:39

Does anyone have any experience of this system?? My DD2 is supposedly a year behind in reading (which has just been properly identified as we have moved school). The website seems very good and she had a go on the trial lesson, however, I found the price list and it costs £770 for a year!! I wasn't expecting that - although it has lots of great testimonials from teachers and parents alike and has a full refund policy if you're not happy.

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5ofus Wed 19-Oct-11 20:05:41

Alarm bells are ringing. It seems a lot of money to me. What plan does her new teacher have?

VinoEsmeralda Wed 19-Oct-11 20:16:25

You might like to have a look at Nessy software instead, seems cheap at £120 for the software.

We have been using this for a month for our DD1 and she absolutely loves Nessy as do our other DC who are fluent readers.

Its a very clever put together program where the kids play language games ( reading or spelling and possibly later writing), you can even make your own wordlists (you need to have a microphone) which can then be used for the games. They get a nugget for every correct answer and this can be used at the fair. Sounds really simple but its amazing and works! Our DD has moved up two levels but more importantly her confidence has grown a lot.

Also you can print of worksheets, card games plus it has clips which explains the different rules (animated), mnemonic library, word endings and lots more.

Its very comprehensive and very detailed, approx for kids up to 15.

Idohaveoneofthese Wed 19-Oct-11 20:29:52

I only had a quick word in the playground with her teacher today, she mentioned me going in after half term (they broke up today), and she mentioned that they had done an assessment.
She said that her spelling was a month behind, but that her reading was considerably further - she reiterated a point she has made to me before about her phonics not being embedded properly.
The things that they talked about on Easyread - i.e. DD2 guessing words, still struggling with very short words but being able to read longer words more easily, fitted her very well.

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Kellamity Wed 19-Oct-11 20:34:07

Spelling a month behind? Really? 4/5 weeks? Can they be that specific?

I will watch this thread with interest though as DS could certainly do with a boost to his reading. It's parents evening tomorrow, it will be interesting to hear what his teacher's strategy is.

IndigoBell Wed 19-Oct-11 20:38:54

I've done easy read with my DD, and I wouldn't recommend it as a first intervention.

The key here is your DDs not good with phonics. Is that because she hasn't been taught them very well? Or because she struggles to learn them?

What year is she in? And what reading scheme did they use in her old school (jolly phonics, read write Inc, letter & sounds)? And what reading books did she use to bring home?

If you're lucky she just hasn't been taught well, and she'll catch up quickly if taught phonics.

If you're unlucky there's something else going on - and I'll have loads more advice for you smile

IndigoBell Wed 19-Oct-11 20:40:22

Kellamity - they do a spelling test and give you a spelling age - but it's not at all accurate.


SherbetDibDab Wed 19-Oct-11 20:41:56

How old is she?

Have a look at Toe by Toe on Amazon. It's a similar sort of idea but the book is only £20 odd quid. It's aimed at age 7+

Idohaveoneofthese Wed 19-Oct-11 20:42:21

I don't know how it works, the point was, that it was strange how much better her spelling was than her reading.
On the Easyread site, they talk about them just remembering the words (how they look - she only had 5) and reproducing them. They practice the spellings quite alot at school, so it is possible.
From their website, 7 causes of dyslexia and reading difficulty

"Opilexia - Introduction

This is the big one. Most visual learners find learning to read very hard and around 80% of children "diagnosed" as dyslexic are in fact visual learners who have not grasped phonics.

The reason is that they start by learning the alphabet visually. They then learn some simple words visually.

They then look at an "early reader book" and look at the picture (more visual cues) and try to read the text visually, guessing the words that they don't know. Any phonics they do at school will make little sense to them and will be ignored as irrelevant.

You can actually see this on an MRI scan as they read. The auditory cortex is not engaged at all.

We call this Optilexia, because the child is reading through pure sight recognition of whole words rather than auditory decoding.

This situation can seem to be OK until the text gets too complex for this approach. At that stage you will see more and more wild guessing. Eventually the child's confidence will collapse between the ages of 6 and 9."

I don't know if that makes any sense to people who know about this stuff.

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Idohaveoneofthese Wed 19-Oct-11 20:48:15

She is in Year 2, she used to have ORT and another one which I really hated about Bugs, which had an awful font that made my eyes hurt.
I have been wallowing in a small pit of guilt as we didn't read to her as much as we did with DD1, she just wasn't interested and would rather play with dolls while we were reading a story to DD1, so I thought that it was all my fault rather than her having an actual problem - as she seems as bright as the next kid. Her teacher last year was a bit rubbish, she only asked to speak to me once about DD2's reading, didn't get her any additional support and then put a 1c for reading on her report.

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IndigoBell Wed 19-Oct-11 20:53:02

Easyread didn't help DD at all - and they gave me all of my money back, so I have no quibbles with them.

I think if your DD has a problem with phonics you should try and strengthen her hearing and her phonics, rather than trying to teach her by sight.

I'd go for something like Sound Reading which works on auditory skills as well as reading skills.

Idohaveoneofthese Wed 19-Oct-11 21:01:09

Thanks Indigobelle -that's great I will give that a bash over half term and I may be bothering you in the future if that's OK.

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VinoEsmeralda Wed 19-Oct-11 21:08:35

Please have a look at nessy, you can download a free trail . Sound like I am working for them but not the case smile. Just v impressed with progress DD has made. After a reading challenge (nessy one) we found out which phonemes she struggled with and she improved those by doing games on Nessy and reading specific phonic books.

IndigoBell Wed 19-Oct-11 21:10:27

I've done Nessy as well, and it will help a child with mild problems, but it won't help a child with severe problems.

A 1c at the start of Y2 is not good, and I wouldn't be going with Nessy....

Idohaveoneofthese Wed 19-Oct-11 21:17:47

She seems to have problems blending sounds, but is ok with single sounds.

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Idohaveoneofthese Wed 19-Oct-11 21:18:32

Sorry IndigoBel for the typo on your name blush

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smudge74 Wed 19-Oct-11 21:25:35

Anyone have an opinion on Starfall? It's a free website my dd loves, perhaps it would be useful to you.

IndigoBell Wed 19-Oct-11 21:35:44

OP - I've sent you a message.

Kellamity Wed 19-Oct-11 21:48:39

Indigobell - you sound like you have a lot of experience in children's reading. Are you a teacher? Can you recommend anything for DS. He is in Y2 and is on yellow book band level which puts him a year behind according to the ORT website.

He gets it, he gets blending, he's just slow at picking things up I think. He tries, I don't think he's lazy. I just want to boost his learning. Do you have any ideas?

Idohaveoneofthese Wed 19-Oct-11 21:52:17

Thanks Indigo - I'm on my iPhone now so I can't seem to get messages, I'll check it later. Thank you very much.

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IndigoBell Wed 19-Oct-11 21:56:59

Kellamity - I'm not a teacher. Just well researched in trying to teach children with literacy difficulties to read.

If you think your child does get it, and just needs more practice then I like Dancing Bears - but if you think there's something else going on I have different recommendations smile

Kellamity Wed 19-Oct-11 22:04:20

Thank you. smile

maizieD Wed 19-Oct-11 22:33:54

Opilexia? Hogwash. There's no such thing. 'Easyread' are just snake oil merchants.

Take IB's advice; she is a very well informed parent.

I work with struggling KS3 readers; the advice I would give would be just the same as IB's grin

Mashabell Thu 20-Oct-11 07:10:05

'Easyread' seem like ripoff merchants to me too.

It depends on how much time u can spare and how patient u can be, but the best help for struggling readers is one to one help, although not necessarily loads of phonics. Parents can help enormously.

If your dd's spelling is quite good, then she must be hearing the sounds in words and choosing the right letters for spelling them. So is doing that side of phonics.

The ultimate aim of reading instruction is to be able to read all common words by sight, instantly, without decoding. Learning to decode is just the first stage, but some children do better by skipping it and going straight to learning words by sight quite early on.

U could try a mixture of phonics and sight word reading with words like
at, cat, sat, mat, rat, pat, spat, that rap, tap, trap, strap...

if u get the idea. - It would not matter if she learns them without sounding out, as long as she learns to read them.

The Learning to Read page on my (free) website has lots of common words with regular spellings from which u can choose a few at a time. After a while your dd might enjoy working through them by herself.

The other thing u could try is teaching her the words in the books she really likes. She may just memorise the book, but u can make sure she learns to read the words by printing out 10 - 20 from them in various orders and see how she goes.

Parents can waste a lot of time, energy and money on trying to get assessments and outside help which they could spend far more profitably on helping their children themselves.

Masha Bell

IndigoBell Thu 20-Oct-11 09:57:47

I hate the word 'snake oil', and don't think EasyRead is snake oil.

I think it's a genuine program, that the guy really believes in, and that helps many kids.

Although it didn't help my DD, my DS did it (when it was in beta) and learnt to read after doing it (although I'm not sure if it was or wasn't EasyRead that helped - but he certainly learnt to read in Y2 only after doing EasyRead)

The guy who makes EasyRead believes that people learn to ready by 'pattern matching'. So it's a very different program to all the others out there.

I think it might be similar to ITA, which did teach some kids to read a while back smile

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