Friday, February 18, 2011

Needing a Boost for Your Readers? - A New TOS Review

Do all your children love to read?  Did you like to read when you were growing up, or did you always feel like it was a drudgery?  My husband hated to read because he always had to read things he was not the least bit interested in.  Well wouldn't you love it if there was something out there that could help your child not only be interested in reading, but would choose to read instead of doing something else?  Then the Reluctant Reader Solution by Kid Scoop might be your answer.
The Product:
There are two parts to the Reluctant Reader Solution: downloadable PDF's and a monthly online newspaper.  Together these allow your child to practice reading by using reading material that not only engages them but is also fun, helping to make reading enjoyable for many years to come.

Online Newspaper is one digital newspaper per month for 12 months and it comes in full color.  The "meat" of the newspaper has all sorts of fun activities and games (like word finds, crosswords and other types of puzzles), which are themed to match the time of year (February's newspaper focused on Valentines and President's day), science experiments, and articles.  The newspaper is very easy to navigate.  They also have one click zoom, and an easy "turn" the page feature with the mouse.  You can even have the content read to your student if they respond better to auditory learning.

You get 365 downloadable PDF "Fun" worksheets which come in sets of 5,6, or 7 pages.  They can be used either thematically or chronologically.  Some themes include the environment. animals and holidays.  Chronologically each month has 4 - 5 sets (remember each set is 5-7 pages) that coordinate with the month.  For instance in March is St. Patrick's Day.  The topics include Louisa May Alcott, Blarney Stone, Bees, and Nutrition Labels.  [Now if you are wondering how they all relate to March, like I was, I did a little research.  Alcott died in March, Blarney Stone has to do with Ireland, in March is when beekeepers begin their push for preparing for their new bees and March is nutrition month.]  There's an additional 7 extra sets that you can use at anytime - say on a vacation.

The Reluctant Reader Solution says it works because they use subjects that are naturally interesting to most children.  They also use almost every mode of learning. This helps to be able to reach all the children in your own family no matter what their level may be.

The founder, Vicki Whiting, designed this Reluctant Reader Solution to give children, mainly between 7 and 12,  the practice they need to master reading while they are actually enjoying to read.  The cost is $97,but before you balk at the price let me tell you one additional tidbit.  They give you a 365 day unconditional money back guarantee.  That's right!  You can keep the product for one FULL year and if you do not have outstanding results.

Our Experience:
Since I only have one reader and she is NOT reluctant to reading (as long as it's not "boy stuff") this was more like fun reading and relating some fun worksheets and activities that enhance school then helping her to get to like to read.

So I had Arianna tell me what she liked and what she didn't.  For one thing she didn't like that you couldn't "do anything on the online newspaper."  She liked what she read about, but she really wanted me to print off the newspaper so that she could do the fun games and activities.  But at 20+ pages and in full color, we couldn't do that all the time.

However, she  did like the printable worksheets a lot.  I tried to give her ones that corresponded to the month and the week (Valentines one was for this week.)  And they are more then just fun.  You can go here and register for the online newspaper.  If you like samples like I do you can view download their samples here.

My Thoughts:
There are some pros and cons with this program.
First off since computer time is usually viewed as "fun time" by children and not as much as learning or homework time, your student (who doesn't like to read) will think they are having fun and be engaged with the newspaper. 
Secondly, there are TONS of topics and you are bound to find something that your reluctant reader would find enjoyable or intriguing.
Thirdly, the money back guarantee shows their commitment to working for and with you.
However, as in all things there are drawbacks.  For me the price is a bit scary, even with the money back guarantee.  It's great that they have it, but I know that coming up with that much money for a product and then waiting an entire year to get a "refund" if it doesn't work can be very daunting.
The listen feature that I mentioned is robotic, like most non-voiced computer generated talking applications or programs.  I also found some of the words a little hard to understand.
The last con for me has got to be the inability to "mark" up or complete the online activities and games (like the word finds and such.)  Printing in full color can get pretty expensive depending on your printer, but then printing the beautiful full-color newspaper in black and white or grayscale, might not be as engaging for your child.

All in all I think by doing these worksheets weekly you can help pique the interest of your reluctant reader with the stories, graphics and games.  These will then in turn help them to learn and develop their vocabulary as well as their reading skills without them ever feeling 'pressured.'

If you have a struggling or disinterested reader, why don't you go check out Reluctant Reader Solution.  You can also go and check out what other Crew members thought about Kid Scoop.

*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***

1 comment:

Very Blessed Mamma said...

Great review! I especially like your pros and cons.

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