In my homeschooling career, I have had one child that struggled with reading and has always been a bit “below level” for his age. I have another child that learned to read later than most children, but caught up super quick and now reads on level. When I was given the opportunity to review the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle from Dyslexia Gold, I was curious to see how it would help my children with their reading struggles. I was given a full lifetime subscription for my entire family in exchange for my review.
What is Dyslexia Gold?
The full bundle we received includes access to all four portions of the Dyslexia Gold program – Engaging Eyes, Fluency Builder, Spelling Tutor and Times Table Tutor. The programs can be used alone or together according to your child’s needs. Here is a brief description of each of the four parts of the program…
- Engaging Eyes helps train the students eyes to work together to focus on words and track them across the page.The games used to accomplish this task are Target Practice, Eye Tracking, and Whack an Alien. This vision training component is used to improve tracking in only ten minutes per day.
- Fluency Builder is designed to improve reading speed, accuracy and comprehension by using activities that reinforce phonological awareness, rapid automatic naming, phoneme manipulation, segmenting, auditory discrimination and morpheme mapping. This part of the program is also designed to be used to improve the above named skills in only ten minutes per day.
- Spelling Tutor uses dictation exercises to help strengthen spelling skills. This program focuses on the most common 1000 words and the practoice of writing these words helps students to recall them quickly and easily.
- Times Table Tutor uses concrete, pictorial and abstract methodology to help students learn times tables up to 12×12 in only ten minutes per day.
Overall, the products in the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle are meant to be a supplement to whatever you are currently using to teach reading, spelling, and multiplication. These are not meant to be stand alone programs. Engaging Eyes is unique of these programs, as it could be used as an at-home alternative to costly and time consuming therapies for children with dyslexia or other tracking difficulties.
Included with the program is a pair of 3-D glasses, which we received in the mail. Naturally, my kids were curious to see what the glasses were all about, so we tried the Engaging Eyes program first. Joey (11) was the first to give it a whirl and he had no problems at all with the Target Practice exercises or the Whack an Alien activity. Isaiah (17) had a little trouble at first with the Target Practice, but once he got the hang of focusing his eyes with the 3_D glasses, got through it and the Whack an Alien activities without problems. However for the first week, both of them complained of headaches throughout the day after using Engaging Eyes, so we decided not to continue using it. Neither of my kids have issues with tracking or signs of dyslexia, so I decided it wasn’t worth the discomfort for them.
I did have both boys use the Fluency Builder throughout the review period. They didn’t seem to mind completing the required ten minutes per day and I did see quite a drastic improvement, especially for Isaiah (17) who has ADHD and tends to read very quickly but not with accuracy. Here are some screenshots from Joey’s first tine using the program to give you an idea of the kinds of activities used…
The Spelling Tutor was used only by Isaiah, as he doesn’t have a formal spelling program since he is in High School. It was a good refresher for him and was a good fit as he does well with auditory learning.
Times Table Tutor was also used only by Isaiah, as Joey is just starting to learn multiplication. In order to really evaluate how much of an impact it had on his ability to recall multiplication facts quickly, I administered a written speed drill every Friday. I saw a decrease of at least 20 seconds every week after having him complete the exercises ten minutes a day for four days each week! I have included images below showing the activities completed every day…
Although the Engaging Eyes activities were not a good fit for our family, the other programs were easy to use and didn’t require a major time commitment daily to see results. If we had to pick a favorite, we would choose the Fluency Builder. We do a lot of reading aloud together in our homeschooling, and it was easy to see a tangible difference outside of using the program.
Because this product is made in the UK, we did sometimes encounter issues with the audio being pronounced in a way that wasn’t easy for my kids to understand at first listen. We also had issues attempting to complete some activities using the iPad, so I would highly recommend using Dyslexia Gold on a computer instead. If not for these two drawbacks, and the fact that my children experienced headaches from the Engaging Eyes activities, we would have gladly given Dyslexia Gold a higher rating. Overall, we enjoyed using the programs included in the Full Bundle!
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Make sure you head on over to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read more reviews of this unique and beneficial software!