Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Friday, January 7, 2011

See-N-Read - Reading Tools

How much time do you spend thinking about all of the ins and outs of the reading process? Well, if you're anything like me, the answer to that is not a whole lot. But apparently, there is quite a bit involved, with each part of the brain contributing to it all.

Perhaps you, or your child, or someone else in your life has struggled in this area. Maybe a learning disability has made it a challenge in your homeschool, and reading purely for enjoyment? Forget about that.

Then again, maybe you've never noticed any particular problem with your reading, or that of your child's. But you have noticed struggles as it relates to the fluency of their reading. Do you notice any skipped words? Or maybe they substitute words where they shouldn't. Do they constantly lose their place while reading, and/or become easily distracted?

Well, so what? It's all part of the whole process right? They'll grow out of it, you might say.

Hold on now. According to various research from reading specialists, all of the above issues could very well lead to problems in a student's comprehension, because they lose the focus of whatever it is that they are reading.

Enter See-N-Read, a simple little reading tool designed to help readers of all ages to do three things- see, focus, and remember.

See- the reader will be able to track and increase fluency.

Focus- the reader is able to focus on one sentence at a time.

Remember- the reader is able to retain what has been read, because they don't have to fight distractions.

How does it work? Just lay this flexible little gray "film" (which has a matte gray finish and a little window so one sentence or group of words may be seen at a time) on the page that is being read. As you read, just move the See-N-Read tool down the page as you read. That's it. Amazing that such a simple design can have such a positive impact on a student's reading.

In fact, when I first opened up the See-N-Read package, I wouldn't say that I was skeptical, but I wasn't necessarily impressed either. What on earth could a little plastic sheet do? Then I read the very impressive amount of research that was included with my See-N-Read tool. Wow. The creators have spent years planning and developing this resource. From the contribution of each part of the brain, to the left to right eye movement that we implement in reading, to its compatibility with any reading program, they have covered all of the bases. It 's even been used in both special needs and gifted students' classrooms with success. Why, they haven't missed a detail, even selecting the gray matte finish on the film because it is the least distracting color for the eye. They also use materials that are lead free, bpA free, and phthalate free.

All great stuff. Now, how did it work out with my family? I tried it out with my oldest daughter first. Now, she has been a good reader so far, with no big problems. I have noticed though, that she loses her place easily, and sometimes substitutes words in certain places. So, I found it funny when one of the first thing she mentioned was "You know, mom, this really helps me keep my place in the book". And it did reduce the distractions for her too. She prefers to keep the book up when she reads, which made it a little tricky as I had to hold it for her, but since we all read together anyway, and it didn't bother her at all, no big deal there. My youngest daughter took a little bit longer to get the hang of it, as moving it down the page actually distracted her, but she got over that quickly and was able to work with it. In fact, the first time that I sat down to read without it, she said, "Hey mom, where's that little plastic thing? I need to use it." Enough said.

As for myself, previously, I never felt that I needed any tool to facilitate my reading, but I found the See-N-Read tool very helpful in my own reading. I never realized how everything on the page distracted me until I had this little guy filter it all out for me. Boy, did the words jump out at me. I also like that there are a couple of different tool styles. One has a clear window backing for simply laying over the sentence being read. There is another one that has the window cut out to make underlining and highlighting an easy task. I'm telling you, they thought of it all.

And actually, that brings me to one more application of the See-N-Read reading tool. The creators also have an eSee-N-Read, and no, that isn't a typo. It's a version designed to be used on your computer, and it is really cool! I didn't know this, but those wonderful researchers show that people read 30% slower on screen than on paper. Once I began thinking about this, I realized that I often print out information rather than read it on my PC because I just don't usually like reading off of the computer screen. So, after downloading the "e" version, I was amazed at the difference. Seriously, I had no idea what I was missing until I was able to see what I was reading with such clarity. It also allows you to open up several eSee-N-Read tools at a time as necessary.

Have I convinced you to try this product out yet? Don't wait another minute. I'm certain that you'll be pleasantly surprised at the results. Now, get over to their website and order your See-N-Read!

**I received a free See-N-Read reading tool package, including the "e" version, and in return, agreed to provide my honest review of the product.

See-N-Read Reading Tools


2533 Sutton Lane

Aurora, Il 60502

Ages- K and up

Prices vary according to reading tool size and amount per package. Single See-N-Read tools start at $2.99 Check the website for more information.

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