Thursday, March 14, 2013
EGM Educational Systems, LLC (READS)
I'm sure that I've mentioned before in a post or two, that I have a family of readers. This thrills me to no end. A trip to the bookstore is just as much of a treat as one to the toy store. No, really! Most of the items that make up my daughter's birthday list are books. I love that.
And to be honest, I don't always think about the comprehension aspect of their reading, because usually, they are so excited about the latest book that they can't wait to recount the details with me. But there are still times when I wonder if the kids really understood what they just read. It's more likely with a school related book. I try to ask open ended questions to see what material has been retained, but sometimes it doesn't feel like it's enough.
And then, what should we receive in the mail to review, but the READS Parent/Child Reading Comprehension System from EGM Educational Systems, LLC .
This is what our package looked like:
The purpose of this fun package is in its title. It is designed to help readers with comprehension and spelling. And they do it in a child friendly manner. Forget the same old textbooks and such, this program is open ended, and may be used with any book your child is reading. So what's in there?
Inside a resealable plastic pouch are question cards (and a handy ring to keep them on), the Speedy Speller book, a reward/incentive chart and stickers, a magic finger, a reading guide strip, and the parent manual. Now what do you do with all of those items?
The question cards are just that, cute little illustrated cards that have various questions on them. You may use these in several different ways. Before your child begins to read, have them choose a couple of questions. Then as they read, they will be paying close attention (hopefully) to find the answers. Examples of these include, "While you are reading select 3 interesting words. Be able to talk about them when you finish your reading." Or, "Tell or draw about what you pictured in your mind while you were reading."
When we selected that last question, this is a picture that one of my girls drew of a sled dog race that was occurring in the book she was reading:
We like the question cards a lot. I found that they did help the girls pay more attention to the details. Sometimes they choose a card, and sometimes I do. And there are simpler cards for the beginning reader as well as the more experienced ones.
The Speedy Speller book contains a generous selection of common words that children need help spelling, from A-Z. Even better, this little book has plenty of blank spaces for your children to write in any and all words that they need might help with. I think this is a great idea, as my girls will come across a word or two as they read, that they have trouble pronouncing ( and spelling). Writing them down soon after reading helps them remember it next time.
The incentive/reward chart with stickers is self explanatory, I think. This probably works best with the younger readers. There are spaces on the chart for the current month and the days of the week. You can decide how you want to reward your child when they read a certain amount. We use this part the least. My girls are pretty good readers now, and they have never needed to be pushed to read. They always want personal reading time. But incentives are still fun, and they still enjoy stickers.
The next two items are both basically for tracking each sentence. The first, and my daughters' favorite, is the magic finger. It was the first thing they noticed when the package arrived. All your child does is slip this over a finger and use the long pointy nail to follow along with each sentence. It helps keep your place on the page. Here are a couple of pics of it in use:
They always wanted to be the first to use it :)
The other little gadget is the reading guide strip. It resembles a small ruler with a transparent middle. This blocks out the sentences above and below the one being read, helping your child keep their place. I think this is another piece that is good for either younger readers or any child that is easily distracted by everything else on the page. My girls used it cheerfully enough, but they found they didn't need it, and felt it worked best when they read at their desks. Otherwise, it slipped around a little too easily for them. Still, they gave it a positive review.
The last item to mention is the parent manual, which, of course, instructs you in using this system. What I like best about the READS Parent/Child Reading Comprehension System is the ease of the whole program. Anyone can use this, parents, teachers, homeschoolers. It may be used with read alouds, for personal reading time, whatever you prefer. The items are simple, but appealing to a child's senses. Even better, it may be used across a range of ages and grades, making it a good investment. I think for all of that, the price is fair too.
Check them out, won't you?
EGM Educational Systems, LLC
READS Parent/Child Reading Comprehension System
Ages: Grades 1-4
Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew