1. WHAT THE PAST WAS LIKE
What was reading practice and spelling like for Lucy before Easyread? (main concerns, consistent patterns and frustrations)
Before we found Easyread we were getting very concerned about the lack of progress in Lucy’s spelling. She spelt everything very phonetically and also missed out her vowels when spelling. This made reading her writing extremely difficult if not impossible! Her year 3 teacher wanted to take a wait and see approach to see if something would suddenly click by itself. He would take her work home with him as he knew it would take some time to decipher. However by the end of that year she had not improved at all and we decided it was time to try to do something about it. We wanted to try to make a difference for her now before she got too much further in her education and her teachers not being able to read her work would be more serious.
Homework was a pretty frustrating experience, Lucy would avoid it or use avoidance tactics, being argumentative and would normally end up with a door being slammed. It would take two or three times as long as it needed to.
2. PREVIOUS INTERVENTIONS DONE
What types of reading and spelling support had been tried with her before Easyread?
As I mentioned above Lucy’s school initially didn’t feel any intervention was necessary. We downloaded spelling apps and input her spellings each week for her to practice. She could learn them off by heart fairly easily but it didn’t make any difference to the way she spelt in her writing. She ended up having easier spellings than the rest of her class after a couple of times when she didn’t practice them she got 0 out of 10 on her spelling tests and was getting upset about it because children in her class started to make comments to her.
3. THE EASYREAD EXPERIENCE
How was the day to day experience of working through the DM Easyread process like for you both? (the highs… and the lows!)
Easyread was fantastic, Lucy was extremely enthusiastic about the lessons. She just got it straight away and was thrilled to recognise all the characters after just a few lessons. It made her feel good about herself especially when she impressed her brother and sister by being able to read the code words quickly! She also loved all the prizes which definitely helped to keep her going as the lessons progressed.
We did hit a couple of points where the we both found it hard to keep the lessons up every day particularly when the lessons got longer with longer reading sections. At one of these points we had a skype lesson with Easyread and that definitely helped. For me the highs have been seeing Lucy’s reading and spellings gradually improve over time.
4. THE OUTCOMES
What have been the outcomes so far for Lucy, including any remaining frustrations?
Lucy’s reading has improved a lot, she was thrilled to be moved up a reading group at school this year. She is continuing to read to me every night and is enjoying reading to herself too now, something she never really did before.
Her spelling still has some way to go but there has been a significant improvement. Her words are more easily recognisable, you don’t need to decipher her writing anymore and her mistakes are more those I would expect from a 9 year old. I am so pleased with this result.
5. THE IMPACT & VALUE DELIVERED
How do you feel it has shifted her life path and how does the investment made, both financial and in time taken, compare to that view of her future?
Easyread is a big investment in both time and money, but for us it was worth it. Without doing Easyread I think Lucy would have had a lot of problems going forward in her education particularly at secondary school. But now it’s so lovely to see her so enthusiastic about school, reading for pleasure and to be able to read the her creative writing with ease. I think it has made an invaluable difference to her future.