Before Easyread, Bas struggled. His parents worked hard trying to help him revise the basics, but nothing stuck. Reading became an ordeal for the whole family, and Bas was feeling worse and worse about himself. As the child of both a university lecturer and a television producer, Bas is highly articulate when he speaks. So it was baffling for his parents to figure out what was going on with the reading. They tried counselling, and had him tested for dyslexia. For two years Bas tested different approaches and theories of learning. None of it worked. He made it through prep and grade one and then by the start of grade two had reached a point where his mother Eloise was losing sleep over his reading. And Bas had written himself off as stupid.
Then one late night Eloise found a link to Easyread online.
Easyread almost immediately took the pressure off Bas, even though the family came into it with a little bit of “emotional baggage” from the reading trauma in years past. Bas was giving up at even the first hint of failure; and his parents found it hard not to show anger or frustration at his resistance. The short lessons, the insistence on stopping after a set time, and the de-emphasising of success or failure were something entirely new to the family. Easyread starts by retraining parents on how to make learning a positive experience, where mistakes don’t mean the end of the world. That was key for Bas’ parents, because once the pressure was lifted, Bas started showing more interest in reading.
Almost straight away Bas was accomplishing. The repetition of starting and finishing a lesson every day built his confidence. There was, to start with, a bit of resistance at having to always decode, especially as his confidence grew. But any kind of persistent guessing meant that Easyread finished early, much to Bas’ frustration. “Decode, decode, decode,” soon became a morning mantra. “what do you have to do before school Bas?” “Brush my teeth, pack my lunch and decode,” was the correct response!
Bas loved the spy school theme of Easyread and the rewards that turn up in the mail box too, but what especially worked was David’s lovely voice. Easyread felt consistent and personal for Bas and his parents. Eloise describes it as if “every morning we gave David a call and he walked Bas through the day’s lesson.” Easyread also set up phone meetings to discuss the progress, so it felt obvious that the staff really cared about Bas and his outcome.
For example, the Easyread team discovered that Bas needed to have his eyes tested. It was something that never occurred to Eloise at the time, though it turned out that Bas is quite short sighted, and needs glasses for close up reading work.
In 7 months he’s gone from crisis to confidence. Bas is now a reader! In February he was a year behind his other classmates and stalling. As of September he’s reading at an average level for his grade. The improvements have happened exactly when Easyread predicted they would. Also, his writing has gone from poor (he could write his name, but not really construct sentences) to somewhere in the middle of his age group, simply as a side effect of his improved reading.
This July he became interested in jokes and started reading them to anyone he could: to relatives, to friends, at dinner parties. This amazed his parents, because in January he refused to read anything, let alone to any kind of audience.
His mother, Eloise, on Easyread:
“The Easyread system is so simple and so clever and kind of sneaks up on you; it seems too simplistic, like learning to read couldn’t actually be that easy after two plus years of hard struggle… And there is something wonderful about watching your child recognise their own improvement. There is nothing like suddenly realising that you can’t remember the last time your child called himself stupid. As of lesson 106 Bas continues to go from strength to strength and we’re all really excited to see just where Easyread takes him. Right now from our perspective it feels like the sky’s the limit as to what Bas might do next!”