Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
My kindergartner has been fighting me on learning how to read, so I was excited to review this 12 month subscription to Reading Unlocked. This program is online and designed to be used three to five days a week for 10 to 15 minutes each day. Reading Unlocked uses what they term, ‘simplified phonics’ to teach students to blend sounds into words. They start with simple three letter words that have three sounds and build up to four letter words.
During each lesson of Reading Unlocked the student goes through a series of activities related to the letters that are being worked on and reviewing the letters that have previously been covered. The student has an opportunity to hear the sounds, say the sounds, write the letters and words, match the words with pictures, and at the end of each lesson the parent reads a poem and the student reads one or two words that they learned that day as you reach them in the poem (they are noted in red).
Each lesson has ten to thirteen different short activities that the student completes. There is a series of open dots at the top of the screen that are filled in as the activities are completed to show the student their progress. A student that was very motivated and grasping the concepts could finish this in about fifteen minutes. However, if a student is struggling it could easily take thirty minutes or more. For example, my son was learning a lot about writing his letter and the letter sounds but really struggled with remembering from one day to the next how to blend the letters to make words. This meant that some of the sections were very challenging for him. to help keep him motivated, some days we only did part of a lesson and then finished it up the next day.
A student could complete most of this program unassisted which is helpful for a busy mom trying to juggle multiple children and lessons. However, I do think it is important to note that on most of the activities they can select multiple answers until they get the answer correct. This is good for building confidence; however, I also sometimes found my son just clicking answers until he got the right one and not trying to figure it out.
I think this simplified phonics approach of Reading Unlocked could be very beneficial for some students. Particularly those that are really ready to learn to read and just need some basic instruction. For my son, it moved a bit too fast for him because he struggles with the letter sounds. However, I saw huge improvements in his writing skills because of this program. He diligently practiced the letters that he was learning and was finally able to write his name independently and have the confidence to copy words that I would write for thank you cards and other tasks.
Be sure to check out the Reading Unlocked website if you have a student that is learning to read, they even have a free trial so you can see for yourself if it is a good fit for your student. Don’t forget to click on the graphic below to check out the reviews from other Review Crew members.