Oer the last several weeks, my six year old and I have been exploring SkillaDo‘s Easy Phonics. It might sound silly, but just beginning the readiness test was a little confusing to me. The instructions say to read the words to the child and have them tell which words have the same initial sound. Sounds easy enough. Well there were four options with four words and boxes at the end that said “correct”. At first, I could not figure out how any of the options were correct. Usually when you have four questions lined up like that it is multiple choice and you select the correct answer. In this test each of the four questions are independent and the child tells which two words in the set of four have the same initial sound. Then you click the box IF the child gets it correct. I was going to ask my husband if he understood the test until it clicked and I realized how my thinking was wrong. I was totally embarrassed but he said I should share it anyway because it might help someone else.
The registration process is a bit tedious, but once the program comes up it is pretty easy for the child to continue on his own. The first comment on the program was “You finally got here!” I literally laughed out loud – it was a bit of a journey compared to a program you just download and install. The initial introduction and explanation is a bit lengthy especially for a child so young but my six year old boy stayed with it.
Once he got into the program he really enjoyed it. It began with individual letters, sharing their sounds and how to build them. This is wonderful for a child who is just beginning but for a child who already knows his letters, this is a long process. However, there are a couple of neat activities that kept my six year old interested – for example, there is a part where the child drags several pieces together to make the capital and lower case letter. Anderson really enjoyed that. Another added bonus I was impressed with was that after introducing the letter, the child is already asked to find it on the keyboard. What a great idea to start with keyboarding skills right off the bat!
Compared to a lot of electronic games, the animation is mediocre. The character is cute and my son loved that he could transform from one letter to another. One of my biggest hang ups is the character’s voice and mouth movement do not match up at all. But my child could have cared less.
As the child continues on in the journey, Fonty, the character is very encouraging. Whenever a mistake is made he kindly says “Try again.” If the child misses it again then Fonty will say “Let’s repeat the rule.” What a wonderful way to reinforce the basic concepts without boring the child.
Overall, my six year old was definitely engaged in the learning process. He would only play for about 15 minutes at a time before he would ask to play something else, but he never once objected to playing. The very beginning is a bit of a slow start, but soon after it introduces real words and quickly starts having the child fill in sounds to finish words.
The demo is a great representation of the program and 55 seconds into it shows my son’s favorite part – building the letters. Then one and a half minutes in the demo displays how Fonty requests the child to actually type using the keyboard – my favorite part! And the prices are extremely reasonable especially with a blog, forum and even webinars coming soon.
*Disclaimer: I was given one Home Edition LMS + License from SkillaDo for the purpose of facilitating an honest review. No monetary compensation was given. All opinions expressed herein are unbiased and not influenced by the developing company in any way.*