ABeCeDarian- A New Take on Learning to Read

My daughter recently had the chance to review Interactive A Workbook from ABeCeDarian Company. This program goes up to 6th grade and the level we reviewed is geared towards the emerging reader, approximately age 4 to mid 1st grade level. Olivia, my soon to be 5 year old was the one who tried this program out. She is actually familiar with all the letters of the alphabet, knows how most sound and can write a majority of them already.

This program said that it is app based but rather it is an interactive program that is ran in your web browser. Ideally, it should be used on a tablet (Kindle or iPad) where the student can use their finger or stylus to maneuver the program though it can be used on a laptop, thus requiring the use of a mouse to "write".

What makes this program different from others my children have used is that they don't teach each individual letter or accompanying sound. Rather they start off teaching your child to sound out a 3 letter word while learning to place the letters in the correct order. They emphasize connecting the sound of the letter to what it looks like instead of teaching them the name of the letter.

I had never heard of this program prior to this review but from what I have heard is that they have this program in a workbook for the student that is very similar to the web based interactive program.

In addition to the students interactive piece online, they also provide for free a 166 page teachers guide available in a PDF download or for a small fee, you can get a print version. I am not a fan of trying to teach while reading from the computer so I printed out several lessons of the PDF so I had a hard copy to work from.

The teachers guide provides a very scripted lesson plan, meaning there is no prep work for the parent other than to read from the lesson plan. What the parent should say to the the student is in bold letters and underneath each statement states what the child should be doing after each set of instructions. There are a few pictures in the guide to give examples of what the student should be doing on the tablet.

Each of the 48 lessons have the student blending sounds, segmenting sounds, learning letter & sounds correspondence, and reading and spelling words. Yes even from lesson 1! The first lesson had my daughter spelling "mop" and there was also a photo of a mop to go along with it.

The lessons first introduce the letters mixed up and have the child drag and drop the letters in the correct order. To advance to the next page, you need to tap in the upper right hand corner. This can be a little tricky as there is just a tiny space designated for it. From there they practice writing the letters individually from that word. You can use your finger or a stylus for this. I found using a stylus was better as the screen size seemed to have the letters pretty close to use a finger for it. If you want them to redo the writing you simply tap on the lower right hand corner where it says hand writing practice and it erases what they wrote.  After this, they practiced writing the 3 letter word.

I would love to see this as a more true app program (where you purchase & download from an app store) along with audio interaction such as some verbal instruction. There is a bit of a delay in loading the program whether on the computer or tablet. You also need to make note of where you left off as it doesn't save your spot. The upside to that is you can use it with more than one child and not have to switch accounts or buy a second workbook. I do like the ability to work online and I think they are heading in the right direction with maybe a few tweaks to make it more user friendly. Overall, the way they teach reading is very well laid out and Olivia was starting to sight read words by the end of this review.

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