Full Disclosure: I was a given a free trial of this software to write this review.
Lexia for Home is a software program designed to improve reading for students at all levels, including children with dyslexia and other reading challenges. It is used in many school districts and is also available for use at home in the US and Canada. A 1-year home license costs $174.95 for the first child and $109 for each additional child. The software is web-based, so it can be used on multiple computers and is very easy to install. There is also an app available for iPad use (I did not test out the app).
Once your child first logs-in to the program, they complete a placement test. My 4-year-old tested into the Early Reading program, while my 6-year-old tested into the Primary Reading program. I thought they were both placed accurately. The interface is easy for each child to navigate. (Your child should be comfortable with using a mouse.)
The Early Reading program had 4 different games: (1) finding rhyming words; (2) identifying words with the beginning and ending sounds; (3) segmenting words into syllables and sounds; and (4) blending syllables and sounds into words. The Primary Reading program had 5 different games: (1) segmenting CVC words into sounds; (2) completing words with initial/final consonants; (3) sight word search of irregular preprimer Dolch words; (4) sorting letters and words with b, d, and p; and (5) matching short vowel letters to their sounds. A bar graph displays how many units your child completes per game, and the child progresses at their own pace.
The program states that it is most effective when used for 20 minutes daily. I started enforcing that in the beginning, but did not continue at that pace. I let the children decide how long they played (it was usually for about 10-15 minutes) and we did not use it daily. My kindergartner used the program for longer periods and more often than my preschooler did. Computer time is novel in our home and the games are interesting, so both children always enjoyed playing the games, but some days we just did not have time!
I was specifically interested in trying out the software because my apraxic 6-year-old had been doing well with reading but was still anxious about reading books. After the first session, she was solidified in the sight word, the. M also had been mixing b and d, so the game targeting those skills was helpful. The games are a great way to achieve drill practice without boredom. And now, after a few weeks, M has finally exploded into reading books! I do not know if it is purely coincidence or the fact that along with the software, I gave her many reading games to play, or what, but it is exciting. The other night, I caught her reading in bed to her sister. I’m all for avoiding sleep to read! For my preschooler, she already knew her letter sounds and understood rhyming, but was not ready for reading sounds to form words, so the games have been a great introduction to reading skills. Her favorite game by far was the game that blends sounds into words (I think she liked this game best because as you find the solutions it slowly unlocks a picture).
Most of the time, the children played the games without my supervision (computer time was a great time for me to spend with another child or do housework) so it is an added bonus that you can request progress reports anytime you need them. You submit a report request on the website or via email, and within 24 hours you are emailed detailed reports on skill accuracy and usage.
We’ve had a lot of fun exploring this reading program. If you have a child that could use extra help with reading skills, this may be the program for you! For more information about Lexia for Home, visit their website at http://www.lexiaforhome.com/. Also, please like them on Facebook; when they have received 100 likes they are giving out a set of their 72 Family Readers for free. These readers retail for $149 and covers Kindergarten through 2nd-grade reading levels. Go and like them for a chance to win!
Thank you, Lexia for Home, for this opportunity!