Read with Phonics is a progressive process which takes you from simple sounds to more complicated spelling combinations. You can start your journey at ‘Water World’ and every time you complete a sound another one is unlocked. The app is aimed at children learning phonics and has a game format. I was very excited to try it for L as another fun way to get to grips with phonics and aid his learning at school.
Read with Phonics is available as an app from Apple, Google and Amazon as well as being on their website www.readwithphonics.com. The website is useful as it has great resources for parents and teachers and I found the Parents guide very useful.
L and I have been using the Android version of the app, you can download it for free but do need to pay if you want to access everything. To get all the stages it’s £7.99 which I actually think is very reasonable. I’d certainly pay that for a book, flash cards or a different learning aid for L.
I really like that the app rewards you for doing well, there is no sense of failing, which is very positive. The simple user interface is great and L straight away knew what to do and how to work it. The combination of visual prompts and spoken sounds works very well and has also helped me ensure I am getting his phonics correct when I help him with the ones sent home from school. Phonics are new to me, it isn’t how I was taught to read, so we are learning together.
There are a couple of things I’m not to keen on, the biggest being the fact it is not eligible for Google’s Family Library. Though L has his own tablet I like to download them on my phone first so I can have a play and check I am happy with everything before letting him loose on them. The family library allows me to do this with ease, as once purchased I can install the app on any device registered to my family. Hopefully this will be something that gets added in the future.
On that note I also haven’t been able to find a way to reset the app. As I have been using it to try everything I had unlocked some levels and gained some points that weren’t L’s and I haven’t been able to reset that progress to start from the beginning.
Other than those two points, neither of which affect the actual use of the app, I have been very happy with it.
L has been playing with it and is very happy when he recognises sounds he has learnt at school, I am also sure that when he is at school and they are focusing on a new phonic he will be happy if it’s one he knows from the app.
He definitely knows it’s not a game and he is learning, so it’s not his first choice of app to play with, he does also get a bit frustrated with some of the harder elements within the app. There is a section where you match the words to the pictures, but sometimes he doesn’t know what the picture is actually of, let alone what the word for it looks like, but that is the point of learning and we sound them out together.
You can tell he is tired as he didn’t want me to take pictures of him learning, he wanted to concentrate, As you all know, when he doesn’t want his picture taken I respect that. Hopefully at a later date I’ll be able to update the review with pictures of him enjoying it.
I certainly feel it’s beneficial to him and as soon as he has settled into school a bit more and he is less tired I think this frustration will disappear. I can really see this being very useful, especially as we move up the levels to the trickier words and sounds. I’m very excited to see him progress with it.
Disclosure – we were given access to the app to enable us to write this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Images are screen shots from within the app.