September 26, 2016

Ultimate Phonics Reading Program from Spencer Learning {Product Review}

I am always on the lookout for programs that will provide independent learning opportunities for my boys. Baby Britches especially appreciates being able to work on things on his own. When I had the chance to review Ultimate Phonics Reading Program from Spencer Learning, I hoped that it would provide some great independent practice of his new reading skills--strengthening them in the process.
Ultimate Phonics Reading Program~ Produce Review

About the Ultimate Phonics Reading Program

Ultimate Phonics Reading Program is a software download from Spencer Learning. It was designed to teach better reading--especially to those struggling readers of any age--with difficulties like dyslexia or other challenges. Removing the fluff and focusing on the phonics rules and methods, the program gets to the heart of the matter of reading skills.

This is an accelerate reading program for beginning and struggling readers of all ages. The program removes the habit of word memorizing (sight words anyone?!),  guessing, and skipping. With just a few hours of time each week, the results will be impressive! It's designed to be suitable for anyone from beginning readers and those learning ESL, to the struggling readers with dyslexia or autism.

This program is a SOFTWARE DOWNLOAD requiring you to be running Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP; or for Macs, OSX 10.5.8 or higher.

I reviewed this software download with my youngest son age 6.

What Were Our Thoughts?

The program was very easy to download to my computer, and even though it was on my older laptop, it didn't take very long at all to install. A few days after the installation, I was given the license key which was easy to add to the program. The program definitely is for the early reader, or an ESL learner with its very basic set up. It introduces sound, then simple words for basic phonetic practice, followed with simple sentences for reading. All of the sounds and words can be hover over to HEAR the phonics or actual words. There is the option to look ahead to further lessons to find the lesson you need for your child. The program is absolutely an independent option, as there isn't anything that ISN'T available for hovering to hear the sounds. That makes it very nice for children/adults struggling to still read the words, who might usually need assistance.

I know that the program prides itself on no fluff, but for us, we don't mind fluff. And we actually really like fun programs for teaching this type of thing. This program was like just endless words--like automated flashcards really. I know that flashcards are good, but they are more just for review use in our family, not something to use as a primary teaching resource. The program was actually rather...boring in my opinion. My youngest didn't seem to mind though. He just liked the independence factor.

Another thing...ahem. The voice for the program sounds just like BEN STEIN on Ferris Bueller's Day Off and I just couldn't STAND hearing it. Fortunately, headphones can be used. But really I would have expected less of a monotone--more interesting voice to do this program. It is partially what contributed to the "boring"ness of it.  But I also know this might JUST be me talking! So take it with a grain of salt! LOL

And because I think hearing it in action will help you "see" how it works, I took a video of Baby Britches using the program:

And here is him working through the sentences...

Will we continue to use this program? 
Because it's a simple download for my computer and Baby Britches can use extra help--even with it being "boring"--yes. I plan on having him continue to use the program for about 10-15 minutes during our school day for extra reinforcement. I also love that I can search for a phonic blend and jump to it. This is what I plan on doing to match our reading curriculum. We just learned "ea says eh" like bread and weather. So tomorrow I will pull up the "ea" sound and let him review it. (with headphones. LOL)
Can use this to do a search for the sounds you are looking for

Would I Recommend Ultimate Phonics Reading Program?

Yes, with reservations. As it's advertised, this is not a cute fluffy program. It is a tool for helping children learn their phonics with tried and true repetition units. If you want something that "doesn't beat around the bush" and just gets down to the heart of the matter--learning the phonics, then this is a great program for you. If you want something for your child to be able to work on independently for extra phonics work--then yes! If you are wanting it to be colorful, game-like, and fun...not so much. It is absolutely a perfect SUPPLEMENT for any beginning reading program.

This is a download, which means you can use it anytime, whether or not you have internet available. It doesn't appear to take up much room which is something I appreciate.

Want to Know More?

We have been reviewing the Ultimate Phonics Reading Program from Spencer Learning the last several weeks. You have seen our opinion on the program, but why not check out what some of the other crew members thought about it?!
Ultimate Phonics Reading Program {Spencer Learning}
If you want to know more about the program or Spencer Learning, make sure you follow them on these social media outlets:

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