Little Man is very behind in his school work and classed as have learning difficulties, however, as ADHD (which affects his concentration and working memory) is not a recognised disability within the statementing process he does not get as much support as he necessarily needs. Please don't get me wrong, the school in fact go above and beyond what they should provide for him and he gets more support that he should but the sad fact is, it is not enough. He is about 2 years behind his peers, although his reading does seem to be clicking. He will be 9 at Christmas and still struggles with counting backwards from 20, can't get beyond 2x3 = 6 and still uses his fingers to do maths, so anything that takes him beyond 10, leaves him clueless. At times it feels like an uphill battle. It is so frustrating when you sit with him and spend day after day going through something and he then 'gets' it and you think 'yes we've done it'. Yet when he does the spelling or maths test, he gets very bad marks and ask him a few days later and it is gone, he simply does not remember it.
As for spelling, well, if I asked him to write 'Harry Potter flies on his broom, he is a wizard and my favourite character', he would write it 'Hari Potur fliis on his brome, hey is a wisd and miy favurit caractur'. I have not made this up, I copied it from his homework. Everything is very phonetic.
Mini man is now learning to read so he has been learning the basic phonics and basic blending of words i.e. d-o-g dog, l-oo-k look, r-ea-d read etc. It has become apparent that Little man still does not know his basic phonics, when I ask Mini man what sound 'ea' or 'ai' makes, Mini man can sometimes get it and sometimes doesn't but Little man sounds it out as 2 letters 'e' and 'a', there is no blending, no hearing the sounds, so without this it is no wonder he spells like he does. Although his writing can look impossible at times to read, if you take your time and sound each word out in your head, you can generally make out what he has written.
So getting back to the point, I registered Little Man on Reading Eggs, you can read a full description of it here but in brief it is an online reading resource for children to learn to read, but it is individual learning as the child completes the programme by themselves and progress at their own rate. It uses the phonics and sight words the kids are taught in school and I really like the fact it speaks to the kids as they can hear the sounds letters make in a fun way.
Both my boys love it, in fact they can't get enough of it, with both asking to go on it and needing no prompting, nor do they want to finish when their lessons have ended, instead they want to complete the next one.
Little Man seems to respond very well to the computer anyway and as Reading Eggs lets your child complete an assessment of 40 questions to determine the right level to start them on, it is exactly the right level. Little Man's reading age has come up as 5 and a half (as I said he is nearly 9), and although he is behind, I think this age is also reflective of him rushing the test and not concentrating in his eagerness to collect more eggs and move onto the next questions, rather than an inability to actually read.
The programme basically has the kids playing games, listening to songs and they collect eggs and pet critters (which Little Man loves). I think the biggest thing though is it is enjoyable, they don't realise just how much they are learning from doing it.
Although we haven't got to this stage yet, I believe that there are writing exercises and spellings as well, which will only serve to support Little Man further. I don't know if it was set up with special needs children in mind but it is exactly what my Little Man needs, as it takes the pressure off the traditional type of learning and keeps his attention and focus.
We love Reading Eggs and after our trial has ended, I think it would be stupid not to take out a subscription which is not a stupidly high price at £39.95 for a year and subsequent children get the subscription at 50%
Please note, this is not a sponsored post, I am simply blowing Reading Eggs trumpet of my own accord because I think they are brilliant and more children should be able to benefit from it.