Sunday, May 5, 2013

TOS Review - LiteracySoft

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What is LiteracySoft?

LiteracySoft ( was created out of nothing but a pure love for reading. I was impressed by the story told on their website about an elderly man in a nursing home who was illiterate. Because he was incapable of reading, he was taken advantage of by his own family. Had he been able to read the document placed before him, he would have been able to defend himself. After the creator of LiteracySoft witnessed this tragic event he began to develop this program. 

The material used in this software has been developed from McGuffey's Eclectic Primer Revised Edition, which according to this website is the most successful education textbook of all time. 

Currently LiteracySoft offers Phonics and Reading with McGuffey on the PC, Mac and Apple iOS portable devices. Each program is $19.99. The full version offers 52 McGuffey Primer lessons that include the following: all 44 letter sounds of English and their graphemes, 60+ letter sound animations, 400+ practice word vocabulary and 9000+ nonsense word audio dictionary. LiteracySoft also offers a free trial of the first 10 lessons on Apple iOS portable devices, allowing the student to try it out prior to purchasing the full program. 

The reading program itself is appropriate for students of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. 

The material used to develop LiteracySoft has taught over 10 million children to read successfully, according to their website. McGuffey claims that many adults do not have the ability to read simply due to embarrassment and the feeling of being discouraged. The goal with this program is that it be easy to understand, thus allowing the student to work on their own, set their own pace and be comfortable in working through the lessons without assistance. Being able to accomplish lessons alone also builds self-confidence. 

This program is ideal for adult learners, homeschoolers, dyslexic readers and ESOL readers. It is guaranteed the student will be reading at a first grade level upon completion of the 52 lessons. 

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What We Received and How We Used It:

I was able to download the full version of Phonics and Reading with McGuffey onto my iPhone. 

I originally started Kollin (6) at Lesson 1 of the LiteracySoft program upon receiving the download. It was great to be able to hand him the device and allow him to accomplish the lesson on his own. I was able to accomplish housework while he worked on the lessons. After a few minutes of the first lesson, I noticed he seemed very bored. Being that he was already able to read short stories, the first parts of each lesson were a bit boring to him. I encouraged him though to at least work through them as reading the stories and playing the games were a 'reward' toward the end of each lesson. Kollin worked on one lesson per day, four days a week. Kollin was able to complete the first 18 lessons of the program. 

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My Opinion:

Unfortantely, I was a tad disappointed for Kollin. He was very excited about having a new educational app to work with and because he didn't just fall in love with it, I was disappointed. On the up side, I did like the fact that it was student-led. As he completed the lessons from the living room, I could hear him sounding out and reading from the kitchen. Even though he seemed a little bummed to start with letter sounds, it was great to see him accomplish each lesson on his own. 

One of my favorite parts of the software is the ability to list up to 10 students. This is great for us considering we have more than 1 child we homeschool. Kolt is anxious to get started with reading and because he is beginning from scratch, I think this program will work great for him. 

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