Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Build Fluency in 10 Minutes a Day with Dyslexia Gold {A Homeschool Crew Review}

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If you have a child who is struggling with reading, the
 Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle from Dyslexia Gold may be just what you need to move your child toward fluency. It is the only reading program I know of that works on vision problems while also targeting phonics, spelling, and even times tables.

When used for 10-15 minutes a day, 5 days a week, 
Dyslexia Gold can help improve reading fluency by 12 months in just 10 hours through teaching phonological awareness and providing vision training games that exercise the eye muscles.

The games help with convergence insufficiency and can help people that suffer from visual stress and Irlen syndrome. (The program does not help with 

This excited me when I was offered a chance to receive a family license and lifetime subscription to the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle for review, because I have a 12-year-old that has struggled with reading for years who I believe has visual processing issues and a 9-year-old who is more or less at typical age level with reading, but can always use some strengthening and "hole-filling" with skills.

Both my 12-year-old and my 9-year-old showed improvement while using 
Dyslexia Gold, and I found they have great customer service, so I would definitely recommend the program to others.

My (Pleased Parent) Experience with Dyslexia Gold

When the opportunity to review Dyslexia Gold came up, I was excited. For, as I previously mentioned, I have one child who is a "prime candidate" for visual and reading help and another who can always use skill building, so the promise of fast, steady progress toward fluency and at-home vision training was quite appealing to me.

On the first count - the fast, steady progress toward fluency - I will admit that we ended up being unable to use 
Dyslexia Gold in the most recommended way - for 10-15 minutes, 5 days a week - so we did not see the skyrocketing progress others have.

Health issues, car issues, computer issues, a sudden trip to see relatives, and more precluded us from being as consistent with the program as we would have liked to have been so far. However, as we all know, that can be the real life of a homeschooler. So, what I loved about 
Dyslexia Gold was that it offered flexibility and forward movement. Even when we used it a lot some weeks and a little other weeks, my children progressed when using it.

It also allowed flexibility in that my children could use most of the program independently so long as we had working computers with internet access, so, they did not need to wait for me or for other materials. (There are special glasses that are sent when you buy the program, but those came quickly and were super easy for the kids to grab and go with when using one particular part of the program.)

Moreover, I appreciated that 
Dyslexia Gold helped me strike "look into visual processing testing and therapy" right off my current task list. I have long wondered if part of my 12-year-old's reading difficulties stems from visual processing, but had neither the focus, time, nor money to seek further help with it - and also have a child that is often anti-appointments and prefers to do things independently at home with Mama at home. 

Dyslexia Gold offered us tools, then, to help my daughter with visual training without having to go see a specialist, go to appointments, or leave the comfort of home. So far, so good with that. I plan to have my daughter keep working as slowly as she finds comfortable (and life allows) yet still steadily through the eye exercises.

I also will have her keep working the other parts of the program.

And, while doing so, I will be confident that whenever I have questions, I can contact 
Dyslexia Gold and ask about them.

More than once during our review period, I wrote to 
Dyslexia Gold to ask about specific things - such as changing the accent for the audio portion of the program, figuring out how to exit portions of the exercises, and changing skill levels - and each time they responded promptly and helpfully. To me, customer service is huge, and Dyslexia Gold demonstrated they provide great customer service.

I am quite pleased with our experience so far. The program is suiting our needs and our ever-changing, ever-busy lives. It works for us and with our need for flexibility. So, it's a win for us.

(The only thing I would like to see added to the program is a parent dashboard to more easily access all the different available reports. For, while the reports are easy enough to get to by clicking through different parts of the program on the children's log-in, it would be convenient to have one singular place to access all reports.)

An Interview with my 12-Year-Old about Dyxlexia Gold

To find out if the program was a win in my daughter's mind, too, I interviewed her for this review:

What is Dyslexia Gold?

Dyslexia Gold is an online reading program that helps people dyslexia and those who are like them. It works on Engaging Eyes, Fluency Builder, Spelling Tutor, and Times Table Tutor.

Why did you want to use this program?

It looked helpful - like a solid program that I could work on independently.

Were you able to use it independently?

Yes, but Spelling Tutor I sometimes need my parent for.

How long have you been using it?

I've been using it about three months.

How long do you use it each time you use it?

It depends on the day. Sometimes, I work on it for 10 minutes, sometimes up to 30. Sometimes, I do five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the afternoon.

So, is it flexible?

Yes. You can just get on it and get off it. With Fluency Builder, it will save where you are in the lesson. Not all online programs do that and I like it.

Please tell me about Fluency Builder.

Okay, Fluency Builder's lessons are a little longer than the rest of them, but, within each lesson there are mini lessons.

So, some of the activities in it are learning sounds, matching words to words to words with the same sounds within them, popping the sound you are working on as a fast game, being read words and trying to find them and click on them, and, then, at the end of a lesson, there is usually a short story that you read once to decode it using a special box with harder words you can click on to hear.  Then, you read it again for fluency and it is timed to see how fast you are.

I used this part probably the most often and it was okay. I feel like I am improving.

Next up is Engaging Eyes. Would you please tell me about that?

Yes. Engaging Eyes has more sections than I realized at first.

When you click on it, it has Target Practice. You need 3D glasses that are sent to you with that. During this game, you have a thing that turns around and shoots, and, it can go up and down, and there are targets around it at different heights in the 3D. So, then, you try to shoot the targets.

It was okay, but, after a little while, the 3D effect stopped working for me. That usually happened around Lesson 8 for me.

At first I didn't know how to escape it, so my mom emailed to ask and they said hit control escape. It worked. I want to give everyone a heads up on that.

Yes, and remember, when I emailed them, they explained how your eyes are getting stronger. So, we won't give up. We'll keep working on the Target Practice. 

And other things?
Yes. Whack an Alien is another game. There is a moon ground. Aliens pop up and you shoot them. You are not meant to move your head, just look, so it helps you train your eyes to move across a page without moving your head.

This one, I liked, but I felt like it got long sometimes.

Then, if you click on "All Games" there are more games.

There is Speed Fix. In it, it starts out with a blank background with animals going up and down side to side really fast with music. Then, later, there are clumps of letters that go across the screen and you are asked if you have seen specific letters.

There is also Eye Tracking, which I just started playing for the very time. You click on the space bar when you see a certain letter.

Do you like Engaging Eyes?
Yes. I think it helping my eyes with tracking letters and reading words on a page.

Let's talk about the different sections. Can you tell me about Times Table Tutor?

I can, but I only did a few lessons, because I was using this program for reading.

Okay. Tell me what you know about Times Table Tutor.

So, in the beginning, they had all the times tables for a certain number and made sure you knew them, then you moved on. Then, at the end of the lesson part, you did them mixed up so you could not just remember what spot they were in like you can with some programs.

Times Tables Tutor was not bad. It was like an online worksheet to be honest with a little bit of game.

Do you think it would help any specific kinds of kids?

Yes. Kids that don't like visual clutter and don't mind "this is the times table- what's the answer kind of thing?"

I did only do the first few lessons, though, so it might get more engaging later on.

Could you tell me about the Spelling Tutor?

Well, we found that it was more that the parent or teacher needed to be there to check your work, and I wanted to be independent with this program, so I didn't use it much.

It was not a bad part of the program, but my mom and I wanted this program to be something I could do on my own for now, so I didn't concentrate on the spelling.

Can you tell me about what you did do with it?

With this part of the program, what was good is it started out very simple and the lessons were short.  (I really like short lessons, because long lessons boring.) It also had audio portion that reads things to you and that is helpful.

Would you like to use Spelling Tutor in the future?

Yes, but I would not like to use it quite as much as the other program. Maybe once or twice a week in the fall.

What do you think about Dyslexia Gold overall?

I have improved using it and will keep using it, because it is nice to have something I can do by myself without worrying about needing someone else.

Would you recommend it?

Sure. I would recommend it to kids who need help with reading or something to help review and fill gaps.

My little brother uses it, too, and has improved.

Little Bro's Quick Thoughts

As you can see, my daughter appreciated the independence that 
Dyslexia Gold afforded her in building her skills and exercising her eyes, and, in the future, she plans to keep using Engaging Eyes and Fluency Builder while also working with some of the parts of the program that she did not spend as much time on yet.

Her little brother also piped up with his thoughts about 
Dyslexia Gold:

I liked all of the all of it... all the games.

I used Fluency Builder and Engaging Eyes the most. In Engaging Eyes, I liked to play Target Practice and Whack An Alien. They were fun and Mom tells me they help train my eyes even though they're already trained. 

I will probably keep using the program and would recommend it.

Learn More

Dyslexia Gold website has oodles of clear information about what the program offers, the science behind it, some sample pictures and videos, and more.  So, be sure to check it out.

You can also connect with Dyslexia Gold on Facebook.

To see how different families with different ages and stages of children have been progressing with 
Dyslexia Gold, read the reviews of the Homeschool Review Crew families that have been using Dyslexia Gold.

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